I appreciate a big swing, especially within a franchise. They can so often be far removed from the biggest bursts of creativity, so when this happens, I’m more than willing to follow along. For a Halloween sequel, you don’t necessarily think about going in a wild new direction. Well, Halloween Ends is here to do the unexpected. Not only is the film quick to show that it’s going to be a different installment, it doubles down on that. The movie is almost more concerned with that than anything else, though it also is very pointed in bringing the series to a close. I was surprised by what I saw, but with it nearly every step of the way.
Halloween Ends is going to prove divisive, mark my words. Whether it’s introducing a new character that gets a lot of the focus, making you wait for what many of you are likely there to see, or it’s overall weirdness, it’s the furtherest removed from what has come before. For my money, that’s a breath of fresh air, even if I loved Halloween and liked the already divisive Halloween Kills. Halloween Ends is a horse of a different color, love it or hate it.
Taking place four years after the events of Halloween and Halloween Kills, things pick up by introducing us to someone new. We meet Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) in a pivotal flashback. A good, fairly nerdy teen, he’s a lawn boy for a rich family tasked that night with watching the couple’s son. By the end of the night, the kid will be dead, Corey will be accused of murder, and his life will be shattered.
As Corey is going through his struggles in the present day, seen as a monster in the town of Haddonfield, the Strode family is finally picking up the pieces. Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is getting back to life, at long last. Now living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), a nurse, and writing her memoir, Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) is no longer first and foremost on her mind. She’s let go, even setting Corey and Allyson up together. However, that relationship begins, Laurie senses something. I won’t spoil what, but suffice it to say, Michael will also be returning, setting up a final showdown. So little of the plot hasn’t been revealed in the marketing, so I’ll leave most of the story for you to discover on your own.
Jamie Lee Curtis has played Laurie over and over again, but here she gets to play her in a bit of anew light. It’s more of a supporting role, not quite like in the prior flick, but she’s not as much of the focus. Still, she’s the badass you want her to be. Rohan Campbell is actually more of our lead, as well as giving Andi Matichak a real big role. Campbell isn’t the strongest of actors, but Matichak has grown nicely into the part. In addition to those mentioned above, Nick Castle, Will Patton, and Kyle Richards return once again, while other supporting players include Michele Dawson, Candice Rose, and more.
Co-writer/director David Gordon Green really makes this Halloween film feel like his own. While the script he wrote with Chris Bernier, Paul Brad Logan, and Danny McBride takes big risks, like holding back on showing us Michael for an entire act. Green is also comfortable with the look changing. Not only does the movie, despite a modern setting, have a period feel to its visuals, his early affection for an industrial type exterior is back. John Carpenter is back to help with the score, further linking this to the past. Plus, kudos to all for finding a definitive ending here. At the same time, the metaphors are more than a little heavy-handed, but this puts them forward in a clearer manner than in Halloween Kills.
Halloween Ends goes in a very different direction for its final act. It’s a big swing and plenty of folks won’t go for it, but I appreciated the bold choices from David Gordon Green and company. Whether you do or not remains to be seen, but if you were worried about getting more of the same, that’s certainly not the case. I dug it, in all of its weirdness.