Halloween Ends is not the trilogy conclusion we expected or hoped for. But hold your horses, don’t dismiss it without watching.
The Shape, i.e., Michael Myers inexplicably vanishes after the bloodbath in Halloween Kills. Sadly, his disappearance does not end the evil in Haddonfield. The slasher’s legacy continues to suffocate the small town, beginning with a horrific accident on Halloween night the next year. This tragedy, in turn, paths the way for Michael’s bloody return another three years down the road.
This was released earlier in the week and so far, I’ve read but one enthusiastic review for it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given how the story ended up being a deconstruction of sorts for most events established in Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills. Instead of a soaring finale.
But I’ll add that I still enjoyed it, that is, once I’ve gotten over my surprise. In fact, I’ll go to the extent of saying this is one of the best slasher sequels I’ve watched. One that is likely to stay that way for a long time too.
Nope, this is not me deliberately being contrarian. Neither is it because I’m silly enough to watch a slasher movie with hopes that it wouldn’t be one. In a world where every other slasher movie sequel ends up being a gorier and more nonsensical regurgitation of the same storyline, don’t you agree credit has to be given to one that sincerely tries to be something different? Even if the output ends up clunky and undecided?
And Halloween Ends is not awful once you stop expecting Michael to come with a blade. Yes, there aren’t many scares beyond a few sudden loud noises. The complete refocus of the story on a “protégé” could feel absurd to some viewers too. (And a compromise of the classic “pure evil” Michael persona)
But I think what’s attempted here is an examination of the dark legacies of slashers and serial killers. Isn’t it true that such murderers do not stop harming the world even after they’re dead, with the trauma of survivors living on forever, their awful murders inspiring copycats, and the events leading to their sprees tearing communities apart?
To be clear, Halloween Ends is clumsy with such examinations; during some moments, it even seems to be making excuses for Michael. Towards the end, some sort of Exorcist III conundrum also kicks in with the developments abruptly returning to standard fare: a gory spree that leads to an even gorier showdown.
But it’s nowhere near bad, I repeat. I even think it’s refreshing.
The epilogue also delivers something that I have never encountered in slasher franchises. While it’s unlikely to stay that way for long, for the moment, the grim story of The Shape, the original boogeyman, has emotionally ended.
Not to be cheeky, but I find this unexpected conclusion more shocking than any brutal kill.
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