How does an 80s slasher horror go in 2022? Quite simply it doesn’t, we have moved on from those times of shock horror, well if you want a hit that will scare new and old audiences alike you need to evolve with the times. Does Halloween Ends fulfill this and stay true to its roots? Does it tie in 40 plus years of storytelling and more importantly does evil ever truly end? Let’s dive in and have a look.
Halloween Ends opens Halloween night 2019, Corey (Rohan Campbell) a 21 year old local has come to the rescue of the family he gardens for at the last minute to babysit for them so they can go to the work Halloween party. The kid of course has been having a hard time going to sleep since Michael Myers terrorised the town a year before. The rules are never followed and though mom didn’t want the TV on but what is Halloween night without a scary movie and some choice treats and scares. The scares go too far and Corey is locked in the attic by the kid to scare him. In his panic Corey kicks out the attic door not knowing the young boy was on the other side sending him over the railing to a spectacular death 3 stories down. I may have laughed after the bang…This was an amazing opening that jumped into an opening credits that John Carpenter would be proud of.
Fast forward 3 years and while Corey was never convicted, he is a social outcast in a town that never forgave him for the accidental death. He is continually mocked by the locals and bullied into submission, not to mention the over bearing mother that goes out of her way to “keep him safe”. That is until he meets Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in a chance encounter outside a store. Seeing someone in a similar position to herself Laurie helps Corey off the ground and takes him to her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) for medical treatment.
We spend a lot of the opening act not seeing Michael but hearing of his effect on the town of Haddonfield. He is rightfully perceived as some sort of boogey man yet Laurie is the aim of a lot of the town’s resentment. She has come a long way from the victim of the originals and is more accepting of her being allowed to live out her life. After years of therapy and alcohol abuse Laurie now lives with her granddaughter and is starting to try and live her life. Writing her memoirs along the way. Michael hasn’t been seen since his last assault on Haddonfield and Laurie is doing her best to accept what he is and hoping that he is gone forever.
But of course, Halloween night is just around the corner, Michael has been hiding out in a local sewer system just waiting for his moment and this is the moment the entire movie changed for me. No longer was Michael Myers the unstoppable killing machine being overtly violent for the sake of being violent, we see him as an older man, still in his signature mask but oozing an evil that reaches out and infects Corey. An evil that we always knew was there yet somehow with Michael’s older and failing body makes him seem so much more frightening. Something in Corey is awoken after his meeting with Michael and he goes on to enact his own revenge on the town with Michael Myers guiding his hand every step of the way.
Halloween Ends is so much more than the hack and slasher we all grew up with. It has evolved into a story about pain and suffering, a story of the soul of true evil with some light hearted moments and a bit of a love story thrown in for good measure. Moments throughout the story highlight societies need to shift blame and belittle others, an unfortunate trend of victim blaming and deep down want to just connect with someone on our level.
I’ll be honest, I am a bit of a horror movie nut and the Halloween movies have always been a go to for me. I laughed way more than I jumped, the scares were there but they were more a build-up of fear than an outright moment. I was questioning what we will see? Where will it come from and how will this broken person react? There are plenty of scare worthy moments and some signature Halloween gore and blood spatter to keep the fans wanting more. Coupled with a score that is booming it is an underrated addition to turn the atmosphere up to eleven.
Overall Halloween Ends has closed out the H40 trilogy that began with the 2018 film and puts a bit of a final nail in the coffin of the Michael Myers / Laurie Strode story that began way back in 1978. I say “a bit” because who knows what studios are thinking these days but for me this is the perfect way to finish it off.
The question you must ask yourself though is, does evil ever truly die?
Halloween Ends is out now at cinemas, make sure to take plenty of snacks in to get that old school horror feel coupled with a well thought out and executed final chapter.
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