The reboot “Halloween” trilogy confuses more than it satisfies, due to its inconsistent nature and loads of unnecessary plot developments. The director of all three films, David Gordon Green, surely does not believe this filler exists in them — but after seeing “Halloween Ends” it seems extremely difficult to connect the dots in this disappointing closer of the franchise.
“Halloween Ends” finds the centerpiece of the franchise, Laurie Strode — played by Jamie Lee Curtis — still in Haddonfield after her daughter was murdered at the end of the previous installment. While the movie tries to justify her still living there, Strode is trying to put the past behind her and live a more peaceful existence until an evil rounds the corner again.
Laurie’s journey of trying to move on but having her efforts interrupted is a great idea, but for the wrong movie. The predecessor “Halloween Kills” would have been a better canvas to paint this character arc. “Halloween Kills” sidelines Laurie so Michael Myers can fight off the army of Haddonfield residents in a ridiculous and forgettable sequel. The movie tries very hard to justify most of its runtime when it should have absorbed the “Halloween Ends” plot and stitched the best ideas together. Instead, the writers put themselves into a corner by the town stabbing and mauling Myers until he is lifeless, only to survive because he is an unstoppable supernatural force of evil. With these high stakes set for “Halloween Ends,” there is no actual way to kill Myers. Alas, the writers decide to ignore their superhuman portrayal and make him a glorified cameo as a slow, old man, making their trilogy jumbled as a result.
The movie occupies different genres at some points that show Green’s interest in lighter scenes. They are underused and odd, which just makes them feel more unnecessary. Even though “Halloween Kills” had its fair share of fat that could have been cut out, it redeemed itself with crazy action and kills. The kills here do not pack the punch due to the circumstances they have in the story, even though in concept, they are pretty fun.
With Myers relegated as a background character, the true centerpiece of “Halloween Ends” is Corey — played by Rohan Campbell. Campbell does a fine job with the character and the dark path he takes. Additionally, the character writing is halfway decent and plays into the town’s aftermath quite well. The glaring problem with Corey, however, is that he is in the wrong film. A great trilogy finale needs less buildup and more payoff to achieve satisfying conclusions about characters we have been with the entire time. Buildup is not bad, but should not take up the majority of screen time, especially when it is for a brand-new character. Corey’s story, while unoriginal, had potential, and would have bottled up more thematic payoff if he was in “Halloween Kills.”
Once Myers comes back into the picture, much later in the movie, the energy of a big trilogy closer payoff returns to give new life to the film. These scenes are fleeting and created an isolated moment of bliss where the Corey plot is immediately forgotten. Then, the movie reminds the audience of its misplaced plot elements and the quality falls off again. For that short time though, a really good slasher finale could be seen. It’s just a shame those thrills came too late to resurrect it.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars