Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
Most movies that are released nowadays seem to polarize audiences. There are different levels – Blonde has been discussed far less passionately than Mother! was – but the ease ideas that are shared today allows for more opposing viewpoints than ever. More often than not, this discourse is around the vast disparity between what critics and audiences think. But every once in a while there will be heated arguments between the general theatergoing population. These discussions are far more interesting as these conversations involve people who actually care one way or another as opposed to those just wanting to get their two cents in.
The latest release to deeply divide audiences is Halloween Ends. The final installment in a trilogy that started off strong then seemed to lose its way in the sequel. The third film had a lot riding on it. Halloween is one of horror’s most beloved franchises and longtime fans were rooting for the last part to be a resounding success. Michael Myers and Laurie Strode are both popular characters and everyone wanted to see them go out in deserving fashions.
It is not surprising that this entry would divide opinions as expectations and hopes were high. The fact director David Gordon Green took a number of risks only added to the chance of dividing what people thought of Halloween Ends, especially since there are some neat ideas, such as the one involving the cycle of violence. What is surprising is how much people who liked the movie seemed to be compelled to defend it.
On the surface, it makes sense. John Carpenter’s slasher goes beyond being one of the most influential films of all time. For many, it shaped (no pun intended) their viewing habits for the rest of their lives. The 1978 classic made viewers fans of horror in general, and slashers in particular. Michael terrified and fascinated while Laurie was someone to look up to. There are many who will tell you without hesitation that Halloween is their most favorite movie ever. So, it is completely understandable those who love the series are willing to give each new one the benefit of the doubt.
Still, it is shocking to see how zealously fans of Halloween Ends defend it. This is more than just liking what they saw; it is almost as if they must explain why they enjoyed it. The reasons become irrelevant since the emotion behind it all is so intriguing. What is about the final Halloween movie (for now) that has its supporters so up in arms? Halloween Kills did not receive this much support, and according to Rotten Tomatoes, audiences enjoyed it more.
A near one to one comparison is the sequel trilogy in the Star Wars universe. While it had its detractors, The Force Awakens was seen as a strong start to the new series. As the series progressed, there was a noticeable drop in quality. By the time The Rise of Skywalker was set to hit theaters, fans were just hoping things would end on a positive note.
The Star Wars community is one of the most intense to be found. They care deeply for the franchise and open debate is welcome and even encouraged. Even during all the talk surrounding Rey and the rest of the movies, the defenders of the new films – and there were many – were nowhere near as vehement as those putting a positive spin on Halloween Ends.
Which brings us back to the original question. What is it about Halloween Ends that has earned it such strong support? As discussed earlier, it is the final part of a beloved series, but going back to Star Wars, the end of The Skywalker Saga did not have the same show of force from its fans. The story takes a different path, but it is not novel or forward thinking. It is not even new to the series.
But the people who love it will question why others do not feel the same way. They refuse to acknowledge the reasons they claim to love it so much (its history, the direction the story went in, the ending) are the exact same reasons people dislike it. Ultimately, it seems like they are trying to convince themselves more than anyone else.
But, I respect their opinions.
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