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Halloween Ends underwhelmingly brings the forty-year-long franchise to a close

David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends (2022) is a huge disappointment considering it is the long-awaited finale of an iconic forty-year-long slasher franchise. Anina Rudkin unravels why in her detailed review...

By Anina Rudkin, Second Year, English

David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends (2022) is a huge disappointment considering it is the long-awaited finale of an iconic forty-year-long slasher franchise. Fan favourites Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) are pushed to the side-lines in order to make room for a teenage love story between Laurie’s grand-daughter, Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak) and a new emergent character; Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell).

Kyle Richards, Jamie Lee Curtis and Andi Matichak in Halloween Ends (2022) // Image by Universal Pictures, courtesy of IMDB

Set four years after Halloween Kills (2021), the film largely focuses on Allyson’s and Corey’s whirlwind romance and Corey’s struggles as he embodies the murderous role of Michael Myers. Unfortunately, it is not until the very end of the film that we see Myers in action, and even this scene feels anticlimactic as the exchange is over in a few minutes.

When considering that this showdown has been eagerly anticipated since the original Halloween film in 1978, one can’t help but feel let down. With Jamie Lee Curtis being the star of the series since her debut role forty-four years ago, it is disheartening to see her history with the iconic masked killer take a backseat to two unrecognisable faces.

Image by Universal Pictures, courtesy of IMDB

However, for audience members watching Halloween Ends (2022) with little expectations other than an American slasher film, they will be pleasantly surprised; the shocking death of a little boy during the opening scene, followed by a sudden flourish of punk-rock music and flashy credits instantly captures the audience’s attention lets them know that this isn’t just any old slasher film – it has flare.

The well-cured soundtrack is continuously a focal point for the film, notably during Allyson and Corey’s motorcycle scene: the blasting of Johnny Goth’s indie single, Come 2 Me (2022), as the lovebirds speed down the motorway gives an atmospheric, unexpected coming-of-age feel to the slasher.

Andi Matichak and Rohan Campbell in Halloween Ends (2022) // Image by Universal Pictures, courtesy of IMDB

This young, vibrant nature continues throughout the film, with Michael Simmonds’ fantastic cinematography adding considerably to the viewer's enjoyment. His striking central shots, bold hues and vivid, neon lighting leave the slasher with a trendy and modern finish. At times it feels as if we are watching the latest episode of the hit teen series, Euphoria (2019-) rather than a horror film.

However, this is not to say that Green entirely neglected the horror side of the Halloween Franchise in exchange for a hyper-stylised romance. The film successfully creates feelings of trepidation that you’d expect when watching a high-quality slasher: the sudden zoom-ins on everyday objects, including a blender and supermarket poultry, leave a feeling of unease as the familiar becomes unfamiliar, ominously hinting towards a manifestation of evil within Corey. Additionally, the film is packed with effective jump-scares, the unexpected nature of them leaving the audience gripped to their seats in suspense.

Image by Universal Pictures, courtesy of IMDB

Despite the emphasis on romance, the film depicts true moments of loyalty towards the franchise, such as recreations of the original murders and when Corey sinisterly stands behind a hedge, referencing when we first saw our favourite murderous psychopath Michael Myers on screen.

Although it felt as though the showdown between Laurie and Michael was squeezed in at the end of the film, what was shown was great and in true Halloween style. It was one of the most bloody and gruesome fights in the entire franchise, and John Carpenter’s iconic Halloween score playing over it made for an electrifying, hair-raising scene.

If you’re planning on watching Halloween Ends (2022) with prior expectations about the long history between Michael and Laurie, you’re likely to feel unsatisfied. However, if you’re in pursuit of a good fright and viewing with a friend, this stylised, entertaining and gripping slasher is certainly a great choice.

Featured Image: Universal Pictures, courtesy of IMDB

Were you disappointed with this film being the end of the Halloween franchise?