(Reviewed in 2002 as part of a retrospective on the “Halloween” series.)
Ah, blessed competence! How rarely has your light shone upon this series!
Part 6 in the “Halloween” series, given the numberless title “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers,” is marked by some genuine competence, and even a few scary parts. Notably, it is the first film since the original not to be shot in the ’80s, which probably helped. (How many ’80s films can you name that were ACTUALLY scary? I think there was something about the decade that sucked the terror out of everything. I blame the hairstyles. Nothing’s scary when people’s hair is feathered.)
Now, you mustn’t get the wrong idea about “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.” It is still not a “good” film, at least not in the traditional sense of that word. But it is generally competent — that is, it appears to have been made by grown-ups, not by retarded preschoolers.
We meet Tommy Doyle, who you will remember was the boy Laurie Strode was babysitting that fateful night in 1978 when Michael Myers killed everybody. Tommy is about 25 now, living in a boarding house across the street from the Myers home, and being really creepy. Perhaps that last part is obvious, considering he lives across the street from the house formerly occupied by the man who traumatized him as a child.
The Myers home — restored to its original smallness after being a Victorian mansion in “Halloween 5” — is now occupied by the Strodes. The Strodes are related to the Strode family who adopted Michael Myers’ sister Laurie, who is now dead, until the next film, when she is alive after all.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. The current Strode family couldn’t be more dysfunctional if it tried. Dad is a sloppy, abusive drunk. Mom is wimpy. Son Tim is a tooly teen-ager with a skanky girlfriend. Kara is in college, home after being gone for five years (they don’t tell us why; I don’t know why they bother telling us anything at all). She has a little boy named Danny. Everyone hates each other. Breakfast at the Strode house is like breakfast in Danang, circa 1965.
Most of the Strodes are unaware that this is the house where the evil started. How they managed this unawareness is beyond me, since the whole town can talk of nothing but Michael Myers. You’d think the subject of where Michael used to live would come up at least occasionally, but maybe the Strodes were too busy hating each other to notice.
Coinciding with all this exposition is a sequence where little Jamie from the last two movies, now at the ripe old age of 15, has given birth to a baby boy. Some weird cult wants to kill the baby because it has Michael’s blood in it (since Jamie is his niece), but Jamie and infant escape, chased by Michael himself, who wants to kill them because he wants to kill any relative he can find. (Michael is no longer welcome at the genealogy library.)
Michael kills Jamie, but not before she hides the baby in a bus station, where Tommy finds him. Then Tommy has to find old Dr. Loomis, who by this time is as insane and senile as a British monarch, and together they try to warn the Strodes that evil is headed to town. And of course it’s Halloween, and Kara’s little boy Danny comes under the influence of a weird voice-in-the-head — the same voice, apparently, that inspired Michael to do all that killing back in 1978.
Oh, and meanwhile there’s also a weird doctor named Wynn who wants Jamie’s baby because it’s the embodiment of evil, or some kind of crap like that. Honestly, I just watched this movie four days ago, and already I have no idea what it was all about. I didn’t take enough notes on the plot; all I have is, “Why would Wynn want an evil baby?” Which I think is a pretty good question. I also recall there being talk of a star constellation called “Thorn” that appears randomly, and when it appears on Halloween, WATCH OUT!
Also, there’s a horrible radio personality who says loathsome things and then gets killed, thank goodness. Also, there are no police in this movie, probably because Loomis and Co. finally realized they always do more harm than good. Also, there’s a crazy old lady who runs the boarding house and regales young Danny with delightful stories about how Halloween used to represent murder and mayhem. (Seriously, what gets into old people sometimes?)
Twelve people die in this movie, which is a decent score, but not great. The fact that some of them are Strodes helps a little. The fact that none of them is Michael does not help at all.
C (1 hr., 28 min.; )