iReview | HALLOWEEN ENDS
Hollywood icon Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Final Girl Laurie Strode in David Gordon Green’s reboot of John Carpenter’s classic slasher flick. In HALLOWEEN ENDS the reign of masked madman Michael Myers comes to a conclusion …or does it?
The town of Haddonfield was wracked with terror ever since the night that Michael Myers escaped from the institution he had been placed in since stabbing his teenage sister to death on Halloween night. When the psychopathic killer returned to his old neighborhood, a lot had changed, but he exacted his brand of mayhem on its citizens, and then met his match in Laurie Strode, the one baby sister Myers hadn’t bargained on who fought back. 40 Years Later…Hollywood legend Jamie Lee Curtis returned to the role that made her an overnight sensation.
Curtis was still a young, emerging talent when she starred in filmmaker John Carpenter’s original Halloween, the little more than an indie movie that would revolutionize the horror genre, and catapult the slasher film craze into blockbuster status. Curtis herself would synch a niche starring in several horror films following the success of the 1978 film, before ultimately becoming one of the film industry’s most bankable talents, but the fandom surrounding Halloween — like its white-faced villain — wouldn’t die! The franchise would continue, and then would get a refresh!
Director and screenplay writer David Gordon Green was hoping to resuscitate the franchise and approached David Blum with the idea of rebooting Halloween wiping out the majority of its cinematic mythology and presenting a story that revisit the town of Haddonfield 40 years later, but it would only work if Curtis could be convinced to return as Laurie Strode. Intrigued by the idea of playing a dramatically different aspect of the original film’s heroine, Curtis indeed reprised her role in Gordon Green’s Halloween, and a brand new trilogy was set in motion.
In the middle act of his epic re-imagining, 2021’s Halloween Kills the town is brought to its knees when it realizes that Michael Myers has returned to finish what he’s started. The townspeople have experienced a unique trauma caused by the events of Myers’ original rampage in 1978, and Laurie Strode was forever changed by the event, into a hardened survivalist determined to protect herself and those that she loved from the evil that had been unleashed, but alas at the conclusion of that film, Michael Myers disappears without a trace and isn’t heard from again, until…
Halloween Ends promises to conclude the conflict and bring finality to Laurie Strode’s story that decades of sequels wouldn’t provide. When Ends opens up, the audience is taken back to 2019, a year after Myers’ disappearance. Without the proper sense of closure, the town hasn’t had a proper opportunity to heal, and every Halloween is terrorized by the memory. Teenager Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) is an optimist and is working very carefully to make a future for himself outside of Haddonfield, and when he’s asked to babysit on that night, it goes horribly wrong!
Frightened by his bratty charge, Corey is locked in an upstairs attic and when he breaks himself out of the locked room, he accidentally causes the fatal tumble that kills a boy and brands him forever. Now trapped in the “curse” of Haddonfield, Corey earns a meager living, while Laurie Strode does her best to provide a home for herself and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), who are both together working to heal from the trauma of the loss of their families at the hands of Michael Myers three years ago on Halloween night.
The specter of our villain doesn’t appear until the climax of the first act of the film, as we’re introduced to Corey and how badly a turn his life has taken, since the accident. He’s ridiculed and bullied and although finds a friend in Laurie and Allyson, it isn’t long before his isolation lands him opposite the ghost of Michael Myers. Corey assumes that he has found a kindred spirit in Allyson and that with Myers’ blessing he can become an instrument to exact revenge on those that have wronged him, but it isn’t long before that unravels and eventually proves his undoing.
The Final Act
Evil again walks amongst us leading to the fateful clash that audiences have all been waiting for, as The Shape emerges to confront his nemesis Laurie Strode, but the film’s narrative takes a long time to get there, and when it does — both of these characters feel resigned to years of their exhaustive combat. The fire burns in Strode as she confronts her demon, and she battles to extinguish the villain. The film’s cathartic message is after all about how one faces adversity and pushes through even the most paralyzing fear. It’s a brutal brawl that plays out and leads to what Gordon Green hopes is a satisfying climax for fans, as well as the citizens of Haddonfield.
After 40 years, one would imagine this story has finally run its course. Halloween set a benchmark in the annals of the horror genre and often resurrected itself for a new generation, but how did it end?
The third act of the film feels more familiar than not, though it’s a bit of a head-scratcher by the time we get there. Some points are established in the first two acts that suggest, Halloween Ends is supposed to be a commentary on a different kind of horror movie, but how does that fit in with the story that was established from its two predecessors? What is the connective tissue that binds these narratives besides the characters' journey? The monster itself is also a bit of a quandary that takes some time to get accustomed to and assumes a surprisingly new shape.
Halloween Ends brings it all home one last time but does it satisfy the appetite or is it just the signal that all things must come to an end, at least until the next renaissance? The myth of Michael Myers doesn’t necessarily end so cleanly; as Laurie describes it evil is in man’s apparent nature and only changes shape. So, let’s see what form Halloween takes the next time the holiday is upon us.
HALLOWEEN ENDS starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, and Will Patton, and directed by David Gordon Green is now playing in theaters and streaming exclusively on Peacock.