It's been four years since the iconic Halloween franchise was most recently revamped, and Halloween Ends has finally arrived to put an ~end~ to the Michael Myers vs. Laurie Strode saga once and for all. (Probably, anyway.)
For a quick refresher, starting with Halloween (2018), director David Gordon Green (best known for his comedy work like Pineapple Express and Eastbound & Down) teamed up with frequent collaborators Jeff Fradley and actor Danny McBride to write a new take on Halloween. The film served as a direct sequel to 1978's Halloween and retconned all of the old sequels, sending the Laurie Strode-focused timeline in a new direction.
This was followed up with 2021's Halloween Kills, which picked up right after the events of 2018's film. We saw Laurie, her daughter, and granddaughter, along with the entire town of Haddonfield, going after Michael Myers with literal pitchforks and torches.
Now we have Halloween Ends, which serves as the final film in this "trilogy" of new Halloween films. And, if I'm being honest, I say "trilogy" loosely because they all feel kinda disconnected.
Anyway, let's talk about the new film...
BTW, before we get going here, if you want to know absolutely nothing about the film going into it, be sure to bookmark this for later. I won't reveal any major spoilers, but obviously, I gotta talk about the film somehow!
Halloween (2018), for my money, was one of the strongest in the entire franchise. In fact, it has the second-highest Rotten Tomatoes score of ALL the Halloween films (after, of course, the OG Halloween from 1978).
When Halloween Kills came out, I couldn't help but be disappointed — it paled in comparison. Aside from a few really entertaining and gory kills by Michael, the film basically sidelined Laurie (ironically in a hospital again, like 1981's Halloween II) and featured a plot that was kinda messy, boring, and downright awkward at times (remember the whole "evil dies tonight!!!" scene???).
So, going into Halloween Ends, I had high hopes they'd turn this trilogy back around and end it on a note as high as 2018's film. Sadly, they did not.
Halloween Kills starts off with a bang. Like many of its predecessors, the film opens with a pretty wild death sequence that will likely shock you (and the rest of the audience if you see it with one).
This death starts a chain of events that will lead to what is, effectively, the thesis of the movie: Evil doesn't die, it only changes shape.
Now, as a broad concept, that completely makes sense because, yeah, that's true. Evil will ALWAYS exist. And yes, in real life, evil takes on many different forms.
It's also understandable, for a franchise that now has 13 movies, that they might want to say, "Hey, maybe the bad guy won't be Michael Myers forever." But who are we kidding? People watch Halloween movies literally FOR Michael Myers. (Unless you're a ride-or-die Season of the Witch fan, in which case, maybe you're okay with more non–Michael Myers Halloween films.)
And going with this "evil is everywhere" concept, the filmmakers decided to have a different killer running around for a large percentage of the movie, which is...a choice.
After the OMFG opening, the story jumps ahead four years in time after the events of Halloween Kills, setting it in present day, 2022. A now more subdued and depressed Laurie is working on a book and doing her best to support her granddaughter, Allyson.
Laurie remains traumatized by the events that happened to her as a teen and then as an adult. On top of that, she also grieves for her daughter who died at the hands of Michael Myers in Halloween Kills. Laurie really just cannot catch a break!
Michael, meanwhile, has apparently been in hiding all these years — in a sewer, a la Pennywise for whatever reason — weakened from his injuries in the last film.
We're also introduced to a brand-new character, Corey Cunningham, a good kid who gets into an unfortunate situation that many people in town NEVER forget about.
A LOT of time is spent developing Corey's character and his budding relationship with Allyson. The two seem to feel a kind of connection — Corey being a town outcast, and Allyson being the granddaughter of the ~other~ town outcast. Corey and Laurie are literally called "a freak and a psycho" by some mean marching band kids. (LOL, apparently in Haddonfield, band kids are bullies!)
But, if I'm being honest, I could've used a lot less Corey and a lot more Michael and Laurie.
And therein lies the biggest problem with Halloween Ends (and also Halloween Kills). It seems the filmmakers somehow lost the plot along the way with this trilogy. Halloween (2018) presented us with a Laurie Strode hell-bent on taking back her life and wanting to turn the tables on her trauma, only to have her take something of a backseat in Kills and Ends.
But that's not to say Laurie doesn't get the final word in Ends. She certainly does. Because you're not gonna end Halloween without Laurie Strode kicking some ass.
The highlight of Ends is the inevitable showdown between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. There are some wonderful callbacks to the original film — Jamie Lee Curtis even wears the same outfit she had back in the day, which I LOVED — and you know your girl Laurie won't go down without a serious fight.
Despite my problems with the overall story of Ends, Jamie Lee Curtis proves that she is the heart of this movie, trilogy, and the entire Halloween franchise. She is the ultimate and greatest final girl, a legend, an icon...and I would watch Curtis in any and all Halloween films (honestly, ANY movie for that matter) all day, every day. Evil may change shape, but legends never die.
Halloween Ends opens nationwide in theaters and streaming only on Peacock on Friday, Oct. 14. And you can watch the final trailer here:
Looking for more recommendations? Check out some of my other reviews from this year:
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Everything Everywhere All at Once