I really liked Halloween Ends. Like, I really liked it.
Now, I know there’s a whole lot of hate for the film coming from vocal folks across social media who didn’t like it for many a reason, with a lack of Michael Myers and the introduction of a new character who takes up a lot of scream…I mean, screen time… apparently being the film’s main offences. Of course, a lot of the people complaining haven’t themselves created a piece of art and wouldn’t know the first thing that goes into making a movie.
I can’t stand those people. They’re probably the same ones who watch Halloween III: Season of the Witch and continue to bemoan the lack of connection to the first two movies and miss the fact, yes FACT, that SOTW is one of the greatest films in the entire Halloween franchise, not to mention of the past forty years of horror as well.
In Halloween Ends, director and co-writer David Gordon Green swings for the fences while also trying to do something new with the franchise, and damnit if so many people hate it when a director does that (sorry Rian Johnson, fandom sucks). I’m not saying everyone who doesn’t view Halloween Ends through my eyes is wrong; far from that. Biff Bam Pop!’s Sachin Hingoo didn’t enjoy the film like I did, and while we haven’t gone deep into his reasons, I respect him as a horror fan and cinephile and know they are valid. He’s also not screaming from his social media how awful he thinks the film is, mind you, which is something all of us at Biff Bam Pop! tend to follow when we’re writing for the site. There’s enough negativity out there, so we try to mainly write positive pieces; and when we do share critical words, it’s always keeping in mind that there are artists and creators who have worked hard on what we’re writing about.
That being said, I am glad I enjoyed Halloween Ends, especially because 2021’s Halloween Kills didn’t work for me at all. I walked into this new one with low expectations and sat through it pretty much loving everything I saw on screen. While I personally would have enjoyed a few more jump scares, I did find myself covering my eyes on occasion while also uncomfortably laughing out loud during some fairly vicious kill scenes (the radio station kills are instant classics). The performances in Halloween Ends all worked for me as well, including Jamie Lee Curtis’ older and wiser Laurie, as well as Andi Matichak’s Allyson, who has gone through significant trauma over the last two films and is ready to break out of Haddonfield and her past.
The most divisive performance of Halloween Ends, the one that makes me scream, comes from Rohan Campbell, who plays the new character of Corey Cunningham, a victim of psychological abuse and a town that resents and hates him. I don’t want to give too much away about Corey and his arc, but it is hugely significant and takes up a lot of Halloween Ends’ run time. While lots of fans resent Corey’s presence in the movies, I think the character is well-defined and even gives insight into what makes a monster like Michael Myers tick. Campbell’s performance is multifaceted, as he puts both Corey and the audience through the ringer – are we supposed to love or hate this kid? Is he misunderstood and deserving of our sympathy, or is there a darkness in him that’s just been hidden…until it’s not.
Movies and are opinions are subjective, I know that. I’m someone who went from reviling Rob Zombie’s Halloween II to thinking it’s a unique examination of trauma, a revelation that came after watching and rewatching Halloween (2018) and realizing soon after that Zombie was working on the same subject matter. So sitting here, thinking about how much I liked Halloween Ends and the performance by Rohan Campbell, I’m left with the opinion that some day, one day, people will come back to the film and not only acknowledge how unique it is, but that it also contains what could become a classic horror character in Corey Cunningham, who just wanted to burn it all down.
And in many ways, he has.