Halloween Ends 🎃🔪
Evil Dies Tonight!
Welcome to Pop ‘n’ Pizza, a newsletter highlighting what’s new in pop culture and pulp fiction. This week, I’m talking about HALLOWEEN ENDS. 🍕🥤
Release Date: October 14, 2022
Running Time: 111 Minutes
Behind the Scenes
Directed by David Gordon Green
Written by Paul Brad Logan, Chris Bernier, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green
Cinematography by Michael Simmonds
Music by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies
In Front of the Camera
Jamie Lee Curtis (HALLOWEEN, TRUE LIES)
Andi Matichak (HALLOWEEN, SON)
Will Patton (MINARI, ARMAGEDDON)
Rohan Campbell (THE HARDY BOYS, VIRGIN RIVER)
What’s It About?
“After 45 years, the most acclaimed, revered horror franchise in film history reaches its epic, terrifying conclusion as Laurie Strode faces off for the last time against the embodiment of evil, Michael Myers, in a final confrontation unlike any captured on-screen before. Only one of them will survive.” — Universal Pictures
Why You Should Check It Out
Before I dig into HALLOWEEN ENDS, let’s revisit what cinephile Randy Meeks has to say about trilogies in 2000’s SCREAM 3.
“If you find yourself dealing with an unexpected backstory and a preponderance of exposition, then the sequel rules do not apply. Because you’re not dealing with a sequel. You are dealing with the concluding chapter of a trilogy. That’s right. It’s a rarity in the horror field but it does exist, and it is a force to be reckoned with. Because true trilogies are about going back to the beginning and discovering something that wasn’t true from the get-go.”
In SCREAM 3, Hollywood movie director Roman Bridger is revealed to be Sidney Prescott’s half-brother and the architect behind Billy & Stu’s killing spree in SCREAM. Movies like RETURN OF THE JEDI, SPIDER-MAN 3, and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES recontextualize the first film in their respective trilogies via shocking revelations. Leia Organa is Luke Skywalker’s twin sister. The Sandman is responsible for Uncle Ben’s death. Wayne Enterprises CEO Miranda Tate is the daughter of Ra's al Ghul and leader of the League of Shadows.
And so, it is with Randy’s wisdom in mind that we must discuss HALLOWEEN ENDS, the final chapter of David Gordon Green’s trilogy. Set four years after the events of HALLOWEEN KILLS, ENDS begins by introducing a new character, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell). In an opening sequence that serves as an inversion to the premise of John Carpenter’s 1978 film, Corey accidentally kills the 10-year-old boy he’s babysitting on Halloween night.
Corey is acquitted, but the people of Haddonfield still treat him like a pariah. To them, he’s the psycho babysitter — a suitable substitute boogeyman in the absence of Michael Myers, who hasn’t been seen since 2018.
Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), meanwhile, is living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and writing her memoir. Laurie sees Corey being bullied by some local teens and comes to his defense, which ultimately leads to a romance between Corey and Allyson, now a nurse at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital.
As Randy foretold, we’re treated to an unexpected backstory and a preponderance of exposition in the first act of HALLOWEEN ENDS. The characters struggle to move forward in a town forever shaped by its tragic past. And as Randy warns in SCREAM 3, “The past is not at rest.”
Enter Michael Myers aka The Shape, who has been living in the sewers of Haddonfield for four years. A shell of his former self, Myers clings to the shadows, too weak to resurface. That changes when an encounter with Corey — another damaged soul — allows him to rise again.
HALLOWEEN ENDS feels like a hodgepodge of CHRISTINE (1983), FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING (1985), and JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY (1993). It’s also heavily inspired by the work of David Lynch — the love story between Corey and Allyson feels like it’s straight out of TWIN PEAKS.
While advertised as the final confrontation between Laurie and Michael Myers (remember when 1998’s HALLOWEEN H2O was promoted similarly?), Myers isn’t the focus of this film. In fact, he’s barely in it, which may be a tough hill to climb for many. For me, however, Green’s concluding chapter is far too weird and far too intriguing to dismiss outright.
Listen, HALLOWEEN ENDS is the 13th film in the franchise. There are better entries and much worse ones (HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS, HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION). Your mileage may vary, but I found it to be thoroughly entertaining, with solid performances and some grisly kills. Regardless of where the movie lands for you, rest assured this is not the end of the franchise or its iconic killer.
Like Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, and the Wolfman, Michael Myers and his ‘80s slasher brethren have become classic movie monsters, destined to have their stories retold and reimagined by future generations. After all, you can’t kill the boogeyman. And as HALLOWEEN ENDS points out, evil never dies. It only changes shape.
Slices (Out of 5)
Where to Watch
HALLOWEEN ENDS is now in theaters and streaming on Peacock.
Read my review of HALLOWEEN (2018)
Read my review of HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021)
You May Also Like…
If you dig this, you may also enjoy
HELLRAISER (2022) on Hulu
PEARL (2022) in theaters
BARBARIAN (2022) in theaters
CANDYMAN (2021) on Amazon Prime
Hey, thanks for reading Pop ‘n’ Pizza! If you found this edition interesting or useful, please share it with friends and subscribe to receive future issues!