Freeze Frame: “Halloween Ends” (R), “Rosaline” (PG-13), “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” (PG-13)

The title of the movie is “Halloween Ends.” And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Bonner Springs to sell you. After 11 films over 44 years, Jamie Lee Curtis is still being menaced by boogeyman Michael Meyers in theaters and on Peacock. Curtis is back as Laurie Strode, now battling depression and alcoholism, fueled by years of fleeing the preternatural killer. Will she finally get the upper hand? I’m not telling. Writer/director David Gordon Green adds a few new twists to the familiar formula, yet it feels like a retread. Still, “Halloween Ends,” the third installment since the 2018 franchise reboot, has all the bloody mayhem fans have come to expect.

As she’s displayed in movies like “Booksmart” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” Kaitlyn Dever is one of our best young actresses. She shows charisma and sharp comic timing in the Hulu movie “Rosaline,” a tongue-in-cheek comic reimagining of the “Romeo and Juliet” story. Dever plays the title character, the girl Romeo jilted for her cousin, Juliet. Things get complicated as Rosaline tries to win him back. It’s admittedly silly, but “Rosaline” is surprisingly funny and always watchable thanks to Dever’s polished performance.

“Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” is a YA horror thriller on Netflix, adapted from a Stephen King novella. Jaeden Martell takes the leading role as a boy who is recruited by a reclusive billionaire, played by Donald Sutherland, to read to him three times a week. When the wealthy businessman dies, the boy puts an iPhone in his coffin…and shortly thereafter, the lad begins getting mysterious calls from beyond the grave. While the premise of “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” is intriguing, this supernatural coming-of-age story is poorly paced and never quite achieves the eerie atmosphere it strives for.


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