Halloween Ends (2022)

Halloween Ends (2022)

2022 R 111 Minutes

Horror | Mystery | Thriller

Four years after the events of Halloween in 2018, Laurie has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it...

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • d_riptide


    3 / 10
    From Halloween 2018 living up to my expectations to Halloween Kills shattering them in the most random, roundabout despondent manner possible, I just couldn’t find it in me to care about what the rest of the series had to offer. But begrudgingly, I had to see “Halloween Ends” in hopes of finishing the trilogy….and the series as a whole.

    I thought Jurassic World: Dominion was pushing its luck but here, the ENDS don’t justify the means.

    David Gordon Green planned to have all three of his films set over the course of one night, which made the most logical sense from a storytelling perspective but the pandemic forced multiple resets and so we got this instead. His direction altered almost very single entry and where he takes this film here is probably the most shoehorned of the bunch. Similar to Kills, it feels less like a tight-knit escalating thriller film and more of an old-fashioned melodrama, actively screwing with the presentation and tone to try and break away from a generic thriller to mixed results.

    Outside of losing control over the visual narrative at play, one of the the few things I could praise the previous two films about, the narrative structure here is arguably even looser than the previous movie, booking itself into multiple corners not just because the four year time skip only complicated matters further but because they actively deny us the catharsis fans would’ve gotten from a proper build-up to the final battle between Laurie and Michael Myers. And that’s not even going into how it completely disregards and disrespects most of the established characters from before.

    Once again, editing is awkwardly manufactured and the production design suffers for it, I can remember a single interesting shot or angle from the cinematography, the kills are vastly empty, both in execution and in appearance, dialogue is exponentially clunky still, most of the subplots are just distractions and nothing else, it’s almost embarrassing how lifeless and drab the once bombastic atmospheric music here is presented and every speck of Michael’s frightening aura, primal mystique and agency to the story has all but evaporated.

    Once more, social commentary is aplenty with this movie and similar to before, I see where they’re going with this: there are takeaways here about the nature of evil, the notion of collective trauma, and how the absence of a villain can lead people to look for one, no matter if Michael Myers is gone or not….and how that transferable nature can be really cancerous to those who decide to let their traumas define them. Pretty hefty themes to introduce and play with and when you look back at the previous two movies, where they did show the on-going effects of paranoia, PTSD and mob mentality, you can see some stitches of a complete vision here and there. But then the other shoe drops: by trying to subvert expectations, it only further borders itself on being boring, broken and shamelessly trollish all at once.

    Every time it feels like we might get something, it goes absolutely nowhere, ripped with an inconceivable amount of plot holes and contorting it’s own narrative logic until it collapses in on itself; it’s not hard to try and add subtext and philosophy into stories like this but every painful, drawn-out, elongated second of the runtime along the way only makes you question if you’re even watching the right version of the story and then we get the final Laurie vs Michael fight out of what feels like a dull sense of contractual obligation and the entire showdown comes across as an afterthought. There’s subverting expectations and then there’s actively screwing with the audience and it wouldn’t be that farfetched to say this film does both.

    Jaime Lee Curtis once again nails her part down to a science and Rohan Campbell gives a surprisingly nuanced performance amongst the rest of the dull cast, the first 30 minutes of Ends offers more character development than Halloween Kills in its entire run time, they actually toned down most of the heavy-handed mannerisms in the dialogue and I say it only just lives up to its R-rating.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised: the Halloween franchise is known for taking some sharp pivots and risks every once in a while and I am willing to applaud this film for trying something different amidst all the backlash they probably knew they were gonna get……but none of it paid off here.

    And to think this trilogy started off so well…..