Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

Director: Joe Chappelle (1995)
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

The one with Paul Rudd vs Michael

Hurms, maybe watching the series backwards wasn’t such a good idea. Whereas the Friday and Nightmare sequels were largely stand-alone, the Halloween mythology at this point is strikingly dense. The latter episodes get a lot of stick, but at least they were trying something vaguely new. Watching the series back-to-back, you’ll realise that there are less legitimately bad sequels in the franchise than many of its ilk managed (there’s a Friday the thirteenth next month, by the by, so expect each and every Jason flick reviewed soon).

Jamie Lee gets a lot of credit as the star of the Halloween series, but many seem to forget that Donald Pleasence’s Doc Loomis was in more movies than Laurie. He’s sporting an awesome beard here, and is as a hoot to watch as ever, lending the flagging series a bit of much-needed gravitas. Pleasance’s performance here makes you realise just how much Malcolm McDowell has been phoning it in as of late.

Anyway, it’s been six years since Michael Myers’ Revenge, and most of the main players have been in hiding for this period of time. It’s revealed that Jamie – that’s Michael’s niece – was kidnapped by Halloween 5’s mysterious Man in Black (not Will Smith) who had her impregnated (a producers' cut later revealed that it was Michael who raped her - bugh). With incredible timing, she gives birth on Halloween Eve, under the watchful eye of the Man in Black (not Tommy Lee Jones either) and a cult or something. Later that night, a nurse helps Jamie and baby escape. Whilst poor Jamie ends up on the wrong end of Michael’s knife, baby finds his way into the protective hands of Tommy Doyle – played by ex-Friend Paul Rudd.

All the stupidity built up over the past few movies pays off here in what is arguably the most ambitious of the series. It may not work entirely – or at all – but it’s certainly interesting stuff, and one can see how they tried to tie it all into the original movie. In brief, screenwriter Daniel Farrands posited that the Myers family was under an ancient Celtic curse; one which drove the family’s young to kill all members of their bloodline. Uh-huh. Further proof of this sequel’s lunacy is evident in that it was originally to be called Halloween 666. It’s interesting how fans can turn on a franchise when it gets too ambitious. The results here are miles away from Carpenter’s Hitchcockian masterpiece, but it’s still no Jason X or Leprechaun in Space, that’s for sure.

The kills are decent enough, and Myers looks more menacing than ever before. Paul Rudd shows promise, playing tortured Tommy. The story, whilst daft, is intriguing enough to hold the viewers’ interest. Halloween purists might balk at the demystifying of Myers’ origins, but it sure beats Rob Zombie’s trailer-trash hickery any day.

3/5 screaming Scream Queens!!!

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