The newest batch of Halloween movies will be coming to an end soon with the appropriately-titled Halloween Ends. Whether or not this will actually mark any sort of true end to the Halloween franchise is anybody’s guess, but it surely will be some sort of massive culmination for the franchise to this point. We’re expecting some sort of final battle between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, and normally I’d be all here for it, but I just can’t get into Halloween Ends. I’m just not sure I care enough.
Halloween, i.e. the first movie in this trilogy (not to be confused with the original 1978 movie Halloween , which is also part of the official timeline of the new trilogy) was a good movie. I enjoyed it overall; it had strong tension, creative kills and, most importantly, strong characters who I connected with. But that’s my problem, because at the end of the sequel Halloween Kills, one of those great characters, Judy Greer’s Karen, was killed, so what is even the point?
Judy Greer's Karen Was The Best Part Of The New Halloween
Karen is by far the most interesting character in the new Halloween. We only meet her as an adult, but we learn very quickly who she is and how she came to be this woman. She grew up as the daughter of an extremely paranoid Laurie Strode, being taught how to defend herself from a young age. Karen is removed from Laurie’s care as a child and she ultimately rejects her mother’s way of life and goes out on her own, building a much more traditional and “normal” life for herself and her family. Her own significant quirk is that she wears Christmas sweaters in October because she chooses to simply “skip” Halloween as a holiday.
Karen is originally set up as a minor antagonist, serving the wall between Laurie and her own daughter Allyson. She’s the one who is most sure that her mother is mostly just paranoid and that there is nothing to fear from Michael Myers. However, when it is proven that there is, in fact, something to fear, Karen takes it as seriously as anybody.
There's a particular moment in Halloween that I have always remembered, because the scene sort of “got me.” It’s near the end of the film during the final showdown with Michael in Laurie’s home. In the scene, Karen and Allyson are in the basement, and they know Michael is there. Karen, while holding a rifle, begins to break down, calling for her mother. Karen says she can’t do it, that she’s not going to be able to fight Michael Myers. This causes Michael to show himself, and Karen to shoot him in the mouth.
I remember sitting in the theater, and at first, as Karen began to cry, I got confused. The movie had been very clear that no matter how Karen felt about it, she had been trained to fight. She knew how to use this weapon. It didn’t make sense that she would be reacting like this. The fact that she was just suckering in Michael, and that she had suckered in me, was excellent. Karen is quite capable; she just doesn’t look like somebody who would be, and that’s how she gets you.
Halloween Kills Made A Terrible Mistake
Halloween Kills isn’t as good a movie. It largely seems to be running in place waiting to get to the last movie, but it does have some high points to it, and once again, it’s basically all Karen. She is the real hero of Halloween Kills, and unfortunately, she meets the same fate that many heroes have before her.
With Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie out of commission for a large part of Halloween Kills, Karen is a focal point of the film. She’s the one trying to make sense of the insanity going on in and around the hospital while they wait for Laurie to heal and prepare for whatever may come from Michael Myers.
At one point, she tries to calm a mob that thinks they’ve cornered Michael, but are only causing a sick man to panic. She understands the cost of all this aimless fear when the man kills himself rather than be subject to the mob. Later, when her own daughter is on the verge of becoming Michael’s next victim, she stabs the dude in the back with a pitchfork and then runs off with his mask, which is a boss level move. She tricks him for a second time by leading him into the heart of the murderous mob. At least if they’re not going to stop until they kill somebody, she might as well make sure it’s the right somebody.
It doesn’t work, of course. Michael survives, kills everybody trying to kill him and then he does the thing that I can’t forgive this franchise for: he goes back to his old house and kills Karen. The absolute best character in the first two movies is now dead.
Now I Just Can’t Get Excited For Halloween Ends
I understand why Halloween Kills felt the need to kill Karen. They were going to need to do something to increase the tension and up the stakes going into Halloween Ends, and of the three Strode women, Karen was the most expendable to the story. Whether or not Laurie Strode will survive the trilogy is very much a question, but she certainly was never going to die any earlier than the last movie.
They’re also not going to kill off the teenager. Allyson has been the primary POV character for the first two movies, and she’s the least likely of the three to die at all. Horror movies don’t usually kill kids unless the movie is about killing kids. Take grandma and granddaughter out of the mix and you only have once choice left.
While there’s maybe part of me that would like to see Michael Myers die because he killed Judy Greer, I’m mostly just annoyed that the new movie won’t have Judy Greer. She was the best part of the movies and the fact that she won’t be there for whatever final battle takes place just makes me less interested in that battle in its entirety. Still, we'll see how this final chapter unfolds when Halloween Ends comes out on October 14.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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