Sunday, October 16, 2022

Halloween Ends

Movie Name:
Halloween Ends
Year of Release: 2022
Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell, Will Patton, Jesse C. Boyd, Michael Barbieri, Destiny Mone, Joey Harris, Marteen, Joanne Baron, Rick Moose, Michele Dawson, Keraun Harris, Kyle Richards, Michael O'Leary, Candice Rose, Jaxon Goldenberg, James Jude Courtney, Jack William Marshall, Diva Tyler, Blaque Fowler
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 2
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review
Director David Gordon Green's eclectic career continues and this film is his wrap up of his take on the "Halloween" characters John Carpenter originated in 1978. The narrative focuses once again on Laurie Strode, who after the events of the previous feature and the brutal death of her daughter, is now living in the suburbs with her granddaughter, trying to rebuild her life away from all that trauma. She crosses paths with a young man by the name of Corey, who has experienced his fair share of trauma after a dramatic babysitting event which resulted in the death of a young child. Looking to help Corey, Laurie also introduces him to Allyson her granddaughter, who immediately is drawn to him. Corey however has his own demons, and he eventually comes face to face with Michael Myers, who has been laying somewhat dormant since the latest killing spree. There's a symbiotic relationship that is started between the two, which results in Corey seeking revenge on those who were demeaning or violent towards him, with brutal consequences. And while this happens, Michael Myers has a resurgence of his own, seeking Laurie to put an end to his journey.
"Halloween Ends" sadly is not a fitting end to a trilogy or even an elegant homage to the work John Carpenter crafted with his iconic original feature. What was always so remarkable about that film was how economically stated the director managed to be, creating just enough of dimension to those characters for us to be invested in their fate, while also forcing us to embrace the enigma that was Michael Myers. We never truly understood his motivations, but as Donald Pleasance's frantic quest continued, we embarked on his and eventually on Laurie's journey. This new script places Laurie as a reflective survivor, somewhat licking her wounds, focused on protecting her granddaughter, who is drawn to a character who has been damaged by life and is just trying to get by. The problems start with the fact that this new central character that is introduced, while inhabiting a gray zone of being a catalyst for death and also a victim, doesn't have much in terms of his own actual motivations. His encounter with Michael Myers which could be a dramatic and life changing moment in his life (and in Michael's as well), comes across as an interlude moment in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", coincidentally where also some its action set pieces also took place in the sewers. While the narrative has little nuance and is trite and filled with clich├ęs (Laurie's pleas for her granddaughter not to leave town with Corey, and Allyson's rebel moment to seemingly disavow her life long protector, a la Romeo and Juliet), the film itself looks and feels poorly shot, edited and assembled. The brutality of the staged screen deaths, does not hide the fact that the suspense of working with shadows, and everything that made the original so enticing (less is more in terms of what you show), is completely gone. The cinematography doesn't work, the production design is poor and all that is left is the score from John Carpenter, this time working with his son Cody and Daniel Davies, and the always compelling presence of Jamie Lee Curtis. I admit to be surprised by the lack of attention that seems to have been devoted to this film, and I question the direction in which David Gordon Green seems to be going. Avoid.