Halloween Ends (2022) [Spoiler Review]


David Gordon Green


Jamie Lee Curtis - Laurie Strode

Andi Matichak - Allyson Nelson

James Jude Courtney - Michael Myers/ The Shape

Will Patton - Deputy Frank Hawkins

Rohan Campbell - Corey Cunningham

Kyle Richards - Lindsey Wallace

Genre - Horror/Thriller/Drama/Slasher

Running Time - 111 Minutes


Four years after the events of Halloween in 2018, Laurie has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all.


Man, if you thought the division over last year’s HALLOWEEN KILLS was bad, it’s nothing compared to the ugly divide for the end of David Gordon Green’s trilogy, HALLOWEEN ENDS. While I’m in the majority of enjoying the 2018 reboot/sequel, I was one of the few who actually preferred KILLS due to its silliness and fun time. I can’t say I was looking all that forward to ENDS though, as big of a HALLOWEEN fanboy that I am. Considering the ridiculous writing of KILLS, it was tough to get hyped up for this movie despite the promise of a final encounter between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. Still, I went to theaters on opening Friday night with friends to watch this and… well, I may have been the most positive person for this movie. Then seeing all the vitriol and arguments over the quality of the movie on social media, I wanted to step away from reviewing this movie until I had another chance to watch it on Peacock.

Having done so, my opinions on HALLOWEEN ENDS haven't changed much. And I do think it’s the lesser of the three David Gordon Green films, even though it has the most ambition going for it. It’s also not the worst HALLOWEEN film in the franchise, despite what many other fans are saying. This dude also isn’t signing a petition for a redo either. HALLOWEEN ENDS is a film with interesting story elements going for it. They’re just in the wrong movie.

This review will be a spoiler filled one because I can’t share my thoughts without revealing plot elements. So if you haven’t watched the film yet, stop right here. If you have or you don’t care, keep on reading.

So HALLOWEEN ENDS’ issues stem from the fact that the wrong story is being told for the finale of this divisive trilogy. I saw a lot of defenders of this film criticizing those complaining that they would have preferred a simple Michael vs. Laurie finale instead of what we eventually got. I mean, can you blame anyone thinking a movie called HALLOWEEN ENDS would be about an epic conclusion to the Michael Myers and Laurie Strode story that started way back in 1978? In fact, this entire DGG trilogy was pretty much set up and marketed as a way for these two horror icons to have their final confrontation so Jamie Lee Curtis could exit the franchise a lot better than she had in HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION. The 2018 film and HALLOWEEN KILLS put these two characters at the center of the marketing, making fans anticipate an eventual conclusion that would see this feud finally having an end. Even the trailers for HALLOWEEN ENDS seemed to focus on the one-on-one fight between Michael and Laurie, as well as the posters. If a studio is promoting a trilogy in a certain way, fans are going to expect that. So you can’t really blame them when HALLOWEEN ENDS isn’t that film at all.

HALLOWEEN ENDS isn’t even about Laurie and Michael, who honestly feel like supporting characters in this movie. The film is centered by a newly created character named Corey Cunningham, who is now Haddonfield’s latest pariah after accidentally murdering a young boy he was babysitting on Halloween 2019. The town looks down on him. Marching band high schoolers bully him any chance they can get. The parents of the murdered child understandably make a scene whenever he’s around. And while his stepfather has given him a job and treats him well, his mother coddles him every chance she can get to the point of it becoming incestuous at times. Corey is a victim in Haddonfield.

Laurie sees that and saves Corey from the bullies, knowing what it’s like to be a pariah herself. She introduces Corey to her granddaughter Allyson, who instantly becomes infatuated with him. Due to their respective trauma, they connect and fall for each other. While this goes on, Corey encounters Michael, who has been living in sewers for the past four years. While Michael attacks him, Michael sees something in Corey that makes him change his attack and wants to help him. Corey, seeing something in Michael that reminds him of himself, wants to learn from the killer - to the point that the two start tag teaming on people in Haddonfield out of revenge.

As you can see, nothing about Laurie confronting Michael and vice-versa is anywhere in the above paragraphs. That’s because the film isn’t about that. It’s about a character study for a newly introduced character who, tired of being looked down upon and treated like crap in his hometown, snaps and wants vengeance on those he feels has wronged him. That includes Laurie, who sees “Michael’s eyes” in Corey after he encounters the killer.

