Don’t stress, I’m not talking about the merchandising-fueled holiday on October 31st. This is about the thirteen-film slasher series, now spanning over four decades, and more specifically, last year’s entry, Halloween Ends. But does it end? I’ll have some thoughts on that shortly.
Halloween Ends, again starring Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, is the third film in a trilogy that began with Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills (2021). Michael Myers, aka The Shape, took out half of Haddonfield at the end of the latter and exited stage left, so you knew he’d be coming back. But the timeline of the story…well, you’ll see.
WHERE IS MICHAEL MYERS?
The film opens on Halloween night in 2019 with 21-year-old Corey Cunningham babysitting (seriously?) a young kid. Corey is a sweet, nerdy guy with aspirations of becoming an engineer. As a prank the kid locks Corey in the attic, and when Corey kicks the door open, he knocks the kid over a staircase railing to his death. He is acquitted of manslaughter but becomes a pariah in Haddonfield.
Fast forward to 2022, where another town pariah, Laurie Strode, has bought a house in Haddonfield (seriously?) and lives with her granddaughter, Allyson, now a nurse. One evening, Laurie saves Corey from some assholes that are hassling him and takes him to the hospital, where Allyson helps treat some injuries. The chemistry is instant. Laurie will soon regret introducing them.
The assholes again hassle Corey late one night, this time throwing him off an overpass, where he winds up unconscious in a homeless encampment. Guess what, Michael Myers hangs out down there (a year later?) in a rat-infested tunnel, where he drags Corey. But Michael is weaker these days, so Corey escapes, though not before “absorbing” some of Michael’s evil (seriously?). In a rage he stabs one of the homeless guys to death.
IT TAKES TWO, BABY
Corey continues his relationship with Allyson, who has been blinded by love, while his bond with Michael grows stronger. Together they kill an ex-boyfriend of Allyson’s, then a doctor and a nurse who had wronged Allyson. Ultimately, Corey then sort of becomes The Shape, overpowering Michael and taking his mask (seriously?). Wearing it, he murders the four assholes that had been hassling him, as well as a local radio DJ.
Laurie has figured it all out by this time, and above her naïve granddaughter’s protests she’ll take care of it in her inimitable Rambo way. The final confrontation with both Corey and Michael happens in her house on Halloween night. Of course the two Shapes die—but do they really? How many times have we seen Michael Myers return from the dead? This time his bloodless corpse is run through an industrial shredder as most of Haddonfield looks on. The film ends on a positive note, with Allyson leaving town and Laurie on the verge of finding romance.
SO IS IT OVER?
Well, Jamie Lee Curtis has stated that Halloween Ends is the last film in the franchise that she’ll appear in, so there’s that. Its professional reviews ranged from lukewarm to brutal, and even regular audiences, who are usually tolerant of horror movies, gave it a C+, which happened to be the lowest in the franchise. (Personally, I wasn’t thrilled with the film.)
And then, of course, a deciding factor has to do with money. Halloween Ends was the lowest-grossing film in the trilogy. Also, most of those involved with the trilogy indicated that they were done with the series.
But you’re right, we’ve heard this before. So what if Michael Myers, who got turned into pâté, and Corey Cunningham, who was shot, stabbed, and had his head practically twisted off, have seemingly gone to Hell? It would not be the first time that some monster has reappeared in search of more victims. Only time will tell.