It is time to wrap-up the forty-four year long story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode by visiting the sleepy town of Haddonfield one last time. The rampant masked mass murderer is of course back, ready to cut through the autumn darkness in this third and final instalment in David Gordon Green's trilogy. A series of films that may not have been entirely easy to swallow every time, especially not if you still prefer the classic films we got in the eighties with Myers. Not to mention the nearly perfect original 1978 film with which John Carpenter and his producer Debra Hill single-handedly started the entire slasher genre and paved the way for Jason Vorhees, Chucky, Freddy Kreuger and hundreds of other similar trailblazers.
Halloween has always been at its best when the underlying formula is allowed to be simple and stripped down. Which is what also makes the original so incomparably brilliant in all its simplicity. A masked, cold killer who without rhyme or reason hunts his victims and attacks from the shadows. No complexity. But over the years, pretentious elements have been introduced into the mythos in an attempt to stir things up a bit and freshen up what should never really have been more than a single film. Donald Pleasance's character was allowed more space and so was his argument about a supernatural evil, something that reaches its climax in the fifth part, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, which tries to explain the phenomenon of Myers through secret cults and ancient runes. It's silly but not completely without its charm either.
David Gordon Green's closing film reintroduces the idea that Myers and his rampant evil are actually part of something bigger and that the hatred and malice that drives the masked killer is something that lives within us all. An evil that can manifest itself in anyone under the right conditions. In other words, Myers is not special in any way if we choose to buy into David Gordon Green's script - anyone can be the masked killer. A not too exciting concept, but something that certainly appeals to the suits at Universal and thus enables endless future sequels. The big question is whether there is actually anyone willing to pay to watch another new Halloween movie after this one.
Let's just get straight to the point. Halloween Ends is a really tired, sad excuse for a horror movie and a downright insult to the characters that Carpenter and Hill created so many years ago. The tension is non-existent and even Jamie Lee Curtis herself seems to have completely given up on both the character and the film. There is no glow or spark here and despite a promising opening sequence, Halloween Ends quickly becomes an excruciatingly tiresome story and more than half the running time is spent without us seeing so much as a hair of Michael Myers. No, instead we follow Laurie Strode in her everyday life. She writes her book, mourns her daughter, goes shopping and interacts with the residents of Haddonfield. And it's just as hopelessly uninteresting as it sounds.
Instead of one of the series' more classic characters, it's the new guy Corey Cunningham who takes up most of the space in Halloween Ends and who is introduced early on in the film's surprisingly whimsical opening scene. Something that is also basically the only saving grace of the entire film, with its events hanging over Corey like a shadow for the rest of the run time. It's a tragic accident that the residents of Haddonfield blame him for, just as they never let Laurie forget how she is the reason for so many innocent deaths. They also never let Corey duck out of his past. The heckling eats away at him and the feelings build to frustration, which soon turns to anger. In addition, when Corey stumbles upon the old and almost totally dishonest Michael Myers in a sewer, well then a bond of understanding is formed between the two.
Which of course leads to people in the small town once again starting to die in bloody circumstances. Thirteen films, it's almost crazy that there have been so many and there will probably be more. But I highly doubt that anyone will look back with anything other than frustration on Halloween Ends, a pathetic end to what was already an extremely pointless reboot trilogy, to say the least. What should have been a thunderous finale between Strode and Myers instead turns into a side track in favour of Corey and his emotional descent into darkness, something that could have been interesting in another movie, but here it just serves to shift all the focus from the main characters, with Corey lacking the interest to carry Halloween Ends. But perhaps more than anything else, it feels like a betrayal that goes against everything that was promised in advance about this closing chapter.
Even when the roused final confrontation between Laurie and Myers takes place, David Gordon Green fails to engage and this instead becomes a huge anti-climax reminiscent of two wrestling pensioners. I don't know how but Green has managed to turn Michael Myers into an even bigger joke than before, as here the air has completely gone out of character. One of the most terrifying antagonists in film history is here reduced to a shadow of his former self and it matters little whether this is with meaning or not. The end result is still the same and Halloween Ends leaves a strange bitter aftertaste in the mouth. Two hours filled with soporific character drama in what should be a nail-biting thriller? I don't really know what Green was thinking here.
What little originality David Gordon Green's new trilogy carried has been completely tossed aside here in favour of soporific character drama, desperate fan service and an intrusive sense of déjà vu. Halloween Ends is nothing more than a cheap, pointless mess that fundamentally fails to engage on basically every level, and apart from the somewhat cheesy opening, Green's ending offers no kind of satisfaction. Halloween Ends is deader than disco. It's a sad, undignified ending to the long saga of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers where even the normally tonally confident John Carpenter and his son Cody fail to convey any real emotion in their otherwise compelling synth loops. Halloween Ends is lousy, really damn lousy and not only one of the worst horrors of the year by far, but also the most uninspired and reprehensible chapter in the Halloween movie series.