It seems that Michael may have transferred some of his evil - his “Shape” - into Corey, turning Corey more into Michael throughout the film. Also in a similar way that Michael may have transferred his “Shape” into Dr. Sartain in 2018’s movie, as well as doing the same to the entire town of Haddonfield in HALLOWEEN KILLS. Corey is Arnie to Michael’s Christine, which was David Gordon’s Green main influence on this film. There’s also a bit of THE LOST BOYS and ROMEO AND JULIET. But what the film mainly isn’t is a traditional HALLOWEEN movie.

I personally think the Corey Cunningham angle is a really solid one, because it hasn’t really been done much in a HALLOWEEN movie. The closest we’ve gotten were with Jamie Lloyd in HALLOWEEN 4 and the remake Laurie Strode during Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN II - two characters who shared some sort of psychic connection with Michael Myers to turn them slightly evil and continue his work. Considering that Michael Myers is pretty much an old man in this trilogy, it would make sense for the character to want to continue his evil legacy through younger characters by passing on his evil from one shape to another. Corey is a character that’s well written enough and has motivation that would make it believable that he would continue what Michael had started in Haddonfield. The series could have had their own FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING with the Corey character in a possible trilogy on its own, making the town of Haddonfield believe that Michael Myers was still alive and well even if he was considered missing for years. Maybe with some added drama with Allyson finally seeing Corey for who he was and wanting to save him from the same fate, the series could have been revived in a fresher way.

The Corey idea is great and one I support. It’s just that it shouldn’t be in the final film of a trilogy that is meant to focus on Laurie and Michael meeting one last time.

Because of Corey being such a prominent character, it gives both Laurie and especially Michael the shaft in their own movie. Unlike HALLOWEEN KILLS, Laurie gets more to do. She’s writing a memoir on her life. She’s now a homemaker in a new house, trying to be a typical grandmother for Allyson [who is now acting out] after the loss of Karen at the hands of Michael. She’s trying to move on with her life and not let the trauma of the last 40 years define her and run her life. Yes, this change in Laurie’s character doesn’t really match what we’ve seen before, considering Laurie was Sarah Connor in the prior two movies. And I do see Laurie’s behavior being written backwards, as the trilogy’s events should have led to Laurie wanting to hunt down Michael and finish him. But trauma and grief do strange things to people and maybe the character wanted to be a good role model for her granddaughter, making up for what she couldn’t do for her own daughter.

Michael, on the other hand, is a shell of himself. Living in a sewer had made him weak and vulnerable, especially after the brutality he suffered at the end of HALLOWEEN KILLS. He lets others bring bodies to him, whether to kill them or possibly eat them [how else did he survive down there for four years]. Corey has to push Michael into teaching him how to kill, which seems to rejuvenate Michael a bit, establishing his transcendence from HALLOWEEN KILLS. This is not the same villain we’ve seen in previous films, as he struggles to get his groove back and isn’t even at his 100 percent against Laurie at the end.

The fight itself should be an epic battle, considering that this is what the trilogy has been leading to this whole time. But with both Laurie and Michael feeling like secondary characters in their own movie to a new character who is introduced here, it doesn’t feel earned for either character. Yes, the battle is pretty cool and both parties get their vicious shots in for a somewhat satisfying ending. But considering HALLOWEEN ENDS is really about Corey struggling with his demons and possibly taking over for The Shape due to Michael’s mentorship, the final confrontation feels forced because that’s the only way for this trilogy to end.

It sucks that many are hating this film because of the Corey character, considering his arc is the strongest in the film. If it were up to me, I would have done the final confrontation at the end of KILLS and made ENDS a standalone HALLOWEEN movie where Haddonfield believes Michael is still alive because random murders are happening again in their town. You could have introduced Corey in either the 2018 or KILLS as a love interest for Allyson and built him up in an organic way. I honestly wouldn’t mind a FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING vibe for this series, because Corey is an interesting character and has motivation for his turn to the dark side. That could have been a trilogy on its own, as Laurie and Allyson could have dealt with the fallout that while the human being dies, the evil inside of him doesn’t and can get passed on to other members of the community. It’s something John Carpenter wanted to do with his anthology and with his original concept for HALLOWEEN 4. Unlike back then, I think fans would have been ready for something different in the franchise. But shoehorning too many plot elements in what should be the finale of a trilogy wastes that potential. There’s a good story here somewhere, but for a different movie down the line.

