“Halloween Ends” review: Final film in new trilogy does not disappoint

The latest, perhaps last, installment in the “Halloween” franchise embodies the best and worst elements of its two predecessors


Courtesy Universal Pictures

Michael Myers returns for the last installment of David Gordon Green’s polarizing “Halloween” trilogy.

David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” trilogy is a lot of things. It’s thrilling. It’s audacious. It’s polarizing. It’s devoted to its source material, yet is not compelled to be bound to it. It is also messy, at times dull, and sometimes brilliant.

With this in mind, “Halloween Ends” does not disappoint.

Picking up a few years after the shocking conclusion of “Kills,” “Ends” reunites us with Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) as they have established a new normal in Haddonfield in which they choose to live on despite their fear and trauma. It’s a sweet opening montage, one these two characters have earned, and it goes a long way towards planting the seeds of the tragedy to come.

Enter Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell). During that fateful night of “Kills,” he “accidentally” kills a child* he is babysitting. The ambiguity of the moment follows him as now he’s a pariah, hated as the local child murderer. A gang of band geeks—for reals, actual band geeks—bully him, which draws the protective eye of Laurie. She sees a kid in need of a friend, and introduces Corey to Allyson.

*We can all agree this kid deserved to die, right?

Trauma unites these two crazy kids and they find themselves smitten. It would a cute story of romantic redemption if Michael Myers wasn’t still lingering around like a subterranean Dracula awaiting a Renfield to procure some fresh blood to restore him.

This is where “Ends” will go off the rails* for most. And while the performance of Campbell sold his inevitable descent into darkness, that won’t work for a lot of people who simply want Michael stabbing teenagers and eccentric bystanders as he continues his pursuit of Laurie Strode. Me? I love going on an adventure.

*For old school fans of the franchise, this twist is a new take on “Halloweens 4-6,” which I found endearing. Somewhere Danielle Harris is smiling as she thinks about that scarecrow mask.

And David Gordon Green takes us on an interesting ride, to be sure. In “Kills,” he expanded the mythology of Michael Myers to make him a symbol of the evil resting under the surface of Haddonfield itself. As the residents become more and more scared of his reign of terror, the more evil they themselves become in their attempts to restore peace and safety. In “Ends,” the story returns a more interior concept as Michael Myers becomes more a metaphor for the evil we wrestle with inside ourselves. At one point, Laurie Strode spells out as much during a peaceful confrontation with poor disturbed Corey.

Deeper ideas like this seem more the stuff of A24 movies, not Blumhouse franchise pictures, so it is rather refreshing to see a film with such a legacy title like “Halloween” take pleasure flirting with the edge of a cliff instead of staying a few feet back.

I just wish the movie wasn’t so repetitive. It has a swift runtime of 110 minutes, yet feels 30 minutes longer because of the decision to leave in multiple scenes sharing the same ominous information about “evil” and the change in Corey’s eyes. By the time we get to the climactic showdown, it doesn’t feel like a moment that’s so much amped up, but instead feels like an exhausted sigh.

All this to say that “Ends” is ambitious, sometimes brilliant, and often messy. It is hard to be disappointed in a movie that takes such big swings, especially in a franchise as long in the tooth as Halloween.


“Halloween Ends” is currently playing in theaters nationwide and streaming on the Peacock service.