The following review contains spoilers
“Another powerful performance from Jamie Lee Curtis can’t save Halloween Ends from being a poor conclusion to a trilogy that started out so well”
There was a point in last year’s Halloween Kills where it looked like the end of Michael Myers; while that has been the case in this franchise for decades, the poster informed us that Evil Dies Tonight. Well, evil didn’t die that night despite being said every few minutes by somebody. As we knew there was one more film in the revived saga, it was hardly a surprise that Michael Myers would live to kill another day.
After a 2019 set prologue that sees a young man named Corey Cunningham become the talk of the town after a fatal babysitting accident. Three years later, the only thing Laurie Strode is carving up is pumpkins with her granddaughter, as the original Final Girl is now the ultimate grandma. The death of her daughter at the hands of Myers forced Laurie to change her ways and be as much of a parent to Allyson as she can be, but deep down, she knows Michael will return. Attempting to heal through writing her memoir, this is a very different Laurie than we met in 2018.
I have a lot of love for the 2018 revival; ignoring the cluttered mythology of the sequels (and the death of Laurie in Resurrection) was a good idea, and David Gordon Green served up an enjoyable movie. Touching on themes like trauma with a powerful performance from Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween 2018 was the best in the franchise since the original. I can’t say I enjoyed the sequel too much; it repeated the same mistake of the first Halloween 2 and relegated Curtis to a hospital bed for vast chunks of her screen time. However, the hope was that Green and co would stick the landing; as Red from Shawshank would say, “Hope is a dangerous thing”. The posters and trailer might have suggested that Laurie and Michael Myers take centre stage for the finale, but they are mere supporting characters to a much less interesting main story.
Remember Corey Cunningham from earlier? After years of being called a child killer by everybody in town, he’s become the local punchbag for douchebag bullies. A chance encounter with a sewer-dwelling Myers, who has become a shadow of his former self, reveals that Myers never left town and has grown weak. In a move that might leave audiences thinking Myers has gone soft, he lets Corey go as he sees evil in his eyes. At first, this all plays out like Corey will be Myers’ young apprentice, perhaps even assuming the mantle. In an unexpectedly sad scene, we see Corey quickly subdue a frail Myers and remove his mask, I know Myers is a killing machine, but elder abuse is not okay, Corey. There’s also an ill-handled romance between Corey and Allyson that never rings true, after everything she has endured, watching her fall for a killer is an odd choice that dealt with the the subtlety of American Horror Stories.
If you were expecting the mother of all showdowns between horror icons Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, prepare to be disappointed. The actual final fight takes up very little screen time, with a shuffling Myers putting up little in the way of a struggle. Halloween Ends is filled with good ideas. Are monsters something of our own making? Is evil contagious? Can you truly get over the worst thing that ever happened to you? Lofty questions to raise, but sadly it doesn’t see them through to anything resembling a resolution. Now, does anybody fancy a Michael Myers burger?