"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Halloween Ends

HALLOWEEN ENDS, the conclusion to David Gordon Green’s HALLOWEEN trilogy, and part 4 in the HALLOWEEN series (timeline 3), is not what I expected. It’s not what anyone expected, or could’ve predicted. The trailers made it seem like they completely ran out of material. Oh yeah, Laurie fights Michael again. She already tried that in 2018 with 40 years of preparation, hidden weapons and a dungeon. She wanted to do it in HALLOWEEN KILLS but a riot started at the hospital, some asshole bumped into her and the staples on her knife wound tore open. But now it’s years later so she’s gonna do it spontaneously in her kitchen, looks like. Seems redundant.

Oh well. I had faith, because I’ve liked these movies, I like this director. And it paid off. That stuff is in the movie, but it works because it’s about so much more.

(You know I have to dig in deep with a new HALLOWEEN movie, so this is a HEAVY SPOILER REVIEW.)

The cold open takes place in Haddonfield on Halloween, 2019. A young man named Corey (Rohan Campbell, SANTA BABY 2: CHRISTMAS MAYBE) is called last minute to babysit for some rich couple. The kid (Jaxon Goldenberg) is a smartass. They watch John Carpenter’s THE THING together – an obvious but too-perfect-to-pass-up nod to watching THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD in Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN. Fears of Michael Myers are discussed. The kid points out that Michael kills babysitters, not kids. But Corey goes to the kitchen, hears a thump, comes back and can’t find the kid. The mansion is huge. A door is open. A knife is missing. The kid is screaming upstairs.

It’s an effective traditional stalking sequence, with the twist that the babysitter is male, and the not-huge surprise that the kid is pranking him, and locks him in the attic.

So now, of course, it’s The Boy Who Cried Shape. Michael Myers will show up for real, and— oh wait, no. Not at all. Instead Corey angrily kicks at the door to free himself, it pops open, hits the kid hard in the face, knocks him over a rail and he plummets between the many flights of stairs, splats on the floor and dies just as his parents walk in and see Corey looking down from above. Then it cuts to the title, in the HALLOWEEN III font.

It’s a shocking moment that I also took as dark humor, because it was the first real confirmation that I didn’t know what the fuck this movie was gonna be. And then after the opening credits sequence we find Corey a few years later, having proven at trial that it was an accident, but infamous in the town, a new boogeyman for Haddonfield while Michael Myers is missing. He’s one of the main characters but he’s not on the poster and if he was in the trailer I sure didn’t catch that he was gonna be this important. Hmm. Must be the season of the witch.

Yeah, don’t worry, this is also about Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, ROAD GAMES), who was cool but honestly kinda one-note in HALLOWEEN and HALLOWEEN KILLS, as the sort of T2-Sarah-Connor version of Laurie who has lived a life of paranoia and survivalism and carries on the legacy of Dr. Loomis by saying alot of lofty poetic shit about Evil. A beautiful thing about ENDS is that Laurie has changed – she gets to be happy! She’s been to therapy, stopped drinking, bought a new non-survivalist house, is trying not to let the tragedies define her life anymore. And doing a surprisingly good job of it, it seems. Hard to believe this is the same lady who said, “WE FIGHT! WE ALWAYS FIGHT!” to Tommy Doyle, and then he went and fought and he doesn’t always fight anymore because he’s dead. I think she actually learned from that!

The healthiest we’ve ever seen Laurie in a sequel was H20, but there she was still secretly chugging glasses of wine, being (by regular standards) overprotective of her son, and imagining The Shape in reflections. Here we get to see her actually make a go at being normal, even celebrating Halloween, trying to make a pie, be a fun grandma. She gets to laugh, joke around, be more like Jamie Lee Curtis. There’s even a whole scene just about her running into Frank (Will Patton, THE POSTMAN) at the grocery store and acting like the awkwardly flirtatious teen she probly would’ve been with Ben Tramer or somebody had she not been attacked that night in ’78. In KILLS we learned why Frank blames himself for Michael’s rampages and thinks he should be the one to kill him, but he, like Laurie, seems to be trying a different approach to life now.

Another lead who’s not on the poster is Laurie Strode’s granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). She’s important in the previous two movies but here she’s way more of a character and performance. She lives with Laurie, but she’s an adult now, working at the hospital. In these movies she’s lost both parents, her boyfriend and multiple friends, so yeah, she’s been going through some things (like she has a cop ex-boyfriend who’s a real piece of work and appears to be way older than her). But I like that she’s not the standard broody, dark kind of troubled. She’s a person who’s maybe making some bad and/or rash decisions, but seems fun to be around. She doesn’t take sad showers and look out windows, she invites a boy to a bar to get drunk and dance to Dead Kennedys, which is a better idea, I think.

A combination of happenstance and intentional matchmaking on Laurie’s part brings Corey and Alysson together. Laurie and Allyson meet him and know about his outcast status and instead of it being a strike against him they think maybe there’s a connection there. There’s some sincere young love melodrama a little bit like Green’s early film ALL THE REAL GIRLS. During the course of the movie Corey morphs from put-upon geek to angry rebel in what many have pointed to as an homage to Carpenter’s CHRISTINE, but I sensed more David Lynch as they drive around on a motorcycle at night and talk about wanting to burn the world down. Pretty soon Laurie starts to think oh shit, did I set up my granddaughter with The Evil? But she’s not too impulsive about it. She investigates, goes and meets his mom (Joanne Baron, who is in EYES OF LAURA MARS, written by John Carpenter!), talks to him about getting help. Well, also in the same scene she threatens him in a badass way and disappears like Michael and you wonder if he hallucinated it.

So how the fuck does Michael Myers fit into this? We find out surprisingly late in the movie, after another encounter with some teens Corey has an ongoing beef with (I love the very Green/Danny McBride touch that these bullies are in their school’s marching band). They knock him off of a bridge and leave him for dead, but suddenly a pair of hands pulls him through a pipe into a little cave where Michael has apparently been living since HALLOWEEN KILLS!

Seems like an homage to the beginning of HALLOWEEN 5, but coming in the middle of this in-some-ways-more-grounded story it feels like a thrillingly wild swerve. At the same time it feels very in control because of the way all the pieces have come together, with an earlier scene taking place on this same bridge, before the camera moved down below, giving us the feeling Michael must be down there, but taking its time confirming it.

I love this odd swirl of a more human, character-based HALLOWEEN and something more unhinged. Laurie and Allyson feel fuller, because they’re given more opportunities to do things besides react to Michael, but also they make some wild choices at times – Laurie slashing the marching band’s tires, and setting up her daughter with a weirdo, Allyson immediately falling hard for and pursuing said weirdo, noticing all the signs and choosing not to judge him anyway. It’s a movie that can and will be unreasonable, and you’re not sure how far it will take it, or where it might go. I believed Allyson could join in on the murders. I believed Laurie could commit suicide. My friend Suzy said she started to wonder if Laurie really would team up with Michael, as we joked before the movie when looking at the poster. It feels like Green is very in control, but also liable to take his hands off the steering wheel every once in a while just to see your reaction.

As much as I liked HALLOWEEN 2018, it was mostly what we expected, right? Maybe I’m remember wrong, but it seems like we found out about it and we saw the trailer and there were some choices made and everything but overall, the general plot and feeling of it ended up being pretty much what we figured they would be. KILLS also has a certain amount of that, though it threw people off by taking advantage of being a middle chapter to get epic about the town of Haddonfield, and operatic about the theme of evil, and mostly to dismantle macho notions of how to deal with problems. Everybody says all the cool movie character stuff that you say about the badass shit you’re gonna do, all of them fail, the character who represents the heart of the series is killed, and now in ENDS Laurie has strangers confronting her in public about the repercussions of her actions that night. There was no triumph in KILLS. The empire struck back.

So I love that although ENDS follows up on that stuff thematically and character-wise, it takes several big steps away from the normal slasher sequel path to something more unusual. I know there are many people mad that it goes 50% Season of the Witch by keeping Michael off screen for a while, but for me it works. And when he shows up he’s not just doing the same exact shit we just saw in the other two. Yeah, he’s still hard to kill and good at smashing heads, but he’s a little worn out and vulnerable, and just like Laurie he sees something he recognizes in Corey’s eyes. But he feels more positive about it. There’s an ambiguous montage that can be interpreted as some kind of supernatural transference of evil, but I’m gonna look the other way on that one. I say he just likes this kid and lets him lure him to places to kill certain people. And sometimes he tries to sorta show him the ropes, like Godzilla teaching Minilla to blow smoke rings.

That means when the outrageous kills do come many of them are not done by Michael – which, I didn’t know this but apparently it’s carved into stone somewhere that that’s illegal and ruins horror and is bad because that’s not what you do because I’m against it because the Bible and everything. Okay fine bud, I don’t go to your church though so leave me out of this. All I know is there’s a part where a radio personality (Keraun Harris) whose voice was the first we heard in the movie is killed on air and his tongue is cut off and left on top of a record that keeps spinning around and the needle repeatedly hits it and bounces over it, and if you can’t appreciate that then we’re just in a different sect of horror fandom is all.

