Did Halloween Ends kill the Halloween franchise? Or did it just kill Michael Myers?

Photo by: Charlie Martin

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Halloween Ends (2022), the last installment of director David Gordon Green’s contributions to the Halloween franchise, is now available in theaters for horror enthusiasts to see.

For those who are not well-versed in the Halloween lore, there have been endless renditions and subplots within the Halloween franchise. The canon that Halloween Ends builds onto is comprised of the events in the original Halloween (1978) film, as well as the films directed by David Gordon Green, Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021). 

Throughout the years, the staying power of the classic series in the general public’s minds has relied on the seemingly never-ending cat-and-mouse dynamic between the tormented Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and the masked serial killer, Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney). 

Halloween Ends promised and delivered closure to the trauma-festered dynamic between Laurie and Michael Myers. As a result of this, many fans are displeased with the choices in the story that led to said closure, to the point where disappointed viewers have put together a petition for the movie to be completely reshot.

One of the main complaints expressed by Halloween fans is that the addition and focus on new characters in Halloween Ends, distracted from Myers’ legacy, and ultimately, his death too. The newest movie in the franchise introduces an entirely new character, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), a young man ostracized from his community for accidentally murdering a child he was in charge of babysitting. 

Although Corey is not initially introduced as a malicious character, throughout the film, he begins to let his pain consume him, leading him to ally with Michael Myers to learn from his expertise in murder. Not only does Corey learn from Michael’s methods, but he  dares to attempt to replace him, going as far as fighting him and taking his iconic mask to use for his own murders. This type of dynamic, where Myers takes someone under his wing to teach him his ways of violence, to later be almost replaced, has never been explored before in the Halloween franchise, so it is reasonable that life-long fans are puzzled by this certain creative direction.

Likewise, fan reviews of the film reflect their distaste for the new direction that was pursued with Corey Cunningham’s character. 

“Another failed sequel of a classic horror flick. There was no Micheal Myers anywhere for most of the movie! That shouldn’t be the final movie of a legendary horror movie character. We focused way too much on side characters, wasting so much time of the movie and taking away screen time from Michael for no reason,” said a Halloween fan on the IMDb website.

Even though the acting performance of Rohan Campbell as Corey Cunningham was of high quality, the overall opinions of critics and fans sustain that including Corey Cunningham’s character, instead of providing full focus to Michael Myers was a dissatisfying way to finalize the franchise’s trajectory.

On another note, the film regrettably spends a considerable amount of time on a romantic subplot between amateur serial killer, Corey Cunningham, and Laurie Strode’s granddaughter, Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak). Despite the fact that it was interesting to see Allyson’s character gain independence and set her footing into adulthood after the catastrophic loss of her parents in the previous film, it is questionable whether or not this had to be explored through a romantic link to Michael Myers’ new apprentice.

One of the key highlights of the film is the focus on Laurie Strode’s journey to healing from the traumatic events in her life which sees the film providing a pertinent message regarding emotional pain and recovery. 

As seen in Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021), Laurie still feels the impact of surviving Michael Myers several decades after the fact. The way she copes, for the most part, is by adopting a rugged persona and being overly paranoid about Michael coming back to kill her, or her family. This changes after she becomes the main parental figure for her granddaughter Allyson, in Halloween Ends, and we see her move on with her healing journey by writing about her experiences, (and by killing Michael Myers).

The fact that Laurie’s character has evolved so much throughout the years is impactful, and Halloween Ends, as well as the overarching Halloween franchise, does a fantastic job of portraying the messy, trauma-ridden responses that are so common for those who have been through difficult situations.

I would suggest that anyone preparing for Halloween festivities to give Halloween Ends a watch, and the film is now available in theatres.

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