andi matichak, danny mcbride, david gordon green, Halloween, halloween ends, Halloween franchise, james jude courtney, Jamie Lee Curtis, kyle richards, laurie strode, michael myers, Nick Castle, rohan campbell, will patton
Back in 2018, the writing team of Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride & David Gordon Green did the unthinkable and brought Michael Myers back to life and stalked the big screens once again.
With a strong focus on the long lasting effects that trauma has on us all and who better to champion this cause than ultimate survivor, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis – who turned out a phenomenal performance in that role).
Fans both old and new alike were lapping up this brutal the on a 40 year old franchise, so it was inevitable that further two movies would arise. However…
People (myself included) felt let down by the directorial path that was chosen. Halloween Kills felt like a fluff piece, a filler if you will to bring about the conclusion and along with it the end to the franchise??
Despite this, there were some faithful to the resurrection (ooh, bad choice of word. I’m still having my own trauma counselling over that movie :p) and were keen to see how the trilogy would play out. Again I would include myself in those who waited with anticipation.
But before we get to my thoughts on this, let’s view the trilogy through the trauma lens and the five stages of grief, as I personally find that this ties in with the central theme and our understanding of the creative mindset.
Halloween (2018) would set up the premise of trauma and its unshakeable hold on the victims with stage 1 – Denial. Most of the characters are in a state of denial, with the exception of Laurie, who is so immersed in the state that she is on a deeper level and knows that the shape of evil will always be there as long as Michael is alive. This is her mantra and never waivers across the three movies.
Moving into Halloween Kills (2021) and we traverse through stage 2 – Anger with our rising vigilantes and stage 3 – bargaining as those who try to lure Michael to his death end up bargaining with their own.
So, now we come to Halloween Ends (2022) which must then face the final two stages: Depression and Acceptance. The former of the two does not bode well to focus on for the feature but go there it does.
The feature picks up with two of our central survivors Laurie and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and the remnants of Haddonfield. Among the residents is Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) a boy who accidentally kills the kid he is babysitting and is forever tarnished among his community. It is here that he is quickly thrust into comparison with Michael, and the new face of evil. As much as Corey struggles to reassert himself, he is further quashed and forced to ask whether he should just concede to his fate.
David Gordon Green continually likes to dabble with the whole nature vs nurture idea and with it starts to lose the kernel of a Halloween franchise movie; namely Myers on a killing rampage. By shifting the core perspective to Corey and away from Myers, the more we question the true heart of the movie. In fact, Myers has been left residing in an abandoned sewer beneath the Haddonfield streets to lick his wounds, like a paltry Pennywise wannabe,
The silver lining of hope comes with Allyson who develops a romantic interest with Corey; a moth to the flame of violence. The other kindled romance is between Laurie and Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton); is there still a chance of happiness for Laurie?
As we build to the films’ climax, the characters must ultimately face acceptance. Do they acknowledge their past, shake off the shackles of accusations and character assassinations, or let trauma (Myers and his myth) win?
You play with fire and you’re gonna get burned.
David Gordon Green and Danny McBride struck gold when they first brought Myers back to our screens and the subject of trauma.
But by continually going back into the frey, the strength of their initial premise wanes. By sidelining Myers in their quest to scrutinise the impact of grief and trauma, they lose the essence of Halloween, With it they have inadvertently killed off the franchise, perhaps forever. Those devoted to Halloween must now go through their own 5 steps of grief but it’s debatable if we will ever reach acceptance.
- Saul Muerte