At The Movies: Halloween Ends takes stab at ending the slasher series, mostly hits the mark

Jamie Lee Curtis plays the survivor of killer Michael Myers's attacks in Halloween Ends. PHOTO: UIP

Halloween Ends (M18)

111 minutes, opens Thursday

3 stars

The story: It began with Halloween (2018), continued with Halloween Kills (2021) and wraps with this, the last work in the trilogy of this long-lived slasher franchise. Four years after the events of the last film, Michael Myers, who created carnage in the town of Haddonfield, is gone. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the survivor of several of his attacks, has settled into memoir-writing as a form of therapy. Living with her is her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Laurie appears to be on the mend. Peace of mind in Haddonfield, however, will soon be in short supply.

The 2018 horror sequel Halloween, which picked up 40 years after the events of the original 1978 movie, was the story of a town paying the price for vilifying Laurie, an outcast who said awful things about a monster coming for them.

Halloween Kills, to be honest, was filler. But here and there, in between scenes of mayhem, it filled in a few blanks about Myers’ background and the limits of his supervillain powers.

The final instalment at first leans into the idea that Myers is as much a concept as he is a human – he is retribution, fear and rage itself, he is the voice of those who have been wronged by the “moral” majority. He takes out those who have sinned against him and, in one sense, everyone in Haddonfield is overdue for a reckoning.

While the whole town speaks of him as being “pure evil”, he is more like a judge and executioner, so in some ways resembling the demonic Pennywise the clown in the It films (2017 and 2019), based on the Stephen King novel.

But Halloween Ends, co-written and directed by David Gordon Green, an unabashed admirer of original creator John Carpenter, merely hints at the killer’s supernatural dimensions. Myers might be a boogeyman, but like the alien hunter, the Predator, he bleeds, so he can be killed.

One wishes Green had the courage to explore Myers’ dual nature instead of hinting at it. As it stands, the storytelling feels like it is taking convenient shortcuts.

Stills from the film Halloween Ends starring Jamie Lee Curtis. PHOTO: UIP

Otherwise, like the previous two films, Green delivers two hours of slasher-rific enjoyment. And Laurie and Allyson are admirable warriors worth rooting for.

Hot take: While it is too vague about Myers and his demonic abilities, Halloween Ends manages to bring the slasher franchise to a satisfyingly bloody close.

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