Movie Review: Halloween Ends

While the previous entry in David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s Halloween reboot trilogy, Halloween Kills, gave audiences a maximalist version of a Michael Myers movie, for their finale they have opted to scale things way back into a much more focused and personal story, perhaps even more so than their first entry. This does allow them to better highlight the story of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) as they are still struggling to move on from the traumatic events of their pasts, while also giving ample space to develop new characters like Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), a troubled young man with his own demons to deal with who becomes a love interest for Allyson. On the other hand, it also means that markedly less time is devoted to trying to scare viewers, with it taking so long for Michael (James Jude Courtney) to appear that I was even beginning to wonder if he was going to be in this movie at all.

Several years after the events of Halloween Kills, Laurie is now living together with Allyson in a house more central to town, having decided that she no longer wished to live in hiding in the woods. She first encounters Corey when he is being harassed by some teenagers outside of a gas station after they had recognized him for his involvement in a tragic incident 3 years prior. When he badly cuts his hand on some glass she takes him to the doctor’s office where her granddaughter is working and the two hit it off. They’re both tired of their notoriety amongst the citizens of Haddonfield and harbor a desire to leave the town, but as they grow closer, Laurie begins to sense that something isn’t quite right with him and a rift grows between the two women as she tries to warn Allyson away from Corey.

This is definitely not your typical Halloween plot, and for much of its runtime this is not your typical Halloween movie, for better and for worse. The only truly suspenseful sequence in the movie happens at the beginning, and after that it winds up feeling more like a dark family drama than a horror movie, though admittedly it’s pretty engaging in that mode. About halfway through the filmmakers remember what kind of movie they are supposed to making and start ramping up the violence, but most of it feels somewhat uninspired and since the attacks basically all happen in rapid succession they are robbed of nearly all suspense. As the title implies, we are ultimately granted a final showdown between Laurie and Michael which, while surprisingly brief, does end with a satisfying sense of finality, even if we all know there is virtually no chance that this is the last we will see of Michael Myers. As with the prior entry there are some interesting ideas here, and a few attempts to try and imbue the proceedings with some deeper meaning, but in the end we get just another entertaining if somewhat forgettable slasher sequel. ★★★

rated r for bloody horror violence and gore, language throughout, and some sexual references.

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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