The story also wastes characters like Deputy Frank Hawkins, who seemed to be on a redemption arc after the events of HALLOWEEN KILLS. But he’s barely used in the film and it's mainly to start a romance with Laurie. Lindsay is just a bartender who does tarot readings now. And Sheriff Barker only really appears at the end of the movie. I have no idea what went wrong with the writing here, but something must have changed because it doesn’t feel like the same people who worked on the previous two films here.

What I can be totally positive about is David Gordon Green’s visual presentation. In my opinion, this is his best visual work of the three films he worked on. Some of the murder sequences are pretty damn good, with the opening kill being the best. The junkyard and sewer sets are lit with nice shades of blues and yellows that adds a bit of atmosphere. The junkyard scenes, in particular, reminded me of 1983’s CHRISTINE, with a brutal murder sequence taking place there in the film’s final act. The film had good editing and while the pace could have been better [Michael should have shown up sooner], I understand what DGG was going for here with his attempt at a slow burn. Really nice looking film hampered by an unfocused screenplay.

The cast is very good though. In probably her best performance in the DGG trilogy, Jamie Lee Curtis gets to play with a lot of emotions as an older Laurie Strode who is trying to move past her trauma. She has great comedic moments. She’s charming as she brings back the shyness of her younger self. She’s also very strong in the final act as she reveals many layers to her character. 

I also liked Andi Matichak as Allyson, since she’s given the most to do here. Her scenes with Ronan Campbell felt natural and her explosive moments with Jamie Lee Curtis finally made her an interesting character. James Jude Courtney does well as an aging and weak Michael Myers. I don’t think the script does the character justice but Courtney makes it work. Will Patton is charming as Hawkins in the few scenes he’s in, while it’s always nice to see Kyle Richards outside of The Real Housewives franchise.

The real star is Rohan Campbell as Corey Cunningham, a completely new character who gets the biggest spotlight in a film that should have been about Laurie versus Michael. Despite that, Campbell makes Corey a fleshed out character who we can sympathize with despite his actions. He has chemistry with anyone he shares a scene with and would have been awesome in a standalone HALLOWEEN film focused on him outside of the trilogy. Unfortunately he’s getting a lot of hate for something beyond his control. Campbell is a rising star and who knows where his career will go after the reception of HALLOWEEN ENDS. But I really liked his performance and turned, what could have been an unlikable character, into someone I would have liked to have seen more of. 

And I can’t end this review without mentioning the score by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies. The music is a lot more subtle than anything in the previous films, but it matched the quietness of HALLOWEEN ENDS. I think we can all agree that the music has been the best part of this trilogy.


It took me a while to gather my thoughts on HALLOWEEN ENDS, probably one of the more divisive horror movies I’ve seen on social media in many, many years. Having watched it once in theaters and then on Peacock, it allowed me to finally put into words how I felt about this finale of a trilogy that should have been more epic than it actually is. The performances are very good. The direction creates atmosphere and some nice visuals. The opening scene is the best thing about the film. The promoted confrontation between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers is fine but not as memorable as the one in 1998’s HALLOWEEN: H20. David Gordon Green and three other writers also bring ideas that create a freshness in the series that would be welcomed in a different movie that is not supposed to be the conclusion of a trilogy focused on the main heroine and her villain - two characters who feel like supporting characters to a newly created one who deserves his own movie to shine in. Personally, I would have had the final confrontation at the end of HALLOWEEN KILLS and done the Corey angle after that to bring something new to the HALLOWEEN franchise.

That being said, HALLOWEEN ENDS isn’t the worst film in this franchise, nor is it close to it. In fact, there’s a lot to like in this movie. My issue is don’t bring something different to a franchise where fans are prepared for something else because it was marketed heavily as such. If David Gordon Green wanted to remake CHRISTINE under the HALLOWEEN banner, he could have saved it until after finishing the Laurie versus Michael story first. That’s all I’m saying. Not a total misfire, but disappointing considering the final battle doesn’t really feel earned since the film’s focus is on someone else. I’m very curious to see where this franchise goes next without the Laurie Strode baggage.


