As always, Michael Myers delivers in “Halloween Ends”
Synopsis: The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode comes to a spine-chilling climax in this trilogy's final installment.
Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Andi Matichak
At the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, the Halloween film franchise was rebooted . . . again; it was well received. Last October, when Halloween Kills was released, I went to see it opening night thinking, this is going to be good. It wasn’t. Not at all, but I knew it was a trilogy. The second film in a trilogy is always a challenge unless the movie's name is The Empire Strikes Back.
Coming into this third and final chapter, I approached this film with a heightened skepticism, mainly because of my disappointment with the sophomore film. Even though this movie is called Halloween Ends, the franchise has over ten entries in the series, and if this film is successful, even moderately so, you can expect another series in a few years. But let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.
In Halloween Ends, Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode. I love this character. When you think of series like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, you usually think of the villains, Jason and Freddy Krueger respectively. But when it comes to Halloween, how can you not think of Laurie? She is a badass of the highest of levels. She should have her own costume for Halloween. Of course, Michael Myers is the villain that strikes terror into the souls of the residents of Haddonfield, but it’s the fearless protagonist that makes these last few films stand out. The character is so well developed not just in these three films but in the previous ones too. Strode knows the threat Myers possesses and has taken every precaution to prepare herself.
Regarding whether you must have seen the previous two films to make it through this one, the answer is no, but it doesn’t hurt. The movie does a fine job of bringing newcomers up to speed.
This film introduces a new character, Corey, played by Rohan Campbell. Corey is dealing with something that happened in his past in Haddonfield and is a bit of an outcast. He is having trouble fitting in but catches the eye of Allyson, Laurie’s granddaughter. Laurie is instantly attracted to Corey and has no problem letting him know that — clearly, confidence runs in the family. The two embark on a cute courtship. They both have insecurities but seem to forget them when they are in each other's company.
One of the aspects of this film that I appreciated is that Gordon Green takes his time developing the supporting cast. We get to know them, and the film isn’t simply Myers walking around killing people. I found with the second film, there was no real investment in the cast outside of the leads, but that is not the case here.
Now it’s some time before Michael Myers appears in the film; it is, after all, the end of October. (Seriously, what does he do in the summer?) His delayed appearance is a testament to the character development. In The Dark Knight Rises, it was a while before Batman appeared, and I can make a strong argument for why that was the best film in the series.
When Myers does show up, I didn’t have a ‘t’s about time feeling. Instead, I was thinking, ‘you’re in trouble now’ as he went after his first victim. Myers is, after all, a menacing killer. Still, the entire weight of the film isn’t on his or Strode’s shoulders: there are teenage bullies, annoying co-workers, persistent police officers, and rambling homeless people, to name a few.
One aspect of this film that needs to be recognized is the score. John Carpenter’s eerie theme haunts the screen. Not only is it a throwback to the different films in the series, but it also reminds us that stuff is about to go down.
One of the final scenes in the film may have mixed reactions. And while it would be easy for me to criticize it, in this universe, I will give it a pass. I don’t think I can be more vague, but I also won't be accused of spoiling anything. I think the film completes the series, or at least this iteration, very well.
Halloween Ends is ideally suited for this time of year; it has a great mix of jump scares and horror. We know what we are getting with Michael Myers, and that doesn’t disappoint, but the addition of other characters puts this ahead of the previous film.
Many films will be looking to scare you at this time of year, and while it’s personal whether that happens or not, this film will entertain.
Watch the movie trailer: