In Halloween Ends, the story of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers supposedly comes to an end after 44 years. The film concludes the cinematic cycle that began in 2018 with David Gordon Green’s eponymous franchise reboot, as well as the entire history between Strode and Myers.
Eliminating all of that interstitial storytelling, necessary though it may be, feels like a contradictory choice for a finale that is not just fascinated with its characters’ legacies but also determined to make you feel them. The political satire and character development in Halloween Kills (2021) were so rife with caricature that this film is a vast improvement.
Even less so than providing a suture for almost four and a half decades of canon, Halloween Ends fails to thread the needle necessary to tie together the three most recent films. Instead, Green once again tries to give audiences a sugar rush while also providing a gruesome, merciless slasher movie and a character study of decades-old trauma.
Has Laurie Strode Healed From Her Wounds?
Laurie Strode (Curtis) has healed from her wounds and (mostly) moved on from her fixation with Michael Myers four years after the events of Halloween 2018 and Halloween Kills, both of which you may have forgotten took place on the same night.
The murder of her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), no longer affects Laurie at all; in fact, she has completely transformed into a pie-making, Halloween-loving sexagenarian whose primary activities are writing a memoir about her experiences and taking care of her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), who is now a nurse.
Despite the fact that some of Haddonfield’s residents hold her responsible for Michael Myers’ reign of terror, which ended only with his complete disappearance after Kills, Laurie shows compassion to other outcasts like Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), who was involved in the death of a local child a few years earlier.
While Laurie first encourages Corey to ask Allyson out on a date, she later warns her granddaughter against dating him after he has an unexpected encounter with Michael Myers, who timidly survives in the town’s sewers.
By that time, however, feelings between Allyson and Corey have grown deeper, and Laurie must face her own painful history in try to save her granddaughter, even if doing so threatens to permanently separate them.
Evil Takes on Different Forms
Throughout her narration of the novel she is perpetually editing, Laurie mentions that evil takes on different forms in different people; this seems more like an Easter egg for lovers of the ’78 original than any significant psychological insight.
Furthermore, this reveals how a young man like Corey could have absorbed Michael Myers’ murderous tendencies and carried them into adulthood (which one of those it is, the movie never decides). More Myers-related mythology has been forgotten over the course of the series than this concluding trilogy is ready to remember, which is telling for a film about people who cannot outrun their legacy.
Green, through Laurie, admits that everyone in Haddonfield has some sort of unresolved emotional sorrow, loss, or rage; hence, shouldn’t they have some of the same compassion shown to unfortunate Corey?
Halloween Ends, which provides heretofore drab and solitary survivalist Laurie Strode an all-timer of a shine up as she swiftly gets over her inconceivable loss in a glossy “moving on” montage, isn’t equipped to deal with questions of this complexity because it depicts Karen’s death so dismissively. Meanwhile, the film focuses on a youngster who accepts the task of turning the sewers of Haddonfield into a bloodbath, pushing Michael Myers to the sidelines as his waning regenerative abilities pave the way for his successor.
Is It Curtis Final Turn as Laurie Strode?
Whether or not this is Curtis’ final turn as Laurie Strode, her performance exudes a finality and certainty that suggests it is the last for a while; after Halloween 2018, in which Laurie was depicted as a stringy-haired kook, she has become the ultimate sex-positive, progressive grandma who also happens to be lying in wait for her mass murderer-nemesis to return.
Even though the script undermines her ability to sell the fast-moving relationship she develops with Corey, Matichak has grown as an actress in just a few short years and brings real substance to Allyson’s frustration and uncertainty about staying in a place that is both “home” and home to her greatest trauma.
Campbell seems mostly constipated as her potential boyfriend, saviour, and eventual personification of her worst nightmares. He seems to be dreading the time he has to take up Michael’s murderous mantle.
David Gordon Green’s films once again pass up a chance to explore a fascinating idea regarding the ways people centre themselves (justifiably or not) in terrible occurrences by failing to establish whether Michael Myers genuinely understands who Laurie Strode is or not.
Where Does the Final Film Fall Short?
Without any deliberate shaping from the filmmakers, this finale to Strode’s narrative lacks the potential to be dramatic, operatic, and cathartic. Despite an orgy of subtle visual and narrative connections, this is another Green picture in which short-term gains take precedence over the long-term.
Remember, too, that this is just the newest entry in a long-running horror franchise whose legacy, for all its innovative influence and enduring popularity, is far from inviolable. Those looking forward to these movies shouldn’t have sky-high hopes for them.
Instead, a Halloween film must provide a conclusion (or final resting place) for the most renowned monster and final girl relationship in cinematic history before delivering an expanding succession of horrible killings.
Halloween Ends, then, is nearly watchable as a generic sequel, a tiny bit of new life breathed into the corpse of a stalwart piece of intellectual property. However, for someone who has struggled and endured for so long, Laurie Strode does not get the fitting ending she deserves.