2.5 Howls Outta 4

(6 out of 10)


Werewolf By Night (2022)


Michael Giacchino


Gael Garcia Bernal - Jack Russell

Laura Donnelly - Elsa Bloodstone

Harriet Sansom Harris - Verussa Bloodstone

Kirk R. Thatcher - Jovan

Carey Jones - Ted/Man-Thing

Genre: Horror/Action/Fantasy/Monsters/Creature Feature/Werewolves

Running Time: 55 Minutes


On a dark and somber night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic—a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster.


Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a mixed bag with only a few highpoints compared to the previous three Phases. Thankfully it may be ending on a strong note this year, starting with the Disney+ special, WEREWOLF BY NIGHT - based on a 1972 comic that brought in horror elements to the Marvel Universe.

Composer Michael Giacchino proves that he’s also skilled as a horror director, as he puts the Jack Russell character in a setting that resembles a classic Universal flick from the 1930s and 1940s, complete with black & white filter and film grain that gives an illusion of age. With a narrative that resembles The Most Dangerous Game that deals with monster hunters trying to kill each other for a magical Bloodstone that can hurt monsters, it allows the audience to get to know the small cast of characters for a short period of time. Most of the supporting characters unfortunately get less screen time than others, but I enjoyed their different approaches to hunting. Thankfully, Jack and Elsa Bloodline are strongly written characters who share some nice chemistry throughout, strengthening the narrative.

Probably the biggest takeaway from WEREWOLF BY NIGHT is Marvel’s allowing more violence and gore in their projects. While I think May’s DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS was probably more brutal, WEREWOLF BY NIGHT has its share of gore in terms of dismembered limbs, ears being bitten and pulled like Mike Tyson to Evander Holyfield and weapons impaling people. We also have Ted, a.k.a. Man-Thing, disintegrating a scared someone with just a single touch.

Giacchino’s direction is confident and great, as the film feels like a classic horror film in its approach. The fight choreography is awesome and the pacing is perfect for a special like this. I love that the only color we see for a long time is the red from the Bloodstone, while the mix of CGI and practical effects works really well - especially when it comes to an awesome looking Man-Thing [or “Ted”] and a cool looking Werewolf By Night. The werewolf isn’t the greatest looking werewolf, but I liked the mix of the Lon Chaney look with a mix of a modern edge. Plus, Giacchino’s musical score is pretty awesome too. 

The actors are all solid. Gael Garcia Bernal is definitely a get for any studio and he’s wonderful as Jack Russell, bringing a likability and quiet charisma to his lead role. I definitely want to see more of him and his character going forward. Laura Donnelly was also solid as Elsa Bloodline, bringing a toughness and sassiness to her role. I also enjoyed Harriet Sansom Harris’ snooty and power-hungry role as Verussa Bloodline, Elsa’s stepmother and the leader of this hunt. And special mention to Carey Jones as “Ted”, a.k.a. Man-Thing. I really enjoyed his motion capture work that showed how lovable and innocent this supposed monster really is. He could be the next Groot if done right. 


One of the highlights of the mixed bag known as the MCU’s Phase Four, director/composer Michael Giacchino’s WEREWOLF BY NIGHT is a great throwback to the classic horror of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s mixed with modern technology to really stand out in the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe library. The use of black and white [with red being the only color used for much of this television special] with added film grain is a nice touch, while using the common narrative structure of The Most Dangerous Game with an added creature element allows some bit of depth and a simple character arc that’s more than digestible. The action is well shot, as well as some of the more horror elements that’s gory enough to satisfy genre fans. Due to a great mix of CGI and practical effects, both Werewolf by Night and, in particular, Man-Thing look pretty damn cool. The cast, especially Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly, are likable and bring an earnestness to their roles. WEREWOLF BY NIGHT is a nice surprise this Halloween season and I look forward to more of this character in a live-action setting, as well as more horror themed Marvel characters getting their time to shine.


