Film Reviews Horror Reviews

HALLOWEEN ENDS Stumbles (A Lot) Towards an Epic Finale

The final face-off is here. It’s Laurie Strode vs. Michael Myers for one last time. Well, until an inevitable reboot, but until then, Halloween Ends serves as the bloody curtain call for this trilogy, a direct follow-up to Halloween (1978). After a standout reintroduction in 2018, the series hit a low with last year’s Halloween Kills. But is this final chapter enough to redeem this new timeline?

It’s been four years since the sadistic killer Michael Myers was last seen after a gruesome battle with the townspeople of Haddonfield. Since that night, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has made strives in her recovery and has settled into a more picturesque life with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).

While the two have processed their experience, the rest of their community has not. With Michael’s whereabouts unknown, the other residents are struggling with grief and paranoia. The sheer thought of the boogeyman’s return has seeped into minds and even destroyed lives.

For Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), that fear changed the trajectory of his life after a terrible accident left him as the town pariah. Allyson feels a connection to him, though Laurie fears the town has done too much damage to him. But she may have more to take on as the masked villain readies to step out from beyond the shadows.

Halloween Ends had a lot of pressure to stick the slasher landing. The return of Curtis to the role of Laurie Strode was such a monumental announcement and the promise of a worthwhile conclusion—that wiped the slate clean after the original film—was a win for the horror community. But it’s a tall order to deliver three flawless installments and there were certainly mistakes made along the way.

I’ll be direct. The conclusion of this trilogy is messy. The first two-thirds of the film are rough. While I appreciate the new direction and exploration of how fear has become a sort of infection among the community, it’s not well executed. It’s so close to nailing it, but some choices that support the plot don’t feel fully thought out.

The pacing and script are the main problems. There’s not enough time for pressure to bubble up for a particular character who is the catalyst for most of the film. Rather, we spend a lot of time witnessing a sort of would-be Bonnie and Clyde relationship come to be in a fairly unnatural way.

The film also tries to be smart with the aspect of evil living beyond Michael, beyond his mask, which feels in line with what transpires (which I’ll avoid due to spoilers). But for better or worse, that point is wasted as it never comes to fruition. Again, I liked this idea in theory, but the execution isn’t there and wastes time for what should be focused on Laurie vs. Michael.

That being said, the third act is very strong and exactly what fans had hoped for when this reboot was announced. It’s Curtis at her peak, being a total badass — something missing from Halloween Kills. It’s what’s so frustrating about this film and the previous one. Why wasn’t that the focus the entire time?

Except for the 2018 outing, there have been missed opportunities. There’s a disconnect that’s almost unforgivable at times. This film makes many improvements over the second movie. I just wish it hadn’t wasted so much time on bewildering choices until it gets to a nearly perfect final act.

Halloween Ends subverts expectations and aims for something different than what has been done with previous Halloween films. It’s not perfect by any means, and it will be divisive as divisive can be. I’ve even struggled to place it for myself. But I think it’ll be one of those films that your opinion may change as it sits with you over time. 

I can understand why people will love it, and I can understand why people will hate it. It’s stuffed with nonsense, weak dialog, and odd editing choices in those first two acts. But the climatic finale amps things up for a satisfying end.


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