There are few franchises that have maintained such a hold on pop culture as “Halloween.” Since the original film terrified moviegoers in 1978, the series has seen 12 sequels, passed through five production studios, rebooted three times and been helmed by nine different directors.
The series has spanned over six decades and has seen various drastic departures and returns to form from John Carpenter’s original film. While the various ups and downs of “Halloween” are fascinating in their own right, the new movie “Halloween Ends” is easily the most interesting the series has felt. “Halloween Ends” is the first time the series has definitively stated that it was the final film and also the first time any sequels were planned ahead of time.
Usually, sequels depended entirely on the success of the one before it, resulting in them often feeling disjointed or vastly different between the films. Nine years is the longest between Rob Zombie’s 2009 film “Halloween II” and David Gordon Green’s 2018 film “Halloween.”
But David Gordon Green has, by far, been the most ambitious director/writer since the series began. His first film in the series, 2018’s “Halloween,” was highly unique in that it ignored all previous sequels except the original. It was a huge hit, the highest-grossing of any previous film, and one of the first to spark the “legacy sequel” craze, which would have rebooted a long-running franchise. But she maintains the tradition of her original film, often with a lot of fan service and homage to her.
Following the success of “Halloween” in 2018, two more sequels directed by Green were greenlit, “Halloween Kills” and “Halloween Ends”. This left fans curious as to what the trilogy had planned and if it would truly “end” or just continue to spawn sequels, as the franchise always did.
One pandemic and four years later, we’ve reached “Halloween Ends.” Releasing on October 14, the film had met with high expectations, tasked with wrapping up the over 40-year-old saga. Jamie Lee Curtis once again stars in the film as Laurie Strode, her most famous role to date. The film serves as the end of his story as well as Michael Myers.
The film has been widely panned since it hit the theaters. It has a particularly subversive approach, both as an ending and even as a “Halloween” movie in general. The film chooses to follow a new character, Corey Cunningham, instead of the expected Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. However, these roles still exist and deliver on their promise.
This amazing take has left many audiences upset by the choice, feeling cheated or cheated. But that couldn’t be further from the truth of the film’s intent. The way this trilogy can be seen is that in 2018 “Halloween” was Laurie’s film, “Halloween Kills” was Michael Myers’s and “Halloween Ends” was Hadenfeld’s film. Haddonfield, Illinois is where movies are made.
These three are key components of the original film and almost every sequel that followed. All of them have a deep significance to the plot of the film as well as the themes of the trilogy. “Halloween Ends” forces the audience to think about what the series is really about, rather than fulfilling a simple fan service packed into the final hurray.
Cory Cunningham, played by breakout star Rohan Campbell, acts as a vessel for the evil that lurks in Haddonfield, providing insight and commentary on what collective trauma can do within a community. are “Halloween Ends” is the most introspective film in the series so far, opting for broad ideas and questions rather than the concrete answers some fans expect.
While this aspect has disappointed many, it’s completely faithful to what made the original 1978 film work and why it’s still effective today. “Halloween” has always been about things the audience doesn’t know. The more we know about Michael, the less scary he becomes. The more you understand evil, the less evil it seems. Ambiguity and the unknown are at the heart of the series.
While Greene’s trilogy delves into many aspects of the series that haven’t been explored before, the team behind the films always made sure to walk that line very carefully. This, among countless other aspects, makes this trilogy the closest any sequel can come to matching the original and expanding on it rather than expanding on it.
Beyond its subversive plot and complex themes, “Halloween Ends” still works as a highly satisfying and entertaining slasher/horror. The performances were superb all around, especially Curtis and Campbell. There’s another stunning moody synth score by Carpenter himself, accompanied by eerie and eerie special effects that will surprise even veterans of the genre, as well as the signature autumnal Illinois atmosphere that the series evokes. was made
“Halloween Ends” is not the movie I, or frankly anyone, expected. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised and excited at the direction it took, trying to do something really new and fresh for the series, acting as a movie in its own right rather than disposable fanservice that had so much going for it. There have been similar sequels.
David Gordon Green and his team have consistently produced an excellent trilogy and something that “Halloween” fans have been hungry for for years, true craftsmanship and care. “Halloween Ends” challenges its audience, but not surprisingly, it also exposes the entitlement of its fans and fan culture in general, which, in my opinion, if we’re talking about the state of filmmaking. If you want to change anything today, you need to be more.
Staff reporter Zyden Dennis can be reached. [email protected] And you can find his other reviews at letterboxd.com/Zadenator.
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