3.5 Howls Outta 4

(9 out of 10)


Smile (2022)


Parker Finn


Sosie Bacon - Dr. Rose Cotter

Kyle Gallner - Joel

Caitlin Stasey - Laura Weaver

Jessie T. Usher - Trevor

Rob Morgan - Robert Talley

Kal Penn - Dr. Morgan Desai

Robin Weigert - Dr. Madeline Northcott

Judy Reyes - Victoria Munoz

Gillian Zinzer - Holly

Genre: Horror/Mystery/Thriller/Curses

Running Time: 115 Minutes


After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.


Paramount’s SMILE could have been a really silly movie due to its gimmick of smiling demonic faces that reminded me of 2018’s TRUTH OR DARE - a film I never watched but heard so many terrible things about it. But who would have guessed that this horror movie actually has a lot of depth going for it, making me sympathetic towards several of the characters. While the film does focus on these smiling beings, the social commentary on mental health and its perception within the medical community and outside of it hit home for me. 

As someone who deals with depression and anxiety, as well as having several friends and family take their own lives due to mental illness, SMILE uses a cheesy gimmick to tell a serious story on how this “smile curse” reveals the negative opinions of those dealing with mental issues. Either they’re turned a blind eye by medical professionals who are desensitized, or looked down upon by members of society who don’t understand why anyone would want to help a so-called “crazy” person. If this curse affects someone, they start hallucinating and start losing their minds out of fear and frustration that no one will believe them, taking their life in front of someone after 7 days to pass on the curse to them. And the reason why this supernatural force has continued for so long is because a lot of people don’t want to deal with mentally ill people, looking at them as some kind of burden.

Thankfully we have a character we can root for in Dr. Rose Cotter, a professional who cares for her patients and works long hours to make sure her patients don’t share the same fate as her mother, who overdosed on pills in front of her when she was a young girl. Her guilt over her mother’s passing and the negative stigma on mental illness drives her, especially when she’s cursed and must find a way to make people understand what she’s going through so she can stop her affliction. Her life begins to fall apart once she’s cursed. Her psychiatrist thinks she may be harmful to herself. Her fiance pulls away from her. A tragedy at her nephew’s birthday party causes strife between her and her sister, who lives with denial over the past. Her colleagues are concerned for her well being. Her life becomes a mess, which is a cool way of explaining how many with mental illness must go through in their lives if left untreated due to misunderstandings or ignorance from those around them.

Besides the social commentary, SMILE’s story is pretty typical for this kind of movie. If you’ve seen other “cursed” movies like THE RING or THE GRUDGE, you’ll be able to follow every single beat in the narrative, right to its predictable conclusion. Thank goodness for a strong social commentary and decently-written characters because there are no real twists or surprises in the story. It’s told well and it’s done well, but there’s nothing narrative wise that stands out from the rest of the pack.

Parker Finn’s direction is good. He handles all the tropes well and brings a bit of style and flair to certain shots and transitions. I love how he lingers on the smiling beings, never really cutting away from them to create this unsettling feeling. The violent moments are shot really well and make an impact when they occur. I do think Finn relied too much on jump scares, as SMILE has one like every 5 to 10 minutes. None of them got me, but if they had, I would have probably been immune by the halfway point of the film. But that’s the horror genre for you and I’m sure they worked on some folks.

The cast is solid. Sosie Bacon [daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick] is really great as Dr. Rose Cotton. She really carries and drives this film to its success, portraying a likable and compassionate doctor who quickly becomes rattled and erratic once she’s cursed. I definitely want to see more of her because she’s a star. It’s always good to see Kyle Gallner in horror movies [we saw him earlier this year in SCREAM (2022)] and he does well as cop Joel, who helps Rose figure out what’s going on. Whatever the quality of the film, Gallner is always reliable in any role he’s in. Jessie T. Usher does fine as Rose’s fiance, while Gillian Zinzer is nice as Holly, playing a counter perspective against Bacon’s Rose. Always nice to see Kal Penn as well. SMILE has a really good cast who take the story seriously and help give it the depth it needs.


