One of the most violent moments in Halloween Ends involves an actual record (as in the vinyl variety) skipping and it’s one of the cooler parts of this trilogy ender. There’s also many instances where a record skipping sound effect would’ve been appropriate. As in – what in the world is this movie doing?!?!
Our final pairing of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers after almost four and a half decades features some bewilderingly bad decisions. The odd choices that don’t work stack up higher than the body count. On the plus side, I at least found its unpredictable nature to be more intriguing than most of what occurred in predecessor Halloween Kills. Does that make it better? Probably not. It means neither were of much quality and 2018’s starter was just OK too. That could be the legacy of the 11th, 12th, and 13th overall franchise entries.
In Haddonfield, Illinois in 2019, there were tragedies on the spooky holiday not related to Mr. Myers. Corey (Rohan Campbell) is babysitting a young boy when their game of hide and seek takes an unplanned head banging turn. Though accidental in nature, Corey is looked upon as a pariah by the townspeople four years later. He does find a sympathetic figure in Allyson (Andi Matichak), granddaughter of Laurie who is accustomed to grief. Their blossoming romance concerns Grandma, who notices something is off with Corey in a way that reminds her of her tormentor (who’s been AWOL).
This previous paragraph could beg your question: why is a dude who accidentally offed a kid and his strange relationship with Allyson getting so much attention? Well, it’s what Halloween Ends is about for quite a while. On that level, there are problems. First and foremost, any character development of Allyson from the first two features is slashed as she inexplicably falls for Corey in about five minutes. I’m not asking for realism in this genre, but this romance is a badly developed one.
Myers is often a supporting player in Ends along with Laurie (though she has more to do than her bedridden hospital appearance in Kills). Instead we have the potential Natural Born Killers like union of Corey/Allyson and the former dealing with boring high school bullies and his domineering mother. What we expect from a Halloween flick, eh??
Truth be told, my interest piqued a little when I realized David Gordon Green and his three cowriters (including Danny McBride) were going off the rails. The diversionary tactics mostly stall. By the time we get to the showdown between Laurie and Myers, it seems almost anticlimactic. Even though this trilogy ignores everything after 1978’s brilliant original, we’ve kinda been there and done that with 1998’s Halloween: H2O.
Curtis brings the tough survivor attitude that we’ve witnessed before and it helps in the final act. Campbell truly is the lead character and his performance is shaky at best. I’m not sure I buy the “ends” part of the title though Laurie and Michael’s saga does appear to have reached its conclusion. Maybe The Shape will take another form someday in the reboot/requel/prequel or whatever term comes next. The mediocrity of this three-arch journey dies here.
** (out of four)