(The first two Green HALLOWEENs challenged our enjoyment about this sort of thing by making even the most minor victims so likable – this one relents a little and makes many of them jerks.)

ENDS mostly feels very different from HALLOWEEN KILLS, but it continues one of the things I really liked about that one, which is its unusually detailed attention to the citizens of Haddonfield and the repercussions of the events of previous movies. For example we learn that one of the victims of the most upsetting scene in KILLS – Laurie’s drone-loving neighbor Sondra (Diva Tyler, Eastbound & Down), who was stabbed in the neck with a fluorescent light – actually survived, but can’t speak, and her family blames Laurie for riling Michael up. And I believe a woman briefly seen having hung herself was the mother of Oscar, Allyson’s friend who died in ’18, and then she found him in the morgue in KILLS.

There are things I wouldn’t have caught if I hadn’t just rewatched KILLS the night before. Like that cop Allyson dated, Officer Mulaney (Jesse C. Boyd, Hap & Leonard), can be inferred to be related to the trio of siblings bullying Lonnie in the ’78 flashback in KILLS. And there’s a shot in the same flashback where young Hawkins and his partner look out on the town and there’s this radio tower, which is a major location in ENDS. I sometimes miss the seat-of-your-pants, paint-yourself-into-a-corner method of old school franchise horror, where they would kill the bad guy and figure out later how to bring him back to fight a whole new set of characters you never saw before, often filmed in a whole different place. But here I really respect that they cared enough to build little details into the world of Haddonfield.

Although this trilogy shows a high degree of reverence for Carpenter’s original – bringing him on to do the score, mimicking and re-mimicking his credits sequence, imitating his style in KILLS’ ’78 flashback, using the fonts of the original three he produced, etc. – all three, and maybe this one most of all, have a texture, a sense of place and personality that’s all David Gordon Green. I notice it in all the minor characters – the unusual faces he casts, the quirks they get to show in the bits of their lives we see before the horror hits them. Even an asshole, like the marching band kid with the mullet (some singer called Marteen) is gonna be an interesting looking asshole you wonder about. They aren’t fodder, they’re unique individuals.

My favorite example in this one is Corey’s dad (Rick Moose, “Dying Mobster,” THE ACCOUNTANT). If one of the other HALLOWEEN sequels had a guy who looked like that in the cast he’d be playing some sleazy asshole who gets killed and kinda deserves it – here he’s one of the hardest deaths to take, despite being a pretty small character with limited screen time. I think at least a few people around here will agree with me about how much humanity we get just from seeing that he spends Halloween night in his cluttered little office at the junkyard with his cat, watching HARD TARGET with headphones on. (Which, my friend pointed out, his wife would never let him watch at home.)

I still like HALLOWEEN H20 and its perfect that’ll-do-pig ending where Laurie chops off [a paramedic she believes is] Michael Myers’ head, the end. ENDS obviously has to deal with the same issue – how do we kill this possibly supernatural guy so it seems final? – and the way they do it is alot of fun (and very disgusting), though it violates the trilogy’s usual Jedi-like rule that violent reactions (even retaliating against bullies at a convenience store) make everything worse. But I’ll allow it because ENDS is less about ending The Shape (who we all know will be back before long in some other timeline, from some other team of filmmakers) than about giving a happy ending to Laurie and to this version of Haddonfield. Yes, it’s ridiculous, but good ridiculous that they apparently see it as healing to gather at the junkyard and body pass Michael’s corpse into a grinder so they all can see with their own eyes that there’s no Boogeyman, there’s no Evil, the fucker is gone. It is so satisfying to see that characters I liked before, like Sondra, the sheriff (Omar Dorsey, DJANGO UNCHAINED), and Julian (Jibrail Nantambu, BODY CAM), that hilarious kid who had to see his babysitter get killed in the first one, are present for this. I suspect there may have been other faces in the crowd that I didn’t clock.

I don’t think horror movies need to have happy(ish) endings, but I really assumed Laurie and Lindsey (Kyle Richards, THE CAR, CURFEW) would both die, and it warmed my heart that they didn’t. I love that Lindsey doesn’t even get attacked! She’s just around to be a good friend (and serve drinks). Back when Curtis made the one genuinely terrible movie in the series, HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION, the idea was that it was important for her character to die in order to have her ending. David Gordon Green doesn’t play that shit! No, an ending for Laurie is allowing her a life beyond being the main character in HALLOWEEN. A life where she can stay in Haddonfield, or she can leave, and either decision wouldn’t have anything to do with fucking Michael Myers, who is in the past.

I love the final montage. It’s a series of shots inside Laurie and Allyson’s house, no people, just empty rooms on an ordinary day. It reflects the ending of Carpenter’s original, showing places near the house where Michael was shot and then disappeared, implying through sound and music that he could be anywhere, or that he is everywhere. The evil is not gone, it tells you.

So you see these similar shots here, but the music isn’t threatening, so you think it’s trying to get your guard down. You think okay, what’s the catch, what’s gonna jump out at me, what’s gonna put a scary drippy question mark after the “THE END”?

And then we see Michael’s burnt mask, left behind in the kitchen when they killed him! Scary, right? No. Actually it’s just sitting there on the coffee table. Nobody’s scared of it anymore. They’ve moved beyond it. Halloween ended. Maybe some of the decorations still have to be put away, but it’s November now. It’s beautiful.

You know, I’ve watched every HALLOWEEN movie multiple times, same with every FRIDAY THE 13TH, and every NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and every TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and every CHILD’S PLAY. I’ve seen the SLUMBER PARTY MASSACREs, and SLEEPAWAY CAMPs, and PROM NIGHTs, and SORORITY HOUSE MASSACREs, and SCREAMs, and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMERs. I’ve Slasher Searched so long the bottom of the barrel is practically clean. Many of those are movies I adore, a few are actual masterpieces, some are just shit I get a kick out of, some are total crap, many are something in between, but I enjoy the ritual of watching all of them. So I feel qualified to say that whatever you may think of this HALLOWEEN trilogy, Green and company have done something very unique here, delivering excellently on much of the basic stuff I want in a slasher movie, but also being unusually ambitious with sequel structure, attention to detail, attention to theme, and most importantly giving the trilogy a distinct personality and humanity. I’m not saying it’s the best, I’m just saying it’s unprecedented and special, and I appreciate it.

Lindsey, please pour Laurie a Shirley Temple, and let’s have a toast.

To Laurie and the girls – Happy Halloween, happy trails, I’m glad you three survived!

P.S.

suggested alternate titles: HALLOWEEN JR., HALLOWEEN & SON, THE HALLOWEEN’S APPRENTICE, HALLOWEENS, MY BOYFRIEND IS A HALLOWEEN

Or also NIGHT BLADE 3, which is the name of the limited holding company or whatever on the credits. Cool code name.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2022 at 7:36 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

60 Responses to “Halloween Ends”

  1. I’m really interested to hear what everybody thinks of this one because I don’t think it’s bad but I certaintly don’t think it’s good either. I find it interesting that they have all this continunity but also zero continunity that I wonder if they even remembered their own first Halloween movie. Anyway, Corey is a poorly written character with a poorly written love story with Laurie’s granddaughter. and I don’t think any of it works that well but they did try to do something different so I guess I’ll give it a pass.

  2. I’m overall positive but also more towards the middle on this one. I think the people who hate it just because it’s not doing the exact same thing the exact same way it’s been done 12 fuckin’ times before (exept for that one other time they didn’t get what they want and bitched about it until they decided actually it’s so underrated that they praised it until it became wildly overrated) are just a bunch of horror Karens who are gonna send any dish back to the kitchen if it uses spices they wouldn’t use at home. But I also think a lot of the people who are praising it for doing something different are overlooking the fact that a lot of its big swings absolutely do not connect, and it’s okay to be disappointed in that. Like, I got a kick out of Michael doing the Vulcan mind-meld on Mikey Jr. and passing on his unstoppable boogeyman powers, HALLOWEEN IV-style, but I also laughed at it. It’s ridiculous on its face, and made more so by the film’s insistence on something-passing-for-realism everywhere else. I could not tell you what I am supposed to get out Laurie moving on and then Michael only shows up to get his mask but Mikey Jr. tried to frame her for his own murder except he didn’t die but then Michael Sr. killed him even though he let him live before so I guess he’s taking his powers back except he doesn’t really have any powers because he’s just a man (who happened to survive without any medical care living in a sewer after getting stabbed and shot and burnt and hacked like 45 times)…? I’m willing to go with it because it’s not like I could think of a better way to “end” a story that by all rights can’t have an ending, but let’s not pretend any of this was particularly convincing. It really might have been better if Michael was just a hallucination like I assumed all the way up to the point where Alyson walked in and confirmed that it wasn’t just Laurie fighting with herself. This is the kind of movie where you’re constantly expecting SOMEONE to be a hallucination. Some Donald Kaufman shit. They didn’t go that way, and yeah, it gives the movie an admirably unhinged, don’t-know-what-to-expect quality…but I’ve seen incompetent pieces of shit made by utter amateurs that deliver that same quality accidentally. I’m not 100% certain it’s a feature and not a bug here. A lot of the wild swerves in this thing could simply be the result of a story that does not mesh overall but engenders a lot of audience goodwill because of the quality of its individual elements. It’s an interesting movie, for sure, but I don’t know if I’m willing to call it a good one. That’s between you and your own personal Celtic death god.

