Halloween Ends Feels Like A Horror Take On Riverdale, For Better Or Worse

"Halloween Ends" spoilers below. 

Reactions are starting to trickle in for "Halloween Ends," the trilogy capper to one of the most successful resets in horror history. So far, it appears that fans and critics are markedly mixed about the peculiar direction that the third entry takes. To be sure, it's a bold move by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and the rest of the writing team and, wherever the final analysis lands, they all took a big swing with the storyline they chose to run with. On the surface, "Halloween Ends" features all the elements you need for an effective "Halloween" movie: Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode, it's set during Halloween, and there's a gleaming, bloody butcher knife in almost every shot. 

The large, looming omission in the culmination of the Strode family story is the franchise's main catalyst — the actual boogeyman — who is maddeningly absent for much of the movie's runtime. Instead, "Ends" follows a new character named Corey (an effective but displaced Rohan Campbell) who starts up a star-crossed relationship with Laurie's granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Corey and Allyson's dalliance is doomed from the start and their bizarre love story seems completely out of place. 

Structurally, "Halloween Ends" comes off more like a dark, tween romance with horror undertones that winds up feeling more like the pilot of a new television show called "Haddonfield." With a jarring time jump of a few years, "Ends" decides to skip making a third movie altogether, opting instead for a rushed movie that gives the CW's "Riverdale" a run for its money. 

That's not necessarily a bad thing

Would I watch a terror-tinged television show on Peacock called "Haddonfield" about a town living in the shadow of Michael Myers? OF COURSE I WOULD! A more sinister, menacing version of "Riverdale" set in October that combined John Carpenter's trademark sense of atmosphere could be something truly special. "Riverdale" has actually already been inspired by Jamie Lee Curtis' celebrated return to the franchise. Back in 2019 during season 4 with the episode "Chapter Sixty-One: Halloween," a Myers-esque killer called the Family Man goes on a brutal murder spree. Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) saves the day by lighting him on fire, in much the same way that Laurie supposedly kills Michael at the end of 2018's "Halloween." 

The drastic turn that "Halloween Ends" takes by focusing more on the teenagers in Haddonfield as opposed to the final showdown between Laurie and Michael is more in line storywise with a supernatural episodic series like "Riverdale." Corey is bullied and misunderstood which is in line with a sympathetic character like Jughead (Cole Sprouse). The central mystery in "Ends" leads Corey to meet Michael Myers face-to-face and essentially join forces with him to finish what he started. Myers is essentially a contagion that infects Corey, and villains like the Black Hood in "Riverdale" also influence the younger kids like Betty (Lili Reinhart) to catch the serial killer bug. 

It's going to happen eventually

The bullies in "Ends" are basically just a group of misguided jocks that could be members of the Northside gang. Terry (Michael Barberi), Stacy (Destiny Mone), Margo (Joey Harris) and Billy (Marteen) are always gunning for Corey (who could easily be initiated into the Southside Serpents), until a violent confrontation happens. Corey becomes a placeholder for Michael, which sets up a perfect character to wreak havoc in a "Haddonfield" TV show.

Besides, it wouldn't be the first time that "Halloween" has been on television, remember? The monster success of the original prompted NBC to buy up broadcast right in 1980. Eleven minutes of footage was added to pad the runtime for primetime, including the famous inclusion of the scene where Dr. Loomis is shown the word "Sister" scrawled on Michael's hospital room door. Carpenter came back to shoot those scenes and it was presumed Michael was referencing his dead older sister, Judith. That is, until a lost file reveals that Laurie is Michael's sister in "Halloween II."

Ideas for a "Halloween" television show are not new. If (or when) the franchise decides to jump to a new medium, "Riverdale" would be a perfect case study. Longtime producer Malek Akkad was certainly mulling over the idea of a TV show when he told Bloody Disgusting, "It wouldn't look anything like your traditional 'Halloween' movie, but [Michael]'s in there as are a lot of other characters but used in different and interesting ways." That sounds a little like what actually ended up happening with "Halloween Ends," doesn't it?