Star Rating:

Halloween Ends

Director: David Gordon Green

Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Will Patton

Release Date: Friday 14th October 2022

Genre(s): Horror

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak) are living together in Haddonfield following the events of 'Halloween Kills', trying to piece their lives together. Allyson eventually comes into contact with Corey (Rohan Campbell), a young man who mistakenly killed a young child he was babysitting and has unresolved issues from it. However, when Corey is confronted one night and thrown over a bridge, he is pulled into an underground tunnel where Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney / Nick Castle) has been hiding...

There is a moment in 'Halloween Ends', somewhere between the completely misaligned love story between Andi Matichak's character and Rohan Campbell's character, that you think it can't possibly get any worse. And then it does. Again and again and again. 'Halloween Ends' is easily the worst horror movie of 2022, but it's also a strong contender for the worst mainstream horror movie of the past ten years. It is so highly, deeply wrong on so many levels that it's incredible that anyone thought it would work.

Let's be clear - if you're betting on a good sequel, especially a good horror sequel, the odds are almost always against you. Going into 'Halloween Ends' after 'Halloween Kills', expectations were low. In truth, the franchise should have ended with the 2018 movie, or even better, in 1978 with the original. Yet, like so many franchises of our time, it forced itself onwards when it had no reason to. The results speak for themselves. Look at 'Jurassic World Dominion'. Look at 'Terminator: Dark Fate'.

'Halloween Ends' has the most basic aspects of a horror movie completely wrong. It's not scary, and it's boring. Yes, trying to weld in a romance story into a horror movie is a novel approach, but can something in the shape (no pun intended) of a 'Halloween' movie sustain it? Absolutely not. What you get in watching this movie is the sense that the writer's room was simply flinging anything at the wall in order to see what stuck with them. Maybe Danny McBride was off working on 'The Righteous Gemstones' and things were left to Paul Brad Logan and Chris Bernier, both of whom have negligible writing credits to their names, while David Gordon Green was too busy to make the writer conferences. That 'Halloween Ends' had four writers speaks to just how completely uneven it is, but it gets worse when it comes to the performances.

In 2018's 'Halloween', Andi Matichak had a firm grip on the character of Allyson - she was the granddaughter who had a sympathetic relationship with Jamie Lee Curtis' character, because Judy Greer's character - her on-screen mother - bore the brunt of all the damage and trauma/trowma of being Laurie Strode's daughter. Here, however, the way she flings herself at Rohan Campbell's character is just bizarre. Likewise, you've got Jamie Lee Curtis playing Laurie Strode in an equally bizarre way, again nothing at all like what was established previously or what would make sense for someone who's lived through what she's lived through. Again, in the 2018 movie, it felt believable. Laurie Strode, now a hardened, calloused survivor who has a booby-trapped house ready and waiting for Michael Myers. In 'Halloween Ends', she's burning pies and trying to set her granddaughter up with a weird twenty-something who gets picked on by teenagers. None of it makes sense.

It gets worse again. David Gordon Green utterly sucks any kind of tension and atmosphere out of the movie from the opening scene. It's so shocking as to be kind of tasteless, but not even in an effective or meaningful way. It's just utterly senseless. The writers could have gotten the motivation and depth behind the character in question without it if they were smarter or better, and more to the point, where exactly do you go from there? You start at 100, where's left to go? How do you possibly build it back up when it's all gone in the first few minutes? If there was a sense of humour about 'Halloween Ends', or at least a recognition of its own ridiculousness, there might be something to work with here. There isn't. Not a whisper of it. It takes itself so seriously and believes itself to be so transgressive and subversive when, in reality, the whole enterprise is just a flat, dull retread of a couple of other, far better horror movies.

'Halloween Ends' is an insult to all of the movies that bear its name. Yes, even the one with Paul Rudd, the Rob Zombie ones, and even the one which was weirdly anti-Irish. 'Halloween Ends' deserves to be buried under a landfill, covered in cement, left to rot forever, and never spoken of again.