starring: jamie lee curtis, Andi Matichak, rohan campbell, and judy greer
REVIEWER: nick tonkin
The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode comes to a spine-chilling climax in this final installment of this trilogy.
Halloween Ends is the third and final entry in the recent Halloween Saga spearheaded by writer/director David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride. This trilogy sees Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprise their roles from John Carpenter’s 1978 original film as Laurie Strode and Micheal Myers/”The Shape” respectively, 44 years on from the events of the first film.
Halloween Ends is set 4 years after the chaotic events of 2021’s Halloween Kills, and years since the last sighting of Michael Myers; so long that he's become the town's boogeyman. With the townspeople of Haddonfield still grappling with a kind of collective trauma from that Halloween night, Halloween Ends decides to explore this through the story of a new character, Corey Cunningham. As a teenager he was involved in an accident that caused the death of a child he was babysitting and over the following years had struggled with vilification and ostracism.
Laurie Strode sees the young man struggling with his new reality and introduces him to her granddaughter, Allyson Nelson. The two find a connection as people unfairly judged by society, Corey in his way and Allyson in hers as the granddaughter of Laurie, the town “freak show”. Though as the abuse Corey faces intensifies, he starts to see their experience as different, that people consider Allyson a victim and himself as the town's new Michael Myers, a new bogeyman to project upon. Corey then makes some choices and mistakes that ultimately lead him to the lair of Michael Myers. However, instead of killing the young man, Michael recognizes something in Corey and lets him live.
It's in this moment that the film gets to the heart of its idea, later expounded in a speech by Laurie to Corey, that there are two different kinds of evil that exist in the world: the external threat, and the infection that takes root within. Throughout the series, Michael Myers has been decried as pure evil, however as Corey suffers the abuse from the people of Haddonfield, those that know him start to recognize that he is changing from the kind kid they knew, to something else. It’s an “eyes are the window to the soul” kind of thing. Characters start to make judgments about Corey and adjust their attitudes towards him as he changes in response to abuse pushing him further down the path that Micheal Myers took 40 years earlier.
This focus on the nature of evil and the effect of the legacy of Micheal Myers is something of a peculiar pivot for an installment following Halloween Kills’ chaos and gratuitous violence and Halloween Ends feels like it has shifted down a few gears as a result. That isn’t to say that the notion isn’t an interesting one to examine, just that the change of pace is a little jarring and the film doesn’t provide an answer to the question it asks here, instead using Corey as a vehicle to unite Laurie Strode and Michael Myers again once more.
Following the furious Halloween Kills, Halloween Ends is an interesting examination of the legacy of Michael Myers, though one that changes pace and leaves it’s musings unanswered in favor of a final showdown, though maybe that is for the best.