Anchor Staff Writer
The very much anticipated “Halloween Ends” hit the screens in theaters and on Peacock streaming service Friday. Following the story of Michael Myers and his malevolent murdering spree that originally started back in 1978, many fans were preparing for an epic ending to his violent saga after nearly 40 years. Fans were expecting a commemorative ending that pays tribute to such a notorious name following all of the build up brewing from trailers and sneak previews. However, the almost two-hour movie can be described as one word: Unexpected.
Going back to 2018, when “Halloween Returns,” starring scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis as survivor Laurie Strode released, it featured an epic reunion between her and the evil personification that is Myers. Having help from her daughter, played by Judy Greer, and granddaughter Andi Matichak, they try to put an end to trauma caused by Myers and his “devil eyes.” Fans left theaters convinced that his saga was put to rest with the fire he was left to burn in. Yet, filmmaker John Carpenter announced the continuation of his story when he said “Halloween Kills” would make its debut in 2021, and “Halloween Ends” would be seen in 2022.
Picking up where the 2018 film left off, “Halloween Kills” portrays the pure evil within Myers, making fans question if he is even human. His supernatural ability to brush off things like carbon dioxide, the severe water pressure coming out of a fire hose nozzle, or even multiple stab wounds and gunshots keeps viewers on the edge of their seats waiting to see who his next victim will be. After killing Strode’s daughter in the final scene of the movie, viewers were certain Strode and her granddaughter would seek vengeance for their fallen loved ones.
Needless to say, “Halloween Ends” takes a different route, with unexpected plot twists and turns. Following the story of Cory Cunningham, played by Rohan Campbell, the babysitter was convicted of murdering a child on Halloween night, 2019, one year after Myers returned. Getting off on conviction of manslaughter, Cunningham is haunted by the events that happened that night. A face-to-face encounter ignites something evil within Cunningham following events that lead him inside a sewer Myers has been hiding in.
Here’s where the unexpected factor kicks in: After their encounter, the story follows Cunningham. A movie that was supposed to portray such an epic showdown between Strode and Myers instead follows the plot of this misguided young man in Haddonfield. In fact, there are very few scenes with Myers. He is shown maybe once or twice, but his presence was not nearly as consistent as it was in the previous films.
Also, the writers decided to incorporate a twisted love story between the granddaughter, Allyson Nelson, and the Cunningham character. Of course, for the majority of this film, she has no idea that he’s following such a dark path. As if she has abandoned her heightened survivor instincts obtained from her traumatic experiences, she falls madly in love with the killer.
In this film, Strode was able to heal as a survivor, moving out of self captivity and enveloping herself within society once again. She moves back to Haddonfield to remain close with her granddaughter, the only blood she has left. Remaining protective, she sees the darkness within Cunningham, and regrets introducing them to each other. Feeling threatened by Strode’s words and actions, he attempts to kill her off to get what he wants.
Now, there are many unexpected aspects of this film. For starters, this missing presence of Myers himself, not to mention the inclusion of this Cunningham character. Also, the idea of trying to incorporate this romantic drama within a horror film was just downright bizarre. The most unexpected aspect is the feeling that this movie is driven by motive. A true testament of Myers’ character was not knowing why he was purely evil or what drove him to kill people who did nothing to him. It contributed to much of the horror factor within the films. Cunningham’s motive ruins that horror factor fans love.
The film people were anticipating for over a year barely made $43 million opening weekend, the lowest of newer releases. Earning a 1.9 out of 5 star review on Google, a 5.1 out of 10 on IMDb, and a 41% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “Halloween Ends” seems to be one of those “you have to see it to believe it” films, an unexpected turnout.