Impressive Halloween Costumes (CREDIT: Ryan Green/Universal Pictures)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell, James Jude Courtney, Will Patton, Kyle Richards

Director: David Gordon Green

Running Time: 111 Minutes

Rating: R for Brutal Stabbings, Punctures, and Dismemberments

Release Date: October 14, 2022 (Theaters and Peacock)

What’s It About?: It’s been four years since the bloodiest Halloween of all time in Haddonfield, Illinois! So what’s Michael Myers up to now? Well, he’s somehow survived strikes at point blank range with every conceivable weapon, but he hasn’t been taking advantage of his seeming invincibility to go on a non-stop killing spree. Instead, he’s basically disappeared. But Haddonfield’s not doing so good in his absence, as the town is understandably reeling from a hangover of trauma and paranoia. However, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) are doing their best to actually move on from those nightmares. Alas, there might be a new monster in the making in the form of troubled young man Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell). He and Allyson are sweet on each other, but an inescapable evil threatens to consume him.

What Made an Impression?: Every time we’ve seen Curtis return as Laurie since the first Halloween, she’s been too traumatized to register as a full person. But that’s no longer the case at the beginning of Halloween Ends. She’s writing a memoir about her encounters with a killer, and it genuinely appears that she’s fully processed the worst of it all. She’s even allowing herself to flirt with Deputy Frank (Will Patton)! Allyson is going about her days in much the same way, getting along as a nurse at Haddonfield Hospital and instantly recognizing a kindred spirit when she meets Corey, despite a recent incident of manslaughter (the unforgettable opening sequence explains it all).

These early scenes feel like a metaphor for our scary present, with the looming unkillable threat of Michael serving as a stand-in for a status quo of violent political unrest, constant climate disasters, and a renewed threat of nuclear annihilation. The fact that anybody could find joy in this context is basically a miracle, so it’s a wonder to behold it here. Of course it can’t last forever, as this is a Halloween movie, after all. But it’s nevertheless a treat while it lasts before the carnage arrives.

And things get pretty inexplicable once that carnage does arrive. Michael Myers has never needed an accomplice, but somehow that’s what he ends up with when he crosses paths with Corey. It’s a stunning turn, and one that never struck me as justifying itself as something adequately interesting. But I have to at least respect it when a long-running series tries something so wildly unpredictable, especially in an entry that’s supposed to be the ultimate conclusion (at least for now, anyway). So, yeah, what stood out the most about Halloween Ends was how it made me constantly wonder, “Why did they ever decide to do it that way?”

Halloween Ends is Recommended If You Like: Deceptively happy beginnings, Weird middles, Cathartic endings

Grade: 3 out of 5 Blades