Skip to main content

Sorry, haters: Halloween Ends is actually a good movie

Note: the following article contains heavy plot spoilers for Halloween Ends.

It’s been almost two weeks since Halloween Ends premiered in theaters and on Peacock, and some audiences still feel disappointed by the conclusion to director David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy. Though the film delivers a gripping final showdown between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, many audiences were put off by how the film focuses less on this conflict and more on newcomer Corey Cunningham, who becomes an agent of evil after encountering the Shape.

The audience backlash is understandable since the film they watched went against what they expected to see. Nevertheless, Halloween Ends still has many fine qualities that make it much better than people think, and audiences should acknowledge all the things that make the film a real cinematic treat.

It does something new with the franchise

Jamie Leee Curtis walks away from Rohan Campbell in a park in a scene from Halloween Ends.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Much like Avengers: Endgame, Halloween Ends deals with the aftermath of its villain’s violent rampage from the previous film, exploring the fear, anger, and grief left behind and building up to the villain’s return later in the movie. Though audiences have been critical of Michael not having much screen time in this film, his influence casts a large shadow over Haddonfield, making him an even darker force of nature than he was before.

Also, the fact that he’s hardly ever seen makes him that much more frightening. Like in John Carpenter’s original film, the suspense of waiting to see when and where he’ll show himself makes the film more unsettling for the audience. According to @SourceHalloween on Twitter, Michael has 10 minutes and 55 seconds of screen time in Halloween Ends, while in 1978’s Halloween, he has 9 minutes and 37 seconds.

Though the filmmakers could’ve just focused on Laurie’s final pursuit of Michael, this wouldn’t have been that interesting, as this story has been done many times before. In order for a reboot to justify its existence, it has to bring something fresh to the franchise with something new to say. And so, Halloween Ends shows how Michael’s evil can spread to other people and take a new shape. With the citizens of Haddonfield still reeling from Michael’s last massacre and the Boogeyman nowhere to be seen, they all redirect their rage and malice toward an easy target: Corey Cunningham.

After accidentally killing a boy he was babysitting on Halloween night, Corey becomes an outcast in Haddonfield, as the townspeople see him as a sadistic murderer like Michael Myers when he is just a lonely and misunderstood young man. Eventually, the people’s constant abuse and mistreatment of Corey cause him to become a vengeful killer. As a result, Corey’s descent into evil shows how any person, even someone as seemingly “normal” as Corey, can end up becoming like Michael given the right set of circumstances.

It explores mental health in a way few horror movies attempt to do

A bloodied man looks into a mirror in Halloween Ends.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Halloween franchise, specifically Michael Myers, has contributed to society’s stigma toward mental illness with its frightening depiction of a mentally ill killer. Halloween Ends brings a more progressive portrayal of the subject by exploring the humanity of the characters who have mental health problems following Michael’s murder sprees.

Throughout the new Halloween trilogy, Laurie struggles with alcoholism and PTSD following her traumatic encounter with Michael as a teenager. However, Halloween Ends shows Laurie is now sober and trying to live a life not dominated by her trauma. Laurie even writes a memoir about his experiences with Michael as part of her healing process.

Despite this, Laurie does become fixated on Michael once again as she notices the darkness inside Corey. Her worries are proven correct, but she falls back down a rabbit hole of obsession and relapses into drinking, making her fake suicide attempt much more believable to the audience. All in all, Laurie’s struggles in the movie show how trauma and grief don’t just vanish, and they can continue to follow someone like how Michael stalks his victims.

Halloween Ends Featurette - Jamie's Journey (2022)

Likewise, the way the film explores the misery that Michael left in Haddonfield invokes troubling memories of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a difficult time for many people’s mental health. Laurie even claims that the people of Haddonfield “descended into a plague of grief, of blame, of paranoia” after Michael’s massacre, and the suffering he caused “became an infection passing on to people who never even crossed his path.”

But in spite of how the people of Haddonfield demonize Michael and liken him to a supernatural plague, once Laurie takes off his mask at the end of the film, she acknowledges that this so-called Boogeyman is still just a man inside. There’s nothing supernatural or scary about him anymore; he’s just a now-physically helpless human just like the rest of them.

Halloween Ends pays homage to the franchise

Laurie hides from Michael in Halloween Ends.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Like Green’s previous films, Halloween Ends continues to display a fond love for the entire franchise, including its black sheep film, Season of the Witch. Specifically, the opening title sequence of Green’s third film uses a blue font instead of an orange one, just like in Season of the Witch. In hindsight, how this new film referenced such a controversial movie implies that the story wouldn’t be the one fans expected to watch and that the filmmakers knew it would be just as divisive.

