Halloween Ends With a Thud, Apparently

One critic calls it 'a fitting farewell to Laurie Strode,' another calls it 'tedious'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2022 10:52 AM CDT

Touted as Laurie Strode's last stand against Michael Myers, her slasher enemy of 44 years and 13 movies, Halloween Ends ... with a thud. That's according to critics who give the final installment in the David Gordon Green trilogy based on the original 1978 film a poor 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film, set four years after the previous two, finds Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) attempting to live out a relatively normal life with her orphaned granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Four takes:

  • Following 2021's Halloween Kills, "a hodgepodge of horrible dialogue" and "shapeless metaphors on pandemic-era social relations," Halloween Ends "had nowhere else to go but up," writes Sarah-Tai Black at the Globe and Mail. And though "still overwrought and strangely confounding in its narrative decision-making," it is "at least a more welcome return to what a Halloween film should both look and feel like," with "more nods and homages to [John] Carpenter's original film—from its kills to its visual style to its inherent questions of morality."
  • For CNN's Brian Lowry, it's "an odd, tedious film" whose "attempt to connect this slasher franchise to deeper contemplation about the nature of evil … merely yields laughably awkward moments in the wrong places." "The preliminaries to what amounts to the main event drag on, and the underlying desire to try something a little different falls thuddingly flat," he adds. Ultimately, the rewards are "small" and "an extended rest [for the franchise] seems prudent."

  • But for K. Austin Collins, the film "offers all the genre pleasures it should—plus a fitting farewell to Laurie Strode." It's "a curious and mostly effective mix of slasher antics and dramatically straight-faced themes" which shines in the "slow, roundabout way of reintroducing Michael to Laurie's life," he writes at Rolling Stone. And in the end, it "brings us the closest we've come to a royal succession of pure evil, one of the handful of ideas in this movie that's almost creepier than the outright violence, because of what it could mean."
  • It's "destined to be divisive," writes Ben Travis at Empire, noting filmmakers made "a daring choice" to shift the focus to new teen character Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), who experiences a "shocking tragedy" in the opening sequence. But the result "is a bad combination of boring and depressing," Travis writes. "To its credit, Halloween Ends definitively, well, ends." But the trilogy "goes out more with a sizzle than a bang, not so much out of ideas as lacking in energy" and "you might feel more tricked than treated."
(More movie review stories.)

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