After 44 long years, the Halloween horror nights are finally drawing to a close. That is, if you believe that the conclusion of David Gordon Green’s sequel trilogy to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic will mark the end of star Jamie Lee Curtis’ Halloween career.
Halloween Ends brings one of the most iconic and, in some twisted sense, beloved, villains of slasher horror cinema, as well as the franchise’s main star, to the screens for one last hurrah, and it’s a bloody one at that. Taking place a few years after Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021), Halloween Ends sees franchise survivor Laurie Strode (Curtis) attempting to recover from her years of trauma placed upon her by the serial killer, Michael Myers.
The trilogy, for those looking to catch up, might be the eleventh instalment in the film series but it is also a direct sequel to the 1978 film, and disregards all the other movies that came in between. At this point, Laurie is trying to move on from her numerous encounters with Myers, especially after losing her daughter Karen in the previous sequel. She’s even started writing a book detailing her experience with the killer.
Her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) is a staff nurse who seems to be doing pretty well in life, if not for an unfortunate love life. Being a Strode continues to be a curse, even with the killer seemingly far away from the residents of Haddonfield. Still, life keeps moving and when Laurie meets a young, quiet and reserved man, Corey Cunningham (honestly a name like that is a red flag enough) played by Rohan Campbell, she plays cupid and introduces him to Allyson. That would soon be something she regrets, since Corey starts to pull Allyson further and further away from Laurie’s helicopter grandparenting.
Oh, and Michael is back so Laurie’s paranoia is through the roof and this causes an even bigger rift between her and Allyson who, for once, should act her age but just like in the previous two movies, remain stubborn and thinks she’s all-knowing. How Michael comes back is something we will save for viewers to catch for themselves but a hint we can give is that Michael is not alone this time around. It seems like the killer has an apprentice learning his ways, and as the movie progresses, gets a little too ambitious.
Still, Michael only has one thing, or rather, one person on his mind – Laurie, the person who started it all, and the only person left to end it all. Does this mean Michael Myers is finally put down? We won’t spoil it, but when the movie concludes, Laurie writes “Evil doesn’t die, it changes shape.” Cryptic? Poetic? We’ll let you decide, but as the final movie to Green’s trilogy, Halloween Ends ties everything up pretty tightly, whilst still leaving some space for another director to take a shot at the franchise in the near or distant future, should the opportunity ever arise.
Unlike Halloween Kills, which followed a tight and gripping Halloween but ended up a narrative mess, Halloween Ends gets a few things right, most notably a tighter plot and motive. Where the citizens in Haddonfield are seen running around aimlessly trying to catch the boogeyman, with Michael randomly killing whoever in the previous film, Halloween Ends sees a direct motive and reasons for the murders committed. With the victims oblivious to Michael’s return and his apprentice of sorts, there’s a sense of hunting and not-knowing that makes these deaths even more scary and thrilling for horror fans.
The deaths are also far more gruesome than before, although nothing beats a classic stab here and there with a giant knife. For fans of gore, Halloween Ends does deliver murders that are not only bloody but also sick and twisted in their own ways. Personally, our favourite scene that involves a lot of stabbing and struggling is the final showdown between Laurie and Michael. There are moments in their fight that will make you feel weak in the limbs, that is if you’re not a fan of severing nerves and such.
Aside from the gore, the final showdown proves that Curtis still got it, even after 44 years and at the age of 63. Laurie has always been a fighter, and that’s admirable but Curtis is still able to wrestle it out at this age, and that’s even more impressive. This showdown is especially tense despite Laurie facing off against Michael many times in the past decades. There is a sense of finality to it and seeing how Laurie was stuck in a hospital bed for most, if not all of Halloween Kills, seeing her fight the killer was incredibly badass and satisfying.
Unfortunately, the showdown felt a little too short. This is Curtis’ final outing as Laurie and we wished it was a couple of minutes longer. Halloween Ends is 1 hour and 51 minutes long, so surely Green can spare 10 minutes more on Laurie and Michael’s fight, but perhaps that might be a bit too much for those who get queasy in the stomach.
The short showdown isn’t our only pain point. The overall takeaway of Halloween Ends is that evil truly never ends. It’s still going to exist out there in different bodies, occupying different sewers and underground tunnels, preying on innocent citizens of a quiet small town no matter if Michael Myers is gone or not. This message isn’t as effectively communicated though.
Halloween Ends sees the introduction of a new killer but doesn’t clearly explain the what, why and how the killer came to be that way. The apprentice’s back story was succinctly elaborated on but their desire to be like Michael doesn’t make sense. Surely, not everyone who has had a rough life turns evil?
That said, Halloween Ends is a film solid enough to end Green’s trilogy. Is it the best horror movie to catch this Halloween? We’d argue Smile is still spookier. But we’re just glad that Curtis can finally rest and that yet another average reboot of an iconic franchise has reached its end.
That is until another director takes it for a spin. Now, that’s a nightmare for another time.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Jamie Lee Curtis is the ultimate badass in Halloween Ends. The final instalment to David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy, this movie ties the franchise up nicely and leaves enough space for a new director to pick up the story if need be. To which we argue, enough.
Story - 6.5/10
Direction - 7/10
Characterisation - 6/10
Geek Satisfaction - 6/10