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‘Halloween Ends’ is a divisive conclusion to a 40-year saga

‘Halloween Ends’ is a divisive conclusion to a 40-year saga

‘Halloween Ends’ is a divisive conclusion to a 40-year saga
October 20
13:00 2022

In 2018, director David Gordon Green created a spark in the “Halloween” franchise that had been missing for decades. It could even be argued Green’s “Halloween” kickstarted the slasher renaissance the genre is currently living in.

Last year, the second film in the trilogy, “Halloween Kills,” left a majority of audiences wanting less slaughter and more story. “Halloween Ends” concludes the tale of Michael Myers versus Laurie Strode in a way a lot of viewers may not see coming. The film’s ambition is its strongest trait, taking some of the biggest risks in franchise history.

Four years after the events of “Halloween Kills,” Laurie is living a better life. It isn’t long before the embodiment of evil comes back for Laurie one last time. Michael and Laurie’s history beg for a permanent conclusion, and it is all up to Laurie to see if evil dies tonight.

This will be the last time viewers see Jamie Lee Curtis take on the role of the original final girl. It is bittersweet seeing Curtis step away from the character. Laurie has had an immeasurable impact on the horror genre and getting to see her on the big screen one last time is an experience fans will never forget. 

As for Curtis’ role in “Halloween Ends,” it is the cherry on top of an illustrious career. Laurie has been through a lot, and the film does a phenomenal job of conveying it.

She wants to live a normal life, but having no closure with her tormentor has slowly chipped away at her well-being. It wouldn’t be a true ending to this franchise without Michael and Laurie having an epic final showdown. Their last confrontation is anything but disappointing.

Other standouts include Andi Matichak returning as Laucrie’s granddaughter, Allyson Nelson, and James Jude Courtney playing the man behind the mask. Allyson has been such an easy character to gravitate toward in this trilogy, and Courtney’s version of Michael Myers has only strengthened the slasher’s iconic status.

The most controversial compliment has to go to Rohan Campbell’s character Corey Cunningham. If this film swings for the fences, consider Corey the biggest swing. The audience’s enjoyment of “Halloween Ends” rests on Campbell’s shoulders, and he knocks it out of the park.

Narrative aside, “Halloween Ends” is technically stunning. Every set piece was put together with care, including more carved pumpkins and fall leaves than you can count. There are some visual transitions in this film that work almost too well.

The amount of time and effort that went into this film is extremely present. There is enough attention to detail to make any “Halloween” fan giddy.

The iconic “Halloween” theme is alive and well, with John Carpenter coming back to compose music for the film. John, along with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies, have been a consistent strong point of this trilogy. The music elevates a lot of the film’s gnarlier moments, giving it the authentic “Halloween” feel that many fell in love with over 40 years ago.

“Halloween Ends” is weird. Not in a bad way, but not in a good way either. There are a lot of underdeveloped elements in this story. You get a sense of what direction the film is trying to take, and then it just stops and moves on to something else.

It almost adds a level of uncertainty and untamed energy that works in the film’s favor. This could have been an extremely safe film to make, with an extremely predictable outcome. Thankfully, the cast and crew set out to make something audiences had never seen before. 

This movie is also surprisingly character driven. Don’t be concerned, there are still a ton of memorable kills. They just don’t happen as frequently as they did in the previous two films.

It’s not every day you get a slow-burn “Halloween” movie, and it certainly isn’t every day it works as well as this one does. Sure, it’s a huge mess, but it thrives in its messiness. Everything about “Halloween Ends” is just so strangely charismatic. You can’t help but let it take up all the space in your brain.

There is a definitive winner between Laurie and Michael. No fake deaths. This one is permanent.

This franchise has been the backbone of the horror genre for so many years. If this truly is the last “Halloween” movie ever made, it has been an absolute pleasure watching it conclude. There may be some clutter in this conclusion, but it’s all worth it to see horror’s final girl one last time.

Jaden’s rating: 4/5

Featured Illustration by Isabella Alva

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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