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To say I was let down by Halloween Ends is to put it mildly. The 2018 Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green, brought new life to the franchise. It made the overall story feel more grounded, giving a human face to the immortal killer. Finally, John Carpenter’s take on the universe could span decades, with the story of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) finally coming full circle. I did not love Halloween Kills and had many gripes with some of the more silly aspects, but nothing prepared me for what Halloween Ends would throw my way.

Halloween Ends takes place years after the events of Halloween Kills. Michael Myers has not been seen after the killing spree he went on that saw Laurie Strode’s daughter killed, and the town has tried to find a new normal. It is in this uneasy time that a 21-year-old Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) finds himself babysitting a young child of a wealthy family in the town. While things seemed relatively normal at first, a prank leads to tragedy and Corey’s life is quickly destroyed, with any hope for a happy future seemingly shattered.

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While this is going on, Laurie and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) are trying to rebuild their lives, no longer living in fear of Michael Myers. Laurie is working on a novel about her experiences, and Allyson is working as a nurse. Even with the fears and issues, they are both looking to take back some semblance of normalcy.

At this point, Corey Cunningham and the Strode family cross paths, and Allyson quickly falls for the troubled young man, leading to a surprising love story that comes out of left field. But trauma is not so easily forgotten, and what could have been a great love story quickly turns sour when Michael Myers and bigotry in the town lead everyone down a dark path.

There is a lot going on in Halloween Ends, potentially too much, and the concept of the Strode family dealing with the trauma of Michael Myers gets lost somewhere along the way. I have great respect for David Gordon Green and the films he makes, but somehow this movie fails in almost every way imaginable. There are some interesting elements about evil laying in wait in everyone, with it only taking a push to come out, but that never feels earned, with the moments that could have made that interesting feeling more supernatural, than a testament to human fallibility.

With Halloween Ends being a direct sequel to both Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills, a solid focus must be needed to keep the story moving forward. Halloween Ends starts off strong, giving a sense of a town living in fear, then drops the ball to focus on the connection between Allyson and Corey. In theory, this is not bad, but when around 75 percent of the nearly two-hour runtime is devoted to this, you quickly lose focus, with the Michael Myers story feeling like nothing more than a B-plot.

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What is even more outrageous is the script is so laser-focused on the concept of the love story it throws out any semblance of natural human interactions. The first 30 minutes of Halloween Ends are a fever dream of awkward dialogue, forced interactions, horrible people, and bananas conversations that make no logical sense for the timeline the film is working with or how the characters acted from one scene to the next. It is as if the creators had a concept in mind and forced it into a Halloween movie even if it made no sense being there, and resulted in a worse final product.

Halloween is one of the great slasher films, capturing the energy and horror of a person simply going bad and killing. Halloween Ends captures some of this magic with some horrifying kills and some brutal violence, but these moments are barriers under melodrama that feels out of place and misguided for a film trying to finish a franchise that has been going on for over 40 years.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a bonkers horror movie that throws logic to the wind in service of kills, violence or brutality, and often those are some of the best in the genre. But Halloween Ends is trying to play its hand as seriously as possible, making the nonsense moments more baffling than fun. Many moments that are set up to be profound feel like they come out of a university film school, relying on flashbacks and montages to show major character moments, and to put it frankly, they just don’t work.

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There is no question that Halloween Ends will be a divisive movie, and part of that has to do with Jamie Lee Curtis, this being the final part of the Laurie Strode saga. I normally love what Jamie Lee Curtis brings to these movies, and I was hopeful to see that carry through here, but even a great actor can only work with the material they are given.

That goes for everyone in the movie. The script does no one any favours, presenting a muddled mess of rushed dialogue, idiotic conversation, and one-liners that do not land. David Gordon Green has a fantastic filmography under his belt, so I have no idea what happened here to make it such a mess.

Horror fans deserve better than Halloween Ends. This is a saga that people have grown up with, and while it has had many misfires along the way, Halloween 2018 revived that love, giving hope for a proper conclusion. I may not have loved the previous film, but as a horror franchise, few can stand up to Halloween, and it is a shame to see it come to such a disappointing end.

This content was originally published here.



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Brendan Frye

EIC at CGMagazine (@CGMagonline), Veteran of the field with more then 10 years experience. Also Publisher at Nuada Press.