Despite a gimmick that could have gone really badly [looking at you, 2018’s TRUTH OR DARE], SMILE surprises by using its smiling gimmick as an understandable way to depict mental illness within a world that chooses to be ignorant or desensitized by the topic. The film’s social commentary on the perception of mental illness is a strong one, as it allows the audience to sympathize with certain characters and gives the movie a depth you wouldn’t expect from a horror movie like this. It helps when the narrative is carried by strong, willing actors - in particular Sosie Bacon, who hits every emotional beat necessary to get the message across in a believable way despite the supernatural element attached to the film.

That being said, SMILE is a film dealing with a curse - meaning if you’ve watched THE RING, THE GRUDGE, or any other similar movie, you’ll predict every beat of the story until it’s expected conclusion. The film also relies too much on jump scares, which become less effective as the film nears the end. However, director Parker Finn has a grasp on what type of movie he’s making, especially when it comes to focusing on the smiling gimmick, which makes the film a bit unsettling as the camera loves to linger on anyone giving an evil smile to the camera. 

SMILE doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it’s still a fun time and definitely worth a look during the Halloween season and even after it’s over. 2022 continues to be good to us horror fans.


3 Howls Outta 4

(7 out of 10)


Dark Glasses (2022)


Dario Argento


Ilenia Pastorelli - Diana

Asia Argento - Rita

Andrea Zhang - Chin

Andrea Gherpelli - Matteo

Mario Pirrello - Chief Inspector Aleardi

Maria Rosaria Russo - Inspector Bajani

Gennaro Iaccarino - Inspector Baldacci

Genre: Horror/Thriller/Drama/Slasher/Giallo

Running Time: 86 Minutes


Diana, a high-class prostitute trying to escape from a serial killer, suffers a car accident that leaves her blind and kills the family of Chin, a ten-year-old boy.


, the newest feature film by Italian horror maestro Dario Argento, was streamed for the first time on Shudder as a surprise screening. It was a welcome surprise, although Argento’s peak has passed him by for decades now. Personally, I feel 1987’s OPERA was the director’s last great movie, even though films like 1996’s THE STENDHAL SYNDROME and 2001’s SLEEPLESS managed to stand out for their high quality amongst the poor films he made since the start of the 1990s. 2012’s DRACULA 3D was just atrocious and probably his lowest point, which made me somewhat weary of DARK GLASSES, his first film as a director in 10 years.

But the premise had me intrigued. Not only was DARK GLASSES a film Argento had written in 2002, but it involved a blind character getting mixed up in a giallo involving a serial killer murdering prostitutes in Italy. Argento is great at giallo films. The blind lead character isn’t a new trope in horror, but it’s not one that has done a whole lot in this kind of sub-genre. Considering Shudder was making a huge deal out of this, my hopes were kind of high for this one.

Unfortunately, I expected too much out of a new giallo by a man who was a master at making them back in the day. All the elements are there - a gloved and mysterious killer, detectives trying to help a confused and vulnerable victim and nasty murder sequences. But the film never comes together for several reasons.

The main culprit is an ironic one - the screenplay that Argento had plotted twenty years ago. The film starts off well. It focuses on Diana, a prostitute who is minding her own business and is trying to survive in Italy. She has some nice and generous clients. She has some creepy ones that should send red flags. Her profession has also made her the target of a killer who has an issue with prostitutes. During her initial encounter with this killer, Diana is driven off the road into another car with an Asian family inside - killing the father, putting the mom into a coma, making the child a temporary orphan and leaving herself blind. While she struggles with her new condition, she learns to cope with it through the help of a blind caretaker named Rita [and a seeing-eye dog named Nerea] who makes her see that she can still live her life, just in a different way. Along the way, the orphaned child Chin attaches himself to Diana and helps her try to survive as the killer plans on finishing the job he started with her.

That above paragraph makes DARK GLASSES sound better than it actually is. The first twenty minutes is classic Argento giallo. We establish the main character. We get some gnarly kills - the first one being a knife to the jugular that unleashes a lot of blood. Then the car accident scene is just well-staged and really lands an impact on you at how brutal and sudden it is. Even the first scenes of Diana being blind and having Rita help her as she struggles with her condition are great stuff. 

But then the narrative just falls off a cliff for whatever reason. When Chin befriends Diana and they struggle with their new dynamic, you should feel more connected to it as an audience. But I didn’t think the two characters really had any chemistry and got annoying the more time they spent together. The characters also make some of the dumbest decisions as they’re being chased and targeted by this killer, making me wonder how bad the killer really was if these protagonists survived as long as they did. The detectives on the scene are also really stupid and it was hard to feel sorry for any of them when bad things happened to them.

