Editor’s Note: The new Halloween film trilogy came to a close recently with the aptly titled Halloween Ends, and what an ignominious end it was. And just one review would not be enough, so we are delivering THREE reviews. With a blood-stained SPOILER ALERT let’s start our triple stab reviews!
Stab #1 Editor Jules, Halloween Ends: Attack of the Clone
In the immortal words of King Théoden, “How did it come to this?” Halloween Ends continues the grand tradition of ending (or attempting to end) long-running horror franchises by shoehorning in lore that had not been previously established or even hinted. Remember Freddy’s secret daughter in Freddy’s Dead? Jason body swapping and only being able to be killed by a relative in Jason Goes to Hell? Well, after two films Ends decides to throw in the lore that Michael Myers aka The Shape can project his evil into another person.
And this leads to the film’s biggest issue, moving the focus away from Double M and his nemesis Laurie Strode to a new character, Rohan Campbell’s troubled young man turned serial killer Corey Cunningham. This would have been interesting as the first film in a new trilogy where Michael’s legacy lives on in others. But in the final film of a trilogy? Most ill-advised. And what makes it even worse is Corey is as bland and uninteresting as Campbell’s performance. Heck, all the performances here are pretty poor. Andi Matichak’s Allyson is annoying, and she has about as much chemistry with Corey as Anakin had with Padme in Attack of the Clones. Which is none. Poor Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie is changed from being a strong survivor to a weak, almost suicidal woman who gets pissed on by all her neighbours and flirts awkwardly with Will Patton’s Deputy Hawkins like a pimple-faced teenager. And poor Michael is now a weak old man and gets treated like a punk by his protégé/partner/almost replacement Corey. Now, it makes sense that Mike would be an old guy by now, but I don’t think any fan wanted to see him like this. Seriously, who wanted to see random dude killing people rather than Michael Myers? Show of hands? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
And Corey’s main purpose seemed to be the creation of conflict between grandmother and daughter, but the two lack any chemistry so it is hard to care and there is little to no arc to speak of. Oh, and the cringe-inducing dialogue feels like it was written by a third grader. Even the sound editing felt off, as at times during “tense” scenes the music take forever to change from the plain to the dramatic. So was there anything I liked? Well, there are a few decent kills and I thought the ending was solid, though it felt like it was pulled from a completely different movie. It’s sad, because Halloween (2018) was pretty dang solid, and I was hoping Ends would have made up for the mess that was Kills. Instead it took the franchise, crapped all over it and then set it ablaze. But like the Star Wars sequel trilogy there appeared to be no plan here and they kept making it up as they went along. Both the fans and the franchise deserved a heck of a lot better.
Editor Jules Score: 2.5 out of 10
Stab #2 Alice, Halloween Ends: Season of the Switch
Well, I can state without a moment’s hesitation that my favorite horror franchise didn’t end with a bang as I had hoped but a mere whimper. The downfall started with the release of the previous film Halloween Kills in 2021. The original story of an inherently evil child who grows up to become a notorious serial killer in the small town of Haddonfield has become more than a bit tainted over the years. But, as a loyal fan of the franchise, I tried to stick it out until the end.
The mistake that was made and compounded upon was the fact that the story seemed to focus more on survivor’s guilt and the trauma experienced by the town. For me, and hopefully I can speak on behalf of most of the fans of the franchise, Halloween Ends miserably fails at giving us fans the gratuitous finale that we so long craved. The source for the franchise should have stuck to the pace and energy that was felt in the Halloween revival that was released in 2018. Laurie Strode was portrayed as the traumatised survivor of the massacre that occurred that Halloween night 40 years ago and it was brilliant. She was not perfect and was paranoid as heck. The audience already understood that a true survivor of events so horrible would likely react in that manner and possibly be an alcoholic and have a fractured family dynamic. That was all executed particularly well, and it should have ended there with that final confrontation. However, trying to stretch the story out to make it a final trilogy was asking a bit much. My take on this is that the root cause of the story losing all direction and veering so far from the substance of the source material is that it ultimately made things come across as a representation of a true crime drama since they honestly didn’t know what else to do in order to propel the story.
The film even introduces a new character named Corey Cunningham played by Canadian actor Rohan Campbell (The Hardy Boys TV Series – 2020). The direction seemed to be prepping Cunningham to take over as the new Michael Myers. Little spoiler alert here guys, but Cunningham finds Michael Myers hiding in the sewers and they make some kind of weird, wordless connection with each other because Michael sensed the same darkness that dwells within himself in this new guy. Poor structuring and grasping at straws here. Not to mention the fact that I never really liked the way that Laurie Strode’s granddaughter, Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak) was written. She was always borderline annoying, and it became more prominent in Halloween Kills and got worse here in this one. I couldn’t quite sympathise or back the character’s weird attraction to Corey Cunningham. It made absolutely no sense at all!
