|Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
1995 - R - 88 Mins.
|Director: Joe Chappelle
|Producer: Paul Freeman
|Written By: Daniel Farrands
|Starring: Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan, Mitch Ryan, Kim Darby
|Review by: John Ulmer
"Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers" is a tired exercise in a genre we are all far too familiar with, featuring an evil character whose motives are needlessly explained, whose actions are terribly predictable, and worst of all, has became a rather laughable, boring, walking cliché. No longer is the presence of the infamous Michael Myers terrifying. Instead, the very thought of him returning for another sequel is.
In this one, which was rumored to be the last installment following the death of Donald Pleasence shortly after filming came to a close, Michael returns to Haddonfield (yet again) to kill the last remaining Myers bloodline link: his niece, Jamie, and her baby. Jamie is brutally murdered in typical "He's not there, he's behind you!" fashion, but the baby falls under the care of an oddball boy-next-door, who was present during the infamous "babysitter murders" orchestrated by Michael 18 years earlier.
The movie tries to link the legacy of Michael by introducing grown-up versions of characters from other chapters of the saga. It's a sad sight for the eyes when Pleasence (looking as decrepit as ever) rolls out his character once more - now with a heavy beard and a barely audible voice. Pleasence looks uncomfortable in his role, as if he was just doing it for the money, realizing that his only famous character came by way of a cheap 1978 low budget masterpiece. Perhaps the only reason I'd ever hesitate to take part in a horror film is for the fear that it may spawn uncountable sequels featuring my own recurring character. You start to feel sorry for Pleasence after seeing him for the millionth time, walking about trying to convince people of Michael's return, even though nobody will listen. Again. If I lived in Haddonfield, I'd start listening to an old man who has correctly predicted the attacks of Michael some six times in a row (give or take).
"Halloween 6" is so terrible it almost seems deliberate. It's so predictable that even I could have written the screenplay. I am not an expert at the horror genre but even I could do a better job of writing a "Halloween" sequel. Of course, one of the great aspects of the first "Halloween" is how Michael's motives were never explained. He was simply pure evil, as Sam Loomis (Pleasence) described him. In "Halloween 6," we are informed that Michael heard voices telling him to kill his family, and this is linked to a satanic ritual revolving around a "thorn" symbol that appears in the skies every Halloween. "When it appears, Michael appears." The actor who says this skips over the ridiculous segment of dialogue very quickly. He seems embarrassed to be a part of the film. I don't blame him.
It's a shame that they felt the need to justify Michael's actions. We live in a society now, very different from 1978, when people have short attention spans and want everything spoon fed to them. The cleverness and subtlety of older horror films is part of their brilliance; one of the main reasons so many modern-day horror films stink are because they fail to provoke any thoughtful discussions about what the viewer has just seen. This "Halloween" installment even tries to copy the ending of the first film, and rather unsuccessfully I might add.
The movie was directed by Joe Chappelle, whose career highlights include directing episodes of "CSI Miami" and other such television shows. His work here is sloppy and pretty derivative. It seems like he's constantly trying to ape the style of John Carpenter, and perhaps pay homage to the original with the over-the-shoulder POV shots, etc. Instead, he turns the series into ape-dung. Also brutalized is Carpenter's original haunting soundtrack, now revamped with electric guitars. It's horrendous.
Michael is no longer scary. He walks around slowly, deliberately, chasing characters we don't care about. They run and run but he's always there, like in a bad dream when you're trying to flee but somehow keep winding back at the beginning of the terror. Michael slices, he dices, and there's lots of pre-marital sex followed by vicious murders and silly explanations and criminally inane dialogue. This movie is an utter mess and a disgrace to the series. There hasn't been a single worthwhile installment since the original. With word of "Freddy and Ash vs. Jason and Michael" (or whatever) on the way...it seems these titans of terror will never die. Michael is the best masked serial killer to ever grace the big screen, but that doesn't excuse the utter stupidity of this movie.
If you've seen "Halloween," you've already seen this. And a much better version, too.