Halloween Ends – Film Review

Director: David Gordon Green

Writers: Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Will Patton, Rohan Campbell, Kyle Richards

Rating: ★★★½

Back in 2018 David Gordon Green directed Halloween a sequel to the 1978 film of the same name, as well as the start of a new trilogy that disregards all of the previous sequels. It was a genuinely good film, that rejuvenated the franchise. Not only did it bring back Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), it also brought back the original’s director, John Carpenter for the score, as well as executive producer. Flashforward to 2021 and the delayed Halloween Kills was released, with its incredibly annoying characters, stupid non-moving plot, and characters repeating ‘evil dies tonight’. Kills, with its stupid title, is one of the lowest points of the entire franchise. It’s just a complete bore to sit through. Expectations are low for the equally stupidly named Halloween Ends, as we know there’s no way there won’t be a sequel coming sooner rather than later. Surprisingly, this time around though, Ends is one of the better entries to the long running franchise. It actually feels a lot closer to the style of the original sequels, like Curse of Michael Myers, which is always a good thing.

The film starts one year after Halloween Kills with a scene introducing Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), who is babysitting Jeremy (Jaxon Goldberg). It’s a great opening, and the best part of the entire film. Jeremy is troubled by the Michael Myers attack the year before, and Corey, wanting the night to be fun, allows him to watch The Thing (directed by original Halloween director John Carpenter). Jeremy then dies in a freak accident which comes as a complete shock. You sit there waiting for Michael to appear, only for him not to. In fact, Michael doesn’t appear until quite a way into this film.

After the opening, it skips three years into the future, and we see that Laurie has decided to start living and not allowing Michael to ruin it. It’s a strange twist in her character, considering that she spent forty years preparing for his return, and then after the death of her daughter, she just seems fine and pretty well adjusted. It’s a complete U-turn after how we’ve seen her in the previous two films. The real downside to this character change is that she’s writing a memoir about her experiences, with a voice over giving some of the most cliched and on the nose details about trauma and not letting it take hold of your life. It’s clunky, and a really unnecessary plot point. There’s almost no subtly in the film, with all of its themes being explained with heavy handed and unnatural dialogue. The cast do the best they can, but some of the lines are just awful.

Despite this, the film does do something that makes it more interesting and entertaining to watch. It doesn’t focus on Michael Myers, really at all until the third act. Instead, there’s a much greater focus on characters, which gets you more involved in everything that’s going on. More importantly it turns Corey into the villain. After the death of Jeremy, he’s seen as a monster in Haddonfield, and this leads him down a dark path. He has a great character arc, where he essentially is taken under Michael’s wing, learning how to make himself stronger with each kill.

Even if it’s not Michael doing the killing, there’s still a bloodbath. Corey more than makes up for the lack of Michael, with enough deaths to keep you entertained. They’re not scary, but there’s a good amount of gore and imagination when it comes to the violence. Without giving too much away the highlights involving a blow torch and another kill involving a tongue. Then we get to the ending, which is completely over the top to the point it’s funny. The climactic finale is the closest Ends gets to being a sequel to Kills.

Halloween Ends is flawed, but you can tell it’s going to end up being a cult classic entry into the franchise, much like Halloween III. While it’s getting mixed reviews, it deserves praise for doing something different, and while it’s not exactly reinventing the wheel, for the most part it’s entertaining. At the very least it’s a damn site better than Halloween Kills. Now we just need to wait for the inevitable new entry to the franchise, as we all know there’s no actual end for Halloween in sight.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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2 Responses to Halloween Ends – Film Review

  1. Tony Briley says:

    Several other reviews I’ve read have slammed this one, particularly because it didn’t focus on MM and he didn’t have an appearance until late in the movie. But you seem to think that is a plus and makes for a better movie. I had opted against seeing this one, now I might have to give it a try. With the conflicting reviews I’m reading, all from sources I trust, I guess I need to see how it works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely understand why this is divisive to say the list. I think it’s a good move to do something different, especially with how long the series is. MM still plays a big part in the story, and there’s the inevitable stand off towards the end. I really think this is something that will be raved about in a few years because it isn’t just rehashing what the previous films have done. It’s not perfect, but still worth watching. Probably better to go in knowing that MM isn’t in it from the start.

      Liked by 1 person

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