After so many disappointing sequels, reboots, revivals, rebootquels, and whatever Season of the Witch was, 2018’s Halloween finally delivered the satisfying ending fans deserved. Hollywood just couldn’t let it burn, however. Everything about Halloween Kills was misguided, from taking place on the same night as the previous film to keeping Laurie Strode confined to a hospital for most of the runtime. In addition to rehashing the same slasher shtick, the film did nothing to progress the plot outside of killing one major character. The experience was so pointless that you can walk into Halloween Ends without even seeing Halloween Kills. Should you even bother with this “final chapter,” though?
To give Halloween Ends credit, it made me do something that not even the 2018 movie did: gasp. The film opens essentially how you’d expect with a babysitter, a bratty kid, and a butcher knife out in the open. All the pieces are there to repeat what we’ve seen a million times before. There’s even a jump scare so lame that it’s borderline satire. The film swipes the rug out from under us, though, with one of the most shocking twists in the entire franchise. It’s established upfront that this entry is going to do something different. Although Halloween Ends deserves props for that, “different” can go in two directions. In the end, this doesn’t go in the right one.
The main problem with Halloween Ends is that there isn’t much of Michael Myers. Granted, he gets more screen time here than he did in Season of the Witch, but that film fully committed to being its own entity. Halloween Ends tries shaking up a familiar formula, but after a while, it feels like director David Gordon Green and company have run out of ideas. Instead of Michael, more focus is given to Rohan Campbell’s Corey, a conflicted young man with a troubled past. This strangely makes him desirable in the eyes of Andi Matichak’s Allyson (Laurie’s granddaughter in case you forgot).
Campbell turns in an effective performance that transitions between sympathetic and creepy. However, the character is reminiscent of Tommy Jarvis from Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Remember Tommy? Of course you don’t! Unless Jason Voorhees or his mother is the killer, it’s not Friday the 13th. Likewise, Halloween Ends keeps us waiting for Michael to show up. Then when he does, he’s surprisingly kind of a wimp. Even Michael seems tired, as if he wants this franchise to end already. Corey’s connection to him also makes about as much sense as The Curse of Michael Myers. Which version? Either!
Just as the audience is left waiting for Michael, this series has kept us waiting for Allyson to come into her own. In Halloween Ends, she continues her string of foolish decisions, making her survival laughable at this point. The only consistently great aspect of the H40 trilogy (as they’re marketing it) is Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie. Although Curtis is given more to do this time around, it isn’t until the last act that she gets to truly shine. The ending is satisfying enough, but it would’ve been so much more rewarding if the series ended on a high note four years ago. It’s not the worst Halloween movie or even the worst entry in this trilogy. However, if Halloween Kills felt like kicking a dead horse, then Halloween Ends is like kicking a pile of glue.
Halloween Ends is playing in theaters and on Peacock.