Directed by David Gordon Green
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Will Patton, Rohan Campbell
I have a theory that Michael Myers is actually a Cyberdyne Systems T101 Terminator or the indestructible John Kirby in the Chuck Norris cult sci-fi/slasher Silent Rage (1982). It’s been 44 years since 1978’s Halloween and the guy just keeps on ticking (although you could argue James Bond is unkillable as well and for a much longer span). Nevertheless, here we are in 2022, in what we are told is the final installment in the Blumhouse trilogy of Halloween sequels: Halloween Ends.
Halloween Ends follows 2021’s Halloween Kills, which followed 2018’s Halloween – both of which were disappointing to me but a sizable improvement over preceding Halloween sequels, not to mention Rob Zombie’s remake from 2009. Set 4 years after the crazy events of Halloween Kills, the film focuses more on the aftermath of Myer’s victims.
Laurie Strode (Curtis), having lost her daughter in the previous film, is now writing a memoir. Her granddaughter Allyson (Matichak) is working as a nurse. Both, while still grieving, are trying to move on with their lives. Haddonfield, the town, however, can’t seem to move past it; having had another tragedy occur involving a child’s death. Meanwhile, Myers is still on the lam, but we soon find out where even though it’s hard to fathom that possibility.
Ends has a lot going for it. Jamie Lee Curtis is back along with Will Paton – 2 fine actors giving the film a nice sheen of legitimacy. The addition of Kyle Richards, who starred in the 1978 classic with Curtis as a child actress, is a nice touch as well. While it’s unavoidable to make any Halloween film without being predictable, the writers (Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green) pull out the stops to make this as unique and relevant as possible. Having original director John Carpenter as an executive producer doesn’t hurt either. That said, were they successful? Sort of.
While nothing new, it’s handled with a bit of empathy and sympathy and is part of the film’s strengths. Just a tad more complexity compared to the over-the-top exposition and violence of the previous film. Another plus is some well-placed bits of humor in Ends which its predecessors completely lacked. Also notable is the incorporation of some Greek tragedies. New character Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) is an interesting addition to this plot-point respectively.
The performances are good, especially Curtis and Paton, as well as Matichak and Campbell. I sense that Curtis, who plays Laurie Strode, wanted a respectable closure for her character and Ends achieves that. Where the film declines a bit is its predictability once things get underway in the third act. In a Halloween franchise, this is impossible to avoid. But I will say that Ends has a satisfying feel to it. It feels like a conclusion (as the title dictates) even though we all know that Hollywood often finds a way to recycle rather than innovate.
Halloween Ends does suffer from nothing-new-ism and can’t compare to the original. But, as proven by the applause and reaction from my fellow theater screeners, it’s a fun film. If you do see this, I recommend going to the theater. At the end of the day, it’s an audience movie and there’s nothing like watching a horror movie in a packed theater.
Review by Vince Caro