Review: Halloween – The Curse of Michael Myers

Halloween 6.jpgHalloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

Hey, have you ever wondered what happened to Tommy Doyle?  The boy that Laurie Strode was babysitting in the first Halloween movie?  No?  Well, here he is…

Tommy Doyle grew up to be Paul Rudd.  He also developed a strange, Hannibal Lecter-like speech pattern.  He has been obsessively studying Michael Myers, apparently unsatisfied with the first film’s assertion that he was simply a man with no ‘soul.’  To that end, he concocts a baseless theory about an ancient Druid curse in which a child is chosen to make a blood sacrifice of his kin so that the others of the village avoid…something bad.

And it turns out he’s right.

Although there’s a bit of a jump; this sixth installment in the franchise completes a story started in Halloween 4.  Essentially, it’s the ‘Jamie Trilogy,’ wherein the orphaned daughter of the original film’s heroine becomes the new target for The Shape (that’s what he’s been called in the credits since the first movie, by the way).  Throughout the last three films, there have been hints of the Druid cult story; the ‘thorn’ rune has shown up as tattoos and scrawled on walls, and we’ve seen the ‘men in black’ lurking around.  Jamie appears in this film, briefly, and with an unexplained pregnancy.

I have a blanket objection to horror movies that feel the need to explain their monster; especially when that explanation softens them; like, ‘Michael can’t help it, he’s cursed!’  The strength of the original Halloween was that there was nothing special about Michael.  He was a seemingly normal kid from a normal family; it’s the idea that it could have been anyone that made it so effective.

Anyway, the cult and conspiracy storyline really detracts from the horror.  Michael Myers is no longer a faceless killer, but a sci-fi/fantasy creature, under the control of people in stupid costumes who use magic.  I like stories like that in general, but this one in particular is trite, and it doesn’t suit the character of Michael at all.

Donald Pleasence, in his final Halloween appearance, delivers his best-ever performance as Dr. Loomis, Myers’ grossly out matched but ever determined hunter.  He’s older and wiser.  He’s not as panicky and scream-prone as he used to be, and as a result, he actually seems like a match for Michael Myers.  Still not as strong, of course, but maybe able to outsmart him.

Halloween (6): The Curse of Michael Myers is weighed down by a silly mythology that not only gets in the way of the horror, but also severely dampens it.  The kills take a backseat to awkward plot points, so while there are some decently gory scenes, they lack the buildup to make them memorable.

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