Movie Review: Halloween Ends (2022)

In theatres and on Peacock streaming.

Subverting expectations for viewers who simply wanted a Michael Myers versus Laurie Strode showdown, director David Gordon Green completes his contemporary “H40” trilogy with equal parts dim wit and sequences dimly lit. Halloween Ends (C) is as shaggy as its nobody-asked-for-him new lead character (a game but underserved Rohan Campbell) giving Lost Boys vibes atop a motorcycle, lured into nocturnal darkness by what may be The Shape under a bridge ready to fully phantom menace a fresh faced friend into a co-conspiratorial baddie. Jamie Lee Curtis is here too, of course, and she’s a delight, but the story’s awkward flash forward defies credulity, leaving her spiritually stranded as she and her granddaughter played by Andi Matichak fend off their own harvest season demons. Following the effective 2018 reboot of a direct sequel to the chilling 1978 original and a misbegotten 2021 continuation, this 2022 installment seems to be going full Season of the Witch (i.e. what in terrifying tarnation does any of this have to do with anything?) for most of its duration before it finally gets to the mincemeat of the matter. There are guilty pleasures amidst the stab bag:  namely, some outrageous supporting characters and extremely awkward subplots. But despite slick production values, stunts and slayings, this finale barely sticks the landing. Among the junky jump scares and clunky split-cuts is a film that doesn’t deliver on scares or pathos in acceptable doses. It’s a Mary Jane candy of an occasion, petrified on the exterior and only mildly satisfying once you take the bite.

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