“Halloween Ends” (US Rated R)
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell, James Jude Courtney
Where to watch: In Theaters
Rarely does the title of a film represent all my feelings, wishes and dreams for that picture and its future.
But “Halloween Ends” needs to be more than just its name. It must be seen as a directive or command for the powers that be!
For God’s sake, someone END this now! Please put this franchise out of its misery. Let this be the final edition of this series that is almost as old I am, having launched exactly 44 years ago next week.
After initially being a major game-changer for the horror genre – inspiring countless copycat movies (“Friday the 13th” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” – the “Halloween” pictures have become caricatures of the slasher-film segment, more notable for the gratuitous and nonsensical violence than anything else.
So, what’s the plot of the new film? Is there one? Does it matter? This has mostly been just an excuse to show folks being brutally slaughtered.
Four years after her last encounter with masked killer Michael Myers, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is living with her granddaughter and trying to finish her memoir. Myers hasn’t been seen since, and Laurie finally decides to liberate herself from rage and fear and embrace life. However, when a young man stands accused of murdering a boy that he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that forces Laurie to confront the evil she can’t control.
“Halloween Ends” starts off well enough, and even shows promise. But things disintegrate as quickly as a balloon with a knife driven through it.
We’re asked to accept a load of hogwash, including nonsense about the spirit of Michael Myers possessing the town of Haddonfield. And the storyline with the babysitter (Rohan Campbell), and his eventual connection to Michael Myers, devolves into something you’d expect in a bad Marvel movie (although of late, “bad” and “Marvel” are increasingly becoming synonymous). So, picture an even more unfunny version of “Venom.”
Mostly horrible people are being massacred. However, it’s unclear whether that’s supposed to make us more comfortable with what’s going on.
Sure, “Halloween Ends” has the requisite screams and jumps and will have you covering your eyes in shock and horror. And it’s occasionally amusing and chuckle-worthy. Not in the “Ha! Ha!” way, but rather, in the sheer ridiculousness of it all, and the dumb decisions of these characters. But should that be what passes as entertainment in 2022?
And speaking of Marvel, seriously, what is the deal with Michael Myers? Is he a mutant? A robot? An alien? What’s the reason he is incapable of expiring?
This marks the 13th film in this franchise. That’s a good “spooky” number on which to “end” things. After the sequels, spinoffs, reboots, sequels to the reboots, resets, sequels to the resets, there is nothing more to say. And “Ends” certainly says nothing that makes sense.
No matter how well this thing does at the box office, we need “Halloween Ends” to be like its title and close the door on this well-past-its-prime chapter in the horror film genre.
Now, as for as some other long-running franchises and titles with commands I can only wish, dream and pray we seen soon:
“Fantastic Beasts: Extinction.”
“Fast and Furious: Slam the Brakes.”
And Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “That’s All Folks!”
• Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of “Morning Blend” on Guardian Radio and station manager. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.