Review by: Jordan Lester
Spanning over forty years and thirteen movies, the Halloween franchise has seen its fair share of criticism from fans. From not including Michael in Season of the Witch to Rob Zombie’s gory remakes, fans of the storied franchise are undoubtedly vocal about their opposition to some of the sequels. The first in this trilogy, Halloween, did pretty well with fans and critics alike. The return of Jamie Lee Curtis marked a new page in the franchise, adding some meat to the story as her character Laurie Strode battles with post-traumatic stress following the original film’s events. The second, however, Halloween Kills, did not do nearly as well and reactions range from absolutely hating it to just finding it okay. It was evident that Kills was meant as a build-up to the grander thematic gestures that Ends delivers, so I was one of the few that really enjoyed it. Thankfully, I can say that the newest film in the series Halloween Ends is not only a proper send-off for scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis but also a very creative endeavor that remains true to the original while giving itself a creative edge over sequels that have come before it.
This one mostly takes place four years after the event of the first film, following Laurie as she tries to have as normal of a life as she can after the tragedies of Halloween night 2018. Her granddaughter Allyson lives with Laurie now, working at Haddonfield Memorial, while also trying to cope with the tragedy. All is well in their lives to a point until Corey Cunningham enters, who not only changes Allyson’s personality as they get closer but also manages to help in Michael’s return to Haddonfield.
From the tense, mysterious opening scene to the final shots of the film it feels as though this was made with love and admiration for all of those that have come before it. To try to please both fans of the original as well as those who have invested in the two latest is a massive task to undertake and one that was approached with tact. There is something here for everyone it would seem, from the creative writing to Michael’s ever-menacing presence.
This is one of those rare films that is almost impossible to truly talk about without spoiling the fun, so I will end with this: Halloween Ends is the best film in the franchise since the original and it serves as a markedly poignant end of Laurie & Michael’s story. To truly experience this the best way possible would be to see it in a dark room, on a giant screen, with a room full of Halloween fans. To be able to experience this on the big screen and to be around for the reign of the best franchise in horror is truly an experience I will always cherish. Thank you to Jamie Lee Curtis, David Gordon Green, Blumhouse, and of course the ones who started it all, John Carpenter & the late, great Debra Hill. Who knew that the little horror picture made on a shoestring budget would resonate with so many audiences?
“Evil doesn’t die, it just changes shapes”…