Thursday, October 13, 2022



Boy, it was tough writing a general spoiler-free review for Halloween Ends since a crux of the plot introduced early on in the runtime (though concealed in the marketing) is not only the importance of Corey Cunningham but his transformation in the plot. Early on, Cunningham, who can't evade the hatred everyone in Haddonfield has for him after he accidentally killed a kid he was supposed to babysit, climbs into a drain pipe and stumbles onto Michael Myers. This serial killer proceeds to strangle Cunningham and it looks like it's curtains for this kid, but then...Myers suddenly is able to see all of Cunningham's life in a few seconds and he releases this twenty-something. What an incredibly awkward moment, an obvious instance of the screenwriters wanting to form a connection between these two characters but not knowing an organic way to achieve that bond. Maybe Cunningham should've called out the name of Michael Myers' mom?

From here, Cunningham gradually begins to become eviler and eviler until he's got his own mask (a scarecrow mask to be precise) and slaughtering people. He's coordinating with Michael Myers to kill people, with Cunningham focusing exclusively (as far as the camera sees) on people who have "wronged" him in some way, like some teenage bullies, a crude doctor, or a conspiratorial disc jockey. I can see the underlying intent in this plot thread, chiefly in how it's supposed to function as a dark mirror to Laurie Strode. She's managed to cope with her pain and build a new life, but Cunningham is now consumed with his past and can't move past any of his past discomforts.

Still, the heavy focus on Cunningham drags Halloween Ends down since his character trajectory is incredibly predictable. Worse, his slayings focus on cartoonishly wicked people, which doesn't even lend a sense of moral complexity to his downward spiral. In the context of slasher movie cinema, cruel (and I think incestuous?) mothers, violent bullies, and misogynistic doctors are obvious murder victims. Where's the surprise or drama in seeing Cunningham become the new Michael Myers if he's just going to kill people that the audience is already rooting for him to slaughter?

Worst of all, Cunningham abruptly kills himself before the final twenty-ish minutes begin so he can drive a wedge between Laurie Strode and her granddaughter. From here, Michael Myers just comes back, grabs his mask (Cunningham briefly took it for his own personal use), and proceeds to attack Laure Strode, with Cunningham having little impact on anything. All that focus on him throughout the runtime and it amounted to nothing. Come to think of it, since his murder victims were all super detached from the world of Laurie Strode, his storyline almost seems to be in its own movie. What a baffling narrative choice, but one that does make sense within the sloppy storytelling confines of Halloween Kills.

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