HALLOWEEN ENDS review by Mark Walters – Jamie Lee Curtis can’t escape the “shape” of Michael Myers

HALLOWEEN ENDS review by Mark Walters – Jamie Lee Curtis can’t escape the “shape” of Michael Myers

If you’ve been watching the new HALLOWEEN movies since the reboot hit in 2018, you’re probably going into the third and (supposedly) final outing expecting to see Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) finally having enough, and fighting Michael Myers to the death… whatever it takes. And yeah, you do kinda get that, but surprisingly there’s not a lot of Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN ENDS. Instead the story focuses on a new character named Corey (Rohan Campbell), a young man we’re introduced to in the opening sequence that takes place on Halloween night in 2019, one year after Michael’s horrifying return, and involves Corey babysitting a rather snotty rich kid, and the evening ending in tragedy… albeit by accident. Yes, that’s right, this third outing of the new trilogy shifts focus to a character we’ve never seen before, and yes, it’s a little jarring.

Elsewhere, Laurie Strode is doing her best to move on with her life, writing a book about her experience in Haddonfield and how Michael Myers came back to terrorize the town, only to vanish yet again. Four years have passed. Laurie bought a house, her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) is now working in a hospital, Officer Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) is still looking after Laurie while following up on murders in the town that seem to be unrelated to Michael. For a brief moment, it almost seems like Laurie can (and has) moved on, and the threat of Michael is but a horrible memory. But don’t forget about Corey, who is now looked at around town as the young man who got off with light charges after his tragic event a few years prior. Even local high school band kids end up harassing and bullying him, only for Laurie to intervene, and deliver an injured Corey to the hospital where he meets and finds an instant connection with Allyson.

Soon after, Corey finds himself in the town sewer tunnels where he meets… Michael Myers, who appears to be hiding underground, and is pretty worse for wear. And that’s where things get really weird. Instead of killing Corey, we see something we’ve never seen in these movies before, at least not that I can recall. Michael looks the young man in the eye, and it’s as if he supernaturally embodies him, or pushes his “power” into him. Can you guess where things go from here? As Allyson tries to get closer to Corey, Laurie begins to see he’s not well, and immediately regrets making the introduction between the clearly troubled young man and her granddaughter. And of course when bad things start happening around town, it appears Michael’s terror hasn’t gone away, it’s just evolved a bit.

I realize some of that is a little spoilery, but it’s hard to talk about HALLOWEEN ENDS without giving some basic plot details that drive the narrative. Trust me, there’s still A LOT I’m not telling you that you’ll see unfold should you watch the film. I enjoyed the 2018 reboot, primarily because I loved seeing Jamie Lee Curtis back in the role of Laurie Strode. But that film had some weird plot devices, like that crazy doctor who wanted to revitalize Michael’s evil for some reason… I’m still not sure I understood the point of that character, but he wasn’t enough to make me hate the movie. HALLOWEEN KILLS on the other hand was pretty disappointing for me, as I found the story sloppy and the overabundance of characters a bit much. It still had good moments, but it was a letdown after the initially strong reboot. HALLOWEEN ENDS does deliver some of the things you want from the franchise, but it’s really shaky getting there.

The first half of the movie moves really slowly, almost too much so, making us hungry for something shocking to happen. But honestly, when I realized this movie was going to be more about the Corey character, and Michael Myers was basically in hiding for most of the run time, I was pretty disappointed. Granted, Michael went through hell in the previous two films, so I suppose it wouldn’t be realistic to have him operating at “full power” now, but let’s face it… we watch these movies to see Michael Myers wreaking havoc, and in this movie we get a surrogate player for that. As the “final chapter” of the trilogy, it’s a bit underwhelming for a while. Thankfully, the final moments of the movie do deliver what we all want to see, though for some it may be too little too late.

Jamie Lee Curtis is again the shining light that drives the film and makes it all seem worth it. Her portrayal of Laurie here is less of the tough woman we saw in the 2018 reboot, and more of a sad and exhausted tortured soul. We want her to find happiness and contentment, more than anything else. Andi Matichak’s Allyson, a character we’ve seen built up for two previous films, and a character many expected might pick up where Michael left off (they certainly hinted at that), is sadly underused and kind of wasted here. I was shocked at how little she was given to do other than react to things emotionally, and grow increasingly distant with her grandmother. It’s odd to establish what seemed like such an important character only to give her so little to work with in the final act – it’s also weird how she pines over Corey in this film, as there’s nothing about him that should be appealing to her, yet somehow we’re expected to believe she can’t get enough of him… I think even certain folks in the audience were audibly questioning what she saw in him from a romantic standpoint. Kyle Richards (back briefly as Lindsey Wallace) and Will Patton are also wasted here, with Richards relegated to just being the town bartender… at one point she talks to Corey, who thinks everyone hates him because of his past, and Richards’ character says she doesn’t care about people’s past. I guess this is meant to be endearing, but she of all people SHOULD care about stuff like that! Patton has some flirty moments with Curtis, but still feels sadly underwritten. The filmmakers seemed to have put all their eggs in the Corey basket, and while Rohan Campbell is quite good at playing a creepy and mysterious young man, the character still ends up feeling like a rushed solution to carry the story.

And there’s actually a story already there even without Corey, as the film establishes how Michael’s actions and return have left a dark cloud over the town of Haddonfield, leading to suicides and sudden violence that feels reactionary. To me, THAT is something you could have played with even more and made for an interesting way to find closure, while of course ultimately having Michael Myers resurface one last time for a final fight.

HALLOWEEN ENDS did seem to play well for the packed theater I saw it in, with audience members reacting audibly and enthusiastically to all the violent kills and scares. But there’s a weird feeling at the end that sort of leaves you thinking “That’s it? That’s how they’re ending this?!” I didn’t outright hate it the way I found myself very much disliking HALLOWEEN KILLS, but I didn’t quite love it either. Jamie Lee Curtis has been quoted to say this final film will likely leave some audience members upset, and I think she’s right. I also worry that Universal Pictures releasing this in theaters and on streaming simultaneously is a mistake, as now half the audience for it won’t even have the benefit of crowd enthusiasm to help it. Aside from the gruesome and effective kills, a strong performance by Curtis, some bold and daring choices by the filmmakers, and a really satisfying (though quick) final battle, HALLOWEEN ENDS is a pretty lukewarm entry in the franchise… though let’s face it, most of the original sequels weren’t much better. My favorite part of the film may be the slick new Blumhouse logo at the start, and the impressive pumpkin “evolvement” in the opening credits. And for those wondering, there is no post-credit sequence… it just ENDS.

HALLOWEEN ENDS opens October 14, 2022

Be Sociable, Share!

About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started Bigfanboy.com, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and Bigfanboy.com regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.