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Review: Halloween Ends (2022)

Halloween Ends (2022)

Directed by: David Gordon Green

Premise: Four years after the events of 2018’s Halloween and 2021’s Halloween Kills, masked killer Michael Myers has disappeared. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) lives with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) who meets a young man (Rohan Campbell) with a troubled past.

What Works: Halloween Ends concludes David Gordon Green’s sequel trilogy to the original 1978 film. Green’s first Halloween sequel was about how Laurie Strode coped with the trauma of her first encounter with Michael Myers and the second film extended that idea to the town of Haddonfield. Green’s third Halloween film is intended to bring those stories to a conclusion while also exploring ideas about evil that were at the core of the Michael Myers character and the Halloween series. In doing so, the filmmakers select ambitious creative choices and Halloween Ends is very different from any other entry in the series. Much of the film is about Corey, played by Rohan Campbell, a young man who was previously involved in a violent tragedy and is gradually seduced by evil. Corey’s story realizes an idea that’s been in the background of the Halloween series—the nature of evil—and it connects Michael Myers’ violence to contemporary concerns about isolated young men. 

What Doesn’t: Halloween Ends is a compromised film. This story takes a hard turn from the tone and scope of its two predecessors and some of the character changes are inconsistent with what we’ve seen before, especially regarding Laurie Strode. She was an isolated, survivalist basket case but Laurie now lives the life of a quiet suburban grandmother. The core of Halloween Ends is the relationship between Corey and Allyson and Corey’s corruption as he gradually succumbs to evil but the film also returns to the conflict between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers in a way that feels forced. The Corey storyline is truncated to make room for the Laurie-Michael conflict. The result is two stories that do not complement each other and do not feel complete. The romance subplot doesn’t have enough room to breathe; there’s not enough romantic tension. Corey’s transformation doesn’t make sense. It’s not clear what he’s getting from his turn to evil which ought to be foiled by his romantic connection. The Laurie-Michael conflict is tagged onto the end of the movie and doesn’t come to a meaningful conclusion.

Bottom Line: Halloween Ends is an ambitious entry in this series, departing from the usual stalk and slash thrills. Its many parts don’t quite come together. In retrospect, the conclusion of 2018’s Halloween was a much more satisfying finale to the Laurie Strode-Michael Myers story.

Episode: #923 (October 23, 2022)