You know what is a fun concept? Horror movie sequels!

Recently, Terrifier 2 is making headlines and shocking audiences in the box office with its grisly kill sequences and expansive ideas. I love when filmmakers take an idea, run with it, and see how far the genre can push limits into something bold, fresh and unique. ‘80s and ‘90s horror sequels are consistently known for their whimsicality, freshness and ability to tell a wacky story completely straight. 

You know what isn’t such a fun concept, however? Legacy sequels to decades-old films—taking a pre-established piece of intellectual property and making a sequel decades later. Films like: Jurassic World and Top Gun: Maverick prove that this formula can make a few million dollars at the box office, but it still feels divisive in terms of quality within the franchise’s die-hard fanbase. 

The Halloween franchise has been a mainstay point of conversation within the argument surrounding horror legacy sequels. John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) is nothing short of foundational. From Carpenter’s terrifying and ominous direction coupled with some of the best blocking and camera geography in the whole genre, there are a plethora of reasons why it still remains a classic. 

While fans (and myself) have thoughts on the subsequent sequels and reboots to follow, Halloween (2018) has gained mixed reactions from both mainstream audiences and horror fans alike. 

While I personally find the 2018 version to be a great ode to Carpenter’s original, David Gordon Green seemingly dropped the ball with the film’s sequel, Halloween Kills. Green forgets what makes both the 2018 version so great and what makes the original film such a classic. It is a film that clamors on reminiscing on the franchise’s roots while also failing at subverting expectations. Before Gordon Green goes on to direct a trilogy for The Exorcist, he must end the story between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers once and for all with Halloween Ends.

Halloween Ends is a fascinating film. The final film in the Halloween franchise, Halloween Ends stars Jamie Lee Curtis, James Jude Courtney, Andi Matichak, and Rohan Campbell. 

While John Carpenter being back at the helm of the film’s music is certainly a saving grace, along with a subversion of audience expectations, what Gordon Green and company fail at is the execution of ideas. Now that Ends has released, Gordon Green seemingly wanted to make his own version of the original three Halloween films one way or another, with Ends being nearly in reference to Halloween III: Season of the Witch. While it is nice to pay homage to an underrated classic, Gordon Green fails at making this trilogy feel cohesive and makes Halloween Kills to be insignificant in the grand scheme of this trilogy and even the franchise.

A Michael-less Halloween film is a wonderful approach. Season of the Witch is one of my favorite horror movies ever; the film prioritizes being the final showdown between Laurie and Michael, and yet Myers is absent here. 

What the final product is a bland and uninteresting character with a dull pace and ill characterization of iconics figures. Lee Curtis is shockingly bad, feeling like a completely new character from what she was throughout the whole trilogy. 

The biggest problem within this trilogy is Gordon Green’s inability to write compelling side characters. Though I understand her involvement within the story, Andi Matichak has never left me with anything to grab onto and her performance in Ends is still as such. 

Newcomer Rohan Campbell is left something to be desired. For a character and performance being the meat and potatoes of this film, his character, the writing he was given and his acting were bland, uninteresting and practically annoying. 

While I love whimsical and fantastical stories within horror films, the best is when the filmmakers have a connection to the audience. Here, Gordon Green and company play the silliness and magical elements completely straight and leave no room for any charm. The acting, coupled with tedious pacing and horrific lighting and cinematography make this sequel poor in quality.

Halloween Ends is an interesting film due to the formality within its narrative. The film is nothing technically marvelous, fitting that this is currently streaming on Universal’s streaming service “Peacock,” but it makes Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018) to appear as a one-trick pony. 

Halloween Ends is a meandering and tedious way to end this beloved horror franchise and proves that without a talented horror filmmaker behind the camera, the film will become less interesting.

It is time for Universal and Peacock to re-evaluate what they are thinking for giving this guy the hands to one of the most compelling horror stories of all time with The Exorcist trilogy. 

Rating: D-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *