MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for Halloween Ends. You’ve been warned.

*

*

Happy Halloween, fellow geeks! And it just wouldn’t be a complete Halloween without Michael Myers. Sadly, though (or maybe not), if the title is true – Halloween Ends – then this year will be the last we see our favorite unkillable killer wreaking havoc in Haddonfield, Illinois – and the last we see of the original “final girl” Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).

So how does the end come about? Actually, it starts with a completely unrelated incident. During Halloween night back in 2019, a dorky kid named Corey (Rohan Campbell) goes to babysit a bratty kid (Jaxon Goldenberg). After the parents leave, said bratty kid plays a prank on Corey and locks him in the attic, taunting him the whole time that legendary boogeyman Michael Myers is “gonna get him.” Unfortunately, in a panic to get out, Corey accidentally sends the kid falling over the railing to his death.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) helps Corey (Rohan Campbell) in Halloween Ends

Jamie Lee Curtis, Rohan Campbell in Halloween Ends

Then, after a quick recap of (almost) the entire Halloween franchise, we jump forward to the present day. Michael Myers aka “The Shape” (James Jude Courtney) has all but disappeared after killing Laurie Strode’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer) in Halloween Kills. Laurie and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) have moved in together and are both trying to move on with their lives. Of course, one would think the best way to do that would be to leave Haddonfield. But one would be wrong, as this is Halloween, after all.

RELATED: Check out our list of every Halloween movie, ranked!

So while Allyson’s become a nurse at the local hospital, Laurie spends her days working on her memoir (complete with unnecessary voiceover contemplating the nature of evil and stuff like that). She’s left the whole survivalist thing behind and has become much more of a regular grandmother, baking (and burning) pies and even having a sort-of thing developing with retired sheriff Frank (Will Patton).

And what of Corey? Well, in the ensuing years since the accident, he’s become the town pariah. One day while Haddonfield’s high schoolers bully him mercilessly, Laurie comes to his aid. Knowing what it’s like to be the town weirdo, she suggests a little revenge and together they slash the tires of the lead bully’s (Michael Barbieri) car.

Laurie brings Corey to the hospital, supposedly to get his cuts and bruises looked at, but what she really wants is to set Corey up with Allyson. The two actually do hit it off and Allyson convinces him to go with her to a Halloween party at a bar. Unfortunately, though, Corey still suffers PTSD-like effects from the accident, and in the midst of the chaotic partying ends up getting angry at Allyson, blowing her off and leaving.

RELATED: Every Nightmare on Elm Street Film, Ranked

While walking it off, the high school bullies return and while roughing Corey up, force him off an overpass (much like the accident with the kid) and they leave him. Then suddenly Corey gets dragged into a large drainage pipe. When he comes to, he finds himself face-to-mask with – you guessed it – Michael Myers. So we’re supposed to buy that he’s spent the last four years just hanging out in the sewers. Does that seem kinda — I dunno, lame to you? Yeah, does to me too. Anyway, moving on.

Allyson (Andi Matichak) talks to Corey (Rohan Campbell) in Halloween Ends

Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell in Halloween Ends

So for whatever reason, Corey’s arrival convinces ol’ Mikey that it’s finally time to leave his glamorous life in the drainage pipe behind and get back to what he does best – killing sprees. Although, side note here: there are billboards and some side dialogue indicating that people have gone missing over those four years, so Michael hasn’t been completely inactive.

But now, Michael has a budding apprentice in Corey, whose urge to pay back all those who’ve wronged him is turning into a homicidal rage. The kind of rage that Michael Myers is a master at unleashing. So Corey goes with Michael on a killing spree, starting with one of the hospital’s doctors (Michael O’Leary) and the nurse he’s screwing around with (Michele Dawson).

RELATED: Check out our Horror 101 Crash Course!

But while all this is going on, the relationship between Corey and Allyson blossoms – which is a dangerous thing, as Corey becomes more confident with his newfound strength. And it isn’t long before those high school bullies get theirs in one of the better, more old Halloween-like sequences of grisly-yet-creative deaths. The local DJ even ends up dead in a brutal slaying that has the kind of darkly funny ending you feel bad laughing at.

