Halloween Ends

It’s rare you get to see a movie this bad, this ineptly, and this poorly conceived and executed. It was a truly terrible movie that does everything it can to ruin this franchise and the holiday it’s named after.

Back in 2018, the world was subjected to David Gordon Green’s terrible update to the Halloween series. It was a direct sequel to the 1978 classic Halloween. Green’s terrible direction and completely misunderstanding of the horror genre lead to a miserable experience. His follow up released last year called Halloween Kills is an even stupider and more miserable experience. That movie is crammed full of badly executed violence and unpleasant characters. He closes out his trilogy here with an even more inept and stupid conclusion. At least he’s consistent. He never learned how to build tension or create atmosphere. He never figured out what makes Michael Myers scary as a slasher character. He never bothered to figure out how to tell an interesting story set in this world. If you couldn’t tell, I didn’t like this one.

The central figure of Green’s trilogy has been the trauma that Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, endured during the 1978 attack by Michael Myers. In the first film she was an aggressive survivalist who used violence and an unpleasant manner to shield herself from her own ptsd. In the second film, she was in a hospital bed. She was either asleep or screaming about killing Michael, and that was about it. In this one, she is a sweet old grannie taking care of her grand daughter and writing a book about her struggles.

I hate when series do this. Laurie’s biggest character development happened between movies. We didn’t get to see her become this sweet well adjusted person. She just is a totally different person now. The writers didn’t want to do the work of showing her growth and development, so they just shoved it between the two movies.

This film takes place four years after the last one. A time jump that has seen Michael Myers disappear from the face of the earth. No one knows where he went after his night of mass murder. (Seriously, he murdered like 500 people last time. He was a supernatural force of murder that was completely indestructible. Now he’s just vanished.) Laurie is now well adjusted. Her grand daughter Allison, played by Andi Matichak, who watched her mother, father, boyfriend, and all of her friends get brutally murdered in the last two films is now just fine. She’s a nurse dealing with a lousy boss and no trauma. But for some reason the writers decided to sideline all of these characters in favor of creating a new character! Yay, because nothing is better than introducing a new character to the finale of your trilogy who will completely take over the narrative and sideline all the characters we actually came to the movie to see.

This new character is Corey played by Rohan Campbell. Corey accidentally killed a child in a random and unbelievable accident, and his life has never been the same. He struggles with work. He has no friends. He lives with a nasty overbearing mother. He is bullied by everyone in town because everyone in town recognizes him. He meets Laurie Strode who encourages him to stand up for himself. He tries but is thrown off a bridge by a quartet of band geeks who are apparently the bullies of modern day high schools according to Green. Corey wakes up in a sewer having been dragged inside by Michael Myers. Apparently, Myers has been living in a sewer for four years. Myers beings strangling Corey, and he sees his reflection in Corey’s eyes. We flash through all the trauma in Corey’s life and Myers releases him.

Now, what just happened is completely unclear. Did Myers use some kind of telepathic powers to see Corey’s life? Did Corey’s life just flash before his eyes? Did they experience some kind of psychic interface like the Vulcan mind meld? Don’t know. But Corey is now evil. He walks out of the sewer and murders a homeless man. He then goes on a date with Allison. He bullies the bullies, and sleeps with Allison. He then lures a mean cop into the sewer and Myers stabs him to death. This seemingly gives Myers super powers. Murdering people is what recharges his batteries apparently. Corey and Myers then go on a spree killing a bunch of people in really gross ways. A blow torch, a drumstick to the eye, stomping a head until it goes squish.

This culminates in the lamest fight ever filmed between Laurie and Myers. Myers is a decrepit old man, and Laurie is a woman who didn’t seem to learn her fight choreography. So there are a few stabs a few cuts with the knife. Myers gets taken out by a refrigerator. Then the movie ends.

Why center your trilogy on Laurie and trauma and then sideline both of those in the finale? This movie isn’t about Laurie or the trauma she endured. It isn’t about Myers or legacy or anything like that. It feels like they ran out of ideas and went with the junior killer idea.

Green is bad at horror. As a director, he doesn’t understand how to use filmmaking to build tension. He seems to think that violence is scary enough on its own. It doesn’t need to be built up to. For example, Corey goes after the band geeks who harassed him. He gets in a big truck and drives at them. They run and hop a fence to escape. He hits the fence and runs over one of them. There’s no suspense or tension here. He’s in the big loud truck driving straight at them. They are scrambling to escape, but the fence isn’t a big challenge to overcome. They hop it easily. The truck is moving so fast that there’s no way she can escape it. So we know from the moment the scene begins that she is going to get run over by that truck. The way he films it and the way it is edited together leave no doubt as to what is about to happen. Beginning to end the sequence is a straight line leading to a gruesome and bloody death. Will she escape? No. Is there anything she can do to slow the inevitable? No. Is there a moment where we understand that this sequence is about the nihilism of life and death? No, it’s over too quickly. It’s an action movie. It’s not a horror film. It’s just a bad action film.

Green is a good director of characters and character studies but here he is hamstrung by his screenwriters all four of them. Every character in this movie is so cartoonishly vile that I hate everyone on screen. These people all suck. They are nasty and cruel and mean, and I kind of want Myers to murder them all. The histrionics and mean spiritedness make this a very unpleasant movie to watch.

Finally there’s the way this movie goes out of its way to ruin the franchise it’s based on. The original movie has been scaring me for years. This movie shows so many clips from that movie I feel like I’ve watched the original by mistake. This movie tries so hard to tie itself to the only good movie in the franchise that it drags the original down several notches by association. It’s like a 500 pound man using an 80 pound girl as a flotation device.

What this trilogy never understood is what made Myers scary to begin with. In the 78 film, Myers is a killer who stalks three teen girls. Why these three? We don’t know. It could have been anyone. That idea has haunted me and everyone I’ve shown the original to over the years. Why did he go after those three? This trilogy makes Myers crazy. He’s just nuts and murders everyone he sees. He kills people because they’re there. Old Myers had a reason even though we never knew what it could be. New Myers has no reason. He’s just evil. It’s just nihilism. That’s way less scary to me. I want to ask why. I don’t want to know the answer.

This movie is terrible. Don’t want it. It’s not my cup of tea. F

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