Halloween Ends (2022) – A Review


A review fo the 2022 horror sequel Halloween Ends, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Rohan Campbell and Andi Matichak, an extremely confusing, disappointing and poor conclusion to the Halloween saga


As a reward for being fans of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween, we’ve had to endure a chorus line of sequels, remakes and reboots all trying to to recapture or breath further life into Michael Myers for the last forty years and most likely beyond.

To varying degrees all the Halloween entries that have followed failed to recapture the special horror Carpenter’s original film created. That film introduced Michael Myers, the mysterious ‘Shape’, as he escaped the care of Dr. Sam Loomis headed back to his hometown of Haddonfield and terrorized babysitter Laurie Strode played by Jamie Lee Curtis.

It was a great film….and it has all been downhill from there.

I guess that sounds kind of harsh, since I know the Halloween series has had acouple ups for fans and a few entries have been enjoyed and helped kept the flame flickering. The return of Curtis returning to the role of Laurie in 1998’s Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later and now this recent trilogy by Blumhouse Films, always makes fans ears perk up and draws interest in.

Jamie-Lee-Curtis-Halloween-Laurie-Strode-movies-H2O-Ends-1978-1998-2022Carpenter has never returned to direct another Halloween installment and the absence of his vision has been badly missed. He’s a major difference in the quality of the original compared to everything that has come since.

No matter whether Curtis is in it, Donald Pleasance’s Dr. Loomis is hunting the killer down, if Carpenter gives his blessing over it, what version mask Michael wears or if they make Michael human or supernatural, I’ve gotten so exhausted with the Halloween series and have come to accept they’ve settled into the same old embarrassing pattern.

I usually end up watching the latest entry, but not with any real true enthusiasm. The compulsion has become more of a passive interest to see how bad things have gotten. I can’t be the only one who watches the newest installment only out of bored curiosity not expecting anything to come from it. Any hope that the newest movie might leave me pleasantly surprised has long been dead and is now decomposed.

Halloween-Ends-2022-Jamie-Lee-Curtis-Rohan-Campbell-awful-terrible-worst-sequelThat’s exactly how it’s been with this latest Halloween trilogy. Despite Blumhouse’s promise of doing some sly ret-conning of the series, leading up to a climactic ending, a bloody final showdown between Michael and Laurie, and managing to get Curtis to once again headline these films – it hasn’t gone well.

I didn’t enjoy Halloween 2018 or Halloween Kills, and I only watched Halloween Ends just out of blind completionism. I’ve heard how fans have been reacting to it and the responses have been overwhelmingly negative. Even the hardcore Halloween fans are finding trouble to find any positives to say about it.

I’m in complete agreement with them. Halloween Ends stinks.

Director David Gordon Greene returns for a third time and caps off a shockingly underwhelming hat trick for this new Halloween trilogy.

Ok, you might think – “How bad can it be? The past two films might not have been great, but we got through all the needless buildup, all the pieces have been put in place and now this final film can hit the ground running and Laurie and Michael can just get into a long all-out bloody battle to end this on!”

Well, I don’t think it’s the long-awaited, big Halloween finale fans have been anticipating to see. Fans hoping to see the unstoppable Michael Myers slash his way through victims leading up to Curtis will be disappointed. The showdown between Curtis and Michael is only a small portion of the film.

Although I don’t think it’s worth anyone’s concern of having this movie ruined by knowing what happens, here’s the warning of SPOILERS AHEAD!

Halloween-Ends-2022-Corey-Rohan-Campbell-awful-terrible-worst-disasterThe main focus in the film is about this awkward kid named Corey (Rohan Campbell). We’ll run through this quickly: Corey ends up accidentally killing a boy he’s baby-sitting. He becomes an outcast and the picked on town freak (much like Laurie has become). Despite his awkwardness, he and Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) hook up, fall for each other conveniently and a romance blooms almost instantaneously. They fall in love with each other as fast as Michael used to plunge a knife into his victims. 

Things look up for Corey, that is until he encounters a weakened Michael Myers, who has been hiding in the sewers of Haddonfield. Michael spiritually influences Corey (or something) and then he becomes Michael’s murdering protege. So, Corey goes out killing. This puts a damper on his romance with Allyson. Slasher fans get meager, very poorly edited kills. It’s looking like Corey will become the next incarnation of the boogey man in town. 

That seems to be the clear direction and it makes sense. Once Blumhouse loses the rights to make any more Halloween films and their use of Michael Myers expires, they could just start using Corey to star in their own knock off Halloween-style horror flicks if they want.

Halloween-Ends-2022-Corey-Rohan-Campbell-Andi-MatichakBut no. After everything that goes down, Corey ends up quite inconsequential to the overall Halloween story. Michael is still the king killer in town, meets up with Laurie and they have a final fight to the death using sharp metal objects. 

This is a very unexpected story for Halloween Ends.

The film seems to want to explore the theme of what makes someone become evil. According to Green, the introduction of Corey was meant to be the vessel to be able to explain how small seeds can evolve into the creation of evil. Rather than stepping onto Michael’s lengthy, convoluted legacy to do that, Corey would be something of a clean slate to work off of.

