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"Halloween Ends" (2022) Movie Review

I Wrote my First Movie Review While Giving Birth to a Camera. It has followed me ever since. Please don't mind the Mess.

"Halloween Ends" (2022). Stabbing in surround sound.

"Halloween Ends" (2022). Stabbing in surround sound.

Running and Stabbing Time

111 Minutes

MPAA Rating

R

Writers

Paul Brad Logan & Chris Bernier & Danny McBride & David Gordon Green based on Characters Created By Debra Hill and John Carpenter.

Director

David Gordon Green

Run-On Franchise

It’s been 567 years since the first Halloween dropped in 1978. After 12 different timelines, a Halloween Christmas Special featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” but butchering the words so it sounds sort of anti-Semitic (but vaguely, not in a Kanye way), Jamie Lee Curtis playing Laurie in 67 different iterations including that one scene with the hot dog fingers/knives in Everything Everywhere All At Once and the fan j*zz worthy sequence in last year’s Halloween No Way Home where Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield showed up to play their versions of Laurie Strode and this is a really long run on sentence but that’s okay because this is a review for Halloween Ends and if you’ve seen all the Halloween movies you don’t give a f*ck about coherence. Or logic. Or one’s ability to procure a driving instructor while incarcerated. Or one’s ability to keep a gravestone in the backseat of a car.

Everyone involved in the movie says that this is the final Halloween. We’ll believe it when we see it. We’ll believe it when we don’t see it..

I’m saving space here, waiting for some time in 2027 when a new Halloween rebootquel comes out featuring Danielle Harris as Laurie’s daughter even more grown up than before. And Josh Hartnett from H2O. And Lindsay Lohan from Freaky Friday.

Synopsis Begins So it Can End

Let’s recap what happened during Halloween Kills just so you’re all caught up because we all remember what a plot-heavy movie that was.

*laughter ensues*

Evil didn’t die that night. But Judy Greer did.

All caught up.

We fast forward to 2019. It’s Halloween night and Haddonfield is still smarting from turning into a violent mob yet not being able to do anything about Michael.

We meet a 21-year old young man boy named Corey (Rohan Campbell) and he’s about to babysit a young boy named Jeremy (Bradley Cooper). We all know how well babysitting during Halloween in Haddonfield turns out for everyone involved.

It’s not weird at all that a 21-year old male babysitter is watching a young boy. Jeremy’s parents trust Corey around Jeremy because he’s not a Catholic priest.

Maybe they shouldn’t have. Worst babysitting ever. You do not want to read Corey’s babysitting Yelp reviews after this Halloween. But what would you expect? It’s Chinatown Jake, um, Haddonfield.

Let’s fast forward another 4 years. Halloween Ends begins…again.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). She’s writing a memoir of sorts to do some inner healing work and to provide the audience with some dense but apparently necessary exposition about what’s happened in the last 5 years. Her daughter Karen is still dead, but Laurie keeps her in the freezer anyway just in case.

Allyson works as a nurse. Presumably at the same hospital as Halloween Kills, so there should be no security there whatsoever.

Corey is trying to make his way back into society after doing a terrible job babysitting. Since he can’t be trusted to take care of children, he’s now working with heavy machinery as a mechanic at a junkyard/used needle disposal. Nothing will go wrong there.

Watch it in theaters or on Peacock. No excuses.

Watch it in theaters or on Peacock. No excuses.

We Need to Talk About Corey

Laurie and Officer Frank (Will Patton- the guy who should have been dead in Halloween 2018) engage in some chaste flirting while some people blame Laurie for their relatives being butchered. Who’s Laurie going to have to kill to catch a break after 44 years?

Presumably Michael Myers, but he hasn’t been seen around them thar parts since way back yonder in 2018. Presumably he’s wearing the same jumpsuit he’s had since 1978. That’s sanitary.

Thanks to some f*cked up matchmaking by Laurie, Corey and Allyson meet-cute and seem to be hitting it off. Corey looks like he’s getting some good healing and Allyson hasn’t been this happy since her parents were butchered hours apart. Let the young woman catch a break.

Allyson and Corey live happily ever after, have a big wedding in Haddonfield Square on Halloween night while the entire population chants “EVIL DIES TONIGHT” which is an odd thing to chant during a wedding but that’s the only group chant Haddon-folk can yell in unison.

Does this actually happen? Nope.

Allyson gets passed over for a promotion because she keeps her pants on.

Corey is still getting picked on by kids younger than him. He’s been on the edge of sanity for almost 5 years. A couple of nights before Halloween Corey just crossed the line into…something he can’t come back from.

Luckily there’s a reticent old man with a dirty jumpsuit and a mask willing to help a kid out.

We need to talk about Corey.

You're leaving a draft, Allyson.

You're leaving a draft, Allyson.

What Works With Halloween Ends

  • Because we know (for now) that this is Jamie Lee Curtis’ last go round as Laurie, every time she appears onscreen it feels way more special than the movie deserves. After almost 45 years of playing the same character you do feel that Laurie deserves a more fitting sendoff, but you can’t question JLC’s commitment or Laurie’s ferocity. Laurie gets the best scene in the movie. Too bad the trailer ruined part of it.
  • The first kill is the best kill. Unfortunately, it’s 5-10 minutes into an almost 2 hour movie.
Michael has to find his keys next.

Michael has to find his keys next.

What Doesn’t Work With Halloween Ends

  • As far as the ending of a saga that’s lasted over two generations, it is meh-diocre. Laurie deserved more of a climax. Michael deserved a better end. You deserved a better end. At best, it’s a serviceable final chapter until the next one. You’ve seen worse horror movies this past week, but Ends does not live up to the buildup.
  • As the end credits roll, you realize the movie hinges not on Laurie, but on Rohan Campbell’s Corey, a part way more pivotal than it should have been. Campbell’s performance (like the movie) is adequate but fails at pivotal moments. Campbell is _____ when Corey needs to be _____.

Overall

If you crater your hopes and block out most of the negative chatter, Halloween Ends is perfectly okay. The series ends on a polite golf clap instead of whimper or a bang. But if you’ve already seen that mediocre Hellraiser reboot or the derivative, cheap jump-scare reliant Smile, Ends is a least as good if not a little bit better than both of those. Managed expectations will lead to a better experience.

Really 2.5

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© 2022 Noel Penaflor