This post may contain spoilers.
Halloween Ends has opened this weekend bringing to an end yet another attempt to resurrect the franchise and milk it for a little bit. It’s the 13th movie in the franchise and the 12th to have Michael Myers involved. If you don’t know, Halloween III: Season of the Witch was intended to take the franchise in an anthology direction. It failed even though public opinion of it has become more positive and favorable in the past 40 years.
Remember this when I discuss Halloween Ends which takes place mostly four years later following the events of the 2018 Halloween and Halloween Kills. Originally, it was intended to film Halloween Ends back-to-back with Halloween Kills, but Andi Matichak who plays Allyson Nelson in all three movies said there was an intense schedule of the second movie that prevented that. I heard a rumor all events were supposed to take place on the same night, as Halloween Kills picks up just as the events of the previous movie ended, which was the same as the 1981 Halloween II.
Filming for Halloween Kills took place mostly in the fall of 2019. And we all know what happened in the winter of 2020. And as people were still staying away from the theaters in the fall of 2020, a decision was made to delay the release a whole year. A lot of movies has similar release and distribution issues. I’m not sure what the filmmakers had in mind for the third movie but Halloween Kills dealt with the mob mentality as people went after Michael Myers/The Shape. One could very much see the same events following the Covid-19 pandemic as people crowded school board meetings and especially the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021.
The movie ended with The Shape killing Allyson’s mother, Karen (Judy Greer) as well as a mob that had surrounded him including Tommy Doyle (Anthony MIchael Hall) and former Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyhers). The new movie begins Halloween Night 2019 in which a teenage boy, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) arrives at an affluent house to babysit a young boy, Jeremy Allen (Jaxon Goldberg). The two don’t get along and despite his parents instructions, Corey lets Jeremy stay up longer and watch TV including John Carpenter’s The Thing.
However, when Corey gets up to go to the kitchen to get something to drink, he hears a noise. He returns to the living room to see Jeremy is gone. He’s not outside and he’s nowhere to be found on the first floor, so Corey goes up to the attic area where he hears something. Much to his surprise and anger, it’s all a prank by Jeremy who locks him in the room. Angry, he begins to kick the door just as Jeremy’s parents arrive back from the party they were attending. With one final kick, Corey knocks the door open but Jeremy is standing right there and is hit in the face with it, he falls back over the bannister and to his death on the floor hit when the parents walk through the door.
Corey is taken into custody and over the years, other events happen around Haddonfield, Ill. that leave people wondering if it’s the work of Michael Myers or something else. Two people are gunned down in a Jeep as Officer Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) says Michael Myers doesn’t use a gun. In a voice-over narration, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) reflects on the events as she’s working on a memoir. Laurie no longer lives in isolation but with Allyson who is now a registered nurse at the local hospital.
Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since 2018 but the town is fallen into hard times. Corey, who had talked with Jeremy’s father about going to college, works at a salvage yard for his uncle, Ronald (Rick Moose) and lives with his overprotective mother, Joan (Joanne Baron). One day about a week before Halloween 2022, he is leaving a convenience store when a group of teenage troublemakers led by Terry (Michael Barbieri), son of a richer resident, who drives a nice convertible, wants him to buy them some beer. Corey is hesitant but when they recognize him, him and three others, Stacey (Destiny Mone), Margo (Joey Harris) and Billy (Marteen), start harassing him.
But Laurie arrives and breaks it up. Her and Corey seem to bond a little and as a prank, Corey uses a knife to slash the tires on Terry’s car. Since he injured himself with glass from a broken bottle in his hand, Corey goes to the hospital where he meets Allyson. They bond a little especially after Corey defends her when her boss, Dr. Mathias (Michael O’Leary) yells at her and orders her around. Corey and Allyson eventually become an item and everything is going well until Corey bumps into Jeremy’s mother at a Halloween party at a nightclub and leaves.
Allyson and Corey have a fight and Corey walks away before he is accosted by Terry and his gang who accidentally throw him over a bridge overpass. The gang leaves but Corey is pulled inside a storm drain by an unseen person later revealed to be Michael Myers/The Shape. When he leaves the next morning, Corey is accosted by a homeless man who becomes belligerent and in the scuffle, Corey accidentally stabs him once, but then repeatedly stabs him after this.