Likewise, Halloween Ends replicates multiple shots from Carpenter’s first film, such as when an exhausted Laurie rests her head against a doorway and Michael impales one of his victims to a wall and stares at it. Corey even recreates the iconic image of Michael looking down from a balcony while holding a knife, with Laurie later shooting Corey like Dr. Loomis shot Michael in the original film. Fans may say the filmmakers were unfit to reboot Halloween, but it’s obvious from tributes like this that the entire trilogy, including the finale, was a labor of love for the franchise.

There are many great scares

The Shape swings an axe at his male victim in Halloween Ends.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another thing the movie excels at is delivering frightening moments to audiences. Halloween Ends presents a particularly horrifying moment in its opening scene when Corey accidentally kills Jeremy by kicking him over a balcony. While watching a child die on-screen is more than scary enough, the fact that someone besides Michael Myers killed a young boy in this film makes this moment especially shocking.

Likewise, the filmmakers continue to present many creative and gory kills like the ones seen in the previous two films. For example, after Willy the Kid insults Corey and Allyson, Corey doesn’t just get revenge on him by smashing his face into a desk; he delivers an extra bit of karma to the radio DJ by cutting off his tongue, which lands on a spinning record and interrupts the music playing. It’s a brutal but darkly comedic moment that shows how the filmmakers know how to create some truly unique scares.

At long last, Laurie gets her happy ending

Laurie holds a pumpkin with 2 women in Halloween Ends.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

After watching Michael Myers return to terrorize everyone around him many times across many films, audiences saw Halloween Ends bring the best conclusion to the franchise by ending Michael’s reign of terror once and for all. Since his body was destroyed in an industrial shredder at the end of the film, there is no chance of him returning or for any writers to retcon his death. The Shape is gone.

Thus, the people of Haddonfield finally gain some closure and can move on to a brighter future. Allyson makes amends with Laurie and leaves Haddonfield to live her own life, while the latter finishes her memoir and finds new love in Deputy Hawkins. These characters endured so much suffering throughout the franchise, so it’s nice to see Laurie and Allyson finally achieve the happiness that they deserve.

Halloween Ends is currently playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.

Editors' Recommendations

Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
All the Saw movies, ranked from worst to best
Billy the Puppet from the Saw franchise.

This weekend, Saw X is out in theaters and the latest sequel is keeping the legacy of Jigsaw alive. Or we could call it a "midquel" if you prefer, because the film's story is set between Saw and Saw II. Since the first movie's debut in 2004, Saw has proven to be one of the most resilient and best franchises in horror alongside The Conjuring and Insidious. Not even killing off the main character has prevented Lionsgate from revisiting Jigsaw and his apprentices again and again. The movies have even made Jigsaw's puppet, Billy (pictured above), into one of the franchise's most iconic creations.

Now that Saw X has arrived, this is the perfect opportunity to rank all 10 of the movies in the Saw franchise. There's definitely a dramatic drop in quality from the worst film to the very best. But it's also worth saying that Saw X offers some promising signs that the filmmakers may have finally recognized why the franchise was floundering and come up with some ideas as to how it might continue beyond its 20th anniversary next year.
10. Saw V (2008)

Read more
The 10 most popular shows on Max right now
A promotional image from HBO's Savior Complex.

The latest update of the 10 most popular shows on Max has arrived, and for the third week in a row, the original animated series Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake is No. 1 on the list, thanks in large part to a fresh episode of the show. However, this week marks the first time that three of the AMC+ shows on loan to Max have dropped out of the top 10. So Killing Eve, Interview with the Vampire, and Gangs of London are out, while TLC reality shows like Welcome to Plathville and Sister Wives are in. That really puts the Discovery in Warner Bros. Discovery.

This week's biggest addition is the HBO documentary Savior Complex, which debuted at No. 3. Meanwhile, the racy British dating show Naked Attraction remains near the top spot at No. 2. Never say that sex doesn't sell, because it clearly does. As of September 29, these are the 10 most popular shows on Max right now.

Read more
Where to watch the 2023 Ryder Cup: live stream golf for free
Logo and trophy for golf's Ryder Cup.

The most exciting golf tournament in the world heads to Europe for the 2023 Ryder Cup. The competition between Team United States and Team Europe will be held at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy. Team United States is the defending champions, having won the 2021 Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.

The Ryder Cup is a three-day tournament with 12 golfers from the United States and 12 golfers from Europe. The first two days are dedicated to foursomes and four-ball matches, all featuring two players from each team. Day 1 and Day 2 follow the same schedule: four foursomes matches in the morning and four four-ball matches in the afternoon. The third and final day consists of 12 singles matches to determine the champion.

Read more