Halloween Ends

Michael Myers transfers his evil powers to a babysitter (Rohan Campbell) who accidentally killed a child in Halloween Ends, AKA Jamie Lee Curtains.

“Stop or I’ll shoot more Halloween movies!”

These sequels pick the strangest elements of their 1980s counterparts to replicate. Halloween Kills decided the best way to pay homage to Halloween II was to have Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) spend the entire film in a hospital bed, while this one echoes Halloween III: Season of the Witch by barely featuring Michael Myers, which made sense there because he played no part in the plot.

Here the killer is living in a sewer for some reason, and apparently reading the local papers since he seems aware of Corey the babysitter’s backstory. That makes Michael better informed than Laurie, who forgets her protective paranoia long enough to set Corey up with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), instantly falling madly in love with this stranger who literally killed a child.

This unfathomable drama sees the slasher franchise reduced to a teen soap opera, veering so awkwardly towards a Riverdale-style Netflix show that they might as well have just called it Haddonfield, a town populated by objectionable characters and baffling choices. Why is the dead boy’s mother (Candice Rose) spending the anniversary of her son’s death at a Halloween party, dressed the same as the night it happened? Why would Michael Myers, whose entire existence is murdering people, send someone else to do it on his behalf? And why are all these traumatised residents so hell-bent on staying in Haddonfield?

When you read the script after saying yes.

Corey even puts this to Allyson, and she responds: “All my memories are here.” You can picture her wandering nostalgically around the local bloodstains, smiling wistfully at the house where Michael stabbed her mother to death, and the spot where he broke her father’s neck. Ah, the memories.

Obviously plot holes and slasher sequels go together like hangovers and Harry Styles tattoos, but even Halloween requires some semblance of sense – especially in a two-hour movie so desperate to provide serious commentary, ponderously espoused in prose from a book Laurie is writing about the infectious nature of evil, none of which adds up given Michael’s evil is an aberration and not an ideology.

John Carpenter never pretended Halloween was about anything other than a guy who kills babysitters. All it needs to be is suspenseful, yet that appears to be the last thing on the Blumhouse agenda. It is weird seeing a Halloween picture so ashamed to be a slasher flick, while also so shameful in its own right. The only improvement on its predecessor is that Halloween Ends manages to avoid homophobia, and turns its braying lynch mob into a law-abiding lynch parade.

Good riddance to a series that dulled the property to the point that you genuinely don’t care whether Michael or Laurie dies, as long as it does indeed end, which it won’t. The disappointing box office and critical reception suggest Michael Myers for now departs our screens not with a golden handshake but a Golden Raspberry, the final insult in this golden shower of a trilogy, whose evisceration of once beloved characters has been like watching a bonfire of guinea pigs. And these films too will be thrown on the twirling junkpile of Halloween sequels, wiped from existence when they inevitably make Halloween II: Fourth Time’s the Charm.


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