It’s a very, very strange approach for a conclusion to this trilogy. You know, it’s not too surprising fans might have thought the last chapter of the Michael Myers saga would be….about him and Laurie!

It’s no wonder Ween fans aren’t very happy with Halloween Ends. Introducing a dull character to anchor the final installment? If they wanted to explore this theme of ‘what makes someone evil’ wouldn’t that have been more effective to do over the course of the three films, rather than filling up the majority of the third with this curveball of a character?

The two characters that fans are wanting to see (Laurie and Michael Myers), are sidelined for an obscene amount of the film. For those hoping to see the ominous, relentless, terrifying Michael Myers on the prowl during a Halloween night….they’ll be shattered and disheartened at how he is portrayed here. The story is not really about either of them, so Laurie and Michael both just sit and wait until they get their fleeting confrontation at the end. They take a bow, cue the Halloween theme and the movie ends. It is all very bewildering. 

Halloween-Ends-2022-Michael-Myers-worst-terrible-disappointingI suppose the filmmakers are using the argument “We were trying to do something new and unexpected with this installment”. That’s become a very popular approach Hollywood has been taking with franchise films lately – ‘subverting expectations’. That’s great, you want to surprise audiences, that sounds cool. But just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s any good.

Clocking in at nearly a full two hours, the story squeaks along, with very boring characters, no scares, nonsensical actions, as the illogic grows. Your questions of confusion will be the only thing that will be the reprieve from the boredom.

Continuity throughout this new trilogy doesn’t help make sense of things, recurring characters (like Will Patton) were not worth returning for this third film and there are no answers provided to any lingering questions that might have been left lingering from the previous films.

All this could be forgivable IF this horror movie actually had some effective horror scenes in it. Yet, there are no suspenseful scenes or buildup to the kills – and when blood does spill, it’s so poorly filmed to the point you barely can see any of the gore money shots fans want to see.

Halloween-Ends-2022-Jamie-Lee-Curtis-Michael-Myers-fight-finaleNaturally, the film takes the easy and cheap route by dropping some nostalgic references and shoutouts to the original film. Some fans seem to LOVE these things when a movie includes them. I never understood the excitement for this stuff. “Oh, Laurie is going to try to stab Michael with a knitting needle like she did in the first movie!”, “Carpenter’s The Thing is playing on the television!” ,”Oh, there’s a cameo by the original ‘Michael’ Nick Castle!” For me, these callbacks usually signals that the filmmakers have nothing original to offer and are banking on nostalgic affection to ingratiate favor from longtime fans. 

The performances range from going through the motions (Curtis) to poor (Matichak). Although, as unwanted a character Corey is, Campbell does a respectable job in the role. This will be a nice performance to put on his reel.

The highlights are very, very few. They’re really not worth digging for them and wasting your time watching the entire film, but if you still feel compelled to sit through Halloween Ends despite everything you heard – well, be on the lookout for the killing of a local DJ. It has some nice gore and involves a severed tongue. Laurie’s fight with Michael ultimately happens and while very brief, it is the only thing you’ve been waiting to see. It’s an awfully long tedious slog to get to those meager highlights and I’d say take a pass on this. For a Halloween sequel starring Curtis, I prefer H20 over this trashy trilogy. 

Halloween-Ends-2022-poster-false-marketing-promotionThis film might work for some, but for the majority I don’t think it will. There’s really nothing here to be very excited about. Blumhouse must of known they had a very underwhelming flick on their hands and fans wouldn’t be very receptive towards it. This explains how the trailers teased a very different looking film. One that centered around Laurie and Michael fighting to the death for one or perhaps both of them.

The poster naturally features Curtis and Michael back-to-back, but they feel like they are barely in it. You don’t see Corey featured on the poster and if we were being honest he should be standing in between the two. They were smart and played up Laurie and Michael and kept the fact that Halloween Ends was more a whole Corey-filled story on the downlow.

The creative choices are much more interesting to think about than anything that happens onscreen. Halloween Ends will probably be discussed and questioned for a very long time as to why the filmmakers decided to go this route. Why did they settle on Corey’s story to fill the final chapter of a trilogy where you know everyone is only wanting to see Michael and Laurie? It’s a great question!

Was it because of issues with delays due to Covid? Did they only have Curtis agreeing to a limited amount of days, so they had to fill up the film with something else? Was this part of the grand plan when they started this trilogy or were they making it up as they went along? They must of had a well laid out plan in place when they started this Halloween trilogy right? Right??? They wouldn’t have possibly just have made it up as they went along from film to film???

We’re all feeling the same way Jamie

Whatever it was, Halloween Ends is very bad. At the very least it’s now something that fans can spend their time imagining how they would have concluded the Halloween story. Their ideas are probably a whole heck of a lot more interesting than what this movies does.

After this fallout there will be a lot of time spent asking the questions – “What the hell did I just watch?”, “How could they screw up a Halloween movie so badly?”, “Why couldn’t they have kept it simple and just given fans what they wanted from a Halloween movie?”, “How low will Halloween Ends rank in the series?”, “When’s the next Halloween reboot going to happen?”, “They better retcon this whole trilogy!!!”

Here’s the trailer that misrepresents the whole story

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