A Review of Halloween Ends (2022)

[This review may contain spoilers]


Movie poster for “Halloween Ends” [2022] (photo courtesy of IMDB.com).

Julia Alvarado, Freelance Writer

The original “Halloween” came out in 1978, and immediately became one of the most profitable independent films of all time. It’s considered one of “the greatest and most influential horror films ever made”, and in 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” A direct sequel was released in 1981, and was a box office success, grossing over $25 million. Although it received mixed reviews, it was praised for its performances and atmosphere, and a third movie was released in 1982.

The initial plan for the Halloween series was an anthology of films centered around Halloween night, with each movie containing its own characters, setting, and storyline. “Halloween III: Season of The Witch”, was meant to be the first of these films. However, the film was almost immediately lambasted for its disconnection from the first two movies, and more importantly, its exclusion of the now beloved and iconic slasher, Michael Myers.

To creators John Carpenter and Debra Hill, the choice they had to make was clear, and Michael Myers returned to the world of horror six years later in “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”.

Since then, there have been a number of sequels–some better than others–and in 2018, writer/director David Gordan Green brought his own version of “Halloween II” into the world. The third and final installment of Green’s Halloween sequels (and the thirteenth installment in the overall franchise), “Halloween Ends”, came out on Oct. 14 to very mixed reviews, almost 44 years after the original 1978 film.

The film takes place four years after the events of “Halloween Kills” (2021), and follows Laurie Strode, who is forced to finally confront the evil she has let determine and drive her reality for decades.

The film was supposed to be Laurie and Michael’s final showdown. It was supposed to be a perfect end to a decades long battle—and maybe that expectation was its downfall.

“Halloween Ends” (2022) focuses on something “Kills” discussed in an unfortunately hamfisted manner—what violence does to small communities. While “Halloween Kills” discussed larger level chaos like mob violence and collective trauma, “Ends” narrows its gaze to one individual. This brand new character, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell) is the main character of the movie, much to the dissatisfaction and disappointment of fans. Though the movie’s cast and crew were open about the fact that “Halloween Ends” would be a departure from the usual format, the finale of such a long running series seems to have been the wrong place for experimentation.

Laurie Strode, her granddaughter Allyson (whose character has been the focus of the last two movies), and Michael Myers himself all take a back seat and let Corey enter the spotlight. Though Corey’s character is interesting and Rohan Campbell portrays the growing darkness of the character excellently, he feels entirely out of place in a movie meant to wrap up a story he was never a part of.

There is nothing wrong with experimenting, with finding new ways to tell a familiar story—but when it’s the final film in a beloved series, there is a certain expectation from fans that it’s going to wrap up important storylines and answer longstanding questions.

2021’s “Halloween Kills” left a slew of questions that fans were eager to have answered in this new movie. What is Michael Myers? How can he be stopped? Where did he go following the events of “Kills”? “Halloween Ends” had a variety of plot lines and stories to explore, but chose to create an entirely new one—it’s the very thing that caused “Season of The Witch” to fail back in 1982.

While a fresh look at an often repetitive series isn’t an inherently bad thing, and the story “Ends” tells is interesting and decently executed—full of impressive gore effects and a stellar performance from Jamie Lee Curtis—it just doesn’t work as a finale for the series, at least not for me. It’s 2.5/5 paws in my book.