To put it mildly, the film was a giant, muddled mess and was just extremely disappointing. There are far too many plot holes and continuity errors to speak of with Halloween Ends. I found a theory online (you can check out the original post on Facebook from @JoeyClick for reference) that blows my mind. He speculated that David Gordon Green was trying to remake the audience’s experience of the first three Halloween movies. It kind of makes sense but again it’s just a theory.
In conclusion, there was far too little of Michael Myers, and too much drama and angst for me. There’s enough emotional baggage in real life so I am sure that the audience doesn’t want to see that. A true horror fan just wants to switch off for a while to enjoy an honest-to-goodness, slasher horror with mindless killing, and take pleasure in the final showdown between good and evil!
Alice’s Score: 3 out of 10
Stab #3 Sommer, Halloween Ends (Badly!)
Oh what fresh hell is this! How could they completely destroy all the good will they built up with the energetic reimagining they came out with back in 2018? What went wrong when they sat down to write this script? These were just some of the questions popping into my head while I sat in a dark (and almost empty) theater to watch Halloween Ends and by the time the credits started rolling the last thought I had in my mind was “I should’ve watched SMILE instead”.
Picking up four years later (I think, I found it really hard to pay attention to this drudgery) Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode narrates what life in Haddonfield has been like since the ridiculous conclusion of Halloween Kills. In a nutshell, the people of Haddonfield are an unhappy bunch. The rate of murder and suicides are astronomically high for such a small community and everyone blames the spirt (or whatever, it’s never properly explained so I’m not gonna try) of Michael Myers for the “evil” that permeates the town. Yet Laurie and her granddaughter a.k.a. THE MOST UNLIKEABLE CHARACTER OF THE ENTIRE FRANCHISE Allyson (Andi Matichak) have managed to start anew. Life is good, or at least as good as it can be for them, but things begin to unravel with the introduction of Corey. Corey (Rohan Campbell) once had a promising life ahead of him, with plans to study engineering at college. He takes a last minute job as a babysitter for the night (which is possibly the worst job you can have in a town like Haddonfield) watching a kid who turns out to be the kind of brat you, an adult person, wishes to see die horribly at some point. When exactly that happens Corey is made the town pariah and after one bullying too many Corey finds himself in the presence of Michael Myers…or Myers’ spirt…or possessed by Myers or whatever the hell the writers of this mess of a movie decided to throw at us because Halloween Ends doesn’t know what the hell to do with The Shape at this point so they throw everything and anything at the wall. And, unfortunately for fans, none of it sticks.
I honestly didn’t think it could get worse than Halloween Kills but after seeing the so-called final movie of this franchise (yeah right) I think the second movie isn’t as bad as I thought it was! There are exactly two things that work here and those two are actors Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and Rohan Campbell as Corey. Don’t believe me? Well the ONLY scenes in this movie that had any impact emotionally were the ones where these two actors go head-to-head. This movie could’ve been SO MUCH better if the script had calmed the hell down with all the unnecessary red herrings (talking about the whole “is he real or is Michael a figment of Corey’s mind”) and just focused on these characters and their battle with evil and given us an outcome that was played right, then it could’ve been a brave new direction for the franchise.
Allyson played by Andi Matichak is a character I liked less and less as these movies went on. Here she comes across like a spoilt child or an angsty teen instead of a woman who has grown and learnt from her traumatising experiences with Myers. She’s supposed to be the new Laurie and there I was, wishing for her demise. The actress and the character deserved better.
Messy transitions from one scene to the next led to kills that were very underwhelming. This is supposed to be an R-rated slasher so why does the camera decide to pull away from some bloody scenes but then show others?! The final showdown between Laurie and Michael was well done but due to the lack of buildup that came before it all feels anticlimactic. But you know what was the biggest failing to me of this entire thing? None of it was entertaining! Every aspect of this movie is depressing, empty and void of the energy that makes slashers for want of a better word, fun.
Director David Gordon Green and his team of writers may have set out to revive the Halloween franchise the way Rob Zombie did but say what you will about those movies, Zombie put his signature stamp of grit and grime on both and his films are at least cohesive in that manner. Green’s version sucked all the good faith that they established with the first film out and this new trilogy leaving fans of Halloween disappointed. I guess all that’s left to do is wait another ten years for the inevitable reboot of the reboot. Who knows, maybe third time’s a charm.
Sommer’s Score: 4 out of 10
So have you seen Halloween Ends? How would you rate it? And you can check out more slasher-ific content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. Read More
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
Double Tap Baby!