Everything has led to this moment. It is here that we will see Michael Myers fall. It all began in 1978 when Michael Myers returned to his hometown in Haddonfield, Illinois, to put fear in the community. Forty years later, he escaped and slaughtered members of that neighborhood. Now, it’s time for evil to fall. This newest timeline of the Halloween franchise started off well with the 2018 film, while Halloween Kills was a tedious, brutal exercise with no heart to beat. Halloween Ends attempts to juggle several ideas but ends up dropping all the balls. It’s an ending that fans have been waiting for. The result leaves fans feeling exasperated when the movie is over.
Halloween Ends picks up one year after the events of the previous film, Halloween Kills. That movie ended with the shocking death of Karen (Judy Greer), Laurie Strode’s daughter. Michael ambushed her in his childhood home and brutally murdered her. This movie only mentions Karen’s death during a voice-over narration from Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) as she informs the audience of all that has happened in Haddonfield after Michael Myers’s rampage. Laurie is writing a memoir of her experiences, and the Myers house has since been demolished. Residents of the town are so grief-stricken by the massacre that some people have committed suicide. Michael is missing and hasn’t been seen in nearly four years. Strangely, we never see the police pursue Michael following Karen’s death, a search party looking for him, or the destruction of the Myers residence.
The film opens with Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) babysitting a young neighborhood kid named Jeremy (Jaxon Goldberg). It’s Halloween night 2019, and everyone is still familiar with Michael Myers. It’s been a year since anyone has seen him, but no one has forgotten. During the evening, Jeremy plays a prank on Corey, which leads to a horrific tragedy. It’s one of the best openings of this new timeline and a positive film highlight.
We fast-forward to the present day, where Corey struggles with his life and is taunted by the community following what happened to Jeremy. Since Michael Myers is gone, he is the new monster or boogeyman, so to speak. He gets threatening looks from people and is even violently accosted by a four-man squad of a high school marching band. Meanwhile, Laurie has purchased a new home, and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) lives with her while working at a local hospital. Deputy Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) also returns, but we never see him in uniform, so we aren’t sure if he still works for the Haddonfield PD. Perhaps he’s semi-retired. The movie never addresses this.
Life for Laurie is excellent. She is happy, busy with writing her memoir and turning the page of the terror that entered her life long ago. We get more screen time for Laurie this time around, which is a welcome surprise and Jamie Lee Curtis is such a treat to see again. Before all the chaos ensues, Laurie helps Corey one day while being aggressively teased by the goon squad marching band. After sustaining a hand injury, Laurie takes him to the local hospital to get his wound looked at. There he meets Allyson, who immediately has an attraction to him. Despite knowing his past and the town’s sinister opinion of him, Allyson asks him to the Halloween dance in town.
The date goes well until Corey runs into the mother of Jeremy who accosts him. Fleeing from the area, Corey is cornered by the marching band and is thrown from a bridge. He survives but is pulled into the sewers by an unknown figure. That figure is Michael Myers. He’s been in Haddonfield the whole time, living in the sewers. Why? What’s Michael been up to for all this time? The screenwriters haven’t got a clue, nor do we.
For some reason, Michael doesn’t kill the young man, and here is where things start to get weird. It has been established that Michael Myers has never uttered a word during his incarceration but now can communicate with Corey in a manner that manifests itself into Corey becoming a homicidal maniac. It’s a bold direction to go but is something that will not sit well with fans.
Michael Myers has been the only killer in this franchise (not counting Season of the Witch), and for some reason, that torch has been passed to Corey. It’s an odd thing to do, but I get the idea behind this reasoning. The first Halloween from 2018 focused on the trauma that Laurie has lived with all her life, whereas the second film focused on how Michael impacted the community with his crimes. This film expects us to buy into the idea that Michael’s evil can be passed onto another person. Does Michael talk to Corey? Does he use sign language or write down his thoughts? Well, we don’t know. The movie never explains this.
The movie then resorts to the typical slasher that it always becomes, but Michael isn’t raising the body count. Corey is the new killer this time. In fact, Michael and Corey become murder buddies! Can someone explain this to me?! Michael himself looks tired, frail, and is treated like a secondary character in his own franchise. Audience members were confused and vented their frustrations when the movie was over. When someone goes to see a Halloween movie, we expect to see Michael Myers. It’s the reason we are here. We don’t want another killer. Halloween 4 tried this idea with its ending, but it never went anywhere. This overall idea reminded me slightly of that truly dreadful experience known as Jason Goes to Hell, where everyone is the killer except for Jason himself.
The movie has three looming ideas. Corey being the new killer, the possibility of Corey and Allyson becoming accomplices based on the traumatic life experiences in their life, and the long-awaited battle between Laurie and Michael. The movie can’t decide what it wants to be, and despite a welcome opening, the movie drags, and we hardly see Michael Myers anyway! How was this approved to be made? And what about Corey? With his devastating experience involving Jeremy, are we to believe that he would undergo a significant transformation into a killer because of the turmoil he’s facing now? It’s a character motivation that is so convoluted and confusing simultaneously.
It appears that the script wanted to offer challenging ideas that were poised in the previous films, but perhaps the film was rushed, or maybe someone shredded the script only for it to be quickly put back together. Even the third act, as satisfying as it is, feels out of place. It should’ve been an addition to an extended cut of the 2018 film instead of an ending to this third entry. Call me old-fashioned, but I would’ve been happy with a stereotypical slasher instead of inserting ideas that never come to convincing fruition.
Aside from all those complications that hinder the experience, Halloween Ends is well-acted and has good production values. The problem is the script. It’s heavy-handed and confusing. The kills are lackluster, especially when compared to the savagery of Halloween Kills. The side characters (the ones getting killed) are not memorable in the slightest, and once again, the movie features some truly idiotic characters that make you scream out in frustration. The biggest sin of all is not seeing Michael Myers in the starring role. The screenwriters (Brad Paul Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, and director David Gordon Green) have crafted a movie that suffers from a severe lack of identity and clarity.
The real victims of this movie are Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. They both deserved better than this. The build-up to the epic conclusion was there, and somehow the filmmakers missed the shot by a mile. It’s an epic fail! How is it possible that they could screw up so badly? This Halloween feels like a slap in the face to the fans because everything we wanted is never delivered. Michael Myers is mainly omitted from the film and only arrives when the script calls for him, and while I enjoyed the fight between him and Laurie, it would’ve been more suited to the 2018 film. The worst fact to realize is that John Carpenter (the director of the 1978 classic) has his name attached to this!
Score 1 out of 5
Halloween Ends is an abysmally embarrassing conclusion to a once-beloved franchise for horror fans. The script is unfocused, lacks genuine thrills, and features less Michael Myers than anyone could’ve anticipated. At this point, I think the screenwriters are laughing at us. We deserve better than this. Sure, the ending is worth the effort, but the complete package is such a disappointment that the stain of this movie will be attached to this franchise forever.
This new timeline didn’t need to be a trilogy. The 2018 film was sufficient enough to be entertaining and offered a bloody good time when compared to the cheesy sequels over the past forty years. Halloween Ends is the worst of the series for the simple fact that another killer steps in for Michael. That’s not what the fans want, and Michael deserved a proper end to the legendary character that he’s become. Halloween Ends is yet another example of promising potential wasted on lazy screenwriting to justify a pointless retread of cliches and slice-and-dice mayhem. Shame on them.