Friday 14 October 2022

Halloween Ends (Movie Review)

Michael Myers returns to terrorize horror fans in Halloween Ends, the third and final film in the new Halloween trilogy. And much like the previous film, Halloween Kills, Universal Pictures has chosen a hybrid distribution model that sees the film debut simultaneously in theaters and on their streaming service, Peacock. Whether this is reflective of their faith in the movie's financial prospects is anyone's guess. But the more important question is how well does the new film bring the aging franchise to its supposed close.

Set four years after the events of the previous film, Halloween Ends finds the residents of Haddonfield still struggling to heal from the most recent killing spree wrought by Michael Myers. This is despite the fact that the masked psychopath had not been sighted since that last round of bloodshed. And with the townsfolk somehow blaming his favorite victim, Laurie Strode, for all that has happened, it is clear that they'll be no moving on, at least not while everyone was still living under the fear of his potential return. But when he eventually does so, Laurie must do all that she can to bring an end to his reign of terror once and for all. 

If that plot synopsis sounds suspiciously like the one from the last film, then that is because the two films effectively share the same basic premise. This is not to say that the new film does not throw a few curve balls along the way. But to discuss any of that here will be to risk immediately failing into spoiler territory. The film's marketing had itself played coy with the full scope of events in the film, so I'll be respecting their wishes by not saying more about the plot than I already have. Not that any of it means anything, since the film itself is just as nonsensical as the last one.

Despite what could be considered a relatively strong start, it takes forever before things truly kick into gear. And even when they finally do, you'll be assaulted by all the typical cardinal sins seen in most low-brow slasher films. This includes people acting dumb and putting themselves in compromising situations, simply because the script dictates that they do so. The story defies all manner of logic, making the characters very hard to root for or ultimately care about.

Not even Jamie Lee Curtis herself is spared from this. It is clear that the actress is putting everything she can into the material that was given, but her talents can only carry the film so far before the whole thing gets bogged down by its own ridiculousness. At least she doesn't get relegated to the sidelines like she had during the bulk of the previous film. I wish I could say the same thing about Michael Myers though, who was pretty much MIA for more than half of the film, which no doubt contributed to its overall lack of excitement.

Like the two films that preceded it, there are plenty of callbacks to the original 1978 movie. But unlike those films, this one simply lacks the thrills needed to sustain its nearly two-hour runtime. Instead, the movie attempts to take a more philosohical approach by trying to dissect the very nature of evil itself. Is it a result of one's unique experiences or something that was always there to begin with, just bubbling under the surface? Sadly, it fails to tackle the very question it posits in any meaningful way, resulting in a story that simply falls flat in its execution.

But chances are you aren't here for any of that. In fact, most of the storytelling shortcomings in such films can be forgiven if the film itself manages to deliver on the promise of its trailers and the overall expectations of the genre. And to a degree, it does, earning its R rating with kills that range from somewaht creative to fairly pedestrian, all of which culminates in a decent final showdown that could very well satisfy long-time fans. Except it takes too long to get there and there weren't enough of those kills to sustain the movie's momentum along the way.

Halloween Ends fails to live up to the promise of its title through its failure to bring the aging franchise to a satisfying close. This is not due to a lack of trying though, as the filmmakers clearly had their sights set on something that could be considered greater than the sum of its parts. It is just unfortunate that their movie is neither thrilling enough to be considered a good slasher film, nor is it clever enough to satisfy anyone asking for more than that. One way or the other, we can all rest with the knowledge that it is all over now, at least pending when next someone else cooks up an idea for another sequel or reboot.


  1. I can watch this on Peacock now but I'm not sure I would. I never got around to watching the one before it and I hated the first one. It was just so boring. I really hated the idea of the soft reboot just erasing everything after the first movie and really not replacing it with much of value. Actually it made me sad to think Laurie Strode spent 40 years as a crazed gun nut waiting to spring a trap that predictably did not kill Michael Myers who was obsessed with her for...reasons since they took away the idea they were related or anything. At least in H20 she had PTSD but was headmistress of a prestigious school.

    Even the idea of killing her and "finally" killing Michael isn't that thrilling since they already killed her twice--off-screen in Halloween 4 and on-screen in Halloween Resurrection, which I think is underrated. And as you say, we know there's going to be another sequel or reboot or whatever so Michael isn't dead. I mean in H20 she literally chopped his head off with an ax and they still found some implausible way to bring him back, which really is the biggest weakness of Resurrection.

    Anyway, since it's "free" on Peacock I probably would watch it, but my expectations are very, very low.

    1. I sorta have a soft spot for H20 since that was the very first entry I saw in the franchise. The 2018 remake was okay but I definitely didn't like Halloween Kills, so yeah, it's a blessing we don't need to go to the theater to see it. 😁

  2. Never a fan of the series and knew this one wouldn't change that opinion. As I said in my movie preview, they need to chop him up, put him in a wood chipper, and shoot it all into space.

    1. They'd still find a way to bring him back!

    2. Lol. I imagine that would only serve to keep him at bay for so long. 😁