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HORROR

Halloween Ends Review: A Character-Driven Slasher brings the iconic horror franchise to a close

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It All Ends Now… Halloween Ends is a fitting conclusion to the franchise’s 45-year run as we witness Horror’s first Final Girl take her last stand against pure evil! It’s gripping, thrilling, and pulse-pounding whilst showcasing a community poisoned with fear!

After 45 years, the most acclaimed, revered horror franchise in film history reaches its epic, terrifying conclusion as Laurie Strode faces off for the last time against the embodiment of evil, Michael Myers, in a final confrontation unlike any captured on-screen before. Only one of them will survive.

Icon Jamie Lee Curtis returns for the last time as Laurie Strode, horror’s first “final girl” and the role that launched Curtis’ career. Curtis has portrayed Laurie for more than four decades now, one of the longest actor-character pairings in cinema history. When the franchise relaunched in 2018, Halloween shattered box office records, becoming the franchise’s highest-grossing chapter and set a new record for the biggest opening weekend for a horror film starring a woman.

Four years after the events of last year’s Halloween Kills, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since. Laurie, after allowing the spectre of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell; The Hardy Boys, Virgin River), is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all.

REVIEW

“Halloween Ends” returns us to a traumatised Haddonfield, shocked by the events of Halloween night 2018 in “Halloween Kills” we see a town broken and skittish from the disappearance of Michael Myers. Director David Gordon Green truly goes forward by telling a much bigger story centred on new characters and exploring heavy themes and topics that create a thrilling film I thoroughly enjoyed but also a divisive film that I imagine not everyone will love the outcome.

The presence of Michael Myers still looms across the town and has an effect on everyone, even though he hasn’t been seen for over four years his shadow still casts, even on those who weren’t in his bloody grasp. This pure evil has become a plague throughout Haddonfield and has poisoned the minds of its community as they turn their anger onto high-school babysitter Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) when the child under his care dies in a horrifying accident. The town slowly starts to rip itself apart and ultimately showcases what shapes, The Shape and how their environment can shape them. Director David Gordon Green truly has made a slasher trilogy that just like Stephen King’s “IT”, focuses on an All-American town infected by festering Evil that ultimately manifests a boogeyman and haunts it for generations.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) meanwhile is making strides to move on with her life and leave the trauma of her past behind in the form of writing a memoir and buying a new house for her and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), who’s seeking relationships to end her feelings of isolation. However their attempts to move on from their pain and loss are stifled as Haddonfield isn’t ready to let them move on, as the citizens of the town continue to lay blame for Michael’s rampage, saying that Laurie has poked with the devil. As healing and romance finally start, gruesome murders begin to plague the town once more as the evil that once terrorised Haddonfield slowly puts himself back together.

Laurie knows that evil has returned once again and most importantly she must approach it head-on and be willing to revisit her haunted past to do what’s necessary.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in HALLOWEEN ENDS, directed by David Gordon Green © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Jamie Lee Curtis pours her heart and soul into her final performance as Laurie Strode. Her presence on screen accelerates into something truly impactful. “Halloween Ends” chooses to return the franchise to its study of characters as we see Laurie through different stages, Curtis blends each performance from her first appearance in 1978 as an innocent young girl fast forward to 2018 Laurie, now battle-scarred and shut inside her fortress. This is her greatest portrayal of the character. Matichak is giving the bulk of the screen time allowing the film to explore her character fully. The story also explores the impact of being around someone who’s been involved with, or seemingly attracted to, so many premature deaths, “Halloween Ends” returns to portray the everlasting effects of trauma experienced by survivors of horrid violence.

“Halloween Ends” also showcases a coming-of-age story romance between Allyson and Corey, two outcasts who are ready to move on completely from Haddonfield. The first two movies explored how trauma affects a family and a community, with “Ends” we witness how trauma can infect and mutate and ultimately form a destructive path. The film rests largely on the shoulders of the new character Corey Cunningham played by Rohan Campbell, a young man with great college aspects but eventually carries overwhelming guilt. Corey shares a lot in common with Laurie at that age especially with the whole town also targeting him, treating him like an outcast. However, we witness Corey’s inner turmoil which provides him a perplexing character arc, one that unfortunately doesn’t get fleshded out but Campbell shows the internal struggles Corey has to deal with as he balances many qualities. But at the risk of giving away some of the film’s plot points, David Gordon Green showcases the story from different psychological angles and explores truly challenging topics as we the audience witness how society can be monsters and how a town becomes the birthplace of evil.

Speaking of pure evil, the darkness that Haddonfield has tried for so long to conceal comes back with a vengeance. It’s been 45 years since John Carpenter and Debra Hill first introduced Legendary slasher, Michael Myers. “Halloween Ends” turns Myer’s into an unsettling mystery of his disappearance, The shape of evil is a disease with an infectious nature showcasing the devastating impacts and effects of those who happen to cross his path. Portrayed by James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle, the film utilises his screen time with kills that are brutal, disgusting and full-on gore, it’s certainly creative.

Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in Halloween Ends, co-written, produced and directed by David Gordon Green.

However the main event of course is a sequence many have been waiting for, for over 45 years, it’s of course. Laurie Vs Michael, Good Vs Evil, and ultimately Haddonfield’s final fight. This is a match horror fans have been waiting for as it’s bone-crunching, suspenseful, and pulse-pounding, it’s these two characters who carry symbolic and emotional weight fighting each other accompanied with an intense score courtesy of John and Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies.

Final Thoughts

“Halloween Ends” feels both standalone but also inseparable from the franchise. It brings forth a storyline previous entries have only dared to tease whilst providing a satisfying conclusion of the heart and soul of the “Halloween” franchise. The movie explores serious themes and territories that the audience may punish as the radical departure in tone is the result of shifts in the story. At its core “Halloween Ends” is a character-driven slow burn that is drama-heavy and hasn’t been seen since Carpenter’s original. It’s campy at times with some hilarious moments woven in but when the film wants to be brutal it truly succeeds.

HALLOWEEN ENDS, directed by David Gordon Green © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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HORROR

Trap | Official Trailer

A father and teen daughter attend a pop concert, where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.

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Genre:

Crime, Horror, Mystery

Release Date:

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Director:

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Cast:

Josh Hartnett, Hayley Mills, Marnie McPhail

Plot Summary:

A father and teen daughter attend a pop concert, where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.

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Speak No Evil | Official Trailer

A family invited to spend a weekend in an idyllic country house, goes from a dream vacation to a psychological nightmare.

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Speak no Evil [credit: Universal Pictures]

Genre:

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Release Date:

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Director:

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A family invited to spend a weekend in an idyllic country house, goes from a dream vacation to a psychological nightmare.

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MaXXXine | Official Trailer – A24

In 1980s Hollywood, adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx finally gets her big break. But as a mysterious killer stalks the starlets of Hollywood, a trail of blood threatens to reveal her sinister past.

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MaXXXine [credit: A24]

Genre:

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Release Date:

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Plot Summary:

In 1980s Hollywood, adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx finally gets her big break. But as a mysterious killer stalks the starlets of Hollywood, a trail of blood threatens to reveal her sinister past.

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