Halloween Ends complicates its trilogy

Halloween Ends” was my second most anticipated movie of the year, although my expectations were tempered by last year’s “Halloween Kills”. As a “Halloween” fanatic, I couldn’t wait to see how they were going to close out this trilogy they made as a direct sequel to the 1978 classic.

The movie, released on Oct. 14, tells the story of a new character, Corey Cunningham, who reignites Michael Myers after he disappeared for four years. This causes Laurie Strode and her granddaughter, Allyson, to come back into blows with Michael, The Shape.

I can’t talk about this movie without immediately addressing the elephant in the room: the new character, Corey, who becomes a co-lead in a story that takes big, jarring risks with its story direction after the previous two movies. It’s a story that I’m very mixed on, upon first watch I borderline hated it but after going back and seeing it a second time the next day I do appreciate what effect they were going for with the story.
I still really love the cast including Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Kyle Richards, and James Jude Courtney as The Shape. Although the character of Corey was a mixed bag for me, Rohan Campbell did an excellent job playing the character and I hope he gets more work soon.

As per usual with this trilogy (which includes “Halloween” (2018), “Halloween Kills,” and now “Halloween Ends”) and the 1978 classic, the music by John Carpenter is perfect and the “Halloween” theme is one of the best ever written. Another consistency with this trilogy is really great cinematography that has such a variety to capture: nighttime, Halloween atmosphere, kills, and Michael itself. Quite the variety but it captures it all in spades. Speaking of which, the kills are few but worth the wait in gore and creativity.

One thing I must say is I don’t understand why they chose to tell the story of a brand new co-lead and adding new lore in the third entry of a trilogy. Pre-COVID, the writers planned on having the whole trilogy take place in one night but they rewrote this entry when the country was on lockdown. Although this is easily the boldest “Halloween” movie since Rob Zombie’s “Halloween 2” 13 years ago, the original idea for this would’ve been much more satisfying of an experience and end to the trilogy.

Aside from my preferences, I have issues with the script such as characters acting differently, underdeveloped plot points that could’ve used another 15-20 minutes of runtime, and a lack of Michael Myers. This is definitely the most underused Michael has ever been in this franchise, aside from “Halloween 3: Season of the Witch” which was an anthology entry that had nothing to do with him. Which is a disservice to James Jude Courtney who most fans (myself included) would agree is at least a top 3 Myers actor.

I’m stuck in the middle on this movie because there’s aspects I really like and appreciate and other things that confused me as to why they made certain creative decisions that didn’t play out the best. But my opinion can change with repeat viewings, so as of right now I give it a 2.5/5.