The long running saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode has finally concluded with Halloween Ends though it probably wasn’t the ending most had in mind.
When Halloween Kills came out last year, I was thrilled with what I saw. With the violence ramped up to an 11 and Michael Myers seeming more deadly than ever, the film left me more than thrilled to see how Halloween Ends would conclude the rebooted story that began in 2018. The trailers only increased the hype, as we were being promised a battle of the ages between Laurie and Michael, a battle that appeared to be the most vicious yet. Given how the story had been built over the last two installments, I had no reason to doubt that Halloween Ends would also blow me away while scaring me out of my mind.
I couldn’t have been more disappointed.
Plot issues aside, while it’s entirely possible I’m getting de-sensitized to horror and slasher films, it seemed to me that Halloween Ends just wasn’t that scary, not compared to the previous two films anyway. I’ve come to expect a certain level of fright and suspense when watching Halloween films and, barring a few moments, it just wasn’t there in this story. Even when Michael was on the screen, it didn’t feel right, the fear and terror just wasn’t there. That’s a big misstep considering this was billed as the epic conclusion to the reboot trilogy. If anything this should’ve been the most suspenseful film of the trio, and it just wasn’t.
Speaking of Michael, my biggest issue with Halloween Ends is that we don’t see nearly enough of the masked killer, a highly ironic statement considering how much we saw Michael in Halloween Kills. If anything, Michael, dare I say it, almost felt like an after thought in this story. Despite being mentioned numerous times, he’s rarely seen. Even when it came time for the final showdown between Michael and Laurie….I felt very disappointed by the outcome. The trailers left me expecting a war, and I feel like what we got was a whimper. In fact as I sat watching the finale play out my overriding thought was “Is this all? Is this really how it ends?” That’s not what you want to be feeling with a Halloween film, especially one that’s meant to be wrapping up a 40 plus year saga.
Even worse is what the film did with the story we did get. For most of the film, it seemed like the part that wasn’t focusing on Michael was setting up something of a sequel. It felt like a new villain was being set up, or at least hinted at. This made perfect sense to me: if Michael’s story is going to end, that’s a perfect excuse to bring in someone new but working along the same theme as Michael. Only, before the moment could come to fruition, it was cut off. What could’ve been something really cool in a future film was literally stopped dead in its tracks and it really felt like all possibility of a sequel was equally squashed. That really didn’t sit well with me, especially with how muted the climax felt. Here we were getting a sense of finality, but absolutely no satisfaction. It didn’t feel right that the story of Michael Myers should end, or if it had to end, it shouldn’t have ended like that.
For what it’s worth, Jamie Lee Curtis killed it one last time as Laurie Strode. While I can’t stand the way Michael’s story concluded, I was perfectly happy with the end of Laurie’s story arc. For the first time ever I got the sense that her character would finally get the peace she has long deserved. I also deeply appreciated all the little callbacks to the original Halloween film that tied back to Laurie throughout this film.
It pains me to say it, but Halloween Ends is ultimately a disappointment. It’s not the worst Halloween film by any stretch, but it is not a worthy conclusion to the story of Michael Myers.