Horror | Universal Pictures | 111m | Rated: R
Directed By: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell, Will Patton, James Jude Courtney, Jesse C. Boyd
Synopsis: The battle between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers comes to a gruesome conclusion in the finale entry of the trilogy.
Admittedly being able to pull off something new in a horror franchise’s twelfth entry is nearly impossible. The finale entry in David Gordon Green’s trilogy is here with Halloween Ends and I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest. This recent trilogy has taken steps in new directions. Some have worked and others haven’t. After a nostalgic fueled, but still entertaining resurgence in the 2018 film. Things were followed up with a sequel that took a few steps back, so it’s been hit-and-miss. Sadly, while there were some positives in Halloween Ends, it was a miss for me as well and not really the rewarding closing, I had my fingers crossed for.
The first issue is the sluggish first act as the story begins with a new character, a troubled young man named Corey (Campbell) that will slowly spiral into the darkness of his soul. Time is also spent with Allyson and Laurie who are both still tormented and broken from the events of the past. All of which is too slowly paced and stretched too far into the middle of the film as Myers seems like a no-show. Now, I can appreciate the intent of the angles this plot attempts to take but it’s not nearly developed enough and is really something that should’ve been seeded earlier in the trilogy. Essentially making Corey a background character in the first two films before pulling him up into the big leagues with this finale would have packed much more of a horror filled punch.
Instead, it all feels a bit contrived and lacking depth to suitably replace the glaring absence of the masked star of the show. To their credits the performances are all effective. Campbell’s delivery of a broken kid is intriguing in places. Matichak compels as well as she continues to deal with the loss of her mother and Curtis is rock solid as always as Laurie Strode. Even if she’s given next to nothing to do. It’s the unnecessarily methodical pace of the storyline that is the real drag in the movie and what makes it surprisingly boring in long stretches.
As I said I understand where they wanted to go with these younger characters. However, more Myers killing in the background to run parallel with these sublots would have brought the entire film much more energy. Personally, I don’t sit down for a character driven narrative in a Halloween movie. I want Myers in kill mode. I want stalking in dark settings. I want the classic score. Not a dense character arc being introduced and explored in a single movie when it could’ve used the entire trilogy to allow these concepts to land so much more effectively.
It isn’t horrible at all. Just not as attention grabbing as it needed to be in order to carry a run-time hovering far too close to two-hours. Myers finally shows up then feels forgotten again and to be honest it was rather frustrating. But to the film’s credit the final act does help make up for wasted time earlier in the movie. Just not enough. Still, seeing Strode and Myers battle it out is when the movie is riding at full steam and capturing the atmosphere of the franchise. Sadly, though it isn’t enough to make this conclusion a satisfying one. There are much worse films in the franchise than this one, but there are also a handful of better ones as well. Halloween Ends has its moments, just not nearly enough of them.
Anthony J. Digioia II © 2022 SilverScreen Analysis. All Rights Reserved.