The final film in the rebooted Halloween franchise and the sequel to 2021’s Halloween Kills, Halloween Ends takes place three years after the previous feature’s events, with the town of Haddonfield still recovering from Michael Myers’s latest killing spree. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is also trying to heal, currently living with her granddaughter and fellow survivor Allyson (Andi Matichak). However, Michael’s evil has left scars on the town that are both visible and invisible, something that town pariah Corey (Rohan Campbell) learns as he grapples with his inner darkness.
The majority of Halloween Ends’ runtime is spent on Corey’s character arc, chronicling his dark descent as well as his messy relationship with Allyson, establishing him as a narrative foil to Michael. While an exploration of the evil that the killer represents is a welcome place to take the film’s storytelling, the main plot of Halloween Ends is too predictable to do the complex subject the justice it deserves, and overstays its welcome in a way that eliminates much of the movie’s tension and bite. The film’s structure also takes screen time away from Laurie and Michael, which feels like a tragic waste of a strong dynamic and great actors for comparatively little gain, as Corey’s arc isn’t nearly as interesting as it needed to be to carry as much of the piece as it does.
One thing Halloween Ends doesn’t slouch in is its gory killing scenes, and the flick compensates for its weak setup with some truly creative and bloody dispatches when it does eventually get going. The cast also put in a lot of work to elevate the piece’s storytelling: Curtis in particular shines in her final film as Laurie, demonstrating a fantastic emotional range and showing how she earned the title of Scream Queen.
Halloween Ends is very much a horror film of two halves. At its best, it’s a great swansong for Curtis and Nick Castle as Laurie and Michael, with in-depth character work and gruesome action scenes bolstered by a talented cast. However, these strengths struggle against a dull A-plot that falls short of being the cerebral examination it desperately wants to be. There’s just enough meat on the narrative’s bones that it’s still worth a stab, but there’s a disappointing amount of tough gristle to get through too.
Halloween Ends is released nationwide on 14th October 2022.
Watch the trailer for Halloween Ends here: