Halloween Ends is co-written and directed by David Gordon Green, who directed the last two rebooted Halloween franchise films, Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021), and Jamie Lee Curtis returns for purportedly the final time as Laurie Strode, the part she originated in the 1978 horror classic Halloween. Billed as a final showdown between Laurie and Michael Myers, or “the Shape” according to the credits (James Jude Courtney), much of the film focuses on Corey (Rohan Campbell) a disturbed and troubled young man who begins a romance with Laurie’s granddaughter (Andi Matichak).
Most of Halloween Ends is a classic “descent into madness and/or evil” story that Pearl inverted and made more interesting. Focusing almost entirely on Corey, Halloween Ends is basically about the Michael Myers fall internship program as Corey begins to take up the mask and wreak havoc on Haddonfield’s worst residents. Aside from adding nothing new to the structure or form of the “descent into…” trope, Halloween Kills is too rushed; it touches all the familiar bases of the character’s psychological descent, but it never spends enough time on these steps to develop the characters significantly.
Following Halloween Kills, which relegated Laurie Strode to a hospital bed, Laurie in Halloween Ends is not adequately used. At the start, Laurie is no longer the traumatized figure we met in Halloween (2018); she’s almost completely reformed – happy and ready to conquer late middle age. She’s writing a book, she’s living her best life, and she’s unrecognizable from the previous films. Opportunities for a real character arc for Laurie are totally squandered.
There is no excuse for Halloween Ends to be as undeveloped and rushed as it is. Green and his co-creators have had three movies to build a coherent story that could have satisfyingly concluded. All it required was planning.
There is a morsel of a good idea of doing a descent into madness in the Halloween franchise, but all the necessary character development is ignored. And even for fans who want to see the final showdown between Laurie and Michael, I suspect that there is too little in Halloween Ends to satisfy their expectations.