    But, you know, it’s the 13th movie in a series about a guy who likes stabbing babysitters for no reason. Interesting is probably as good as we’re gonna get. I’ll allow it.

  3. I disliked the 2018 Halloween and Kills in equal measure but I feel like I owe David Gordon Green an apology after this one. He’s still there, he’s still got his fastball, because people don’t really tend to lose it, their interests may just take them elsewhere. I don’t really have room for slasher movies in my life anymore; I’ll always love horror but I don’t like seeing people get murdered. So for Green to step back and take time to clarify what he was going for with his previous films in this series, now made plainly clear for the people like myself who weren’t willing to listen, is the noteworthy thing to me. The exact manner in which he pulled it off is remarkable.

    This film understands that we’re all terrified and in pain with no clear way to process it, and dedicates its full runtime to a direct appeal for radical empathy. Kills was saying the exact same thing, it was just a lot louder and redder about it. Not only are those both valid approaches, but Green argues that they’re both vital for the health of the genre, to provide a more robust palette. Sometimes the world feels like a Halloween Kills and sometimes it doesn’t.

    Allyson and Corey are both characters who have been made to feel aggrieved, small, with no control of the circumstances they’ve found themselves in. Their run-in with the radio DJ feels like kind of the Rosetta Stone here. I listened to one of my regular podcasts last night and whereas I normally just find the customary bits in which the hosts go after the red hat types to be tiresome, it hit my ear differently this time.

    So little was I invested in Kills while I was watching it that the optics of the two prolonged scenes in which Michael Myers murders interracial and gay couples totally passed me by, but it resonates pretty clearly now. If we can accept that movie killers are Bad Guys engaging in Bad Acts, then I think we can accept that the boogeyman embodiment of evil is a bigot. There are a lot of Coreys here in our world, waiting for the push that will send them down one of two paths.

  4. I really liked it overall, but yeah, there are some sticking points and mixed signals in what it’s trying to do.

    As mentioned by Maj, the “just a man, except clearly he’s not” stuff. Or how there’s a whole thing about getting past stuff and not letting Evil consume you, but Corey doesn’t get that, he gets the contrived “being forced to kill someone in self defence unlocks his inner murderer” thing. I think they made him far too sympathetic and likeable at the start for me to be full onboard with the switch, but the actor does a great job of playing that side, even if they do the well worn thing of him losing is glasses turns him into a bad boy with brooding sexual magnetism. I think his performance as Michael 2.0 is pretty respectful to what makes OG Michael scary, he just now has a bit of Anime Villain type energy with his apparent super speed and youthfulness.
    I would have liked more of an exploration on the rising dramatic murder rate in Haddonfield that’s touched on. I do like the ending for its finality, but I also have to say that I think in this world, there’d be people who wouldn’t accept it. There’s be Michael Truthers who’d accuse the grinder disposal of being a big hoax by the local Government to calm the populace down and clear Laurie’s reputation.

    I also have to nitpick and ask…how exactly did Laurie rile up/taunt Michael like they’re saying? Yeah, she spends 40 years being paranoid about him and ranting to family and friends, but from what I remember she doesn’t directly interact with him in 2018 until he actually goes to her house and tries to kill her. Really, these people should blame the Haddonfield Fire Department for fucking up her deathtrap.

    “The kid points out that Michael kills babysitters, not kids”
    Did no one tell him about that kid Michael neck snaps in the first one?

  5. I accepted the stuff about the townsfolk blaming Laurie for the massacre even though all she did was stay in her murdercabin and mind her own fucking business, because the townsfolk of Haddonfield have proven themselves to be hysterical, reactionary, and massively ill-informed about basically everything. I can see why Michael likes murdering them so much.

  6. Great review as I expected. I need to watch it again. Including this one I enjoy every Halloween movie except Resurrection which I would never allow in to my home except I did finally because it was on a Blu-ray with H2O and I wanted that. Sorry I don’t have much to add beside that. I’m going to watch it again soon and I am sorry about the negativity yesterday. I mostly try to be positive.

  7. I’m glad to see fans on the same page as myself in that “it wasn’t good, but at least it was something different.” They had the balls to try and fulfill some of the promise of Halloween 4. They knew that fans who wanted Halloween 2018 over and over again weren’t going to like it anyway so let’s give them something they REALLY won’t like! They took some swings that Hellraiser should have (this movie was somehow way hornier and gayer than that one?!) and even though a lot didn’t pay off – kudos to them. My only note is that the rooms of the house shown at the end should have also been filled Jaimie and her family and friends. Do a complete 180 from the closing scene in the original. Oh, and after Corey and Michael killed that doctor, it should have been those two riding away on Corey’s motorcycle.

    But I was thinking more about it and, if you watch bits and pieces of this trilogy in reverse order, you actually get closer to the standard trilogy fans were expecting but a far less satisfying conclusion for Laurie.

  8. When this ended, I thought it was an interesting mess, but the more I think about it, the more I like Ends. I love that as an audience member, I didn’t really know what to make of Corey. In fact, I still don’t really know what to make of him, exactly. I suppose that’s the point.

    But, more importantly, Laurie Strode both understands but misreads this character, which, for me, is perhaps the most interesting choice the film made. If anyone else, and I mean basically any other human on the planet, had made this movie, then this would have been a simple “Grandmother May I Sleep with Danger” storyline, and we’d get Strode trying to keep Allyson away from Corey the entire film rather than introduce them. That just doesn’t happen in movies, whatever the genre. The old, wizened character is supposed to have all the answers, and it’s the young characters who go off half-baked without listening to their more knowledgeable elders.

    And it’s not like Laurie fucked up either. Corey is a damaged kid who could very well have pulled through. His psychic mind-meld with Michael Myers wasn’t inevitable.

  9. Yeah, I don’t know. I dug the 2018 Halloween. I’ve seen it twice since and feel like it holds up pretty well. I haven’t revisited Kills and maybe I will at some point but it just felt like some kind of sprint to kill as many people as possible while at the same time running in place, and ending up metaphorically just a few inches from where it began after 2 hours. The end effect was of something disjointed and almost made up as they went along, like some kind of slasher improv, with the Michael Myers spree and the town hysteria mashed together from two different films about one Halloween night that feels like it’s 16 hours long…apparently someone can be brought in for significant surgery at least several hours after sundown and get through that and be in recovery all before midnight.

    Ends is the flip side, it feels like they really had some ambitious ideas but could only get a few of them to connect. As other commenters have said…Michael hanging out in the pipe and then dragging Corey in for some reason and then realizing he was a killer too and they should be pals was…weird. The “Michael’s been hiding out in the sewer” for 4 years was weird too, although I at one point saw a big “MISSING” billboard in the background and took that to mean Michael’s been up to killings all along, maybe. I didn’t buy the romance angle.

    But it’s definitely different, I’ll give it that.

  10. I wonder if they should have started the Corey storyline in part 2018?

  11. I’m also in the “I respect that it tried something, but it doesn’t quite work” camp. Both its haters and champions (on the greater wide web, not here) are perhaps overstating their position. I dig the filmmaker’s effort to incorporate the style of his early indie youth films to this, but after the promising first act, once Corey and Myers meet, the film loses itself in unresolved threads and uncommitted “themes” and doesn’t recover. The script has problems, yo. It’s kind of curious as an object – Vern’s right that in regarding slasher sequels, this one’s going to stand out – but I didn’t find it compelling in practice.

  12. Halloween Ends worked for me in all the ways Kills didn’t. Mainly because the scope was narrowed back down from “epic” to normal slasher movie levels and the killer(s) got to strike from the shadows at unsuspecting victims, instead of mowing down mobs of not-unsuspecting people who should know better than to get within melee distance to a knife-wielding maniac. Yay, the movie cleared the lowest possible bar for a slasher movie! Seriously though, I know I’m probably too preoccupied with the logistics and the blocking in these movies, but I’m here to tell you I genuinely enjoyed the curveballs this movie was throwing. And the movie was mercifully light on obnoxiously quirky characters. That record player kill is an instant classic. Thumbs up from me.

