Halloween Ends is the conclusion to both the sequel trilogy started with Halloween (2018) and the whole slasher horror movie saga beginning with the original Halloween in 1978. After either 44 years or four years, whether four movies or 13 movies (including three reboots), there’s a lot of expectation. Can it deliver? No. No, it can’t.
I’m the Oogie-Boogieman
Halloween Ends is set four years after Michael Myers’ last appearance in Halloween Kills, and the town of Haddonfield has essentially gone mad. While Michael isn’t always on-screen, his curse always is — the town is overrun with paranoia, fear, and sensationalism. For one poor babysitter named Corey (Rohan Campbell), an accident leads to the population treating him like the new boogeyman.
This setup is one of the best parts of Halloween Ends. Seeing the way Michael has infected the town is compelling, but the way the populace treats Corey means that he is never less than sympathetic — even when things start to go wrong. He meets Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and starts a relationship with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), which I initially didn’t buy (it felt really like male fantasy) until the reasons for Allyson’s interest reveal themselves.
Unfortunately, the big problem with making the rest of the town so unsympathetic and terrible is that, other than the core cast, pretty much every other character is the worst kind of human being imaginable. That may be the theme director David Gordon Green is going for, but it makes for a really irritating movie to watch. The viewer wants Michael to step in and murder every one of these people.
Trick or Treat?
This brings us to the movie’s second big problem — it doesn’t seem to like Michael Myers. The Shape itself is barely in the first half of Halloween Ends at all, and Michael’s not coolly stalking anyone in that time, he’s just hanging out. The movie’s first hour is mostly irritating, so it’s a relief when Michael finally starts killing people gruesomely.
Then Michael’s gone just as quickly as he arrives, and is barely in the second half either. The much-teased showdown between Laurie and Michael is over and done with very quickly, as if no one knew how to make a battle between horror icons exciting. Then Halloween Ends, well, ends with a spectacle that’s deeply gruesome for all the wrong reasons.
Other than some shocking deaths, however, Halloween Ends is not a horror movie. All of the deaths will have the viewer cheering, not screaming, and beyond Corey’s accident at the start, there probably isn’t a jump scare or even a creepy moment in the entire film. There are some neat twists in the story, but overall if Laurie, Corey, and Allyson just left Haddonfield everything would be solved.
Halloween Ends is a deeply disappointing conclusion to the horror movie saga, and not just because it’s barely a horror movie. The story has some cool twists but overall the lack of sympathetic characters make it a hard watch, but worst of all — it doesn’t seem to know what to do with Michael Myers.
Halloween Ends is in theaters now and is also streaming exclusively on Peacock in the U.S.