OPINION: Reflections on the knife
Cinema’s slasher king ends
By David Gomez Jr.
Published Friday, Oct. 28, 2022
[Editor’s Note: This piece contains spoilers for Halloween Ends. Readers are warned.]
It is 1:45 a.m. at this moment so I must write this before the high, after watching Halloween Ends—uh, well, ends.
I must say, this opinion piece will definitely be filled with spoilers of the film and place me in the minority of people who thoroughly enjoyed its conclusion.
Why can’t I be this enthusiastic about college? Oh my goodness. Haha.
To understand where my cloud nine sensation is coming from, I must take you to the beginning when I was just a wee lad watching the original Halloween (1978) in the daytime of my parents bedroom through the spaces of my fingers.
I must have been at least 8, maybe 9 years old, when I first saw the movie that would give me nightmares up until my sophomore year of high school. In a way, by the time Michael Myers, or if you want my film geek to come out, the Shape, stopped appearing in my dreams as I was steadily on a path of confidence and assurance in myself.
At my most vulnerable, stressed or anxious, nightmares became a thing. In said nightmares, I died in the middle of a clothes rack at a Big & Tall, knifed after tripping through a muddy shore of a nearby pond and in some random mobile home. The nightmares then became a dream as I was beginning to find myself in the summer of 2008.
I finally killed him in my dream that year in the bathroom of my great grandparents’ house. I think the setting was fitting because I remember my great grandfather as an honest man and my great grandmother as the most caring, patient woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. She passed away that summer, too. I truly miss them and love them so much. I always felt loved and secure in their home.
So, this is probably the reason why I absolutely loved the way the new Halloween series ended.
Like I said, I’m in the minority here—but my goodness gracious. I finally got to see the bastard die! In a movie, of course.
Catharsis is not the word I’m looking for, but it’s close enough. I’ve been rooting for Michael Myers ever since. He’d never die. Ever. I couldn’t wait to see how his next victim would get slashed, burned, beaten or crushed to death. Also, how could you not root for him?
The first film in the ‘70s showcased his drive and adrenaline-filled superhuman strength. Throughout the middle of the series, the audience sees him as this immortal monster. By the end when he is so geriatric, even more so than our amazing final girl Laurie Strode, Michael’s John Wick levels of sheer freakin’ will are what keep him going to get his girl. The scream queen herself, the final girl of final girls, the survivor of survivors—the girl that got away.
The Halloween series—I’m including all of them except Halloween 3: Season of the Witch and the Rob Zombie versions, because those were absolute crap—can just be regular slasher flicks to horror fans or an average moviegoer, but to me, these are my romantic comedies.
Hear me out. Michael is always trying to get his girl. He’s the strong silent type. A guardian angel, too. He doesn’t want anyone else to have her. And Laurie, played beautifully by the talented Jamie Lee Curtis, evolved and never let her demons get in the way of finding her voice through hardships. In some way, this series has deeply motivated the way I watch movies.
Sidebar: Yes, Laurie died 10 minutes into Halloween 8: Resurrection, but you just knew it wasn’t the end. It would’ve been a tragedy to let the most capable character in the history of horror go out that way. If you need a better comparison, look at Sigourney Weaver in science fiction films, but the Alien series is all you need.
And I feel I am starting to criticize movies a little less recently because I am going through an escapism phase, but I do think I can tell a terrible movie from a bad one. Yes I understand the criticisms of this last, and final, entry to the Halloween series, but I can’t help but love it for taking me on this amazing journey and getting across the finish line.
I do not care if it was the last one in the marathon. It got over that line with the two stars that started it all more than 40 years back and I am so thankful I got to see it play out in my lifetime.
It is 2:39 a.m. Haddonfield, Illinois, has always been us, the audience, and the audience can finally rest easy knowing the boogeyman is dead. Happy Halloween.