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“Halloween Ends” concludes iconic franchise | Arts & Entertainment

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Michael Myers slashes his way onto the silver screen for the final entry in the newest string of “Halloween” films. “Halloween Ends” marks the third and final film in this new trilogy and the 13th in the franchise. The film marketed itself as the final entry in the franchise for horror legend Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode). For a film promising a proper send-off to Laurie Strode, Michael Myers and the rest of the characters in the franchise, I couldn’t help but feel severely disappointed.

John Carpenter’s 1978 “Halloween” is an important piece of horror cinema that laid the groundwork for many horror films released to this day. “Halloween” and 1974’s “Black Christmas” revolutionized and commercialized the American slasher subgenre in horror. Given its prestige and importance, it’s genuinely saddening to see the franchise devolve into this.

“Halloween Ends” is not the worst in the long line of Halloween sequels. However, it might be the most disappointing. This is mainly due to the fact that this officially ends the saga with Michael and Laurie in such an underwhelming and strange way. The film is not afraid to take some bold directions throughout the runtime; however these decisions are not fulfilling and are ultimately underdeveloped.

There are some positives, however. Jamie Lee Curtis is quite good here. Her performance as Laurie Strode might be her best to date. Laurie feels much more human compared to the last two films in this trilogy. The decision to portray Laurie as a survivor of Michael Myers who’s choosing to not live in fear is a good one. This feels like a natural way to progress her character compared to the previous three films (counting the ’78 original).

Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak) is also handled quite well in the film. Given that she is the granddaughter of Laurie and has gone through the trauma involved with Michael, her character evolves well here as well. The way she’s handling the aftermath of the last two films feels very realistic given how much she has lost. Matichak gives a good performance despite some instances of poor dialogue given to her character at points.

The kills here are solid albeit not groundbreaking by any means. Given that the original “Halloween” valued atmosphere and tension over actual gore and kills, this franchise was never built on the back of shock factor and gore. However, this most recent trilogy leans heavily on gore and high kill counts. While there are some solid kills strewn about the film’s runtime, I wouldn’t go into this film expecting “Terrifier 2” or “Saw” levels of gore.

The most disappointing aspect of “Halloween Ends” revolves around a major plot point not present in the trailers and promotions that I won’t directly get into. Keeping it vague, I don’t like the direction that director and co-writer, David Gordon Green, takes the film. Green and his co-writers wrote the character, Correy Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), in a particularly strange manner. Cunningham is essentially the co-lead here with Matichak and Curtis. I think that Cunningham has a good presence on screen; however, the way his character was handled towards the end of the film is infuriating and genuinely confusing at points.

Again, without going into spoilers, Michael is essentially sidelined in his own concluding film. The fact that Michael Myers is barely in the film is confusing to me. It’s not like he needs to be on-screen at all times, but he is barely even a presence in the film until the second half. This is also arguably the least intimidating and scary Michael has ever been. You know something is severely wrong with your “Halloween” film if Michael’s usage is a negative.

In the final chapter of the franchise, you would think that the filmmaker would have presented concrete endings and answers to some of the questions that the previous films left in regard to Michael Myers. Gordon Green and company do not here. Quite frankly, they made things even more confusing with Michael. This is mainly due to the fact that Michael feels like an afterthought throughout the film. The entire film feels like a generic romance film between Allyson and Correy with Michael Myers inserted into the second half of the script. It’s genuinely baffling that this is the direction the final film in this trilogy decided to take.

This film ultimately feels like an afterthought after the previous two films. The script feels very sloppy, the dialogue is downright cringe-worthy at points and the editing is strange. The script criticism and editing go hand in hand in a way. Some scenes are inserted nearly at random in the first half especially, and generally feel very disconnected. The dialogue present in the first segment feels like something out of a B-rate Lifetime movie. It’s some of the most cliché, predictable and boring dialogue I’ve heard all year.

Overall, the “Halloween” franchise limps to a finish here in “Halloween Ends”. Nothing present here is done better than any of the previous films in the franchise. Outside of some good performances from Curtis and Matichak and some decent kills, I would recommend a majority of the sequels in the series over “Halloween Ends”. As a big fan of the “Halloween” franchise, this is a very disappointing finale. 4 out of 10.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.