When a film franchise attempts to deviate from its established formula and take risks, it can either result in a brilliant departure or a confusing misstep.
Unfortunately, “Halloween Ends,” the concluding installment of the recent Halloween trilogy, falls into the latter category. Directed by David Gordon Green, this film attempts to be different, but its ambition is marred by incoherence and a lack of cohesion. While it’s commendable to admire the filmmakers’ aspirations, the end result leaves much to be desired.
One of the most perplexing aspects of “Halloween Ends” is its departure from the essence of the original masterpiece. In its attempt to pay homage to the divisive “Halloween 3: Season of the Witch,” the film strays far from what audiences have come to expect from a Halloween movie.
Instead of wrapping up the storyline set up in the previous film, the narrative introduces a new antagonist and places excessive emphasis on a poorly developed young love story. Despite these detours, the film is ultimately forced to return to Laurie Strode, played by the iconic Jamie Lee Curtis, even though the final confrontation lacks the urgency that should have been built up over the course of the trilogy.
Compounding this disappointment is the knowledge that there will inevitably be another Halloween movie in the future, making this installment feel even more like an odd tangent in the history of this horror legend.
The film opens three years after the events of the previous installment, with a new character named Corey Cunningham portrayed by Rohan Campbell in a lackluster performance. Corey’s character arc is poorly executed, starting as a sympathetic figure who becomes an outcast after a tragic accident caused by a prank gone wrong.
The film attempts to explore the idea that evil can reside not only in notorious monsters like Michael Myers but also in an average person who has been pushed to the edge.
However, this intriguing concept falls flat due to weak writing and subpar execution. Corey’s transformation into a malevolent force feels contrived and unconvincing, while Allyson, Laurie’s granddaughter played by Andi Matichak, inexplicably falls in love with him despite his obvious depravity.
Unfortunately, the issues plaguing “Halloween Ends” go beyond its narrative missteps. The film suffers from clunky editing, uninspired framing, and lackluster writing, leading to an overall disappointing viewing experience. It feels as though the filmmakers were simply fulfilling a contractual obligation and rushed through the production. The clash between the lofty ambitions of exploring the nature of evil and societal fears and the requirement to make a Halloween movie is evident throughout the film, resulting in a disjointed and unsatisfying final product.
Even the once-promising element of thrilling kills falls short in this installment. The execution lacks the impact and creativity seen in the previous films, with forgettable deaths that fail to leave a lasting impression. Only one death, that of a DJ, stands out from the rest.
The inevitable showdown between Laurie and Michael, which held such promise in the 2018 reboot, falls flat due to the lack of emotional investment and waning power behind the characters.
If “Halloween Ends” truly marks the conclusion of the trilogy, it does so with a whimper rather than a bang. The film’s attempt to break away from convention and delve into deeper themes ultimately leads to a convoluted and unsatisfying narrative.
With a poorly executed love story, lackluster kills, and a general lack of cohesion, the film fails to capture the essence of what made the original Halloween a classic.
While it’s commendable that the filmmakers aimed for something different, “Halloween Ends” ultimately falls short of its potential, leaving audiences with a sense of disappointment and a desire for a more fitting conclusion to this horror legend.