Here’s where the movie differs as it focuses on both Corey and The Shape who at first is seen weak and breathing very labored but it’s apparent The Shape feeds off evil and as Corey to grow more angry and violent at the people around town who have wronged him, The Shape grows stronger. At the same time, there is a struggle growing between Laurie and Allyson as Laurie is worried about her granddaughter’s safety now that both her parents have been killed by Michael Myers.
Laurie, herself, is also facing some criticism around town being blamed for the events of 2018. When she has a frendly meeting with Hawkins at the supermarket, she is later met by a family member of one of his victims who survived but has been left paralyzed and suffering brain damage. Laurie is being accused by people of the town for bringing Michael Myers back to Haddonfield after 40 years.
Director David Gordon Green, who co-wrote the script with Danny McBride, Paul Brad Logan and Chris Bernier, are making more than the standard slasher movie where Michael Myers kills this person, then he kills that person, then he kills these people, then he kills those people. I really think to some degree they are doing what John Carpenter and Debra Hill tried to do with the original 1978 version. In the 1970s during the decade of political turmoil and the Me Generation, they were examining the innocence or more appropriately, the naive thinking that small-town Middle America was a haven. You hear it all the time in true-crime stories about how “We didn’t even lock our doors.”
No, I’m pretty sure people locked their doors. As I’ve often said, the scariest moment in the 1978 version was when Laurie tried to seek help from a neighbor, but no one would help her. On the other hand, you’d hear stories about people who lived in apartment buildings in the bigger cities often looking out for each other more. I live out in the country, but the houses around here are closer together than some tract housing suburb, but the first time I talked with my new neighbors next door was about nine months after they moved in is when he approached me one day because someone had pulled up into his driveway and shot his dog. He was wanting to know if I had seen or heard anything. I hadn’t. But we live in a society in which we move into houses where we can be left alone. We pull into covered parking lots with automatic doors so we don’t have to interact with other people as much as we can.
That being said, it’s still not as good as it should be especially for the last entry. Curtis has said this is her last hoorah. Nick Castle who played The Shape in the 1978 version also appears here alongside James Jude Courtney as well as in a scene where he’s not wearing a mask or anything else at all as a flasher, has also said it’s the last time for him too. As for the Halloween franchise, I’m sure there’s still some blood left in the franchise as someone 10, 15 or even 20 years from now if not sooner will come up with a new fresher idea.
Incidentally, Halloween Ends tackles rejected ideas from previous movies. In the a proposed script for Halloween 4, writer Doug Etchison had envisioned Haddonfield as a town that had banned the holiday and reeling from the horrible events 10 years earlier. In a rejected script idea for Halloween 5, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) was going to become more evil as Michael Myers was more of a supernatural being. However Moustapha Akkad, who had bought the rights from Carpenter and Hill rejected both these ideas.
So far, the movie has recevied mixed reviews the same as Halloween Kills, which I actually enjoyed. However, the fanbase is ripping this movie to shreds. Incidentally, it has the same title fonts Halloween III had. So, will people stop their knee jerk reaction after a few years and see this in a different light?
A lot of sequels have had someone passing the torch. Friday the 13th went from Pamela Voorhees to Jason Voorhees. And then the fifth movie had a copycat killer with Tommy Jarvis intended to be the killer in future movies. That didn’t pan out. Yet, the Scream sequels, which are four with a fifth one on the way all have dealt with copycat killers putting on the Ghostface mask. Even the Saw movies killed off John Kramer (Tobin Bell) in the third one and had him get an apprentice with Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) for several more movies.
I guess people just love Michael Myers so much they want to see him and him alone. I will say this, I actually liked that it took an examination at what makes evil and how one event can have a ripple effect for years to come. Not to give much away because it looks like this time, Michael Myers is gone for good, but never say never again. As younger fans discover the movies over the years, we’ll probably see more. At one point, no one liked Hayden Christensen and his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker. But now, it’s viewed more favorably.
Even the original Halloween got negative reviews from many top critics.
What do you think? Please comment.