HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS

Review by: Christopher Haskell


RELEASE DATE
SEPTEMBER 29, 1995
DIRECTED BY
JOE CHAPPELLE
WRITTEN BY
DANIEL FARRANDS
BASED ON
CHARACTERS
by
JOHN CARPENTER
DEBRA HILL
CINEMATOGRAPHY BY
BILLY DICKSON
MUSIC BY
ALAN HOWARTH
EDITED BY
RANDOLPH K. BRICKER
STUDIO
MIRAMAX FILMS
DIMENSION FILMS
BUDGET
$5 MILLION

HORROR | THRILLER
87 MINUTES
RATED R
(for strong horror violence and some sexuality)

“You can’t control evil. You can lock it up, burn it, and bury it, and pray that it dies, but it never will.”

Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd)

For being the sixth film in a series about a masked serial killer wrecking havoc on a small-town, almost no one in “Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers” knows the meaning of the phrase “stranger danger.” There are multiple instances where a stranger appears in someone’s house (not Michael Myers, mind you) and, instead of having any sort of realistic or justified reaction, they simply brush it off. Living in a town that is known for annual visits from a serial killer, I can guarantee that its residents would be much more guarded.

It is almost as if writer Daniel Farrands has never actually interacted with human beings before. Why, when a character brings a baby to a hospital, does the receptionist have him escorted out by security? Why are multiple characters blindly following requests from people they do not know, especially when those people are known as creeps in their town? This all boils down to bad writing.

Instead, the script focuses on explaining things that don’t need explanation, like the cause of Michael’s bloodlust. Convoluted storylines about cults, rituals, and genetically engineering an evil baby muddies the landscape of a series that began as a barebones slasher flick. The first “Halloween” needed absolutely zero context. No one needed to know Michael’s lineage. No one needed to root his desire to kill. All we needed was Michael Myers showing up and murdering people. For this sequel, you can still put a new family living in his childhood house and you can still have grown up versions of the kids from the first film, but those few things are enough. Bury the overabundant machinations.

Marking Donald Pleasance’s last appearance in this series as Dr. Loomis, “Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers” also marks the worst entry of the series, save for the third film, “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” which technically wasn’t really a “Halloween” movie as it was lacking the title character. What the film does have is Paul Rudd in his second feature film role, following up his “Clueless” appearance from earlier that year. Unfortunately, Rudd’s natural charisma channels into a relatively undynamic character with nowhere for him to actually shine, often coming off unintentionally funny from the awkwardness of the dialogue.

A terribly written script is like a faulty heart inside a body. Every other organ could be working fine, but if the heart isn’t working properly, the entire body will eventually suffer. Trying to push this series into new frontiers like the supernatural or continuing to develop relationships between characters throughout the series in the way of soap operas all comes off as bad writing. Add to that the disconnect the writer has from true human reactions and you’ve got a disaster. Putting the town on edge and upping the ante on terror would have been a better way to pay tribute to the previous installments of the series. For better or worse, the casting ends up being the only real highlight of the film and, for that, this will always be known as the Paul Rudd “Halloween.”

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