Rather than pick up after the chaos of the last film that left Judy Greer’s Karen Nelson dead—a stupid choice that still annoys me—“Halloween Ends” opens in 2019 with a new character named Corey Cunningham (the downright bad Rohan Campbell, poorly directed to a dull performance). He’s babysitting for a kid in Haddonfield who’s a little scared by all the murder around town. When the kid decides to play a prank on Corey, it results in an accident that leaves the little scamp dead, turning Corey into a pariah. Three years later, Laurie is working on her memoir—allowing for way too much voiceover about the nature of evil and all that—and living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
After being bullied by a series of marching band tough guys—which might be a movie first—Corey starts to crack, discovering Michael Myers in a sewer, where the two basically become BFFs, unleashing violence all over Haddonfield. The admittedly ambitious idea seems to be that evil is not just in notorious monsters like Michael Myers but could be unleashed in an average babysitter whose life is ruined by an accident. Corey ends up basically infected by the Myers’ evil, but Allyson can’t see his true depravity, falling more in love with the brooding maniac because, well, it’s a movie. To say the love story between Corey and Allyson is underwritten and unbelievable would be an understatement. It’s just poorly executed in every way.
A shocking amount of “Halloween Ends” is poorly executed with clunkier editing, framing, and writing than the other two films, as if the team were hired to make this one as a contractual requirement and were trying to get through it as quickly as possible. What’s more likely true is that Green and his team had a truly ambitious film idea about the nature of evil and how violent loners can be created by fearful societies … but they also had to make a “Halloween” movie. It’s the two concepts pushing and pulling against each other that tear this movie apart. What starts promising gets dumb, and Green can’t even manage the art of a quality kill, dispatching some victims here with remarkably forgettable monotony—only a DJ gets a death worth remembering. And we know it’s all leading to Laurie vs. Michael, something that had such promise in 2018 but doesn’t have any power left.
If this is truly the end, it’s a whimper, not a bang.
In theaters and on Peacock today.