Halloween Ends Review: An Ambitious and Radically Different Conclusion to the Franchise

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Halloween Ends, as the title suggests, presents the final chapter in the saga between Laurie Strode and evil incarnate himself, Michael Myers. However, before we can find out if evil really dies tonight or if it just almost dies tonight, David Gordon Green delivers what is unquestionably the most ambitious and daring Halloween movie yet — and it will polarize audiences.

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In a way, Halloween Ends is the complete antithesis of what we saw in Halloween Kills, and that’s not really a bad thing. Kills was two substance-free hours of Michael Myers being a relentless killing machine, but Ends takes its time to build, with the first hour being almost all character work. There ultimately isn’t a whole lot of action until the final act of the film, which may leave some viewers feeling frustrated and bored if they are unable to get on board with Green’s unique vision of the character.

Michael Myers and Laurie Strode in Halloween Ends
(from left) Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in Halloween Ends, co-written, produced and directed by David Gordon Green. Photo Credit: Ryan Green/Universal Pictures.

And an unorthodox take on the character it is indeed. The direction the filmmakers take with Michael Myers in this film is so radically different than anything we have ever seen before that it is sure to disillusion some hardcore fans who will leave the theater wondering why their precious IP was ruined. But really, this is the first of the new trilogy that has really understood Michael Myers and actually brought substance to both the character and the franchise.

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Jamie Lee Curtis manages to give what is probably her best performance as Laurie Strode yet despite the fact that the character has very much been relegated to the sidelines for much of the film. How the character got from her state in Kills to her state in Ends is given very little explanation, yet this still feels like the natural conclusion to the arc she has had over the course of all of the Halloween films (or at least the ones that are still canon).

Also Read: New Poster and Release Update For Trilogy Ender ‘Halloween Ends’

Instead, this film largely focuses on Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson, who was introduced in the 2018 film, and her new love interest, Corey (Rohan Campbell). Corey is inarguably the most complex character that has been introduced in this new trilogy of films, and while it feels like he shouldn’t work as a protagonist, David Gordon Green and co. truly engaged with the character’s role in the story and the larger implications he had on the series themes.

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Michael Myers in Halloween Ends
Michael Myers (aka The Shape) in Halloween Ends, co-written, produced and directed by David Gordon Green. Photo Credit: Ryan Green/Universal Pictures.

Of course, the reason that many fans come to see a Halloween movie is to see some gnarly slasher kills, and they won’t leave disappointed… as long as they stick through the largely bloodless first act. The finale of this film is quickly paced, but it has some of the most viscerally brutal shots of the franchise, culminating in a finale that is the most impressive Halloween set piece ever.

Understandably, many fans are going to find themselves frustrated with the amount of changes the filmmakers have made to the property with Halloween Ends. This isn’t a finale that is meant to tie everything up nicely with a nostalgic little bow — it’s a film that will provoke and perplex viewers, much in the same way that John Carpenter did with the original film in 1979. 10/10. 

Also Read: ‘I never understood what that name was’: Jamie Lee Curtis Reflects on Halloween Ends As Franchise Comes to End

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Written by Sean Boelman

Articles Published: 174

Sean is a film critic, filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include music documentaries, heist movies, and experimental horror.