What an extraordinary trilogy this has been. A trilogy that wiped out all the original sequels to refocus the story on Laurie Strode, but then bizarrely lost interest in both her and Michael Myers, to tell a story about the town of Haddonfield, where all of this mayhem takes place.
I think it would be fair to say that this franchise reboot has been a wildly inconsistent mess for the most part. But in between some of the incomprehensible choices made by director David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride, are some wonderful flashes of fun horror mayhem. There are also some very interesting ideas across all three films about the aftermath of horrific events. What happens after the credits roll on a horror film. This trilogy has tried to answer that in some way.
‘Halloween’ (2018) set out to explore how the traumatic events of 1978 had shaped Laurie’s life, and did a pretty damn good job of it. Any doubts we might have had about rebooting this franchise were put to bed. ‘Halloween Kills’ however, then erased all of that goodwill, by not only being an objectively terrible sequel, but also by shifting focus to random townsfolk. It is a shambolic film.
Now we get to ‘Halloween Ends’, and with seemingly nothing to lose, Green, McBride, and their co-creatives have taken one last wild swing for the fences. Jumping forward four years, Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is now making great progress in her recovery. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since the brutal massacre he unleashed on Haddonfield in 2018. But this movie isn’t really about either of them. We are instead introduced to Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), a college-bound teen who is pranked by a kid he is babysitting, which results in a gruesome tragedy.
Corey becomes an outsider, consumed by fear and anger, which he is burying deep inside himself. Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), who knows something about pain herself, is drawn to Corey and tries to help him. It’s more like an indie drama than a horror film for a lot of the running time. Even when a certain Mr. Myers emerges from the darkness, there’s a choice made here by the filmmakers which echoes another film from John Carpenter’s back catalogue, and it ain’t ‘Halloween’. You’ll either laugh or cry.
‘Halloween Ends’ is an extraordinary film. It’s not scary at all, and the kills in terms of bloody entertainment are pretty much on par with the previous two films. But for the sheer audacity of what it’s trying to do, I can’t help but applaud it. It takes risks that most mainstream horror films wouldn’t even contemplate. It manages to be both utterly twisted and incredibly thoughtful. When it was initially released it got eviscerated by critics and viewers alike, but unlike ‘Halloween Kills’ which will forever remain the awkward middle child of this series, I think this will age very well.
The Blu-ray disc comes well stocked with special features, kicking off with a feature commentary with David Gordon Green, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell, co-producer Atilla Salih Yücer, and production assistant Hugo Garza. There are 7-minutes of deleted and extended scenes, a short gag reel, and over 30-minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, across various short featurettes.
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell Director: David Gordon Green Writer: Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green Released By: Universal Pictures UK Certificate: 18 Duration: 111 mins Release Date: 16th January 2023