Wednesday, October 25, 2023

In Retrospect: Halloween Ends

This might get long.

Sooo what do we think of Halloween Ends one year later? Well if you go back and read my opening day review, I certainly didn't hate it, was vague on certain aspects, and I had notes to expand on. Watching it again has consolidated my opinion on it. You couldn't dream or ask for a more divisive horror film in the modern era and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if people were still split today, but that's kinda Halloween Ends. It is a mixed bag of different stuff so it's totally okay if you have mixed opinions on it. But I know exactly what people have grievances on, the lack of Michael Myers and the character of Corey which in and of itself is connected. Yes, Michael Myers is barely in it. It takes 40 minutes, a third of the film roughly for him to even show up, and he has about 4 scenes. I get it! I really get it, that seems bait and switchy as shit for fans of this series, you see a Halloween movie for Michael. There is so much to unpack I genuinely don't know where to begin here. Like it or not, Corey is our main character. Now Laurie has a place in the story, they don't sideline her like in Halloween Kills, and Jamie is great in this last bow. You may recall in my initial review I alluded to Halloween 5, specifically a pre-production idea that got scrapped where little Jamie Lloyd was going to be the killer after the cliffhanger of part 4, no Michael present it was just her offing people. Well they did it, just with Corey instead of Jamie. I'm mixed on this idea. I was one of the few people who liked what Kills did with the story and the mentality of Haddonfield, and they do push further into that territory. It's different, it's unique, and not half badly executed. You can see both the landscape of Haddonfield and the mental state of this young man in either a supernatural lens where the evil has infected and plagued the town and leaped or perhaps transferred from Michael to Corey, or you can just see it through a psychological lens where a lot of bad shit has happened to this town and this man and through so much trauma it starts festering and being destructive. That is interesting stuff that I've never heard of in film or real life where killings have happened and you examine the shockwave of it. Yet the question inevitably comes up of, but did it have to be told this way? Did we need Corey to be this surrogate serial killer? Couldn't we have just had Michael do his thing? My main question is, what was the intent? Cause with this movie, whatever details of the story and characters come up I can understand it...but only about half of it. There is a fair bit I do not get what they were thinking or trying to get across. Now I must repeat, I don't fundamentally hate the idea that Corey becomes a killer whether through psychological abuse or re-run of Jamie getting the evil rubbed off on her, but it has eventual hitches. I was scared shitless there was going to be barely any Michael Myers in this movie, but then the ending happened and I was content. But again, did it need to be like that? There is no black and white with this picture, there is no clear good or bad aspects because it's such an almost masterfully concocted mix of both! Every point I comment on has an addendum. What's funny is the movie almost is meta on it's commentary because it states at several points people either embrace hate or learn to move on, that evil can be an external or internal force a lá John Carpenter's tribe story, that evil never dies it just changes shape. Now some people could interpret all that as the movie trying to be pretentious, overly clever, and "deep", and others would see it as simple facts of this world that we see Laurie live in. Which do you stand on? I' the middle. I don't like certain aspects and have questions on why they did what they did, but I also like a fair bit too and am happy they ended it. Oh yeah, let's talk the ending. Holy shit! Michael Myers is dead as shit, a brutal killing by Laurie followed by almost literal funeral procession, culminating in his body getting eviscerated by metal grinders. You don't get more dead than that! Beautiful! Perfect! They fucking finally ended it conclusively. You get a lot of points for that movie! And if nothing else people can be shall we say selective of movie series, it ends at Halloween 2, it ends at 20 Years Later, oh Halloween 3 isn't a part of the series, etc. etc. So who says it can't happen here? Yeah Michael burned in the house in the 2018 Halloween, there! No further explanation needed. Head canon is neat huh. So take from it what you will. I still have respect for the filmmakers in going this direction even if not everything worked perfectly, they wanted to inject some intelligence and some new life into a very tired, broken down, formulaic horror series. There is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Wrong with that. It was not what people wanted for the big finale, but I can live with that. This is however going to be the first time ever that an In Retrospect has actually decreased the score, the new rating is now 2 stars, 6/10. You really can't have other people make the opinion for you on this movie, you just gotta see it again and make your own. Rob Zombie movie next time.

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