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‘Halloween Ends,’ but the horror continues


 

Doesn’t the very title “Halloween Ends” suggest some kind of joke?

As fans of the 40-year-plus franchise well know, Michael Myers, the unkillable homicidal psychopath, will never stop stalking the bucolic Illinois town of Haddonfield and one former babysitter-turned-survivalist Laurie Strode.

So to say “Ends” is, perhaps, a serious wish on the part of Jamie Lee Curtis, director and co-writer (and unabashed John Carpenter fan) David Gordon Green, his co-writer Danny McBride and producer Jason Blum. But wishes can’t compete with dollars and can anyone seriously say “over and out” when it comes to Michael Myers?

This weekend “Halloween Ends” is streaming on Peacock as well as in theaters nationwide. It’s definitely a slasher film that practically demands to be seen in a dark theater surrounded by people who might become vocal in response to the onscreen mayhem and absurd plotting.

“Halloween Ends” begins with a babysitting tragedy, a purposeful link to Carpenter’s 1978 original with Laurie Strode. Now it’s Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) who is easily freaked and frightened as he cares for a mischievous little boy. It doesn’t end well for the kid or Corey.

Jump to today and Corey, still sensitive, still easily bullied, is not just haunted by what happened – he’s persecuted regularly by four teens who are so obnoxious and entitled, you know it’s just a matter of time until their end is coming.

“Halloween Ends” is sparsely populated and Green frequently gets a response by making very LOUD noises so everyone will jump in their seats.

After Corey gets one of his regular beatings from those awful teens and is thrown over a bridge, he discovers a pipeline under the highway which turns out to be Myers’ lair.  From this point Corey becomes the sorcerer’s apprentice.  Laurie can see in his eyes that he’s changed: Corey becomes a killer.

That’s complicated because Corey has bonded, romantically, with Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson Nelson (Andi Matichak) and they plan to ride away on his motorcycle to a new life.

Over Laurie’s dead body!! This unholy communion will lead to seriously violent multiple climaxes – there’s a reason these are called slasher films (and the loss of a tongue, tossed on a vinyl record at a radio station, is particularly gross).

One plus here is Corey’s truly awful hectoring,  overbearing mother, a nightmare out of Hitchcock’s malevolent maternal gallery.

If this reboot began with the 40 years later 2018 “Halloween” and followed by the hideously boring, very stupid 2021 sequel “Halloween Kills,” “Halloween Ends” is an honorable, much improved exit for this trilogy.

MOVIE REVIEW

“HALLOWEEN ENDS”

At the AMC Boston Common, South Bay Center, Regal Fenway and suburban theaters

Grade: B

Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode, still screaming, in "Halloween Ends." (Ryan Green/Universal Pictures via AP)
Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode, still screaming, in “Halloween Ends.” (Ryan Green/Universal Pictures via AP)

 



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