Halloween Ends – REVIEW & COCKTAIL

Well, just under 50 years later and after thirteen films of…varying quality, we have reached the end of the Halloween franchise’s story. At least this iteration. We all know Hollywood will continue to resuscitate and revive this and other successful film franchises until the sun dies out. Regardless, Halloween Ends is the final film in the most recent Halloween trilogy started in 2018, bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode to put an end to the terror that is Michael Myers once and for all. The Halloween franchise has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the past few decades, certainly more downs than ups. But the 2018 film, annoyingly the third film in the franchise to just be called Halloween, showed some promise to where the franchise could go in the modern age. It’s sequel, Halloween Kills, more or less dashed those hopes, so many were hoping the finale would at least bring about an exciting and cathartic conclusion to the tale of Michael and Laurie. What did the film get right? Well as the title suggests, the story does end, and that’s about where the positives stop. 

John Carpenter has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t care what happens with the franchise as long as a fat check lands in his hand, but even still, this is such a wet fart of a finale for one of the highest profile horror stories in the last several years. It doesn’t feel satisfying or even all that needed, squandering the characters we’ve known for years and inserting new characters that fail to leave an impact. There’s not really anything new to take out of a franchise like this, that ship sailed a long time ago. It’s apparent the only purpose for movies like this is for money laundering schemes.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode

Jamie Lee Curtis is back for what I can only imagine is the final time, and while it’s always nice to see her transform into a badass built by trauma, there really isn’t anything new to do with the character. The death of her daughter in the previous film and the decades of psychological torture doesn’t really seem to affect her all that much. Like Michael is still at large and this is the least amount of paranoia we’ve seen from her in 40 years. I get the film wanted her to try to move on with her life but it all just feels off. Her relationship with her granddaughter Allyson doesn’t offer any new or interesting aspects to her character either.  The film does put more focus on some of the supporting characters like Allyson, but they don’t add much to the overall story. But the character that everyone wants to see and drives the popularity of the series, Michael Myers, is barely even in the film. He makes such an underwhelming impact in his short time spent on screen, that by the time we get to the inevitable final confrontation between him and Laurie, it just falls flat. There’s no build up, no tension, and nothing memorable here from the man in the mask. 

I’ll give the film credit, it does try to tie in an interesting swerve to the story. Without spoiling too much, a new character becomes involved with Michael Myers and adds an additional threat to our main characters. A cool concept, just not one that I think is as impactful when introduced in the final movie. Everything moves so fast and the transformation this character undergoes isn’t all that believable or earned. Especially since it feels like the film is trying to have this message about how killers can be formed through misunderstandings and social ridicule, but painting them as a parallel to Michael Myers, an actual mental case, doesn’t really give off the message I think they were going for. 

Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in HALLOWEEN ENDS, directed by David Gordon Green

The 80s aesthetic is still alive and well in Haddonfield, it’s just too bad the film takes place in the modern day. Everything and everyone feels really dated here, especially some of these character archetypes. Are we really still doing the bully in a letterman’s jacket? Or the smooth talking, jazzy radio host? I don’t know, there’s just something about this film that feels like it wanted to take place in the 80s where cellphones weren’t really a thing. It affects how people talk and act, which doesn’t exactly keep the film from dating itself like they thought it would. I guess they probably saw this year’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre and figured it just wasn’t worth it. 

To bring everything to a disappointing conclusion, the ending is incredibly flat and weak. It arrives at the expected conclusion, but it just doesn’t really feel like the release of pent up suffering I was expecting. It all ends fairly quickly, proving they probably should have found a way to leave the gnarliest moments of the trilogy until the end, because by the time we get to the end, everyone involved seems as tired and fed up with the film as I was. 

There you have it, the end to a trilogy that was more of a waste of time than it was a satisfying continuation to a classic. Let’s just hope the rest of Hollywood follows this film and just lets the evil die. And by evil I mean pointless cash grabs.

Who am I kidding? I’ll see you back here in 5 years for the next one.

Rating

(out of a possible 5 William Shatner masks)

The Shape Returns

My very first Halloween spent with the Martini Shot was ended by a review and cocktail of the original Halloween. That cocktail was named The Shape, referencing the way Michael Myers was credited in the film, and took on the appearance of the character through its tall, pale complexion and a rim of blood. For the finale of this iteration of the franchise, I wanted to keep with the same motif but adjust the ingredients slightly. I figured I would do a solid for my lactose intolerant homies out there and make a version that won’t absolutely destroy your stomach with all that milk. We’ll be employing coconut milk this time around and swapping the base spirit from bourbon to rum because coconuts and rum just seem to go hand in hand. Essentially what you’ll have is a creamy, non-dairy cocktail perfect for those cold October nights, with a little extra Halloween flair thanks to a bloody red rim and edible kitchen knife!

Ingredients

  • 2oz gold or dark rum
  • 3oz coconut milk
  • 1/2oz cinnamon syrup
  • 1/2oz vanilla syrup
  • Dusting: Nutmeg
  • Garnish: Edible knife

FOR THE BLOODY RIM:

  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 2-4 drops red food coloring

Instructions

  1. Before building the drink, place the edible blood ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 15-20 seconds.
  2. Allow to return to room temperature, then dip the rim of a tall glass in the mixture.
  3. Immediately put glass in fridge, placing something underneath to prevent any blood from dripping onto the fridge.
  4. Add ingredients to a shaker and shake with ice.
  5. Add ice to prepared glass and strain.
  6. Top with dusting of nutmeg.

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