Sunday, May 6, 2012

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) - Review

This is the point in the Halloween series where they finally tried to explain Michael Myers and his motivation.  The entire reason for all the Halloween movies existing (sans Season of the Witch) is told here.  It's odd and unsatisfying.  Having some strange druidic cult be behind Michael Myers is just a weird way to go.  It's fitting, I suppose, due to the ancient ties to the festival of Samhain and Halloween and all of that, but it's a decidedly convoluted ending to this "trilogy" of Halloween sequels.

Well if there's one good thing this movie did, it's give Paul Rudd the start of his career. Yes, this is Paul Rudd's first movie and he plays Tommy Doyle, the little kid from the first Halloween. It's a nice little connection, actually. His performance isn't great but it's not at all bad, being his first film. It's good that he's in it because Jamie Lloyd is recast; it hardly matters anyway because she's barely in the movie, but the lack of Danielle Harris definitely hurts the movie.  Donald Pleasence reprises his role a final time (and sadly this was his final film before he dies) and he does a good job with the weary and retired Dr. Loomis once more.  The other characters range from forgettable to godawful annoying.

Things aren't much better behind the camera either.  The direction is poor, most likely because the film had to be chopped to bits and reshot due to awful test screenings and worry of a NC-17 rating.  But this choppiness makes the film incredibly difficult to watch.  The editing is terrible too; it has the horrible MTV fast cutting going on that assumes you can't look at the same shot for more than two seconds.  They often even intercut little frames into other scenes (making them transitions to...the same scene) to make it as chaotic and frustrating as possible.  This music video style of editing just doesn't work for a horror movie.

Overall, the reason the movie fails is because of the lackluster writing and a halfhearted attempt to connect the series.  While it has a lot of cool ideas, the characters (aside from Tommy and Loomis) just aren't interesting enough, the retconning is astounding, and the end result is a sloppy and unappealing mess of a movie.  Fortunately enough, Hollywood was smart enough to realize this as well, and decided to bring it back to basics for a big "finale".  Interestingly enough, even the back to basics wouldn't be the end, because like Myers, you can never kill a slasher series.

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