What really ruined the film for me was the killer’s motive. I won’t spoil it, of course, But really Argento - this was the best you could come up with? I thought it was super weak and made me stop caring about anything that happened after the reveal. I would have taken something really convoluted over the actual lame reason why this killer was targeting these prostitutes. What a disappointing mystery that could have elevated the script.

Also, DARK GLASSES is way too short. There’s a lot going on in this film, especially when it focuses on Diana’s adjustment to her blindness and the relationships she makes because of it. Everything feels rushed and edited to a point where things can’t develop properly, making these relationships feel underdeveloped and cold to me. Even the killer is barely a focus in this film, which makes the bad motive even worse because while established, it’s not given enough depth to be anything more than laughable and ridiculous. This is a movie that could have used an extra twenty minutes to really develop plot elements to make for a stronger story. Instead, we get this abridged version of a giallo that should have been better than it actually is.

Other than that, the rest of DARK GLASSES is fine. While not as colorful or as stylish as his previous peak work, Argento still manages to show that he still knows how to direct a giallo. The first half, in particular, is his strongest stuff. There’s good tension and mood happening. The first kill is pretty nasty and increased my interest in the movie. The car chase is also well shot and thrilling at times. Even the quieter moments are handled and paced well, making the audience look around to see if the killer is still in stalk mode while Diana has never been more vulnerable. I think the film loses itself in the last half with odd pacing, weird edits, and a flat ending that does no one any favors. But Argento’s work here is better than his last batch of films, to be honest. I just wish he had a better script to work with.

The actors are also fine. Ilenia Pastorelli does a good job as Diana, convincingly portraying a woman who struggles with her sudden blindness while trying to escape a murderer. Pastorelli nicely brings about a freedom in her performance at the start, believably changing into a more introverted and frustrated persona once the blindness becomes a factor. I also liked her fear towards the end of the film, as I couldn’t imagine facing a killer blind.

The supporting cast does their job as well. In particular, Asia Argento does a nice job in playing Diana’s caretaker and friend, Rita. She doesn’t get to do a whole lot, but she brings a calming presence to the film. Andrea Zhang is okay as Chin, although he gets kind of grating by the end of the film. I know Argento was trying to build this surrogate mother-son dynamic between Pastorelli and Zhang, but I never really bought it as much as the two tried.

And special mention goes to Arnaud Rebotini’s score. Originally planned for Daft Punk before they retired, Rebotini provides music that’s loud and thumping. It’s not Goblin, but it fits the film well and adds a cool atmosphere to the film - which it needs.


While an improvement over his last works as a director, Dario Argento’s DARK GLASSES still manages to be a disappointment considering all the elements are there to create a memorable giallo. Focusing more on the blind victim and an orphaned child instead of the serial killer who has targeted them and caused this trauma for them is an interesting approach for a giallo, as it should allow the audience to connect on a human level rather than just focus on the mystery and the violence that comes with it. Unfortunately, the screenplay isn’t strong enough to tell that kind of story with characters behaving in ways that make you care less about them as the film rolls on. The movie is also way too short, as it feels like an abridged version of a larger story, editing out all the character development and relationship dynamics needed for an audience to really connect with what they’re watching. And I won’t even mention the ridiculous motive for the villain of the film, which pretty much took me out of the film once it was revealed. I can’t believe Argento thought it was a good move to make.

That being said, Argento’s direction [while not anywhere close to his peak] is still pretty good, as some of the murder sequences are gnarly and the car chase scene is shot well. There’s a nice atmosphere and tension that plays throughout, although I do miss the more stylish and colorful films of his past. The actors are fine, especially Ilenia Pastorelli as the lead who struggles with becoming blind due to a killer who has targeted her and continues to do so in her vulnerable state.

I love Argento’s giallo films, but DARK GLASSES is a mixed bag for me. But it’s a way better movie than DRACULA 3D, so that’s gotta be worth something at least. Unfulfilled potential, in my opinion.


2 Howls Outta 4

(5 out of 10)

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