One can’t help but be emotional seeing Jamie Lee Curtis continue to re-create and break the rules of what a final girl is and can be in Halloween Ends.

Film Review: Halloween Ends

Film Reviews

Halloween Ends
Director: David Gordon Green

Blumhouse Productions, Universal Pictures
In Theaters: 10.14

In the new addition to the Halloween franchise—Halloween Ends (dir. David Gordon Green)—we finally say goodbye to the tale of two of the most legendary enemies in cinema: Laurie Strode and Michael “The Shape” Meyers. Who will prevail? I’ll spare you the answer and recommend that you experience it on the big screen yourself, or at least at home with your speakers turned all the way up. Halloween Ends is an epic tribute and final chapter to not only the Halloween franchise but the long-winded horror genre in general, while simultaneously honoring the role Halloween has played in the formula’s creation. However, by no means will its new storyline please all fans.  

Halloween Ends takes place four years after Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael’s (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle) last tussle. Laurie decides to stop chasing, stop hiding and focus on living, so she buys a home with her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), as she works away at her memoir and focuses on life’s simple joys. Meanwhile, a young babysitter, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), is accused of murdering a child on a ghostly Halloween night. Following Allyson and Corey’s meeting and electric connection, the plot unravels in an unforeseen, gruesome way.

This will come as no shock, but Halloween Ends has major, stomach-turning kills like never before, as well as a pounding, vigorous score and an overall well-crafted plot, with twists and turns you likely won’t see coming. Its introduction to a new storyline is far richer than other remakes, like Scream (2021), for example (Don’t worry; We are pro-Scream in my house). Oftentimes, revamps and reboots focus too much on either honing in on nostalgia or on creating an entirely new storyline and then fall short on one or the other. Halloween Ends nailed both of these challenges, but it’s not like they’ve had over 40 years to figure it out or anything. 

This feels like a final goodbye to outdated, classic horror tropes (the blatantly sexist “rules” of a “final girl,” the mockery of mental illness and even the now-predictable jump-scares). There’s a horror formula we all know like the back of our hand, and Randy in Scream explains it precisely: “There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie.” However, the Halloween films also created many highly celebrated and iconic moments that changed the course of horror forever, leading multiple decades-worth of inspired filmmakers. Its flaws were just as prominent as any other blockbuster (cheesy lines, unrealistic circumstances, etc.) and they are almost unworthy of analysis because these flaws are what Halloween is known for.  

I’ve found myself in the past led to believe that a franchise was coming to an official end due to a flashy, jam-packed film “finale,” only for the universe to continue with different characters or at least diverging storylines (see: Avengers: Endgame). I hope this is not the case with the Halloween franchise. While the Halloween Ends’ middle chapter overpowers its ending, the latter was nevertheless well-written, well-performed and overall a fantastic homage to almost half a century’s-worth of a plot. It deserves to finally be put to rest.

The latest addition to a legendary cast, Rohan Campbell as Corey, gave a miraculous, mind-bending performance, and alongside Matichak as his co-star, their chemistry is bewitching. (P.S. If romantic nose-biting makes you cringe, here is your official warning.) Curtis’ final performance as one of the most acclaimed female roles was badass, but you can’t help but find yourself emotional. Laurie Strode paved the way for all our favorite final girls, and as we continue to re-create and break the rules of what a final girl is and can be, we bid adieu to one of the best. –Birdy Francis

Read more film reviews by Birdy Francis:
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