HomeMoviesHalloween Ends Review: The New Trilogy Stumbles to a Mind-Boggling Conclusion

Halloween Ends Review: The New Trilogy Stumbles to a Mind-Boggling Conclusion

Jamie Lee Curtis in HALLOWEEN ENDS.
Photo Courtesy Universal Picutres

It’s a shame that in a year where the horror genre has been immensely strong, with prolific franchises like Scream and Predator adding refreshing new stories to their canon, Blumhouse and David Gordon Green’s modern Halloween trilogy ends on a stumbling note, with the perplexing and mind-boggling finale, Halloween Ends.

The previous entry, Halloween Kills, left things on an intense note that offered great momentum into the finale. Say what you will about the story itself, but Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) going on a gruesome tear through Haddonfield and ultimately killing Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) daughter Karen (Judy Greer) perfectly set up a fearsome final battle between him and Laurie. However, Halloween Ends doesn’t take place directly after the madness of the previous film. Rather, we return Haddonfield four years after the events of Halloween Kills — Michael has been missing, Laurie and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) have started to move on, and Haddonfield is still haunted by the shadow of Michael Myers.

Halloween Ends does feature an interesting kind of Haddonfield. One that has become consumed by anger and violence since Michael’s disappearance and is still reeling from the scars he’s left. It’s easy to see that a lot of the residents have become bitter and are a little more vicious towards one another — especially to Laurie, who some residents blame for bringing Michael back. The tone of the film actually has hints of Rob Zombie’s Halloween films, for better or worse, and it’s really great that Haddonfield as a town has its own arc in this trilogy and their pain fits neatly into the trilogy’s themes.

The themes surrounding grief, being haunted, and struggling to escape your own personal demons continue well in Halloween Ends. This trilogy’s focus on pain and the thematic elements of its characters, specifically Laurie, has been a big reason that it’s been able to stand strong where other imitation requels have failed. Laurie and now Andi’s personal arcs and story threads surrounding their grief maintain their gripping and deeply emotional qualities well while taking new forms with the film’s major time jump. The addition of a new main character, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), adds more to the themes with his personal, horrifying story adding a unique twist on these themes. The story can do a good job emphasizing the struggles of moving forward from tragedy and escaping your ghosts while also showcasing some great performances and moments from Curtis and Matichak.

However, the strengths of Halloween Ends rarely outweigh the cost of its change in story focus, since this is mostly not a film about Laurie and Michael being at each other’s throats. Unfortunately, Michael is sidelined for most of the film and is given a new protégé in Corey, who sucks up most of this film’s focus. For the film being pitched as a final battle between Laurie and Michael, it rarely tries to build towards that, and this time jump really hurts the film from the start.

All the momentum and emotion from Halloween Kills are completely stripped with the time jump and Halloween Ends doesn’t feel cohesive with the previous films because of how it suddenly shifts into this new story. Now, that’s not to say that this new story would’ve never worked. If it had been built up from the 2018 film and now become a bigger focus, it could’ve worked in closing out an ongoing story and would’ve made Corey and Allyson’s relationship feel natural. Instead, it’s just shoved into a finale to take over the story that fans really wanted to see coming into Halloween Ends and makes you feel like you’re watching something other than Halloween. Plus, it heavily weakens Allyson as a character, because she becomes so wrapped up in this romance with Corey, and she looks very oblivious and dimwitted throughout, which feels so against her character.

The bigger problem of Corey taking over as the main threat and character of the film, though, is that he basically makes Halloween Ends a Michael Myers-less Halloween movie—a distinction no fan wants to hear. You immediately get vibes of Friday the 13th: Part V with Roy Burns in how it’s just not fun to watch someone other than the main franchise killer run around and butcher people. Sure, the kills are more gruesome and gorier than ever. The score has never been better and Green actually crafts some good scares, especially in the strong opening. However, if it’s not tied to Michael, then it doesn’t feel as special and it’s especially frustrating in a movie billed as a big moment for Michael. Michael, himself, also just feels out of sorts and the way he’s characterized really feels out of place for the killing machine we’ve watched over the last two movies, let alone over the last few decades.

Even when the film tries to live up to its promise of a big Michael versus Laurie showdown, it vastly underwhelms. There are some cool moments in the fight, but it’s not built up well, so it feels forced and is way too short. The result is somewhat satisfying and the events that follow it do feel like an epic sequence of the events and characters of this trilogy coming together. However, it all feels so bittersweet because this film takes such a strong shift away from this story that it’s been building, leaving the legacy of this trilogy and Curtis as Laurie (as this will more than likely be the last time we’ll see her in the role) on an unfulfilling note.

With the momentum and anticipation for Halloween Ends so high, it’s sad that Blumhouse and Green totally drop the ball by providing a middling conclusion that offers some highs that fans will love, but some big lows that will undoubtedly divide fans and ultimately don’t live up to the expectations they set.

Halloween Ends is now playing in theaters and on Peacock Premium.

Tom Moore
Tom Moorehttps://mooreviews.com/
Tom is always ready to see and review everything horrifying and hilarious that hits theaters, television, and video games...sometimes. You can check out his other reviews and articles on his blog, Mooreviews.


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