Pretty soon though, Laurie realizes that she’s perhaps had a hand in creating a new monster in Corey, one who’s now got his hooks into her granddaughter. Laurie confronts Corey in the abandoned house of the kid he accidentally killed, warning him to stay away from Allyson. But it’s too late for that – and when Allyson turns on her, it seems like Laurie has finally given up. She can’t fix anything – so she decides it’s time to end it, getting her gun out of a drawer and calling 911 to report a suicide. And after a heart-stopping gunshot, we think she’s actually killed herself.

RELATED: Top 10 Creepy Clown Movies

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) shoots at Michael Myers in Halloween Ends

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween Ends

But then, as the shadowy Shape pushes open the door, we see Laurie standing there with the gun and pow! She blasts Michael and sends him falling over the railing (there’s a lot of falling over railings, isn’t there?). But when she goes to lift the mask – it’s not Michael. It’s Corey.

And here would have been a good place to end things – with Corey taking over as the new Michael. Right? Wrong. In a completely surprising but utterly confusing move, Corey then shoots himself and dies. Allyson arrives to find the horrific scene and of course, it looks like Laurie’s killed him.

She runs off to get the police – and it’s then that Michael appears and the inevitable showdown finally happens. It’s a terrific, brutal fight that ends with Laurie literally pinning Michael down with knives through his hands. Then, knowing that’s not good enough, she drops a refrigerator on him for good measure.

RELATED: Every Scream Movie, Ranked

Allyson returns to save her grandmom – and both of them knowing that it’s still not enough, they each take knives and cut Michael’s veins. After he’s bled out, they decide that it’s time to have a little impromptu funeral, to show the good folks of Haddonfield that ding-dong, the boogeyman’s dead. They tie him to the top of their car and lead a procession through town to the dump, where they drop Michael’s body into a choppy-mashy grinder thing, and we literally watch him get turned into ground beef. Yum.

Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) stalks Laurie Strode in Halloween Ends

James Jude Courtney in Halloween Ends

In the end, Allyson and Laurie say their tearful but loving goodbyes and Allyson finally leaves town to start a new life. And what of Laurie? Well, she keeps going on that memoir and Frank stops by. They sit together on her stoop, looking adorable – and maybe for once, actually happy.

RELATED: Check out our Underrated Horror Movie of the Month Archive!

To say that this was not the ending I hoped for is an understatement. But then again, as I sat there watching the flick, I realized that there probably wasn’t an ending that I would ever be completely satisfied with. As a story, Halloween has gone on for so long and gotten so convoluted that there just isn’t a way to make any real sense out of it.

All of the collective directors and writers who’ve worked on the franchise over the decades did a bang-up job of writing themselves right into a corner – one that there’s no possible way to write a good way out of. So is Michael Myers just an incredibly durable dude? Or is he The Shape, the invincible embodiment of evil? No one has ever really made the decision on that one, and as a result, no matter what happens to the guy we’re always left thinking he’s going to come back – even after getting dumped in a giant meat grinder.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in Halloween Ends

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween Ends

And while I appreciate director David Gordon Green’s efforts to work in a story about how evil can be passed on and inherited by others, the way Corey’s character ends after all that build-up is not only disappointing but just downright frustrating. Why go through all the trouble of telling the guy’s story if you’re just going to kill him anyway? That makes no sense at all and really makes it so that much of the flick was wasted time that could have been spent on Michael and giving him a proper ending.

RELATED: Check out more movie reviews here!

As for Laurie Strode, while I think the very end is a well-deserved relief for her character, we never really got to see her story throughout. Neither did we see enough of Allyson. All that time spent on Corey pushed the Strodes to the background, and that was a crime. And while Curtis and Matichak did the best with what they were given, Halloween Ends really needed to be their show. And it’s a shame to think that, even more than Michael, this flick is the last we’ll ever see of the Strodes.

What’s worst of all is that Halloween Ends isn’t even a good slasher flick. So in the coming years, when you’re looking for something scary to watch during the Halloween season – your best bet is still to stick with the original. None of the other flicks have ever been able to match it. And if Halloween Ends is truly the end, none of them ever will.

Halloween Ends poster

Directed by:  David Gordon Green

Written by:  Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green

Rating:  R

Release Date: Oct. 14, 2022 (in theaters and streaming on Peacock)

Running Time:  1hr, 51 min

Distributor:  Universal Pictures

SMILE Spoiler Review

Lorinda Donovan
Follow