David Gordon Green’s 2018 sequel/reboot of the Halloween franchise was a welcome, brutal return to John Carpenter’s original’s world. It simply ignored most of the good-for-nothing sequels, but made meaningful efforts to continue Laurie’s story.
Shame that 2021’s Halloween Kills was a laughable effort, despite some interesting themes, and now, Halloween Ends tries to pull this trilogy to a neat, violent close. After a short prologue set in 2019, most of the action is set four years after the events of Kills.
Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is in a much better place than she was in Halloween and Kills; she’s no longer an angry hermit, but a loving grandmother to Allyson (Andi Matichak). Both are still a little fragile but Allyson hits it off with Corey (Rohan Campbell) and a romance blossoms. But Michael is still lurking around and Haddonfield is in for another violent Halloween night.
You have to admire the absolutely insane narrative twists Green and his team of screenwriters go for. Four people, one of them being Green, are credited for writing Halloween Ends and maybe that’s a few too many cooks in the kitchen and has led to this tonally confusing, incoherent and silly horror sequel.
Even though Halloween Ends did very little for me personally, it’s still best experienced with as little knowledge of the plot as possible. There are some big swings here, but none of them work. Any attempts to explore what makes a killer and how they are shaped by hate and people’s perception of them is ruined by bad pacing, insufferable characters and the sidelining of your biggest stars.
Speaking of stars, even Jamie Lee Curtis is coming across as silly here. Somehow, over the years, she has grown into a caricature of herself and Laurie. In Kills, Laurie spent most of the film in a hospital bed, recovering from injuries from the first film. In Ends, Laurie kind of floats through the film. She has more screen time, but she does very little. The narrative focus is tightly on Allyson and Corey.
Corey is certainly a character that will divide fans’ opinion. It’s quite late in the game to be bringing in new principal characters, but Campbell plays Corey with a tragic undercurrent. Most of the film, Corey looks like someone just kicked his puppy into the river, but his character arc is the closest to something real that Ends comes to.
Allyson, who was definitely painted as the new scream queen, a new Laurie so to speak, is once again left with shallow characterisation. Throughout the film, she makes incomparably stupid choices, none of which make any sense. It’s disappointing because in 2018, there was so much promise that Halloween would be a story of these three generations of women whose lives had been ruined by the Boogeyman.
Even Kills managed to bring up some interesting themes, even if Green never manages to carry them in the film. These grand ideas of generational trauma added a nice layer of substance to the hyper violent outside of Kills. There is no such thing in Ends.
This would be fine if the kills were any good, but Ends is frustratingly light on gore as well as Michael himself. Green truly has lost the way with his trilogy. What started out as one of the most promising modern reboots, has turned into the laughing stock of the genre.
Halloween Ends is now in cinemas.