Warning: this rundown is about to get bloody with SPOILERS for Halloween Ends. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’re going to want to avoid this killing spree of discourse.
Reactions to co-writer/director David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends been quite a mixed bag of discussion. What’s remained a constant throughout the entire debate is the usage of one key term: “big swings.” Signifying those moments that come in a franchise’s life when radical decisions may or may not gel with the audience, it’s a sentiment that definitely applies to this new movie release of 2022.
The film takes so many big swings that you could rank them in any order you wanted, and that’s just what I’m about to do. In order of the least to most polarizing developments from Halloween Ends, I’ll run down the huge plays that Jamie Lee Curtis tried to warn us about, which are meant to close out the Laurie Strode story once and for all. This is the last call to avoid spoilers, as it’s time to unmask this killer conversation piece and discuss the bold moves of the latest Halloween slasher.
6. The Shocking Opening Kill
Let’s start with something easy: the kill that involved a young kid dropping to a shocking death that opens Halloween Ends. Now this event is polarizing for a couple reasons, the obvious being where audiences land on the subject of killing young children in a horror movie.
The other continuum of reactions to this moment is whether this traumatic twist of fate is worthy of gasps or laughter. It’s small potatoes considering the fish we’re about to fry, but we're already starting off with a heated debate just waiting to happen. That is, if you can stop the laughing that may precede the conversation.
5. Laurie Strode’s Behavior Outside Of Her Trauma
We’re all used to Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) being a badass on a mission to kill Michael Myers. However, the version of her character we saw introduced in Halloween Ends baked pies, flirted with Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) once again and encouraged Allyson (Andi Matichak) to run with a romance that inspires her to flash grief.
Though she eventually found her way back to fighting form, audiences were a bit confused as to where Laurie was coming from at the start of this grand finale. That's especially when Halloween Kills’ ending saw her on the path to becoming even more obsessed with killing Michael, but Halloween Ends started with Laurie Strode writing her memoirs. Even with a four-year time jump between Halloween sequels, that's a bit of a stretch for some.
4. Corey Cunningham's Seeming Random Halloween Trilogy Introduction
I don’t think anyone flat out dislikes Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), the new introduction to the Halloween Ends storyline. With that in mind, there are some people who can take him as he is and enjoy the extra complications. Others seem to think that without a proper foundation in the previous two films, it’s a bit too little, too late.
Even David Gordon Green and Jamie Lee Curtis knew this, and the fact that they reached out to Rohan Campbell to warn him about the potential backlash says it all. Which helps contribute to the most contentious point of order that Halloween Ends has to offer, but we'll get to that in a moment.
3. The Haddonfield Procession With Michael Myers
This could practically be considered the “Evil Dies Tonight” of Halloween Ends. After Allyson proclaims Michael Myers to be “not dead enough,” his body is strapped to the hood of a car, and driven to the local junkyard to be minced to bloody bits. It’s the sort of symbolism that people who enjoy the new trilogy might eat up, but old school fans tend to hate.
The film doesn't help its own case when you think about how this scene is another moment where Kyle Richards’ Lindsey Wallace should have appeared, but sadly didn’t. Adding more fuel to this fire, the absence of another original Halloween character turns this supposedly final ending into a bit of a toss up.
2. The Corey/Allyson Love Story
Have you ever wanted to see a love story make its way into your slasher film legacyquel? Halloween Ends does just that through the budding romance that blooms between Corey Cunningham and Allyson Nelson. It’s almost enough to be the top of the debating heap here, as Corey’s lack of connection to the rest of the trilogy frustrated some fans enough with his inclusion.
A seemingly random love subplot could look like it’s taking away valuable slash and hack time to some, with others viewing it as a refreshing change of pace. Either way, Corey has once again presented himself as the link to what is perhaps the most polarizing thing about Halloween Ends.
1. A Halloween With Almost No Michael Myers In The First Act
One of the earliest complaints I’d heard about Halloween Ends is one I encountered while the film was still in press screenings. It’s the complaint that you probably can still hear ringing through the hills of any local multiplex: how does a Halloween movie wait for an hour to show Michael Myers?
With a first act that has very little of the masked menace in it, people were bound to make this the big sticking point to their criticisms. I can see why people would be perturbed about this, as every other Halloween movie has never been shy about bringing Mikey out to play. All of these points hammer home the major point of why Halloween Ends is such a divisive movie: it’s not just another Halloween movie.
Big swings such as these deliver something fresh for loyal fans and newcomers alike. This new trilogy of Haddonfield horrors gave Laurie Strode the ending she truly deserved, while also getting creative with the kills. You can't ask for much more if you're into it, and that only highlights why the debate over Halloween Ends seems to have no middle ground.
You're either swearing this movie out or your defending it to a certain degree, it seems. So whether you like it, hate it or haven’t even seen it, Halloween Ends is currently in theaters and streaming for those with a Peacock subscription. Another viewing just might change your mind or point out some other flaws you may have missed, making for a stronger argument around the Halloween candy this year.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.