  13. I really found this one just sorta’… boring, I guess. I do appreciate some of their attempts to do something a little different, a little less expected. But I felt that it just utterly lacked any sense of suspense or real scares. I generally don’t get truly scared by most horror movies these days, but I usually can get into the suspense or recognize that something might truly frighten some viewers even though it may not be scary to me after seeing approximately one billion slasher films. But this one just didn’t seem to have any of that. I do give credit where due to the DJ killing though. That tongue on the record was probably the only detail I’ll remember from this one in the long run

  14. I assume we’re going full SPOILERS here, but, fair warning— SPOILERS below!

    This is probably my favorite of the David Gordon ‘Weens (HalloGreens?), because even though I didn’t think it was very good, I did find it fascinating, and I appreciate all the weird swings, even if I don’t love them. It honestly felt like anything could happen at any moment.

    I don’t think a single character makes one reasonable choice the whole time, except maybe Sheriff Will Patton deciding to take Japanese lessons. I get they’ve all been extremely traumatized, but their actions and decisions seem so alien. So Laurie Strode was attacked by Michael in 1978 and became a super paranoid militant recluse for 40 years despite knowing he was locked up, but four years ago nearly everyone she knew, including her own daughter, were killed by this guy, *and* he’s still on the loose, and now she’s a cool grandma trying to live a normal life? (I guess the ending of the KILLS unrated cut is non-canonical.) I don’t buy it, though at least they give Jamie Lee Curtis more facets to play in this one. But can anyone explain the bizarre fake 911 suicide call scheme to me?

    I actually like how weird the whole Corey story is, though I’m worried the movie gives too much credence to the “you called me a Nazi so I may as well become a Nazi” crowd, by playing down the possibility that Corey was always bad, and not just a victim of circumstances or society. I didn’t peg any mystical transference of Shape mojo from Michael, I just figured he recognized something unknowable deep inside Corey that he felt was worth exploring. Corey has a decent run as The Shape but his humanity gets the best of him. Either way, I think Allyson can do better.

    The ending where they crucify Michael with kitchen knives (and also pierce his side) and then chuck him into an industrial grinder to die for Haddonfield’s sins is certainly… interesting. I would be curious about a version where it turns out Michael was dead in the sewer the whole movie and it’s Corey they’re grinding, under false pretenses, to assuage Haddonfield’s fears. That would probably piss off the fans even more, but might also feel truer.

    I like how the nurse Dr. Mathis was banging still calls him “Dr. Mathis” in private.

    As for how they will inevitably keep this franchise going, I’d like to pitch HALLOWEEN BEGINS (a prequel where we see Loomis give driving lessons to Teen Michael), HALLOWEEN REVISITED (where someone from the future time-travels to 1978 to prevent all this from happening but causes all the timeline shenanigans the franchise has undergone), and FRIDAY THE 31st: JASON VS MICHAEL.

  15. I don’t begrudge anyone this doesn’t work for, but I think many are overlooking the significance of the pretitle sequence. SPOILERS below:

    I’ve often felt people don’t appreciate how fucking dangerous things can get when people fuck around. They say, “Oh lighten up, Fred. They’re just goofing off. Live a little.” But kids can be little shits and create situations that escalate far beyond their intention.

    So maybe pushing a kid off a third story balcony in front of his parents is a little dramatic, but how many idiots think they’re ok to drive because they only drank beer? Or we’ve discussed in other threads kids who died on camping trips slipping and falling into water. People can end up quadriplegic because they dive into a shallow lake and break their necks.

    I don’t think it’s LIKELY that busting down a locked attic door will usually lead to manslaughter, but there are a lot more risks out there than people ever want to acknowledge. We literally lived through three years where people refused to wear masks and took horse tranquilizer instead of prescribed vaccines.

    So yeah, poor Corey bears the trauma of the responsibility the kid put him and all the adults’ bullshit like it’s not hard enough to live with having done that. That, to me, feels very Halloween in a more thematic way than Season of the Witch did, even if it never connected with Michael Myers. But also having Michael pick his moments was effective.

    I also appreciated when he killed himself to frame Laurie. There are lots of things in life you witness that nobody else will ever believe, not even your loved ones. So you have to live with everyone’s false perception of you and knowing there’s no interest in your truth. That’s truly evil and if Michael hadn’t shown back up he’d have driven the permanent wedge between Laurie and Allyson.

  16. Turns out the true evil was horseplay all along.

    Seriously, though, those quick little moments that lead to big lifelong tragedies scare the crap out of me. These things happen and there’s no taking them back. I never met my dad, for instance, because somebody hit their brakes a second too late. This is something that haunts me. I also have a temper that can come out over some pretty dumb stuff, and my biggest fear is to ruin my (or worse, someone else’s) life over a single moment of unconsidered rage. I have my doubts about the physics of that kid flipping over that railing, but it the idea of the scene kinda creeped me out.

  17. Good review. I loved this one as I didn’t know where it was going. I liked how it went again the obvious possible nihilistic and bloody conclusion expectations and had an emotional stake in the murder and even in the killer.

    Seeing it and its reaction reminded me of the release of Exorcist 3, where most people expected one thing, hated the film (with a few of us people loving it) and then a few years later the tide started to turn.

  18. (I posted my main thoughts in the HALLOWEEN KILLS thread, I may copy and paste them here sometime, but I still have plenty of tedious ponderings to put here I’m afraid)

    (SPOILERS, natch)

    We all know there are films that are big popular and at least moderate critical hits, but that get some kind of stink on them in fashionable places and you start to feel like you’re dumb or otherwise noxious in some way if you like it, and I’m starting to realise there the flipside too; films that are critical and popular shrugs but which get such an insistent following that you feel like some kind of fool for not being part of it. Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN 2 is in that category for me, and ENDS is gearing up to be in the same category. Not that I hated this, which is part of the problem, as I wish I loved or hated this, instead it’s a “it’s kindaaaaaaa good, buuuuutttttt…”

    My main thing is I don’t think this is as big a “swing” as people are saying. It’s not SEASON OF THE WITCH (although they probably didn’t realise that was such a swing when they made it). It’s not a full genre shift, as I’ve seen suggested. Break down the Corey plot on its own; a young pariah who may or may not be bad already is chased by some bullies into an enclave where he meets, of all people, Michael Myers. Myers seems to possess him, maybe. At any rate Corey starts killing and starts to like it. He confronts Myers and takes his iconography for himself while continuing his spree. But Myers kills Corey and gets back to his old ways. If this had been the basis for a HALLOWEEN sequel, independent of the Laurie stuff, in say 1997 or 2005 or 2012 do you think it would seem bold and brilliant, or would it seem like a fairly standard slasher sequel once they’ve passed a certain number and need to find a slightly strained way to keep it going? I think the latter. The main thing that makes it a swing is that it’s not the film the trailers suggested it was, and that cat is out of the bag now.

    Now you might say if this had been made at any of those other times, it likely wouldn’t have been made by someone like David Gordon Green and it probably wouldn’t have been as good and, yeah, while me disagree on quite how good, I’d agree with that. There are some truly great moments here.

    The more I think about it there was very little truly new left to do when they started this new trilogy. Bring Laurie back to kill Michael once and for all? Done. Have Michael Kill Laurie? Done. Bring in more supernatural elements? Done. A more brutal, nihilistic foulmouthed take? Done. There are elements of all in the three films, and at this point, how could there not be? The only thing they could have done that would have been somewhat new was do 2018 as a true full stop, one and done, Laurie’s back, Michael’s dead, no more. But that was never going to happen with a successful movie in 2018, and even if they it did, the next reboot would have been greenlit by know. Ultimately, I’m glad they didn’t, because even if I didn’t like KILLS and ENDS to the extent that I do, which is to say, kind of, I still would have the experience of looking forward to them and, yes, discussing them afterwards. So, I would have liked to like them a little more, but it’s been fun.

  19. That’s a good point. The Corey plot is basically FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW CHAPTER treated like a character study instead of a braindead whodunnit.

  20. * A NEW BEGINNING

    I am ashamed of this error.

  21. How much did they pay you to give a positive review

  22. I liked how at one point you weren’t sure if the movie was going to go all NATURAL BORN KILLERS on us, as a nod back to Allyson and her boyfriend dressing up as Bonnie and Clyde in the 2018 film. Good movie. I really enjoyed it.

  23. It cracked me up that Michael kills a couple with his little scarecrow buddy. And it cracked me up that he and his little guy sumo wrestle in the sewer and the buddy wins a steals his mask and taunts him on the way out “You’re just an old man!” Lol. Poor Michael. He’s been through some shit. Even evil has to heal.

  24. It’s funny that I’ve seen a lot of debate about Ends as a good movie versus Ends as a good Halloween movie (versus even Ends as a good Michael Myers movie, as if that’s separate from the Halloween franchise in this day and age). Usually, that’d be a kinda suspect splitting-of-hairs to me, but when the story is over and done with in 2018 and you say “no, no, we have such an EPIC SAGA that you have to watch two more movies to get the entire story!”, and then those two other stories basically arrive at the same conclusion… really, this reminds me of the Star Wars sequels in how one movie is continually contradicting another movie, only they’re all in the same trilogy from the same team. It’d like they only have enough material for 1.25 movies and they tried desperately to stretch that out into a trilogy because, I don’t know, that’s how many movies they had Jamie Lee contracted for.

    Ok, that was long-winded. Let’s move on. When I watched Kills–which now seems like a plotless speed-run of all the Halloween sequels they *just* decanonized to make Michael Myers a legendary figure in-universe again–I didn’t take the ending as “they almost got Michael, they just needed to hit him a little harder!” I took the montage of him killing dozens of people at a time and the characters discussing how he was an unkillable murder machine as, y’know, him being an unkillable murder machine. Fast-forward to one movie later. Now he’s weak as a kitten, “just an old man who’s about to stop breathing.” And yeah, it turns out all you need to do to ‘kill evil’ is stab him a bunch.

    I thought the whole point of Ends was that wouldn’t work. Why would you make a trilogy where the second movie is not only pointless, but its theme is actively contradicted by the very next movie?

    Oh, but it turns out he needs to feed on evil or on killing people or on fear or something. Literally, like a video game character. We see him power up on screen. If this makes him an unstoppable killing machine, why has he stopped killing people? Or has Haddonfield stopped being full of hateful jerks (signs point to no)? It doesn’t make sense. He should be more powerful than ever. Why make a trilogy where he goes from being more powerful than ever to being *weaker* than ever?

    But fine. Forget all the ads that are giant pictures of Jamie Lee Curtis (who has gotten bored of acting and just wants to play herself as a happy-go-lucky retiree, even though the cliffhanger ending of the last movie was her daughter’s brutal murder and her vowing revenge) and the Shape…

    The real main character is Corey. And I kept an open mind. I enjoyed his character. I wanted to see how his arc paid off. But, big swing/no connection. There’s no point to his subplot except to kill time until the movie is feature-length and we can get on with the title match. All he accomplishes is to estrange Laurie and Alyson for five minutes. He’s supposed to be Alyson’s personal Michael Myers, yet there’s no big confrontation between them. Your premise is “the new Final Girl’s fucking the slasher” and we don’t even see her find this out on screen!

    And, you know, if we’re going to decanonize Halloween 2 because Laurie being Michael’s sister is ‘so dumb’… why make a new Michael Myers that has a personal connection to *all his victims*? That is in love with the next generation Final Girl? Everyone agrees the big weakness of ’18 was the elaborate shenanigans to get Michael to confront Laurie when he supposedly doesn’t give a shit about her–these shenanigans are even more elaborate! And they amount to “Michael wants his mask back.”

    Why not have Laurie hunting Michael? Why not cut Kills out of the trilogy altogether and just have Corey seeing the ghost of Michael Myers? It at least would’ve been commitment to bit. But spending an hour and a half on one character just to declare that actually, he’s totally unimportant, here’s Laurie Vs. Michael round 15… not good storytelling.

  25. Also, for this movie to even marginally work, you have to pretend it takes place in a universe where it’s highly illegal for anyone to move away from Haddonfield, Illinois, even when there’s a serial killer on the loose and you’re being blamed by the town at large for multiple murders/child murder. Like, what would you be missing out on? I don’t think they even have an IMAX theater.

    Really elevates H20 in hindsight, since Laurie actually tried just moving away and changing her name. And she didn’t turn into T2 Linda Hamilton over being terrorized by a murderer for twenty minutes once forty years ago.

  26. Jeff – I thought the contract said $2,500 but I didn’t realize it was in a crypto currency called JeffCoin so now I owe them six million for wasting their time and had to give them the house I got from liking THE LONE RANGER.

    Gavolt – I didn’t think about the Bonnie and Clyde connection. Good catch. I love that.

  27. As I’ve mentioned before I’m still not a big horror fan. But after reviewing all the HALLOWEENS for my own sight, I’ve become a fan of this particular franchise. With the exception of RESURRECTION. Can’t wait to see ENDS. That the movie pisses off a lot of people is always a good sign. Love how it sounds like Green and McBride has paid hommage to III by going slightly in a different direction.

  28. I’m not the Jeff who left the snarky comment, Vern, different guy.

    This one lost me when the bullies were the marching band nerds. Who gets bullied by the marching band?

  29. @Kaplan. -“Why not have Laurie hunting Michael?”

    I always thought this is what should have been the driving force behind Halloween 2018 (and apparently was in early test screenings of the movie until it was widely rejected by the audience). A traumatized Laurie causes the bus crash that frees Michael Myers, only it turns out he doesn’t remember her or care. Laurie then has to reconcile what everyone around her was saying. That he’s just a dude who killed a few of her friends back in 1978. He’s not some supernatural force that haunts the town. But now there’s blood on her hands so she has to kill him. Boom, a one and done movie.

  30. So this is probably overthinking things a little (lot) and has probably already been noted by more perceptive people but now that Green’s trilogy is finished I found it interesting how each lines up the original Halloween 1-3 yet subverts at least some piece of those, and maybe I’m just seeking out patterns in nothingness and it’s all accidental. But:

    Halloween – Michael escapes from confinement and goes on a killing spree, but in 2018 vs. 1978 Laurie is a consequence of his actions, not the target of them

    Halloween II and Kills – Michael continues at large; a big part of the movie takes place in the hospital; Laurie spends a lot of time bedridden. But in Kills, unlike II, Michael never goes near the place. (Without re-watching Kills I believe there’s a scene where Michael gets a kitchen knife that’s almost completely a recreation of where he gets the knife early in II)

    Halloween III and Ends – plot takes a detour that doesn’t involve Michael at all; in Ends unlike Witch he does return, just in a diminished capacity, and is largely a fringe character for most of the movie. Plus the Ends titles use the Season of the Witch font.

    Maybe not as interesting now that I type it out but I have to think there was at least some intent by the filmmakers to sort of “What-If?” the Halloween universe established in the original 3 movies.

  31. I still don’t think the continuity of themes is that strong between the four movies even if there is a good amount attention to detail. Even what Michael is changes from movie to movie.

  32. Tom – Yeah, I think that’s absolutely intentional. It’s subtle but HALLOWEEN 2 also has a different font from the first one, which they carried into KILLS. And yes, both II and KILLS continue from the same night as their predecessor.

  33. Any GEORGE WASHINGTON fans around this digital place? It’s a “top ten” movie for me, maybe it’d get even be in my tidy, satisfying Letterboxd poster gallery, if I had one of those shits.

    It contains real tension, fear, weirdness and intensity – I’d recommend it to anyone, particularly those who enjoy the works of David Growin’ Green.

    SPOILER for George Washington – the way this young girl says “Anyway, back to my story.” is one of the funniest line readings anywhere, ever, in an medium involving speech. It was a regularly said catch phrase among a friend and I many years ago, though you gotta hear how it’s said to understand when it should be utilized.

    Looking forward to getting out of this medical care center so I can freely take Hollywood’s calls for myself to direct the DTV sequel GEORGE WASHINGTON 2: RETURN OF DAMASCUS and to showrun and draw model sheets for GEORGE WASHINGTON AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS.

  34. Get well soon, A.L.F.

  35. Any GEORGE WASHINGTON fans around this digital place?

    I went into George Washington pretty cold (at the time, I was working in the Cable building. So going to the Angelica was a matter of taking the elevator to the basement), and it destroyed me. There was a puddle under my seat, people were slipping as they tried to pass me. It was embarrassing…

    Anyway, it took me a good couple minutes to regain my composure. And when I’m finally able to go outside, and I run smack into an ex. The kind of ex you want to run into whilst arm in arm with a supermodel en route to Monaco, except I had obviously just been bawling while attending a movie by myself…

  36. Looks like GEORGE WASHINGTON is on freeve so I’ll give it (with ads!) a look.

    It occurs to me I’ve never actually seen any of the early films DGG made his name with. I have the ALL THE REAL GIRLS on DVD, but I haven’t watched it. I’ve seen most of his left turns into deplorable territory, I’ve seen his “return to form” JOE, but I never saw the original form.

    A guy on a way less cool site I used to hang at who was a big fan of noted Jason Derulo stan Terrence Malick used to complain about DGG totally Marillion Grendel-ing Malick’s Genesis Supper’s Ready if you catch my drift. Or if you don’t the old DePalma/Hitchcock argument, or even at times the Paul-Not-Wii-Sports-Anderson/Altman argument. But unlike Hitchcock or Altman, at the time Malick had only made four films in 35 years; wouldn’t you be happy to have a little more of that thing you like out in the world?

