Dir. David Gordon Green (2022)
A year after Michael disappeared following the events of Halloween Kills, Laurie has moved on with her life. He hasn't.
An extra bit of warning here: There are some serious spoilers in this, though I will do my best to avoid any climactic details to avoid really pissing you off. The movie will probably do that enough on its own.
Controversies abound with the newest installment of the Halloween franchise, with many critics insisting that true fans of the series will either love or hate this final chapter. Call me a contrarian I guess, because I thought it was just an alright movie that had tenuous connections to the series at best. What felt like more of a standard Blumhouse teen movie wrapped in Halloween lore, Ends falls short of potentially becoming an epic member of the pantheon while still delivering some fantastic kills and managing to wrap up Laurie Strode's character arc in a fairly satisfying way.
Don't get me wrong, there was absolutely a lot to hate about this movie. Corey (Rohan Campbell) accidentally kills a child that he is babysitting, retaining his freedom after the courts decide that there was no ill intent in the child's death. However, he becomes a social pariah in the town of Haddonfield as child killers are wont to be. His story flips the Halloween franchise on its head, seemingly shoehorning in the main plot of Halloween Kills by dealing with a town that is consumed by evil and can't escape the legacy of terror that Michael Myers left behind.
The series truly reaches its Friday the 13th: A New Beginning sequence, establishing Corey as a man consumed by the spirit of Michael Myers to become a serial killer in his own right. In itself, this isn't a bad addition to the story: it makes sense with the story of Michael and the evil that he brings into the world while perhaps paying lip service to the original novelization and the Cult of Thorn that was discussed in some of the earlier films. Unfortunately, it doesn't do justice to the story that the new trilogy has created and feels a little out of place in the finale of a 44-year-long arc. It works, but only on a surface level, making much of the film feel unnecessary and contrived.
The finale of the film is, indeed, epic, and a fitting and worthwhile conclusion to the greatest horror franchise in existence. I can't help but feeling, however, that it would've been a better addition as an extra half-hour-or-so at the end of 2018's Halloween, making it a single, stand-alone film that could've resolved the series in a much more satisfying way. The choices made are the choices made, however, and I try very hard not to criticize the creative choices of those in charge of such a daunting task as resolving the Halloween franchise. I'll hold my tongue for the most part, but only because the ending really is satisfying. I can definitely say at the end of this film that they could've fucked it up a lot worse. Maybe that's the best that was possible. There truly wasn't anything they could've done that would have satisfy everyone, myself included, and while Ends wasn't as good as the franchise deserves, it was about as good as it's going to get.
Who this movie is for: Gritty horror fans, Serial killer lovers, Social psychologists
Bottom line: It's really not as bad as people are saying, and I say this as the biggest Halloween fan on the planet. Jamie Lee Curtis was phenomenal as always, and Andi Matichak's Allyson is just as good as she was in the previous two films. That being said, it certainly could've been better, and the presence of Halloween Kills in the franchise backed everyone into a corner that needed the resolution present in this film. It was really nice to see some cameos from the world of horror (Darcy!!!), and it didn't feel like such an eye-roll as Kills. It's a movie that's just alright, which is far better than I expected to be fair. I went to see the original Halloween in theaters last night to clean my palette, and I highly recommend that. As for Ends? The series has certainly produced a handful of films that were a lot worse than this one, but while it won't leave a rotten taste in your mouth, it won't have the impact and import as the original, leaving the epic franchise without as epic of a conclusion as it deserved.