Halloween Ends Not With a Scream but With a Pratfall

John Carpenter’s original classic 1978 Halloween was brilliant because of its simplicity. A maniac, the masked Michael Meyers, escapes from a sanitarium and starts killing people.

Then he keeps killing people. Then he kills more people, until our heroine, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), kills him. The end.

That’s it. That is the whole concept. Bad guy kills people; bad guy is killed. How can you mess it up?

Halloween Ends, purportedly the last film in the 40-year-long franchise, is about finding complicated ways to fail at this simple, elegant, beloved formula.

That’s somewhat amusing at first. But by the end of the 111-minute run-time, the movie’s ponderous refusal to deliver has become thoroughly annoying, not to mention baffling.

Why heap on all these complications and morals and mythology? For pity’s sake, just get out of Michael’s way.

I’m sure that, despite the title, there will be more Halloween movies to come. Michael’s hard to kill. But if you can’t stab him or shred him or shoot him to death, Halloween End shows that you can complicate him into irrelevance.

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