    I guess that’s kind of how I feel about HALLOWEEN ENDS now I think about it. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as clever or special as its strongest advocates think it is, but it’s still more of that thing I like, and even if we’ve had quite a bit of it we don’t get it every month.

  37. I love George Washington, and I think there’s a lot of it in the warmth and detail Green has imbued in (some of) Haddonfield’s characters along this series.
    Unfortunately, and this is unfair, Your Highness and his whole perceived stoner persona also colours my opinion of his Halloweens. I mean, they are tightly controlled and sometimes obsessive in their buildup of detail (mostly regarding characters)… but I can so imagine Gordon Green and McBride in a cloud of smoke going “Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this?” “Duuuuuude!”. The wild swings and reversals and inconsistencies and dropped threads make a lot more sense to me that way, as do the alternatively deep and shallow meditations on eeeeeeevilllllll.

    So yeah, it’s got a lot of problems, but I did like Ends a lot; overall I think I prefer Kills, which was weirder and more ambitious in a way that appealed more to me, but it’s still a good capper to what I thought was an often clumsy but otherwise pretty great trilogy of sequels.
    Loved the ending montage followed by the ending title card (emphasis on Ends!, so fittingly on the nose for the series, but also very effective), the fact that yet again gun use goes horribly wrong, and the record-skipping tongue. My main issue with this one was actually the love story – despite liking the two characters involved, their whole relationship did not feel grounded, natural or relatable to me at all.

  38. Unlike the last piece of shit this one at least felt like a movie I give it that. Overall though it was a very boring episode of Twin Peaks with HALLOWEEN elements sprinkled in. All the victims being douchebags probably felt fine for those into revenge porn; but to me it just felt cynical as fuck in a way that had absolutely no charm within the confines of the horror genre. It wasn’t the same level of obnoxious as the pricks in a Jason movie it was too self aware of it’s meanness to be any schlocky fun. Then in that vein the one character who deserved an on screen death didn’t even get one. Plus you make us go through all that with the new conceit for basically nothing. Just like FRIDAY THE 13TH PT. A NEW BEGINNING in the end it didn’t have the guts to really go through with things and style on the fanbase going forward. It just felt like a pointless whole lot of nothing cause unlike that 5th “Jason” movie it didn’t even really have any fun kills. It just felt like a real waste of time with a whole bunch of nothing to really say. Plus that poor guy didn’t even get to finish watching HARD TARGET. Foul business.

  39. Thank you, Franchise Fred, that really means a lot. I’ve kept your very kind wishes in mind during a day with some weird/disheartening moments – it carried positivity throughout the crud. My bones have healed a lot since a month ago, so at least there’s that, and that’s a lot more than just something. The trauma is intermittently manageable and I’m thinking of new approaches for dealing with it, thanks to some real good advice from a cool dude. Still worried about the loom(is)ing homelessness, but eh, whatever, same old story same old song and dance my friend, as I believe it was said by Samuel Butler.

    Jojo, the humanity and “of all the people…” of your reply were both awesome, one of those New Yuck City moments that I’ve spent a decade avoiding. As far as I’m concerned, having a sensibly devestated emotional response to a work like GEORGE WASHINGTON (despite being in both your building of employment and the most train-noisest movie theater ever) is the ultimate in glamour, particularly as it is an absolute fact that the two most glamorous things possible are caring about others and feeling lonely. “Yachts on the reg” my ass, whatever. Thank you for one of the best comments I’ve ever read on this or any place of internety conversation.

    I had involvement with someone who I’d actually shown GEORGE WASHINGTON to that took an actively, personally hostile reaction to it in ways I will let dissapate without specific articulation. It was weird and gross and hateful to several people with some serious active and underlying problems, way more than just disliking a movie. At the time of this writing, said person has deflected to the “Aging Garage and LoFi Rock Hipsters Who Are Actively Supportive of Al** Jo**s” portion of, uh, creatures with opposable thumbs and the ability of speech. Not surprising, in retrospect, that she’d have had such a weird, negative response to a work about vunerable children. I hope her politics change, and that the family connections to a profession that are going to sort of always land her in political territory that is not my own can exist without there being so few degrees from her and a person who, you know, supports the torturous exploitation of parents of slain children.

    Another woman I’d had involvement with was one that established a closeness to myself of understanding and appreciation for each other as writers after our first date, when I’d sent her two of my screenwriting efforts – one about troubled, weird children in the 90s, and one in part about the results of homophobia among queer people, both very autobiographical. Towards the end of her life, she wrote a very beautiful screenplay about a troubled, weird child from her own life’s perspective. I thank GEORGE WASHINGTON for inspiring me to write something that brought about a brief time of nervously dating which quickly rerouted towards the friendship with the person I was and am the most honored to have known, and that I say with way more amazement than arrogance was slightly an influence on her work, the ultimate slam dunk bullseye gold medal kids’ choice award of all time. I hope her family can eventually make that movie, her instructions were perfectly, communicatively distinct and her people knew her really well. It is a corker, the best writing there is.

    Pac, my dude, I look forward to hearing your eventual thoughts on GEORGE WASHINGTON and appreciate your casual refs to some of Tacklin’ Terry’s most awesome fandoms. It is worth noting that that fifth Malick had a major theme of tenderness and pain during an awkward childhood that isn’t so much there in his earlier efforts, Linda Manz and all.

    Tone being a basis is a much different thing than pilfered content – I definitely speak “in” others’ voices constantly, but think it’s somewhat permissable because what I’m saying at any given time are the facts of myself, much as my permainfluences’ works are about who they are as people, not the foundation given by, um, Ditko/Nabokov and, uh, Westlake/Hooper. Or whatever, you know what I’m saying.

    Way back in summer ’08 I saw a very pink-hued print of THE GRAVY TRAIN during this David Gordon Green Selects series at BAM, and recall DGG saying something or other about casually asking Malick about that movie. I can’t remember the antecdote itself, but it’s nice to know that they are legit boys.

    Dreadguacamole, I am happy to know you are part of the GWASH crew, but I’m even happier that you speak critically without being, you know, a stick in the mud, meanie, grandstander, trend friend or jagazz like the rest of the internet. I know my internet skills are awkward and one is not supposed to do this as often as I do, but I always enjoy reading your comments here. It’s important to recognize special things while they are occuring, and something real cool has been occuring here for quite a while.

    This doesn’t have shit to do with the Shape or even Silver Shamrock – I’ve never actually seen a Greenoween, or any his weed movies neither. I have a bunch of dumb jokes about weed and things I’ve watched on recuperation center TCM that I may post hilarious ass jokes about the near future while mulling over a horror adaptation of my own, initially a comic that I’d started work on in 2016. They are going to have to invent all sorts of new terms for this one, gang, just you wait. I’d just get a Letterboxd or Twitter or whatever like you’re supposed to do, but feh, this is the only place I wish to write online.

    Thank you all for tolerating my annoying ass diversions, I will try to be more on topic soon. This is a nice place to be and although not IRL, I still find this community to be a very legit type of real – because thought and consideration are the realest. Thanks for helping me through lots of disheartening days, including this one. I wish I had started posting comments years before I did, back when I went to see the new movies and that sorta thing.

    That Lana Wachowski/Barker article is so good, I’d recommend it to anyone with a dollar or more’s worth of jingles jangling.

    You know what rules is the part in SONG TO SONG where Val Kilmer shaves his head onstage.

  40. and things I’ve watched on recuperation center TCM

    Wait, they have TCM???
    I know this may sound weird, but you’re in an okay place, all things considered…

    (in case you haven’t noticed, while TCM used to be a part of basic-ass cable, their new stewards of Discovery/Warner have decided since it’s commercial-free, it doesn’t make money. So they knocked it way, way, way, WAY down in the cable tiers. Seriously, I haven’t been in a hotel, motel, hospital, old age home with TCM in at least seven years. In fact, a couple years ago I had to stay in a smallish city for four or five days. I called every hotel/motel/b&b in the area to see if any had TCM. None did.)

  41. Glad to know you’re getting at least a little better ALF. Take care.

  42. Hypothetical for everyone:

    Michael Myers shuffles off into the sewers and succumbs to his wounds from KILLS (thus definitively answering the “natural or supernatural” question). Corey finds the body four years later and, insane, believes it’s alive and in league with him. Corey thus takes up the mantle and begins a killing spree, all the while coming to realize that Laurie will always stand in the way of him and Allyson, and must be dispatched. Corey in the mask has a final showdown with Laurie, who’s learned what’s happened and, victorious, destroys both Corey’s body and Michael’s mummified corpse, ridding the town of evil and its legacy for good. (The “Michael was dead all along” reveal for the audience happens around the end of Act Two.)

    Do we think this is what the filmmakers intended, but someone(s) chickened out along the way and asserted, “Nah, we NEED literal Michael in a final showdown with literal Laurie”? I just can’t shake the idea that EVERYTHING makes much more sense in the 1.0 version above, but the powers that be couldn’t allow it.

