Happy Halloween everyone! Slick Dungeon here and I thought maybe the best way to close out the month of Halloween would be to do a review of the (supposedly) final chapter in the Halloween franchise, Halloween Ends. Do be warned there will be some big spoilers here so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, grab a big ol’ butcher knife, carve yourself a Jack O’lantern, put on the movie and give it a watch and then come on back here to read the review.
If you don’t know, the true birth of the slasher craze can be directly pointed to the very first of the Halloween movies. That one was made in 1978 with a shoestring budget and has sparked a ton of sequels, reboots, remakes and other media involving Michael Myers, the killer from the original film. It’s also got some content that has nothing at all to do with Michael Myers. And that’s not including all of the copycat movies and franchises that followed in the spirit and footsteps of the original.
This last movie, Halloween Ends is intended to finish the Halloween story (the one involving Michael Myers). I’m a big fan of this franchise, although some films in it are far better than others. And really, if you simply watched the original and stopped there, that would be good enough for me. I do like several of the sequels but you get everything you could want with the first one and from then on the best films in the series have hit on very similar themes. At some point I will do a deep dive review of all the movies in this franchise but for now, if you haven’t seen the original and you’re looking for a movie to watch on Halloween night, go watch it, you won’t regret it.
I’m going to give one more warning here before I go into the film review for Halloween Ends because to give this film its full due for a review, I have to spoil a couple of major points.
The last three films in the Halloween franchise are not reboots but rather intended to be direct sequels to the first film. Halloween (2018) saw Michael Myers return as the silent stalker from the original film, only years had passed. He was still pursuing Laurie Strode who had survived the events of the first movie. But in a fairly interesting twist, Laurie had not idly been waiting, she’d been preparing for this day, determined never to let anyone get the best of her again. Halloween Kills continued the events of the night from the 2018 film but also flashes back to other characters from the 1978 incident. The whole film is a rather interesting take on mob mentality and is one of the most brutal and bloody films I’ve ever seen, thus earning the title Kills.
While all three of the films, Halloween (1978), Halloween (2018), and Halloween Kills (2021) have seriously interesting things in them, Halloween Ends (2022) should be the most engaging and dramatic and also wrap up the story.
Well… it does wrap up the story. This was one of the oddest film going experiences I have ever had in that what I was feeling about the movie kept constantly changing.
The start was brilliant. There were lots of terrible things that happened on October 31 in Haddonfield Illinois and not all of them directly involved Michael Myers. We start by visiting the events of what happened to a character named Corey that night. As Myers was out on a rampage, Corey had picked up a babysitting job. The kid Corey is babysitting is a little terror and taunts Corey enough to freak him out. This causes the accidental death of the boy Corey is babysitting. Corey is put on trial and found innocent.
I thought this was a really interesting take because it’s a tragedy that had nothing to do with the main events we paid our money to see. And, the death of the kid Corey is babysitting is one of the most brutal I’ve seen and it was completely accidental. If the movie right after this really picked up the story of what had gone down with Michael and Laurie (who are on the poster as the main attraction) I think I would have thought this film was amazing.
Instead, most of the movie is about… Corey. Yeah. Michael Myers is in the film but it’s mostly not about him. It felt like a slog getting through the rest of the film because we were watching a movie about a guy we just met rather than a movie about the character who has been the big star since 1978.
I’m not going to spoil too much of the middle of the movie, except to say that a lot of it doesn’t make much sense, Michael’s ability as a killer come into question here, and Corey gets to be the killer. I almost think this would make a good movie if you watched the first scene and then forwarded to the final confrontation and left the rest out.
So, the question this movie tries to answer is, whether or not Michael Myers is gone for good. If you watched the movie, I don’t see how anyone could have any doubt Michael is done for. And his demise and eventual end is really, really satisfying. We see Laurie Strode do away with him and, seriously, she is the only character who should get to do that. And it’s done with such finality that those scenes had me cheering out loud. It’s just a major shame this film strays so far off from the story for so long. I really want to like this one and there are some absolutely fantastic moments any Halloween fan is going to love. But it just doesn’t add up to what we should have to make a great movie. The end of Michael is great and the wrapping up of Laurie’s story is really good but all the rest just does not work.
While I definitely don’t want them to reboot or remake or revitalize this series, I do wish we had just a stronger story here. I’ll say this. If you’ve seen the other Halloween movies you have to watch this one. If you haven’t started watching the series at all, watch the first one and know it remains the best of the bunch. Then it’s your choice if you want to continue but know there will be some rough moments ahead if you enjoy the franchise. And while Halloween Ends is far from being the worst movie in the franchise, it’s just not the best either.
Happy Halloween everyone!