REVIEW: Halloween Ends two movies too late
The horror sequel is in the running for one of the worst movies of 2022.
2018's rebootquel Halloween was pretty good. And that is where the big return of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers should have ended.
Instead, upon producers seeing the mega-bucks being banked, two more sequels were promptly ordered, giving a full trilogy to close out the horror franchise.
2021's Halloween Kills was a particularly violent and mean-spirited but weirdly dull affair which had Laurie in a hospital bed for most of its running time, while Michael's killing spree brought out a mob mentality in Haddonfield.
That movie ended with Michael murdering 90% of the cast, including Laurie's daughter Karen (Judy Greer), amidst some mystical talk about him being supernaturally-fuelled by murder.
It was, to put it bluntly, a bad movie.
Halloween Ends picks up four years after the events of Kills, with no sign of Michael since the fateful night upon which he massacred the local populace. Laurie, meanwhile, is now living a white-picket fence life with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
Why has Michael been hibernating from murder for the last 48 months?
How is it that Laurie, after decades of becoming a paranoid recluse while he was locked away in an institution, has suddenly come to live a super zen existence despite the fact that the notorious, seemingly invincible serial killer is out in the wild somewhere?
Don't worry about finding answers to these questions, because the makers of the movie certainly didn't.
Instead, this feels like a very real reaction to the response to Halloween Kills - too much Michael, not enough Laurie, very little actual plot - but in attempting to course-correct, they've massively overcompensated and ended up with something that is just as bad, if not worse.
To be fair, it actually does start off pretty well. We're introduced to Corey (Rohan Campbell), a nice young man who has been hired by his neighbours to babysit their little brat of a child on Halloween night. Following a horrific series of events, and in light of Michael's absence, Corey suddenly finds himself as the new town "psycho".
But it feels like the movie specifically whips out a giant telescope, glimpses a potentially interesting theme to investigate through horror - in this case, the idea of Nature vs Nurture when it comes to potentially creating serial killers - notes that the idea is on the horizon, and figures to itself, 'Yep, that's close enough'.
It doesn't help that Campbell is playing Corey at an 11 for most of the movie, crying angry tears in practically every single conversation he's having with Allyson, his potential love interest.
It also doesn't help that Michael himself doesn't actually rock up until about an hour in, meaning that this horror movie about a scary serial killer doesn't have any scary serial killer in it for more than half of its runtime.
Is it nice to spend more time with Laurie, now safely writing her memoir as a survivor, and still being vaguely flirted with by the local cop (Will Patton)? Sure, but this entire film, as was the case with Halloween Kills, adds absolutely nothing to the franchise, and actually undoes a lot of the good work done in 2018's Halloween.
And then we get to this movie's ending... and oh boy. We won't spoil anything here, but suffice it to say that Michael does eventually return to the fray, big knife in hand, and there are some unmissable comparisons made between him and a real-life monster that are simultaneously some of the most tasteless and accidentally hilarious scenes from any movie in recent years.
Halloween Ends? We can only hope so.
Halloween Ends arrives in Irish cinemas on Friday, 14 October.