19th October 2022
Words: Shane Ramdhany
The final film in David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy bows with a conclusion that at its best is a shallow indulgence in fan service. At its worst, it is riddled with dull, uninspired dialogue, which spans a spectrum of unearned, jarring intimate moments, to gratuitous humour that is more likely to generate a cringe than a chuckle, all littered with a host of clichés. As we watch Michael Myers’s continued pursuit of Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode for just over 40 years, it becomes all too evident that this classic tale buckles under a concept whose sustainability of fresh ideas is simply too great a challenge for the screenwriters.
Michael Myers’s final outing (at least for this trilogy) attempts to implement bold new plot points that inevitably fail to yield the intended outcome of a story that has conceived an identity of its own with traits that are both suspenseful and fascinating. In reality, the commendable efforts to veer from yet another formulaic stalker-killer narrative only succeeds in eliciting feelings of confusion and awkwardness from its target audience. When considering how long this film franchise has existed, the primary conundrum is a balancing act between crafting a new perspective in a saturated genre and delivering the appropriate helping of fanfare. It is unfortunate that neither of these concepts truly evolve the film beyond mediocrity because the effort to do so often permeates the screen.
Among the film’s strangest new plot points is the notion of Laurie’s granddaughter developing an intimate relationship. This is perhaps the most jarring of the many ideas conceptualised by the film because it often feels forced. She yearns to grow her companionship with a new male character, Corey, whose own story arc is perhaps the film’s boldest (and weirdest) plot device. Her insatiable desire to have a relationship with him is by far the most unconvincing concept in the film’s storytelling. It is clear that the notion behind this behaviour is to depict the consequences of her own trauma involving Michael Myers from the previous films. However, its implementation is simply too aggressive and too rapid to allow the audience a chance to embrace the intended feeling of empathy to her plight.
The film’s male lead, Corey, takes a narrative detour of his own, which is where the film’s attempt at introducing a new direction is laid bare. While his story will engage the viewer from scene to scene, it does little to truly captivate with its fresh take on the franchise. When his arc reaches its third act, this is where the film peaks at nonsensical. What seemed like an attempt to lay a feeble new foundation for the franchise actually ends abruptly in an outcome for his character that contradicts the narrative direction of his own metamorphosis throughout the film. It results in an unsatisfying feeling that the audience has yielded little return on its just under 2-hour investment.
The final act of the film hones in on Laurie’s ongoing battle with the franchise’s boogeyman and this is where it is most successful. One can’t help but feel relief and satisfaction that the film has circled back to its classic formula. This results in the idea that the various aforementioned plot points only serve to reinvigorate the classic formula rather than survive on their own as creative evolution. The film maintains enough hack and slashing to satisfy a horror fan’s lust for blood but it requires that its viewer endure both odd and ultimately meaningless storytelling points to access it. In the end, you are likely to feel grateful that this trilogy has now drawn to a close to allow the opportunity for Michael to hibernate for some time before the next inevitable reboot.