Halloween Ends (2022) Review

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November 1st The Movie.

Halloween Ends (2022): 7 out of 10: In this third movie of the current reboot (13th Halloween movie overall) Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) prepares for a quiet Halloween as her psychopath brother has disappeared after killing half the town in the last film.

Meanwhile, new character Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) finds himself shunned by the town of Haddonfield, Illinois because of an unfortunate bit of accidental manslaughter a few years earlier (on Halloween natch) that left a nine-year-old dead.

Laurie and Corey’s paths cross in the town still reeling from all those Halloween murders a few years ago and Laurie introduces Corey to her granddaughter (Andi Matichak) who takes an enthusiastic liking to the boy. As thier romance intensifies, Laurie starts to see troubling signs in Corey’s behavior and worries that she may have accidentally put her granddaughter in an abusive relationship.

At this point, many audience members in the theater check their ticket stubs to make sure they are watching a Halloween film. What happened to that guy with the mask who killed all those firefighters in the last film? Is he in this still in this?

The Good

The Good: There is a lot of good in Halloween Ends. For starters, the acting among the leads is excellent across the board. Jamie Lee Curtis has always been an underrated actress, and she is clearly having a blast with this role. There is a nice subplot where the town kind of blames her for her brother’s killing spree and it requires her to shift gears sometimes in the same scene.

While Jamie Lee Curtis is unsurprisingly solid, Rohan Campbell hits it out of the park. Even people who hate his character and his presence in the movie have to admit he is superb in the role. I kept thinking when they invariably reboot Batman again, he would make a perfect Joker.

Rounding out our main characters is Andi Matichak who, like Rohan above, plays a character that certainly could be divisive. But she sells her character’s illogical choices and apparent onset of furor uterinus upon meeting Rohan (She is Judy Greer’s daughter in universe so that does fit.)

As for the plot like it or hate it (I will be covering some of the hate it below) it certainly goes in a different direction than you might expect. There is a nice feel to the movie. It takes its time setting up its universe before unleashing the reason for the season. The film is also well shot with the opening bit and a couple of the kills being real standouts.

The Bad

The Bad: If you were invested in the current remake trilogy, I understand the disappointment in the film. When we last saw Michael Myers, he was a superhuman force, killing people like Cao Cao in Dynasty Warriors. And suddenly he is Pennywise from It living in the sewer with bad knees and a slipped disc. {Or maybe Louis at the end of Interview with a Vampire (The book not the movie) living off of worms and rats too weak to move in early 20th century New Orleans.}

Now Halloween films have never been known for thier continuity per se. (Everyone talks about how Michael Myers cannot be killed, but what about Laurie Strode? She dies in Halloween 4, Halloween H20, Halloween Resurrection, The second Halloween II.) The plot seems a bit off, however, with Michael missing after killing half the town and the previously vigilant Laurie is now putting up Halloween decorations and working on her book without a care in the world.

In fact, it is not just Lauries’s house is very decorated for Halloween (She has jack-o’-lanterns in her upstairs office) the entire town seems to go all out for Halloween. I would have expected maybe a candlelight vigil or a subdued ceremony, not a costume rager a few years after the Halloween massacre.

I mostly know Danny McBride from his small but pivotal role in 2013’s This Is the End, but he is one of the main writers and producers in this trilogy. And I have a feeling he is taking the piss out of Halloween fans. Our main character (Rohan Campbell) introduced for the film (an adult, mind you) is bullied throughout the film by (checks notes) teenage band geeks. I am not making this up. His tormentors are literally band geeks. Even stranger, the head geek sounds like Tony Soprano’s illegitimate soon working the day shift bartending at the Bada Bing!.

Not since the lead in Laserblast was tormented by Grease’s Eddie Deezen has the bully/victim dynamic been so confusing. So when our band geek bullied lead beats up Michael Myers and takes his mask… well, if I were a die hard Halloween fan, I would start looking into burning the theatre down.

Speaking of Michael Myers, he does eventually show up and start doing Michael Myers type things. He is barely in his own film. This is not a Halloween III: Season of the Witch situation, however, or even a more accurately Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. It is more like going to a Godzilla film and sitting through seventy minutes of a young Japanese boy in shorts and his adventures just for Godzilla to show up in the last ten minutes and knock one building down.

Random Thoughts before we get to The Ugly

So Illinois is a pretty cheap place to live, and has a lot of superb housing choices. I’m just putting this out here. And Haddonfield, of course, is home to multiple murders of the last 50 years so… Where I’m going with this is, I’m thinking real estate wise there’s some really nice houses in Haddonfield. One could probably pick up one of those mansions for 250k. In fact, In what has to be the murder capital of Illinois, you probably looking at less than $80 a square foot and there are some fine hardwood floors on tap.

In Hollywood films, it’s a risky move to show clips from a different movie that outshines your own. However, some filmmakers still take the chance. For example, in The Matrix, there is a scene where a character watches that giant bunny rabbit movie Night of the Lepus, which always delights me. Interestingly, other movies taking place during Halloween often feature the 1978 Halloween on a background television. Halloween Ends features 1982’s The Thing, which could be considered a high-risk move since my first reaction was I should be watching John Carpenter’s The Thing again. Of course, it is a nice Easter egg as in the first Halloween Laurie Stroud is babysitting and she and her charge are watching 1951’s The Thing from Another World (1951).

Speaking of thinking of other films. Per Wikipedia the writers used the same character arc for thier protagonist named Cunningham as Christine did for its protagonist named Cunningham. And once you hear that you cannot unsee it. It is an almost perfect homage. (Right down with absorbing evil correcting your vision, which honestly seems like a fair trade.) So besides The Thing I really now have a hankering to see Stephen King’s Christine.

The Ugly

The Ugly: I watch Godzilla films for people in monster outfits destroying models of Japanese cities. I watch Halloween movies to watch Michael Myers stalk teenagers while great techno music plays in the background. As good as this movie is, there simply is not enough Michael Myers hunting teenagers and when there is you miss it even more.

Also, I don’t recall any nudity or drug use in the film. Which is disappointing for a slasher film. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning may not have had Jason Voorhees in it, but it definitely did not forget the drugs and sex that, along with the violence, make the charcuterie board of depravity that is an entertaining slasher film.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: I enjoy Halloween movies. I enjoyed Halloween Resurrection for God’s sake. I enjoyed Halloween Ends. It tries some new things, and it does not play it safe. In fact, it goes in some directions I did not spoil above that really surprised me. Great for those not to emotionally invested in the trilogy.

Laurie Strode taking after Michael in more ways than one.
I am happy to see more representation in movies today.
Though it can be a double-edge sword when we are talking about a slasher film.
This kill is a bit of a cheat because I am pretty sure this is a flashback to Halloween Kills.
While I pitch Rohan Campbell as the new Joker. I am also okay with Andi Matichak as the new Catwoman. Hell, throw in Michael Myers as an older Batman and I think we got a movie.
No good computer terminal screen captures in Halloween Kills, but we have newspaper clippings. Let’s see what is going on. On no, the Iran Premier quit.
I am telling you this staircase, almost five thousand square feet, excellent schools, all for under a hundred dollars a square foot just because of a few holiday related incidents over the last forty years. Better deal than that Amityville house.
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