film review

“Halloween Ends” Review: One of the Best, Bone-Grinding Horror Finales

I watched John Carpenter’s Halloween only a few years ago. Nonetheless, I fell in love with this film and the slashers overall. The film started my horror journey, which doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. Michael Myers, the bloodthirsty masked killer first played by Nick Castle and now by James Jude Courtney in David Gordon Green’s Haloween Ends, has been preying on people for years. But his ultimate adversary, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), is always ready for him. In Halloween Ends, the survivor confronts Michael for the final bloody time as the audience ponders the subject of evil and its presence in real life.

The residents of Haddonfield, Illinois, are in for another Halloween season. Laurie, now a homeowner, is working on a book about heinous past events. With Alyson (Andi Matichak) living with her, they continue to mourn Karen (Judy Greer) and Ray (Toby Huss), despite their desperate attempts to move on and put Michael Myers in the past where he belongs. But that isn’t as simple as it appears, especially when the past comes knocking again.

One can agree that the Halloween series, particularly its most recent installments, divided viewers. Some people wanted more and complained about the lack of logic as Michael miraculously resurrected himself over and over. Others kept track of the days until each film’s premiere. Slashers, however, should be taken with a grain of salt because their main purpose is to entertain and shock with blood-spattering and creative death scenes that outdo the previous ones. As a result, some may be disappointed to learn that Halloween Ends has fewer bodies than its extremely bloody predecessor. But don’t worry because the finale we’ve been waiting for is one of the most daring in the slasher subgenre. The first scene leaves the viewer’s jaw on the floor and demonstrates that quality, not quantity, is the most important factor.

(from left) Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in Halloween Ends, co-written, produced and directed by David Gordon Green/ Universal Pictures

In the new and last chapter, Laurie wants to help her granddaughter deal with the past. Alyson is now a nurse at Haddonfield Hospital (yes, the hospital where evil was supposed to die that night). As is widely known, grandmothers frequently believe that having a sweetheart will make things easier. Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) appears in their lives soon after, having survived a tragedy that caused most of the townspeople to turn their backs on him. Both Alyson and Corey are broken people who want to rebuild themselves together. But the boogeyman is back for more blood.

In a nutshell, Halloween Ends is one of the boldest and most inventive finales. The film is chock-full of unpredictable choices and jumps scares. Gordon Green constantly plays with the audience during this undeniably delicious ride. Just as you’re about to be outraged by a controversial, possibly disastrous decision, the creators dismantle our thinking and slam another shocking twist in our faces. The director is well-versed in the audience’s desires. In a way, he mocks the obvious decisions that are made in horror films. As a result, the unconventional choices provide us with the final fight we’ve been waiting for. Halloween Ends creates a different atmosphere and provides us with much entertainment all the way through.

In a way, the film is more real than others. Curtis’ Laurie, for example, discusses the phenomenon of evil in society in one of the scenes: there are external factors that cause evil and fear in people. The most dangerous one, however, is the inherent evil in each of us. It’s up to us whether we want to let evil take over our lives or fight it. The scene made me think of my high school essay on the presence of evil and whether it’s passed down from generation to generation or taught as one progresses in life. The installment bestows upon us something different, something that will undoubtedly stick with us for a while.

One can agree that Curtis’ Laurie Strode is one of the most important characters in horror. With this role, the actress created history. As befits the final girl, Laurie brilliantly concludes the eternal war in Halloween Ends. But there is another actor, Rohan Campbell, who breathes new life into the Halloween franchise. Campbell gives a spine-chilling performance as Corey, a shy outsider with a traumatic past.

Whatever you expect to happen and are outwardly certain of, the horror transforms into something entirely different. As a result, there is no reason to try to predict what will happen in the story. Perhaps that’s why it’s better to just sit back and watch Michael Myers cut open another victim with his trusty, now-rusted knife.

Halloween Ends is an undeniably satisfying, bloody spectacle, the perfect conclusion to Laurie Strode’s eternal battle with the Boogeyman. As we bid farewell to the cult characters, the slasher provides us with food for thought, particularly on the subject of evil and how difficult it is to eradicate it due to its extraordinary ability to change Shape.

