Enough with the ‘Halloween’ Already

‘Halloween Ends’ takes a weird narrative swerve, but leaves hope that this is actually the end

Nearly 50 years after the original Halloween terrorized moviegoers in 1978, the Laurie Strode saga reaches its conclusion with Halloween Ends, the finale to director David Gordon Green’s sequel trilogy. 

Inspired and pitch perfect at times, the billed final confrontation between Jamie Lee Curtis’ iconic final girl and the Shape, Michael Myers, suffers from the same issues as the rest of the trilogy but makes a case for being the most interesting of the three films. 

Halloween Ends sets up its story with a complete fake out cold open about a college kid named Corey (Rohan Cunningham) babysitting a young boy on Halloween night 2019. Shoutout to the writers for having a male babysitter in a horror film for once. Progressive. After the events of Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021), everyone’s understandably a bit on edge in Haddonfield. The boy Corey’s babysitting plays a prank on him, making him think that Michael Myers is in the house after locking him in the attic. Corey kicks the door down and accidentally knocks the boy up and over the third-story staircase railing, killing him gruesomely just as his parents arrive home. 

HALLOWEEN ENDS ★★★(3/5 stars)
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Written by: Paul Brad Logan based on characters by John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell
Running time: 111 min

Flash forward to 2022 and Corey is a pariah in Haddonfield. He’s even getting bullied by high schoolers. He has a chance meeting with Laurie who goes out of her way to introduce Corey to her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). They hit it off romantically, but something just isn’t right with Corey, despite the best efforts of Allyson to love on him. All of the bullying and toxicity of the town have begun corrupting him, or as the film would put it, infecting him with evil. 

After getting his ass kicked by teenagers again, Corey comes face-to-face with Michael Myers in a sewer like this is suddenly Derry, Maine. The Shape spares him because he has some strange way of sensing that Corey has also killed on Halloween. The rest of the film is a buddy cop movie. Just kidding. But Corey does spend most of the rest of the film in a bizarre horror monster icon apprenticeship until the inevitable showdown with Laurie. 

If all that synopsis seems lacking in Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, that’s because it is. For what could’ve been an outright crowd-pleasing showdown for its whole runtime, all of this is a bit high concept and drawn out while neglecting to give us much Myers until the final act. He doesn’t make an appearance until the one-hour mark and only briefly. If you’re down to watch a guy named Corey do his job for him, then this is your kind of movie. 

But the concept works and the story holds together, which is more than I can say for Halloween Kills, which was a mess of fan service, a cautionary tale on steroids, and odd, philosophical monologues. 

Some moments here are perplexing duds, too, like a completely earnest uttering of “I hope you find love” right after a character has just been slapped that drew laughs at my screening, but thankfully there’s nothing like “evil dies tonight” going on. 

It also doesn’t make much sense for Allyson to fall for Corey so hard and so fast, ignoring red flags, and most of all ignoring Laurie’s warnings after all they’ve been through in the previous two films. 

But the part that’s worth all the missteps, all the Corey, and the price of admission is that final fight for Laurie. Curtis delivers a brawl with all the physicality she had in 1978. It’s the ultimate fan service and a delight to see her end things on her terms. 

You’ll either love Halloween Ends for trying something different or hate it for not being what you expected. Either way, you wouldn’t be wrong.

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Pablo Gallaga

Pablo Gallaga is a former video blogger and recapper for Television Without Pity (RIP). You can probably find him at an Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. He will thwart your alien invasion by uploading a rudimentary computer virus to your mothership using a 1996 Apple Powerbook and no Wi-Fi.

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