    Thoughts?

  43. I agree. Like I said above, I was like 90% sure Michael was just a hallucination until pretty much the very end. The story certainly doesn’t seem to be structured to be leading toward a literal mano y mano fight between Laurie and Michael at the end. But I suspect everyone would hate that approach even more, so I can’t blame the filmmakers for not going that route.

  44. Well, you’d still have the problem of Kills setting up an invulnerable Michael, because as I said, I really didn’t think the takeaway from that movie was “you *can* kill Michael with enough physical force, they just didn’t quite pound on him hard enough”. But if Michael died at the end of H40 and we went straight from there into Ends, sure.

    Also, you’d need to tweak things for a ‘dead all along’ Michael, because I couldn’t buy Corey being so far gone to begin with that he’s immediately hallucinating Michael Myers and killing people. I liked that ‘slippery slope’ arc where he goes from covering his own ass to actively hunting people.

  45. Jojo, there was nothing weird about your comment at all – or at least, not by my estimation and/or standards. Believe you me, I have spent quite a lot of time during the past four weeks (I was randomly assaulted a month ago today) considered the cable packages of the seven hospital and recuperation centers I’ve found myself in. I’d written an excessive, unreadable amount of text (even by my own standards) about this subject, but should sleep on it and see if any of it is deserving of reconstitution. I liked this part, though, and hope you find a chuckle or two amongst all a the dumb.

    Also not to brat at ya, Jojo, but they do so show commercials on TCM – commercials for that John Mellencamp likes the old movies so much they’ve inspired his famous songs such as Jack and Diane and that Indiana is a place with community because you can go downtown and see and talk to people and James Dean knew that and Mellencamp does not like performing his greatest hits, except if it weren’t for the fans who give him energy and that he is real into painting Dean and Brando in some kinda nauseating kinda awesome Schiele/Bacon style and that is why you should check out his latest CD and concert tour, and that oh yeah TCM rocks.

    Also, they have commercials for wine flavored like watching the movies of the brothers Marx and Blues. LMK when the country evens out and I can call up a Ted Turner owned 800 number for some a that Altman Indica. Yeah man let me get a rip of that Paul Dooley, etc.

    You know what would be good names for a weed strain, The National Film Preservation Act of 1988.

    Thanks again Jojo, I may return tomorrow with an edited TCM emoramble. Similar to many other commenters, I wonder if we had ever encountered each other in person.

    Pac, you are so consistently kind and thoughtful, I appreciate your positive wishes. Your niceness, smarts and humor have helped a lot during this bunko month. I forget to say this before, but early James rules. As a thank you, I share the following picture of Kevin’s cousin Bob in New York circa 86, wearing his Boop shit like he was a sassy lady from The Bronx.

    I hope he has mad Tweety gear, that would be good.

    Maybe you’ve already seen this, but this letter wherein Robert Smith asks a dude from his label to essentially go to Kim’s for him is one of the funniest things of all time. It is particularly funny as I’ve spent a solid amount of time with the deligated party, Howard, and can very well imagine his response to these requests. Robert’s response is there to see on YouTube, if one searches for The Cure – 23.07.1992 MTV USA, Hangin’ With MTV. He very much has the squirmy countenance of one who would much, much rather be at a video or horror-themed store. I hope he can go to Spirit Halloween in disguise, do they have those over there?

  46. Forgot to post the link.

    Robert Smith’s urgent demand to Elektra Records for video nasties

     
    In a recently unearthed 25-year-old fax to Elektra Records’ Howard Thompson, The Cure’s Robert Smith makes the “urgent” plea for a stack of awesomely-gory horror and exploitation VHS tapes.

    Smith, who had planned to go shopping for movies in New York City, found himself without a day off when an extra show was added to their tour (believed to be the 1992 tour based on the dates and font on the fax). To make up for lost shopping time, he had a fax sent to Elektra asking for A Clockwork Orange, Driller Killer, I Spit on Your Grave, Last House on the Left, Bloodsucking Freaks, Filthy Rich, Faster Pussycat! Kill!... Kill! and “maybe a couple of others you could recommend in the splatter-cannibal she-devil vein.” These movies would have been unavailable in England at the time due to Parliament passing the Video Recordings Act of 1984.

    Smith had excellent taste in sleaze.

    Former Elektra Records head of A&R, Howard Thompson, posted the old fax to his Instagram account, so it does appear to be authentic.

    Here’s the (NSFW) trailer for “Bloodsucking Freaks,” one of the titles on Robert’s urgent request-list:

    Boop rules, but to me nothing will ever be better than a trend that started fifteen years ago and eventually found official King Features approval, Popeye with Overrendered Human Hands Holding Money or Representations of Money. There is also a good subgenre of Popeye Getting Tattoos, I should get one of those, an awesome thing for a person with no tattoos whatsoever to wear.

  47. I like the idea that Michael died in the sewers. But instead of a hallucination, what I’d a homeless guy picked up the mask and decided to take over? That would still beg the question of why didn’t he use it publicly for four years.

  48. Hey ALF, thanks for that photo of ol’ Bob, I recently bought a cheap attachable CD disc drive to burn some of my CDs (yes, I still rock the Pod) that I didn’t get around to burning in those decadent days when CD drives were included in laptops, which has included quite a few Cure CDs.

    That photo would have been taken around the same time as the Newspaper Comic Strip BETTY BOOP & FELIX, where Betty went around thinking it was still the 30s or something and luckily had a bunch of friends who thought the same, and her cat Felix (who yes, is *the* Felix *the* Cat) reacts with sassy thought bubbles because Garfield was big at the time I guess. I wonder if Bob was a reader? Probably not, but only because it wasn’t syndicated wide enough. Hopefully they’ll make it up to him by giving him the foreword of Fantagraphic’s THE COMPLETE BETTY BOOP & FELIX.

    For Mother’s Day 2010 I bought my mum the complete (NTSC!) VHS set of Betty Boop cartoons, possibly the last non-ironic VHS gift ever given. OK, probably not.

    Cartoon Research just directed my attention to this cartoon called THE GREAT EXPERIMENT from the same era staring the “arguably” less popular character Scrappy (the boy, not the Doo), who somehow goes to the distant future of 1990. Check it out if you can, it’s pretty cool, it’s got the whole Tomorrowland retro-futurism thing going on a good 20 years earlier, and has that whole “Disney-type characters walking about in Fritz Lang sets” aesthetic. my boy Osama Tezuka later perfected.

    The Great Experiment Scrappy

    Scrappy and Oopy in the clutches of a mad scientist!

  49. Back to H’ENDS, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a draft that was all Corey, little to no Michael (probably not an edit, given how quickly it was put together, but who knows), but I doubt the furnace finale would have been there at all if Michael never returned.

    I agree with Kaplan that it would have been pretty annoying to have gone straight from KILLS “this is no man, look at what he’s doing!” ending straight to ENDS saying “oh I guess, he’s a man after all, look he just died”, although one person’s “annoying” might be another’s “bold” I guess.

  50. @Pacman – I don’t think it was put together all that quickly. From what I heard Kills and Ends were supposed to come out in ’20 and ’21 respectively, and got delayed due to COVID. Not sure how long the script had been floating around for but there were grumblings of last-minute changes.

    @ALF – glad to hear you’re sounding better; Hope things are looking up, or if not that they start to soon.

    I think Ends is definitely better taken as a standalone, since as others have pointed out it suffers for being a sequel to Kills, and makes it clear that for all the detail they didn’t really plan out things that well for the previous installments. But… that’s ok, I still found it a lot of fun. Can’t hold up slashers to that high a standard or there’d be very few that would make the cut. Pun not intended.

  51. Yeah, sorry, to clarify I meant “put together” as in production and post-production, which as I understood it was all in the past year since KILLS were released, I assumed at the time that KILLS came out that it and ENDS had been shot back to back, but I heard that was not the case (although it sounds like it was planned). I also heard the ENDS was going to be very explicitly set during the pandemic, which ENDS wasn’t, don’t know if there was any substance to that.

  52. I think this may be my favorite of the new trilogy, though since I felt H2018 was merely okay and Kills straight up bad, maybe that’s not saying much. But I do think it has the absolute best hook of any of these sequels – an injured Michael Meyers getting an understudy is a fantastic premise and I’m surprised that nobody thought of it sooner. It corrects for basically all the implausible conceits of other sequels (Michael being nigh-unstoppable, the way he and Laurie keep crossing paths despite making little sense), while giving us a new killer we can actually invest in.

    Re the subject of Corey hallucinating Laurie at the house: that makes sense given the way it’s staged and shot, but I noticed on second viewing that Laurie appears to be holding a paper airplane when Allison confronts her in the scene afterwards. Did anyone else notice that? Maybe she really was there after all?

