Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Halloween (Never) Ends

The trailer for the much-awaited conclusion to director David Gordon Green's Halloween trilogy has arrived and it promises yet another wild night in Haddonfield. It also promises to bring the Halloween series to a close with Jamie Lee Curtis' iconic Final Girl Laurie Strode having one last battle with Michael Myers. 

However, we know that these things never truly end, which I think actually only makes Halloween Ends more interesting to consider. That this will be the last time we see Curtis in a Halloween movie seems certain at least but Michael Myers is another matter. As I'm sure someone in some Halloween movie has said, "evil never dies." And if it hasn't been said, well, it's definitely been implied. They definitely have said that you can't kill the boogeyman and that's the whole ballgame right there. The fact is, Michael Myers will continue to go on forever, even after this particular chapter comes to a conclusion. Everyone knows this. I remember sitting in the theater for Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter in '84 and let me tell you, when that final freeze frame of Corey Feldman looking into the camera came up and the screen faded to white, no one in that theater thought they had watched the Final fucking Chapter. Jason, Freddy, Michael, Leatherface, all of these guys, they never go away for good. The only thing that keeps any of them down for long is real life legal bullshit.

Of course, they did really did try to honestly end Michael back in '81. Halloween II was seriously supposed to be it for him. Dr. Loomis took both himself and Michael out in a massive explosion, allowing Laurie to survive her brother's wrath. Putting aside the fact that Halloween truly should have never had a sequel, II at least gave Michael an epic exit. The sight of Michael burning from head to toe still walking towards Laurie remains one of the most memorable images in the entire series, a sight that recalls the Thing engulfed in flames in The Thing from Another World (1951). 

But no one wanted that to be it for Michael Myers. The public rejected the attempt to turn the Halloween series into an anthology with 1983's Halloween III: Season of the Witch and from 1988's Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers on, Halloween has been, well, what it's been. The second attempt to really end him was with 1998's H20 but as decisive as that may have looked, it was so clearly insincere that I don't even count it. Unlike with Halloween II, I didn't buy for a second when the end credits rolled on H20 that anyone involved in the series believed that was it. As cool as it was to see Laurie chopping off Michael's head, it didn't feel like the end of anything. I don't believe anything could at this point. So does that make whatever happens in Halloween Ends an automatic eye roll? Nah. If you're a horror fan, there's no such thing as feeling ripped off by a final chapter not actually being the final chapter. If anything, knowing that Green is himself a fan who has no illusions that this will be the true end of Michael makes me more curious to see how he and his collaborators are going to handle this. 

It seems to me that there's three choices on the board. One, Laurie kills Michael in some definitive way and the movie leaves no possibility that he will ever stalk Haddonfield again and Laurie is completely free. Two, Laurie kills Michael but dies herself in the process and both their stories end. Or three, Laurie kills Michael but it's left ambiguous as to whether he is truly dead. I don't think there's a fourth option where Michael kills Laurie and that's that. Although, damn, it would be ballsy as hell if they went that way with it. 

If I had to put money on any of these options, I'd go with 3. I don't think any future Halloween's will continue on from this timeline (expect a brand new remake in time for the original's 50th anniversary in 2028) but I also think that Green and his co-writer Danny McBride don't believe that Michael can die. They'll give Laurie her win and they'll make it clear to the audience that she won't have to keep looking over her shoulder every October 31st, but I think they will also leave it off with Michael still haunting Haddonfield in some capacity because, in the end, you can't kill the boogeyman. 

Them's the rules.  

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