by Ollin Hernandez
Halloween ends in a last bout. The last fight between good and evil. The last girl vs the shape. Evil dies tonight! But evil doesn’t die, it just changes shape…
When asked what the inspiration for Halloween in 1978 John Carpenter told us that there are two types of horror movies: the ones that show us the external evil and the ones that show us the internal evil. “In reality evil resides in the human heart” he said. Is the evil in Michael innate or is it taught? Is the monster born or made? But isn’t it true that fighting the monster is the equivalent to facing our own monstrous nature?
When Blumhouse studios rebooted Halloween in 2018 the movie was very concerned with elaborating on the ideas put forth from the original movie and despite some mistakes the suggestions made throughout the movie were interesting. This direct and strong continuation to the original saga plunged the audience like a knife back into the Halloween movie of 1978 and the sharp unstoppable dread that is The Shape. This made for a powerful start for this new trilogy, expanding on the aftermath of Michael Myers and Laurie’s role in the absolute evil he became at the end of the first movie. This was a wise decision and the right direction to take for the themes that the subsequent two entries would attempt to take a stab at. Halloween 2018 focusing on Laurie’s trauma, Halloween Kills focusing on collective trauma and Halloween Ends focusing on overcoming that trauma. The ideas are there, and they are fantastic! The execution, however, fell rather short.
Most of the visual elements are the work of director David Gordon Green’s creative team. The cinematography by Michael Simmonds brings an element of coolness to the overall style and vibe of the movie that really pops especially in the big screen and the pacing is well calibrated courtesy of the editing by Timothy Alverson. Gloomy urban spaces, rainy streets, and nocturnal settings with light and shadow that create contrast is the art that Richard A Wright brings with his production design. The music score by Daniel Davies and John Carpenter tie together the rest of the atmosphere.
Utilizing the original film as the cornerstone and set four years after the events of Halloween and Halloween Kills, we meet an introverted young man by the name of Corey (played by Rohan Campbell) who is shrouded by a tragic accident that earned him only the hatred and spurn of the town of Haddonfield. Conversely, we are shown Allyson (Andi Matichak) who lives with her grandmother Laurie (Jaimie Lee Curtis) as the they each continue to heal from their traumatic experience as survivors of violence at the hands of Michael Myers and the loss that came with it. Laurie’s healing process is through her writing in her memoir decanting all her feelings in it. The townsfolk are suffering from a collective psychosis turning them from victims to victimizers. Perhaps with this movie David Gordon Green is trying to mirror a metaphoric parallel of today’s society and that of yesterday. We then follow Allyson and Corey as they open up to each other emotionally sharing scars of the past while inadvertently waking the monster of Haddonfield.
But this is where the story begins to fall apart in my opinion. Spoilers lay ahead.
The first two acts serve as a very long set up (too long) The meet cute between Alyson and Corey was a bit forced and the romance(?) between Laurie and deputy Frank was awkward at best. By the time Michael Myers shows up some forty minutes into the movie they give us a somewhat disheveled version of The Shape and at first, I just thought it was the fact that the guy is like seventy years old but then it seems like the more Michael kills the stronger he gets but this is not fully developed or explained later in the movie. I get that Ends is trying to deal with Michael as an aftermath of the evil that has infested the town and how the evil that created him has transcended him spreading into the town itself but and the idea of evil never dying and taking a new form like an epidemic of psychosis is interesting but ultimately not fleshed out to a concrete concept
Later Corey teams up with Michael Myers and kill people together (does The Shape need a sidekick?) until Corey decides to steal the mask from Michael and don the Shape persona to kill Laurie himself so he can finally be with Allyson, but Michael Myers shows up to show him who’s boss and kills Corey to recover his mask from Corey’s bloodied corpse. Allyson first blames her sweet old granny but after a while she doesn’t seem to care too much. Laurie and Michael battle it out one last time and after much noise Laurie gets the upper hand and with Allyson’s heroic efforts, they finally kill Michael Myers. The Town’s police department, alongside the citizens of Haddonfield join Laurie in disposing the still body of The Shape in the steel teeth of a metal shredder.
I wish Michael Myers would have gone out in a much more epic fashion, but this is what we get. The movie suffers from identity crisis, and it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Elements of romance and slasher coupled with psychological thriller and action sequences with a little bit of suspense peppered in ended up what bogged down the narrative diluting the concepts that by themselves were very solid. When the movie lacks definitive direction and doesn’t what it wants to be the creative cohesion suffers and you get disjointed plots, leaving the entirety of the trilogy segmented and disconnected. David Gordon Green seems to know the franchise and be a fan himself, but his execution is lack luster.
Halloween ends and it leaves this reviewer cold. (brrrr!) 2 stabs out of 5 is the score.