What Went Wrong with Halloween Ends?
Halloween Ends is the third instalment of David Gordon Green’s vision of the trilogy sequel to the 1978 original. While Ends has continued the mixed reception for the three films, it is the one that took the biggest swerve from the previous two. Today I am going to look at certain factors I feel created the questions about the biggest horror movie of the year.
From now on there will be full SPOILERS for Halloween Franchise in general.
2018 saw the first of the rebooted franchise with a legacy sequel to the original 1978 movie. It sees Laurie waiting for Michael Myers to return, it has cost her family and friends. When Michael escapes he returns to Haddonfield to go on a new killing spree before a showdown with Laurie. This Halloween film showed the long-term trauma Laurie suffered her whole life because of that night in 1978.
The movie ends with Michael trapped in a burning house. As the Strode women escape believing they finally defeated the Boogeyman who tore their family apart. It is wrapped up nicely and ready for the sequel.
Halloween Kills might not get off to the best start, because it shows a random saving of Frank, instead of picking up where the Strode women see the fire engines heading to Michael’s trap. With that opening sequence, it would have thrown us back into the chaos and with Michael’s voracious attack on the firefighters, we see him unleashed again.
The movie falls into a mob mentality movie, seeing the two coming together trying to hunt down the killer. It sees the return of Tommy Doyle and Lindsay now as adults leading the hunt for Michael. This does show the consequences of vigilante behaviour and by the end of the film, you will be cheering for Michael. The highlight of this film is that it takes place on the same night.
Halloween Ends takes us four years into the future, Laurie and Allyson have moved on with their lives. Nobody has seen Michael Myers since that fateful night, despite violent crimes continuing around the town. It looks like the town is still filled with the shadows of Michael Myers, trying to transition evil to new targets.
This film sees a strange rise and connection between an outsider in the town and Michael Myers. With the haunting feeling going around the town, as the bodies start piling up. This leads us to the bigger topics that follow.
When it comes to selling a movie, you need to bring the fans in. The trailer mostly includes everything from the only battle between Michael and Laurie. Most of what we actually got and the first three-quarters of the film is not shown in the trailer. This creates an expectation from the fans who are expecting to see Michael doing the killing.
Corey is the most important addition to this movie. He gets introduced through a babysitting accident, resorting in a child being killed in the opening sequence. While it was an accident, the town doesn’t believe him, causing him to become an outsider and attacked around town. He never got charged with murder and Laurie sees a lot of herself in him. After introducing him to Allyson the two strike up an unlikely romance.
When Corey gets attacked by the local bullies, they believe they have seriously hurt him. However, Michael Myers drags him into the sewers to transfer his evil into him. This makes Corey the next violent threat in the town, targeting anyone that has wronged him, giving Laurie a striking fear.
Moving the evil to Corey becomes confusing because it goes into the chapter of the previous films they promised not to return to. The one way something else was controlling Michael and the transference of evil makes zero sense compared to the more realistic approach the beginning of the reboot went for.
This idea could have worked out well if the original incident happened before Michael’s return. It could have created the image the town is always trying to create a Boogeyman, right back from 1978 and turning on people involved in accidents. Even if we didn’t want to get into the pre-2018 attack, it could have hinted at Corey being easily manipulated during the two previous Halloween movies.
Michael Myers is Injured
Michael Myers is portrayed to be badly injured and whenever he attacks someone, he seems to be fixing himself, becoming stronger. This is another strange decision because, at the end of Halloween Kills, he is brutally attacked but got up like nothing happened to kill everyone, including Karen Strode.
Suddenly in Halloween Ends, he has spent four years living in the sewer pipe like Pennywise killing passed-out people. Corey is going to be his latest victim but ends up helping Michael get back on his feet. To make things even stranger when Michael finally has his showdown with Laurie, he is back to full health.
Everything done to Michael doesn’t make much sense in this movie and it is clear that this could drive fans against this movie. This isn’t the Michael Myers we had met in these movies and the blend between Pennywise hiding and Freddy Kruger rebuilding his strength doesn’t make complete sense.
The Time Jump
Moving the story forward 4 years doesn’t help the film either. The unique idea of having the first two movies happening over one night helps make the pace feel non-stop. It was even left with the cliff-hanger to bring us back to the franchise for the final part of the night, to finish Michael Myers for good. The time jump also changed Laurie a lot, bringing her back to the bubbly figure and wanting to follow Sidney Prescott’s idea of writing about her attack. Add in the fact the town still celebrates Halloween like it is a happy holiday. It is clearly time to question how important it is now in this town.
The Death of Michael Myers
During the final showdown between Michael and Laurie, Laurie gets the better of him. Seeing the pair have a brutal fight and Laurie pinning him to a table before slicing his throat. It showed a much more human side to Michael, almost erasing everything the film tried to do differently. I personally liked the most humane way Michael was taken out, before the ritual goodbye. The town comes together to throw the body into a grinder, ending any chance of him returning.
When it comes to any horror franchise people are either going to love or hate it. At the end of the day, people have expectations before going in and sometimes they don’t get what they wanted. Being the third film in the mini franchise reboot the box office numbers were always going to be lower. Sadly, the decision to premiere on Peacock too in America hasn’t helped, giving people access to the high-quality version of the film on opening day.