With Halloween Ends, director David Gordon Green’s Halloween reboot trilogy comes to a peculiar conclusion. While the film is ambitious, it’s awfully convoluted; it seems like he had too many ideas for three films. This chapter plays like a major buildup to something … but then crams a “finale” into its final minutes—leaving a lot of unanswered questions.
Overall, this is the second-best film in Green’s trilogy. It’s not as good as the stellar Halloween (2018), but it’s better than the “Evil dies tonight!” nonsense of Halloween Kills.
Diehard Halloween fans may have a beef regarding how this film messes with core Michael Myers theories. Is Michael supernatural, or is he mortal? Is he a lone killer or part of some sort of weird slasher army? Is he pagan? Is he vegan? If so, does he like asparagus? If not, what is his vegetable of choice? Does he chop his favorite vegetables with his killing knife, or does he keep the killing and cooking cutlery separate? Does he purchase his kitchen cutlery at Bed, Bath and Beyond? If so, what’s his take on them closing so many locations? Did the Haddonfield location close, and is this perhaps driving his psychopathic fury?
I’ve always been a fan of the theory that Myers is an unstoppable, supernatural force of unexplained origin. That freaks me out. That’s not to say another explanation as to what drives his unending fury couldn’t freak me out. When it comes to “turn off your brain and watch” slasher flicks, I can be easy. The problem here is that Green and his co-writers add some intriguing new wrinkles, but those new wrinkles have no time to get stretched out. Instead, they are introduced and then quickly shut down to give the movie the final showdown between the Shape/Myers and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). The movie runs out of runway.
There’s been a lot of bruhaha out there about how Michael Myers is barely in the movie. I haven’t timed it, but I’m guessing Michael gets about the same amount of screen time as he received in the last two Gordon flicks. It’s not like he’s making a cameo; he shows up sparingly but effectively, like Godzilla or the shark in Jaws.
Ends introduces a new character, Corey (Rohan Campbell). Corey is very similar to Arnie Cunningham (played by Keith Gordon) from John Carpenter’s Stephen King adaptation, Christine. He gets a lot of screen time and is perhaps the central character in most of the film, even more than Laurie Strode. He starts as a bit of a nerd (like Arnie), has some stuff happen, including harassment by local bullies (also like Arnie), and eventually starts leaning heavily toward evil (most certainly like Arnie). I think the ideas surrounding him are strong; had this character shown up earlier in the series, he could’ve provided a good twist for the franchise. Instead, his story and the intriguing ideas are shoehorned into the proceedings.
This seems to be another example of a film trilogy not having a firm, mapped-out plan. (Hello, Star Wars episodes 7-9!) Halloween Ends feels like it may be reversing some original ideas. It’s no secret that the pandemic halted production of the franchise; maybe it gave Green and his co-writers (including Danny McBride) too much time to think, and they wound up overstuffing the film with too many half-formed ideas.
Because the film feels so incomplete, I can’t really recommend it. I have some admiration for Halloween Ends, though. It tries hard to do something different, is acted well and looks great. It’s not a bad movie, just it’s an incomplete one.
Perhaps there is a super-mega cut out there that will fill in some of the gaps, let some of the new ideas breathe, and give the saga a cleaner completion?
Halloween Ends is playing at theaters and is streaming on Peacock.