The following contains Halloween Ends spoilers. Halloween Ends brings to an end (at least temporarily) a multidecade saga with one of the most muddled timeframes in recent memory. The movie was intended to put an end to the rivalry between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers and to wrap up both this David Gordon Green-directed reboot trilogy and the entire franchise. The film makes a number of sharp turns in an effort to avoid becoming monotonous or repetitive of the 12 films that came before it. Does it matter if they succeed?
Halloween Ends has received mixed reviews so far. Some people liked the new route it went in, while others felt that the concepts were a touch too avant-garde and detracted from what makes the Halloween franchise so special. The true advantage of drastically altering a franchise is that it makes the film memorable and demonstrates that the production team aspired to develop something that wasn't just a sloppy imitation of what came before.
Halloween Ends sets itself apart from its predecessors right away with an unconventional opening sequence. There is no crazed serial killer killing babysitters, Michael Myers is not the threat. Instead, the youngster that is meant to be under his care is (accidentally) killed by the babysitter. Especially after being given a false sense of security by the opening's relatively moderate and tranquil pace, the moment itself is startling. Because it has a little different plot to convey, it is clear that this Halloween movie won't be quite what spectators are anticipating.
Many fans (perhaps justifiably) objected to the fact that Michael Myers doesn't pose much of an actual threat throughout the entire film. This is a convincing argument; after all, if this is going to be his and Laurie's final confrontation, there ought to be a lot of build-up to it throughout the narrative. It's still an interesting thought experiment to give him a co-conspirator so that he isn't the only murderer out there. It begs the question of whether human aggression is something that can be learned or if it was always present but only a little prodding (in Corey Cunningham's case, quite literally) to come to the fore.
Working with Michael Myers and Corey offers a unique setting for murder set pieces where two assailants collaborate to kill their victims. It reminds me of a movie like Scream (and also of Scream because of the cliche that the main character's lover is also the murderer). Because the audience is uncertain of the story's direction, it makes the plot significantly more interesting. When the events on screen aren't ones that the franchise has attempted to explore before, it also becomes a little less predictable.
The David Gordon Green Halloween trilogy has seemed very distinct from one film to the next. Some people find this to be an issue because it does make the overall narrative appear disconnected between the films, as if they were all telling quite different stories with different tones rather than one coherent narrative that told three portions of one story. However, each movie having its own unique identity may not necessarily be a bad thing. Halloween Kills is more theatrical and occasionally bordering on the ridiculous, whereas Halloween (2018) is dark and intense (which for many is a major criticism of the film). Although Halloween Ends starts out more lightheartedly than it eventually becomes, it nevertheless contains some of the story's most gruesome elements.
The fact that the murders weren't just random is another divergence Halloween Ends made from some of its predecessors. On his journey to Laurie Strode in the past, Michael Myers would frequently break into the homes of strangers or murder unarmed individuals in the street. Halloween Ends, on the other hand, adopts a different strategy in which nearly every murder is intentional, frequently as a result of Corey's involvement. Since he is not Michael Myers' "embodiment of evil," his murders are either acts of retaliation or planned massacres of people who have wronged him. It sets the plot apart from the typical slashing found in Halloween flicks and takes a very different approach.
Although Michael Myers barely makes an appearance in this movie, which makes their climactic confrontation a touch anti-climatic for the series' through line, at least it distinguishes this one from the countless others that came before it. It was pleasant to see the Halloween franchise at least attempt to switch things up a little because so many franchises become bogged down with the issue of having the same structure in every movie, to the point where they feel redundant (even Marvel suffers from this at times).
Is it current? Yes. But is it really the best way to wrap up such a well-liked tale? Maybe not. These two things may both be accurate at once. The intricate nature of Halloween Ends may make it more appealing to casual fans than to die-hard followers of the series. However, rather than merely forcing viewers to see a movie they've previously watched fifty times, the movie does an excellent job of offering new content to aficionados. It was wonderful that the series took a step back and attempted something new that, for the most part, worked after the disaster that was Halloween Kills.