Halloween Ends premieres TONIGHT, October 13th on Peacock and in theaters.

film review

‘Halloween Kills’ is A Bloodthirsty, Gory Spectacle Filled With Campy One-Liners

Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in Halloween Kills, directed by David Gordon Green

When we hear Michael Myers’s name, we immediately think of a white mask, a work coveralls in a dark blue/gray color, or a bloody knife. Everyone knows his name, whether they’ve seen the slasher franchise or not. This Halloween season, Michael Myers is back, wanting to spill more blood. Halloween Kills is a crazy rollercoaster filled to the brim with gore, a high body count, elaborate kills, and a hysterical, entertaining script. The slasher directed by David Gordon Green, a creator of the 2018 chapter, will be a feast for the Michael Myers fans, but it may not be to everybody’s taste.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has been on the run from the masked killer for quite some time. Forty years, to be exact, as mentioned frequently by the film’s characters. Following the events of the previous part, Laurie, her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) are transported to Haddonfield Hospital. Meanwhile, the infamous Boogeyman flees the burning building (sic!), killing many first responders in the process. Shortly after, the plot of Halloween Kills picks up when Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lonnie (Robert Longstreet), Lindsey (Kyle Richards), and the nurse Marion (Nancy Stephens)—all of whom are survivors of previous encounters with Michael—band together with other residents of Haddonfield to apprehend the killer and ultimately defeat him.

There are horror films that shake the audience to their core and psychological horror films with deeper meanings. There are also slashers, a horror subgenre. Its most significant components are blood, killings, and cheesy dialogues. Halloween Kills has all of the above. The horror is a fun ride for fans of the franchise and horror films in general. This time, Laurie Strode takes a back seat as the younger generation takes the reign. After the turbulent events and the death of her husband, Karen is shaken and more cautious, insisting on keeping watch by her mother’s hospital bed. Allyson, on the other hand, desires the opposite – the young woman is filled with rage and a want for vengeance. Greer and Matichak are a fabulous mother-daughter duo who especially steps into the spotlight. Especially Matichak as determined Allyson who refuses to give up gives a great performance.

Dylan Arnold, Andi Matichak, and Robert Longstreet in Halloween Kills.

The return of Kyle Richards and Nancy Stephens is a tempting prospect that tremendously intrigued the audience and die-hard fans of the 1978 slasher; finally, two of the original characters return to confront Michael. Unfortunately, while it was a great idea on paper, the film doesn’t devote enough time to the legendary characters. Instead, Anthony Michael Hall takes the narrative and transforms it into a battle between Michael and the residents of Haddonfield. Beware, the phrase “Evil dies tonight” is repeated frequently, and whether it was a coincidence or a deliberate goal, it provides excellent entertainment and an occasional eye roll. It also opens a possibility to a great drinking game.

The Halloween franchise is a lot of things, but cheesy was never one of them, at least not to this extent. However, because of Kills‘ over-the-top script, many hilarious one-liners become stuck in one’s head. The chapter ups the ante on the body count, which is exactly what we want from a slasher. Michael also gets very creative with the death scenes, whether it’s eyes popping out of the skull, a cracked bottle slicing the neck or a chainsaw.

It’s not advisable to look for logic or an ambitious script. Otherwise, you’ll be let down. Michael Myers is The Shape, The Boogeyman, the figure in the shadows who creeps up on you and murders you when you least expect it. But he won’t die, no matter how many times you shoot him, slice him, kick him, or even try to burn him. Instead, he wants to return to his childhood home, walk upstairs, and stand quietly by the window, staring at himself in the mirror. The sooner people grasp it, the better!

Best advice? Expect blood, guts, broken limbs, and cheesiness, and you’ll have the best time with the slasher. That is precisely why the film works. It’s difficult to say if this was David Gordon Green’s specific goal or not. Nonetheless, if you’re a Michael Myers fan, Halloween Kills provides plenty of entertainment. It’s a film that will surely diversify the audience and may spark a polarizing discussion. But, without a doubt, it’s a great position for the spooky season.

Grade: 7 out of 10

Halloween Kills is currently in cinemas as well as on Peacock with an upgraded subscription.