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Halloween Ends…badly

Instead of ending with a big bang David Gordon Green’s Halloween series has concluded with a whimpering, wheezing gasp.

The much-anticipated conclusion to Laurie Strode and Michael Myers’ blood-soaked saga plays out more like a retelling of Wild at Heart than one of the greatest horror, slasher stories ever told.

As with Jason Voorhees’ inexplicable metamorphosis into a small child after bathing in radioactive water at the end of Jason Takes Manhattan, Halloween Ends‘ acutely flawed focus is on an unstable romance between a returning Andi Matichak as Allyson and new-comer Rohan Campbell as Corey will bewilder most fans who were expecting Michael Myers to be the star of his own curtain call rather than a bit, supporting player.

Like crapfest Halloween III, Ends just doesn’t feel like a Halloween movie and that’s because beyond its thrilling and gory five minute showdown between Strode and The Shape, it isn’t. Green’s risky and senseless decision to turn the camera away from Myers and the horror, mayhem he creates and run with the stale, overworked bully angle and the resulting romance is the nail in this film’s coffin. If Green was going to do so he could have done it with a more appealing character than the insufferable Corey.

Jamie Lee Curtis and James Jude Courtney in Halloween Ends. Courtesy: Universal Films.

Corey is introduced as a spinless pushover who like Norman Bates before him is dominated by his mommy dearest (Joanne Baron as the manic Joan). Corey is the Haddonfield pariah who has replaced Michael Myers as the town’s boogeyman and whipping boy. Pounding home the “nature versus nurture” theme with all the subtly of Leatherface wielding a chainsaw in a Texas meatpacking plant, Green never really addresses why Corey just doesn’t pack his bags, leaving his past behind and move some place where he can have a fresh start. Problem solved.

Not only are we asked to accept Corey as Myers’ stand-in but that Andi would fall in love with such a clown. The only factor in Green’s favour is that Andi’s taste in men included that absolute cream puff Cameron from the first two films. You know, the guy who was as effective against Myers as the person who brought an iron to that Shape street fight.

And where is grandma Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) when Andi is sneaking off with Myers 2.0? She’s scribbling her memoirs, burning pumpkin pies and wondering what happened to Myers who has vanished off the face of the Earth after using Laurie’s daughter as a pincushion in the last movie. Apparently, the Haddonfield police force’s ineptness eclipses that of Camp Crystal Lake’s as The Shape has been living under their noses the entire time.

Ends is such a lazy effort it is as if Green fell asleep at the wheel after running completely out of gas after Halloween Kills. Ends has none of the cleverness, none of the flair that fans appreciated when Green referenced, mirrored and even cleverly enhanced Carpenter’s classic like those cool scenes from the past with Sam Loomis, when Michael looked over the balcony to see Laurie gone leaving only an imprint in the lawn below or such stylistic scenes as when the camera tracked in real time Michael’s random killing spree. Ends is devoid of any of those moments. It is just as plain and dull as some of the worst Halloween films.

Rohan Campbell and Andi Matichak in Halloween Ends. Courtesy: Universal Films.

All things considered, it is probably best that this rushed and spiritless film is the end for now for Green as he seems to have run out of ideas and inspiration. You know your film is a wasted effort when even Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance cannot pull it back from the edge of that cliff it is about to go over.

Except for maybe the one involving a blow torch and the tongue-tied death of a radio DJ, even the kills are unremarkable and many of them are completely off camera. One could argue that maybe Green felt it would take away from the impact of the showdown but like Joseph Zito did with Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter why not go for broke, go for the jugular? What did he have to lose?

And what about that final fight? The one that the fans have been waiting for? Well, Michael, who felt the wrath of a mob, a blazing inferno and multiple killing blows with the resiliency of Jason only four years ago, is an absolute weakling with only a few glimpses of his former destructive self. Without giving too much away, Green’s ending is conclusively cataclysmic. There ain’t no walking away from that but in horror movies anything is possible. Just ask Dracula, Frankenstein, Jason, Freddy, Chucky, Leatherface…

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