REVIEW: “Halloween Ends” – for the fourth time the slasher franchise draws to its end


“Halloween Ends” is currently playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.

Ben Kaiser, Reporter

“Halloween” 1978 – the night a humble babysitter encountered a knife-wielding murderer.  

Depending on which timeline you prefer (and there are a couple in this series), that night began a long and dangerous road for Laurie Strode, forever bonded with her would-be killer, Michael Myers. Now, 2022 is the year that these two will finally end this 40-year feud.  

Halloween will finally end… after four times… for good… until another filmmaker decides to revive Michael again. 

“Halloween Ends” is the latest installment of “Halloween” that ignores all other sequels, like the other two. Instead, only the original 1978 film exists. This gave a fresh take for the horror icon Michael Myers, now in his 70s, and Laurie Strode, a paranoid grandmother traumatized by Michael’s attack in 1978.  

“Halloween Ends” brings back Jamie Lee Curtis from the original “Halloween” as survivor Laurie Strode, along with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak, “Foxhole”). James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle also return as Michael Myers, with Castle (who played Michael in the original “Halloween”) playing Michael unmasked and Courtney playing all the other shots. 

After Michael Myers terrorized Haddonfield with bloodshed, he disappeared for several years. Even without Michael’s killing, the fear has caused the residents to panic and cause senseless deaths. However, Laurie Strode has moved on, living in the town again with Allyson and embracing the life she denied herself. 

Meanwhile, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell, Hulu’s “The Hardy Boys”) struggles with the aftermath of a horrible babysitter incident that happened a year after Michael disappeared. He drifts through town as a social outcast until he accidentally discovers Michael’s hiding place. Escaping Michael triggers a change in him, as he becomes more aggressive and starts following Michael’s footsteps – becoming Haddonfield’s newest killer. 

“Halloween Ends” is directed by David Gordon Green, in addition to the last two “Halloween” movies. Green has a wide range of movies. He started with mostly drama and comedies, like “Joe” or “Pineapple Express.” He’s attached to horror now due to his “Halloween” success. He’s currently working on a new sequel to “The Exorcist” and an HBO series based on “Hellraiser.” 

Green’s last two “Halloween” movies were non-stop slaughtering goodness from start to end. He literally wasted no time in getting Michael’s killing streak going. 

But this time, the movie is just… boring. It’s barely Michael’s story or even Laurie’s, for that matter. Both are the biggest names in the whole “Halloween” franchise, and they’re mostly side characters. It’s even weirder when you look at all the ads, trailers, and interviews suggesting this is the final showdown between Michael and Laurie. They made it look like this is the Endgame of “Halloween,” and it’s just tucked away from the final 20 minutes. 

Michael and Laurie fighting for the final time.

In fact, there’s a weird transition from the last movie. Between 2018 “Halloween” and “Halloween Kills,” it’s instant. The first movie ended with Michael trapped in the burning house, and the second movie starts with the firefighters showing up to take down the fire. Both movies are on the same night. 

But the second movie ends with Laurie vowing to take down Michael once and for all, especially after Michael murders her daughter. This is also after 40 years of prepping for Michael to come back. So why does the film go to years later and change up Laurie as all adjusted now, like magic? The abrupt change-up is something worthy of J.J. Abrams’ story writing. 

So, what is “Halloween Ends” mostly focused on? Corey the town’s outcast. Not to give too much away, but Corey was responsible for the death of a child he was supposed to babysit. Naturally, that messes with Corey mentally, and the town avoids him like the Plague, despite the kid’s death being deemed an accident.  

Not to mention that the little, spoiled brat was bored with John Carpenter’s “The Thing” and I will not abide that. Little twerp insulted one of my favorite movies; I’m glad he fell. Glad.

Anyways, the bulk of the movie is centered on Corey hooking up with Laurie’s granddaughter, who also survived Michael’s rampage. I guess both of them having a messed up past brought them together and found solid common ground. The only problem is Corey’s encounter with Michael sorta awakened an inner evil or something. It’s a bit vague, but Laurie can see this evil in Corey’s eyes, and she has seen the same evil in Michael’s.   

I’ll admit I do find this idea interesting since Michael’s evil influencing Haddonfield could span potential spin-off shows. But I paid $10 (not including popcorn) to see Michael and Laurie, not a copycat wannabe doing the killing.  

Everything made it feel like that’s what you’ll be getting. Instead, it shifts everything to this new character Corey and his problems. In fact, it was waaay too much about Corey. Michael is barely in here, and he barely kills people. I think I counted two kills in this movie. Two kills?!

The posters, trailers, TV spots, and interviews are all about this being the big showdown between Laurie and Michael. So, the Michael vs Laurie hype gets deflated almost instantly when you see that the film keeps Laurie at bay, and Michael is barely in the film. It’s only by luck that the two run into each other and decide to have a quick final fight for the film’s last 20 minutes. By the time these two have the fight that they promised us, the anticipation has been long exhausted.  

There wasn’t any build-up to the big finale; it just happens. After 40 years, this is the big payoff?  

2016’s “Suicide Squad” (the one with Will Smith, not Idris Elba) is another example of this “false advertisement” in trailers. For that film, Jared Leto’s Joker was all over posters and trailers. It gave the feeling that his character was going to be a big part of the film, maybe even the big villain for the Suicide Squad to go after. They never hinted at the real antagonists, one of them being the Enchantress, who was shown in the trailers to be part of the “good guys” team.   

The title suggests it, but is this really the end? Every horror franchise has a film somewhere in their lineup claiming to be the last one (“Freddy’s Dead, The Final Nightmare,” “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter,” and “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”). But just like the films’ killers, they always come back. Give it another 10 years, and I promise someone will want to revamp Michael Myers in a “new, refreshed” version. 

Overall, “Halloween Ends” is a disappointment. Yes, the earlier reboots have their flaws, but they at least knew how to appeal to the fans. The abrupt shift to Corey’s story in the final movie really throws you off after having no build-up to this new character. You almost wonder if maybe you walked into the wrong theater room if it wasn’t for the fact that everyone always talks about Michael. 

Personally, I’ve seen enough horror sequels to not expect that they’ll all be winners. Even in the Halloween series, there are a lot of bad sequels. I guess that after enjoying “Halloween 2018” and “Halloween Kills,” I was building up hope for a kick-ass finale. That might be on me, but there should, at least, have been the same consistencies that the previous reboots had. Just saying. 

“Halloween Ends” is currently playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock. 

Rohan Campbell and Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween Ends.