Halloween Ends Review
Only a year after Halloween Kills debuted in theaters, its sequel and concluding film of the Halloween (2018) legacy reboot trilogy, Halloween Ends, premieres today. 2018's Halloween was a direct sequel to the original Halloween (1978) ignoring any other canon storylines that already happened. It achieved what felt like an impossible task-- it somehow felt like a fresh beginning to tell new Michael Myers stories, while still being a great film to honor the legacy of the original. It was announced soon after Halloween 2018's release that the film would be a part of its own trilogy and the hope for more great movies featuring Laurie Strode and Michael Myers felt happily inevitable. Then Halloween Kills happened. Without rehashing all of my thoughts on that messy film (you can read my review HERE), needless to say, my expectations for the final film were brought way down. So can Halloween Ends get back to what 2018's Halloween did right, or is it more of the same that Kills had to offer? The answer...is surprisingly neither, because Halloween Ends does something uniquely peculiar and perplexing. A film called Halloween Ends decides to neither be about Michael Myers nor Laurie Strode at all. For a final film in a trilogy, this is just a baffling move.
Let's get back to Halloween 2018 for a moment just to really emphasize how puzzling the decisions in this film are. That film re-introduced us to a Laurie who had channeled her post-traumatic stress disorder into a ball of paranoia, preparation, and rage. She was the type of person who was okay with straining relationships because she knew Michael Myers and what a force to be reckoned with he was. Halloween 2018 was advertised as an epic showdown forty years later and it delivered on that. But it's not a Halloween movie unless Michael gets away, so sequels are always a given. And when you've got a sequel, you've got a rematch right? Again, setting aside Halloween Kills which makes the terrible decision to sideline Laurie to a hospital bed for the duration of the film, Halloween Ends has no such excuse yet also underutilizes the character. Early in the film, we're shown Laurie four years on from the events of the previous two movies writing a memoir and moving on with her life. While character growth is certainly a thing, the events from the last two films (including losing her own daughter by Michael's hands) should only reinforce her beliefs not soften them. While the character feels refreshingly light acting like the carefree high schooler she never got to be, it also makes no sense for her to suddenly have found peace with Michael still on the loose after all. Halloween 2018 set up that this trilogy was supposed to be about Laurie, her granddaughter, and the generational trauma she's caused. So to conclude that story in a final film, the only natural thing to do would be to...check notes...introduce an entirely new character, and make the movie all about them.
You see Halloween Ends is Corey's story. Who is Corey you might ask? From the cold open of the film, we learn he's a twenty-something guy with really terrible luck. With a town desperate to point their hate at someone, Corey finds himself as the new pariah. Until he has a run-in with Laurie who takes him under her wing and introduces him to her granddaughter Allyson. The two hit it off right away, but Corey still can't shake his unhappiness or anger for what he's been through and it is clear he's headed down a dark path. And in this franchise, all dark paths lead to Michael Myers.
The idea of a new individual taking on the mantle of Michael Myers isn't a bad idea--and honestly, some of Corey's storyline is actually quite compelling. I loved the first scene and how it really sent into motion how Corey was such a victim of circumstance. I thought it was interesting seeing the effect that this town has on people since it in a way has become poisoned by the evil Michael spread and now that evil trickles down in other ways. It just all makes zero sense to be telling this story now during the last film of a trilogy that claims to tell the ending of Laurie and Michael. Had Corey's story been introduced in Halloween Kills or even Halloween 2018, it would have been a great time to bring in the character and set up the final film. But as told the way it is, it just is baffling. Throughout the film, it's hard not to repeatedly wonder if you're actually watching the right movie. Where is Laurie? Where is Michael?
Apart from the Corey of it all, the film is also frustrating with how utterly stupid its characters are--Allyson in particular. It's pretty much a given that characters in horror movies make stupid decisions, but the film does her absolutely no favors and it's hard to watch. But hey, at least it's got some good kills even if the movie is about some rando and all the characters surrounding him act like dummies. What a way for a franchise to go out. That is...until its next reboot.