HALLOWEEN ENDS

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David Gordan Green brings to an end his own trilogy of the Michael Myers saga with an entry that is perhaps the boldest and ambitious of its entire 44-year run, the trouble is, it forgets that it’s supposed to be a Halloween film…

Remember that Halloween film where Busta Rhymes shouted, “Trick R Treat Mutha…” before going all Kung Fu on our Michael? It didn’t feel like it at the time, but damn, those were the good old days of the franchise. Where even a crappy sequel that included such nonsense like the Mark of Thorn could be deemed watchable to fans who fell in love with the saga, way back in the innocent days of the 1978 original.

The original sequels, ruthlessly dismissed from the franchise since 1998’s H20, may have a rough reputation, but at least every single entry never forgot its own roots, never tried to be something it wasn’t, all sharing the same aim to have Myers in his full glory, hacking those around him while having the likes of either Laurie, Jamie to even Paul Rudd being the last people standing, to end his tale of terror, until the next inevitable follow up was announced.

Green’s legacy sequel HALLOWEEN 2018 was warmly received from critics and fans alike, who were mostly happy to see Jamie Lee Curtis back in the iconic role of Laurie Strode and while the storyline made some serious changes to the mythology, the fact that it contained a kick ass Michael in top murderous form, convinced fans to ignore any misgiving’s they had, most notably of Laurie and Myers not being siblings anymore. Why remove the “motive” if it all still lead to the same finale showdown?

The follow up which I now call HALLOWEEN OVERKILLS was an excessive orgy of a bloodbath that appeased the gore hounds as it had Myers in all his glory, killing anyone in his way and containing enough slasher set-pieces for even its biggest fan to ignore the plot fallings like, the worst revenge mob in cinema history who sat around for what seemed like the entire film declaring “Evil dies tonight!”, without actually doing anything to suggest that their motto will come true! Unforgivably it also side-lined Laurie to a hospital bed for all its running time, while fans watched as characters from old returned to the fray, to face the bogeyman once more.

The problem with this trilogy and it’s a trait that even follows on into this third film is that it doesn’t make that much sense that the town Haddonfield is so “haunted” by those murders that took place nearly forty years ago. If you count the original sequels. Myers returned to Haddonfield on more than one occasion to continue his blood lust, but as this is a re-boot who not only choses to ignore the fact that Laurie herself has gone from having a daughter, to a son and back to a daughter again, means that Michael himself only terrorized the town on ONE OCCASION in which five people were sadly murdered. Would the town be so “traumatised”? Would Laurie actually be blamed for Myers actions like she is in one particular part of this movie – which I have to admit is a pretty good scene and Curtis herself nails it, from being happy the next and then brought suddenly back to reality seconds later.

To the credit of HALLOWEEN ENDS it does try something different. The opening set-piece is a surreal oddity that is actually really good, a small reminder in how the name Michael Myers can conjure up fears and your imagination and how he can still actually terrify without even being there. It’s from the opener that we are introduced to Corey (Rohan Campbell) a young man who arrives to babysit a kid who just so happens to be a mouthy brat whose practical joke goes horribly wrong and leaves Corey becoming the new fixation for the anger among the town folk who are still hurting from Myers’ killing spree, four years previous and who has now vanished from the face of the earth.

During this time, Laurie has found peace at last, and it is refreshing to see this new take of such an iconic character, a woman who embraces life and is no longer scared in who could be hiding out there in the shadows. It’s not long before Laurie and Corey cross paths in which from her good intentions leads Corey to Allyson (Andi Matichak), who is still recovering from the loss of her Mum and who Laurie is trying the best that her granddaughter doesn’t become engulfed in the same pain she suffered for many of years.

What we get for a good forty-five minutes is a sort of love-story blossoming between this young pair -including a motorbike scene that feels like it jumped out of an 80’s movie, in which by then the majority of the die-hard HALLOWEEN fans will be questioning what kind of movie are they watching?

There is something wrong with Corey and Laurie starts to sense the parallels between the young lad and Michael but the more she warns Allyson, the more she rebels and wants to be with him and yes – nearly an hour in, we are still waiting for a Jack o lantern to be lit and for the man in the William Shatner mask to arrive.

Where is Michael? Well, his arrival is one of the most laughable moments in the franchise history and where this plot concerning Corey and his role in the proceedings is perhaps the biggest insult to any Halloween fan who have been watching every entry since its original.

There were four writers involved in this conclusion and this is what they managed to come up with? A Halloween sequel in which its main selling point is an extra in his own tale? I sat in the darkness of the cinema hearing the many whispers around me with one quite clearly stating the obvious “What is this shit?”.

HALLOWEEN ENDS is an abomination! A horror – if you can call it that – which is desperately trying to be too cool for its own good. For some odd reason while I sat there open-mouthed at what I was witnessing I had South Park rattling through my head. Why was I thinking of Stan and Co, well way back in the early days, season one of the cult comedy ended in a cliff-hanger in which we were all set to find out Eric Cartman’s true lineage. Months we had to wait for season two and when the opening episode was aired, and fans everywhere sat down to finally discover the results, the creative team pulled out the ultimate April Fool’s gag and aired a Terrance and Phillip special, massively annoying its core base and resulting in many, many complaints.

This entry made me feel like that all over again! I sat there waiting for the “real” action to begin. But sadly, it never arrived, instead I was witnessing a film about a young man named Corey who was leading down a dark path and who for no other reason than it’s because the script says so…. somehow becomes Michael’s only twisted friend!

Bizarrely in-between the gigantic mess of the storytelling, there is something there that could have worked. By ending Michael and creating a new bogeyman, there was a chance that this could have led to a Friday the 13th: A New Beginning kind of route, but the script is so at odds with itself that it clearly doesn’t know what it wants with the tone shifting from one oddity to the other, until it all leads to a nothing.

Even the much-promised final showdown between Laurie and Michael feels like it’s only added because it was promised by the marketing. Yes, the last twenty minutes do resemble some sort of film we were expecting, but it’s over in such a flash that you can’t help but feel “forty years build up for that!”. At least H20 a film that when released in 1998 was criticised for being too much like SCREAM, gave Laurie a story and an ending worthy of its source material, an entry by the way that is looking more classier in each passing sequel.

The quite laughable last few moments of ENDS truly do demonstrate just how far lost the essence of Carpenter’s simple bogeyman tale has become and there is not a fan out there who truly believes this is the end of Michael Myers. Freddy had his Final Nightmare, Jason on more than one occasion had his final chapter and yet they all returned in a blaze of murderous mayhem a few years later.

This final entry of a Halloween trilogy for the modern generation, does the unforgivable and makes Michael not scary. While Kills had him too much in the open, Ends has him basically taking a step back, watching from afar at this new soap opera melodrama being played out. Its frankly insulting to the ultimate bogeyman who perhaps on this occasion is more than happy to stay hiding in the shadows and not wanting to get involved in such tedious ongoings.

Which brings me back to Busta Rhymes and HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION, a film nearly all Halloween fans agree is probably the worst of the franchise, but I’ll tell you something, after witnessing this travesty of a Haddonfield visit, I will be more than happy to dust down my old DVD and have a re-watch of the night Myers decided to gate-crash a party at his own home and that Horror fans is dangertainment right there……

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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About Ross Hughes 562 Articles
Since my mother sat me down at the age of five years of age and watched a little called Halloween, I have been hooked on horror. There is no other genre that gets me excited and takes me to the edge of entertainment. I watch everything from old, new, to cheap and blockbusters, but I promise all my readers that I will always give an honest opinion, and I hope whoever reads this review section, will find a film that they too can love as much as I do! Have fun reading, and please DO HAVE NIGHTMARES!!!!!!

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