Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Review Tuesday: HALLOWEEN ENDS [2022]

  Halloween Ends | Universal Pictures
Years after the events of HALLOWEEN KILLS, evil returns to Haddonfield. 
This is the third, and final, film in the current story arc. This HALLOWEEN revival retcons all of the Halloween movies EXCEPT for the original. In other words, in this timeline, you start with the original movie from 1978 then jump to the first movie in this series HALLOWEEN (2018), ignoring everything else in between. Honestly, I was fine with that. The entire premise that Laurie and Michael are actually siblings, and therein the connection for the obsession always felt like a weak and, frankly, stupid plot device, to me. But they might have added a new plot device that made almost as little sense in this current movie. 
HEAVY SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW! You may not want to proceed beyond this point. I will say that I found this movie to be watchable, but I have several misgivings about it. It does, however, bring the currently trilogy to a satisfying ending. In that respect I would definitely call it worthwhile to watch. 
The movie starts one year after the events of HALLOWEEN KILLS. The residents of Haddonfield are still on edge because of the mass-murder boogeyman who claimed so many lives the year before then vanished without a trace. Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), a student with aspirations of becoming an engineer is called in to be a last minute babysitter. The little boy is a wise-mouthed, rude, little punk who decides to have some fun at Corey's expense. When the prank backfires and the kid falls to his death, Corey is labeled in town as a psycho-child-killer. 
The next time jump, four years later, Carey is seen working at the family business: a garage / scrapyard. His dreams of becoming an engineer appear to be crushed with the trial around the death of the child years earlier. He's now an unmotivated ne'er-do-well type, scatter-brained, and socially under-developed. When he refuses to buy some under-aged teens beers at the local gas station, this opens up the story for the rest of the movie. This turns into a confrontation that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, looking a lot less rough than she did in the previous two films) has to break up. She brings Corey to the doctor's office where Laurie's granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichuk) works and got him stitched up. Now all the key characters are linked up. At first, Laurie thought this would be a good pairing for both youngsters, having been impacted by violent trauma in the not-too-recent past. 
Things take a dark turn after the two youngsters attend a party and Corey is confronted by the mother of the child he was accused of killing. He runs off and is, then, confronted by the same kids he refused to buy beer for. They jump him and throw him over the edge of the overpass and left him for dead. 
Finally, at this point, MICHAEL MYERS finally shows up in the movie. He drags Corey into a storm drain and leaves him there until he awakes. When Corey awoke, he started looking for a way out and is grabbed by Michael, who is hiding in a crack in the wall. They lock eyes and, in an instant, seem to have some sort of transference, or understanding.  Whatever it was, Corey ran out and commits his first murder, although somewhat accidentally. At any rate, Carey is transformed. He has confidence and doesn't even need his glasses anymore. He starts a NEW killing spree. At first bring a victim to Michael. Then bringing Michael TO the victims. Then, in a bizarre turn of events, Corey shows up at Michael's storm drain and beats him up and takes the mask away so he can start killing, anew, taking up Michael's legacy. I guess... 

This is one of the problems with this movie. It seems that evil has changed hands. There's a new generation of evil to rain blood and terror on Haddonfield, right? Corey even goes after Laurie to get done what Michael never could, only she outsmarts him and Michael shows up and, seemingly, kills Corey. 
All this build up for the next generation of horror and violence and Michael comes back and snuffs it out in its infancy? 
Regardless of the strangeness, the final twenty minutes, give or take, of the movie are thoroughly satisfying. The final stand off between Laurie and Michael is perfect and the epilogue was exactly what the fans would hope for. 
Oddly long at nearly TWO HOURS, the fan of the franchise would probably be perfectly happy watching just the last half hour of the movie. The final battle between Laurie and Michael is a subplot, while the descent of Corey into violence and pure evil was the main story. In a way, this movie leans on John carpenter's original concept for Halloween, that evil is ever-present in the world and it has many scary tales to tell. However, when you have the final installment in a three  movie story-arc, you would rather have the meat and potatoes and less of the filler. In fact, it's been suggested that the last half hour of this movie could've / should've been written to the end of Halloween Kills. 
This move has some problems. It's really long and probably could've benefited from some editing or re-writes or re-shoots. When you see what appears to be the rise of Corey Cunningham as the NEW boogeyman of Haddonfield, it's actually a quite a bit exciting. You are watching a dramatic new step in the franchise. But when Michael snuffs Corey out you are left wondering what was the purpose of it all? I plan on reading the novelization of this movie to see what some of the background thoughts and and introspection have to add to all this. For the time being, I would say I liked this movie, but it wasn't without some issues. 
It's on the big screen and Peacock right now. 
More on IMDB.      

Hey, Wanna See A Bit Of Fresh HALLOWEEN ENDS Footage? - Fangoria
 Halloween Ends DVD Release Date
The Horror Club: Blu-ray Review: Halloween (1978)