  53. Apropos of nothing, a discussion of film lighting over years, with the original Halloween and Ends as two examples:

    who knows

    Lighting in film, and especially horror is so *so* important to the tension in the scene, it's a significant part of visual storytelling, and the cinematographer/DOP (director of photography) should'…

  54. I’ve seen that comparison. I don’t really have a strong opinion about current Hollywood lighting, but I’m almost positive that neither of those stills are representative of what they look like in the actual movies. And in the case of HALLOWEEN ’78 the transfer that Dean Cundey says best reflects what it’s supposed to look like is so different from what “the fans” think it’s supposed to look like based on previous home video releases that Scream Factory felt the need to include both in their box set. So I’m skeptical of these terrible looking screengrabs from god knows where being presented as scientific evidence of the current and former states of cinematography.

    But also I just never noticed ENDS being dark when I was watching it. If it’s dark it’s not distractingly so and also not as dark as the original looked growing up watching it from VHS on an analog TV.

    https://dailydead.com/exclusive-dean-cundey-reflects-halloween-career-talks-new-transfer/

  55. While I appreciate everyone’s comments, here is a different perspective: David Gordon Green, who is brilliant, did not want another Michael vs Lorie and everyone else all film long. Been there, done that. This film came from another angle. We still saw our beloved Michael, but not in the typical Halloween fashion. There were still classic kills. I mean, the DJ’s tongue spinning around the record was fantastic. Oh…..and I can tell you with certainty, Ronald (Corey’s Step-father) has in fact watched Hard Target to it’s conclusion. That wasn’t his first time seeing the flick, so no worries!

  56. Bored of the Rings

    October 31st, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    I have only started to watch this one, but, a minute in, I love one aspect… the tilting blue fonts in the title!

    For anyone who missed it (or didn’t see the significance and therefore doesn’t know anything about the Halloween series)… the fonts are an immediately obvious (and electrifying!) nod to the identical blue fonts that have only been used once in the history of “Halloweeen” – in the beautiful title sequence of the amazing, wonderful “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”, the best Halloween sequel in the entire series, a superb film on its own, and one whose concept – every “Halloween” film being its own supernatural story only connected by the day itself – should have been maintained. Sadly, the cretins were too stupid to comprehend the film back in the day, but it’s great to see it get the belated love these days… including this cute little homage in “Halloween Ends”! Silver Shamrock forever!

  57. Outlaw Vern, I’m glad you liked it. I kinda liked it too, it made some odd choices but felt very deliberate in what it wanted to say.

    I can argue that it’s been very thematically consistent from H2018.

    John Carpenter’s idea for Michael Myers was that he was just evil. There was no rhyme or reason to it, Evil just was. DGG’s idea is that evil can spread, like an infection. This is a very post 2016 idea. It even starts spreading in the H2018, it infects Dr Sartain – who sets Michael free and tries to kill Deputy Hawkins.
    In HKills it spreads to the town, fear and anger inspiring the angry EVIL DIES TONIGHT mob.
    Then in Ends, DDG spells it out in Laurie’s narration. Haddonfield is in trouble. Ever since Michael Myers, people are more scared, more angry, desensitized and quicker to violence. Even Corey is overreacting in the beginning because he’s afraid Michael Myers is out there, and he kills babysitters.

  58. SPOILERS, OF COURSE

    The thing with this film is that it’s a terrible final chapter to a series of films set up as a Myers-Jamie Lee reboot / back-to-basics trilogy and an even more terrible final chapter to the series of four films that this entry recognizes and seals as a closed canon (not the final or only closed canon, but *a* closed canon and possibly Jamie Lee Curtis’s last run with these films). It may be a good Gordon Green art film, a bold and original slasher film, or a decent entry grading on the curve of every other HALLOWEEN film in the pantheon. But it’s a pretty blatant act of bait-and-switch marketing that is happy to take three films’ worth of the fans’ time and money on the pretense of delivering the definitive resolution to the Michael-Laurie/Jamie Lee/Carpenter saga only to completely punt on the idea of doing that.

    This is not a general argument that filmmakers should not take risks or that fans deserve soul-less, masturbatory fan service. It’s an argument that filmmakers should be honest about what they’re doing. This film and trilogy are just a big stinking cheat, period. If you want to make a weirdo, emo, arty coming-of-age slasher movie, make that movie and advertise it as that movie. If you want to make an oddball one-off Michael Myers movie, make THAT movie and don’t deceptively sell it as the final chapter of the thrilling, 45-ish years running Myers-Strode saga / Jamie Lee run as Laurie. As far as I know, HALLOWEEN III never advertised itself as the next (much less the final) thrilling Michael Myers chapter. Likewise, Rob Zombie didn’t bring back Jamie Lee Curtis or claim to stand in the same canon/universe as the Jamie Lee / Carpenter films. So, the argument is not that you have to only and always make Michael Myers stabbing people films, but that if you are going to take the money and trade on the goodwill of an audience that you’ve herded into the pen on the basis of delivering a Michael Myers/Jamie Lee film that brings the Strode-Myers sage to a thrilling and definitive close — that’s what you do.

    I’m sure there’s a well-acted, high production values Rambo film, where 70 year-old John Rambo learns to quilt and then takes his quilt on the road and falls in love with a younger man and they decide to relocate to Bahrain to support a nascent gay rights movement in Bahrain. But one thing you don’d do is sell me that film as all about a thrilling Rocky-Clubber rematch where the whole trailer is Rocky training montage plus Rocky-Clubber fight but where that’s actually only the last 10 tacked-on minutes of the previously described film.

    I will continue to defend HALLOWEEN KILLS as the best Michael Myers performance / depiction in the history of HALLOWEEN films, and I will continue to overlook its many and serious flaws on the strength of that alone plus it looks good plus it’s a middle chapter. But this third film was the one that needed to bring it home with a creative and rousing finish, and it absolutely does not do that but instead decides to make a whole other film that just abdicates its responsibility to do anything with Laurie and Michael that it left us with at the end of KILLS and uses “four years have passed” as a kind of interstitial deus ex machina cheat sheet that allows to skirt the fact that, at the end of KILLS, Michael is a stronger than ever unstoppable killing monster, while Laurie’s cracked worldview and PTSD should be more cracked and PTSD-ed than ever. And we haven’t even got to the part about changing the grand-daughter’s personality or shifting to an entirely other main character. Much of these and other individual complaints already have been better articulated by others, so, I will not rehearse them at length. Yes, there are some potentially interesting themes in the film, and there are some individually nice elements or touches, but this isn’t Green’s one-off Soderberghian experimental slasher film or even his one-off Soderberghian experimental HALLOWEEN film. It’s the third chapter in the big Strode-Myers-Haddonfield trilogy he’s roped us into and the John Carpenter-approved (or, “sure, I’ll score it, and you can use my name for a dump truck full of cash”-ed) capper to the four film series.

    In conclusion, how do you survive being stabbed through the carotid artery to the point of impalement with a broken overhead industrial flourescent light tube by Michael Myers? Why isn’t she the new Michael Myers if she can survive that?!? By that logic, Corey definitely is still alive and the pieces of Michael Myers are reassembling T-1000-style as we speak.

  59. Well, many people (most people?) agree with you on all that (except being mad that the most upsetting victim in HALLOWEEN KILLS survived?), but I still don’t get it. It was indeed the movie they advertised where Laurie and Michael fight yet again and they pretend yet again that that’s the last time. Thankfully there was also a bunch more to it than that, so it didn’t feel redundant.

    I really do think it will be interesting to see how this one fares with people when it’s not the new HALLOWEEN but just one of the many HALLOWEENs that they go through when they’re doing a series rewatch. I think all of us tend to think of these franchise horror movies different in retrospect, when we let go of “I thought it was gonna be this” and accept that “this is what they did for the 13th one.” Things that used to be universally agreed about HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH chapters have really changed over the years. I’m not saying that necessarily means people will like it, though, especially if they stop hating HALLOWEEN KILLS as much because you’re right, it leaves you expecting something different.

  60. Re: the throat-stab lady’s survival, I’m not mad she survived because I like people dying as a personal life value, I’m mad she survived because it’s stupid and incoherent like everything else about this third film in relation to the other two (or other three) and also internal to itself. In any case, I did not get the impression that I was supposed to be heart-warmed or life-affirmed by her utterly improbable story of surviving throat-impalement so that she could spend her golden years widowed, mute and embittered in a wheelchair, while her sister castigates Laurie on her behalf. Did I miss some hidden note of encouragement in that plot development?

    That said, and to your point, I may very well softwn on this film or grow to like it with time, though I am not sure I can forgive DGG or the producers or the marketing team or whomever I can blame the marketing long con and pump fake that is this final chapter slash entire trilogy. In the meantime, I’m in my feels on this one, but still love part 2018 and still enjoy a lot about KILLS.

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