In 1978, director John Carpenter released a Slasher film that brought one of the most brutal and iconic horror film figures in history to life. Not only did Halloween become one of the most successful independent movies ever made, but it set a precedent for what would become one of the most successful Slasher series in history, spawning a number of sequels and two remakes. It’s just too bad that Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (Halloween VI) is one of them.
Halloween VI takes place six years after the explosive ending of Halloween V (1989) with Michael Myers’ niece, Jamie Lloyd, all grown up and ready to give birth. To whose baby? We don’t know, but who cares? This means there is, yet again, another member of the Myers family that needs to be butchered. We’re off to a great start.
To save her baby from Michael, and the evil druids sworn to protect him (yeah, you read that correctly), Jamie sets off to the sleepy town of Haddonfield in search of Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), who is looking more frail and decrepit than ever. However, the teenage population wants their right to celebrate Halloween again, which has been banned in the town since ‘89. Think of it as Footloose, but replace dancing with Halloween. And just think, “What would Kevin Bacon do?” That’s right, stick it to the man and put Halloween back on.
It is here where we’re introduced to a cast of characters that we just don’t care about; the Strodes, the aunt and uncle of Halloween’s Laurie Strode, having just taken in their daughter Kara and her son Danny, who has been having evil visions of a large man in black (guess who!). Oh, and guess what? They’re all living in the old Myers house. Hey, it was a bargain!
And from here on in, it just gets dumb.
Never has the Halloween series been so boring. After watching this one, it could turn off hardcore fans from the series for good because there’s no foreboding sense of danger anymore. At this point, fans expect the story to become a little more original, but it’s the same old formula: People die, Dr. Loomis finds out, more people die, Dr. Loomis gives his speech about “pure evil” and “he’s coming home,” more people die, Michael gets his… Or does he? The end… Or is it?
And even the slight glimmer of hope of the movie, Paul Rudd’s Tommy Doyle, a character who survived the massacre of the original film, turns out to be a nasally, hermit-like peeping tom living across the street from the Strodes, waiting for the day Michael will come home to get his revenge. Dude, you had 17 years! Where have you been?
And it’s in Halloween VI that we see Michael Myers at his most mechanical—a helpless robot version of himself with no drive and no motivation like that of what we’ve seen in the previous films. And the killings are ineffective; we’ve seen them all before. One that stands out is when someone is impaled onto a fuse box and is electrocuted until his head blows up. And it doesn’t make you scream out, “Brutal!” it makes you think, “Wait, can that really happen?”
And what is possibly the saddest thing of the movie is the dedication to Donald Pleasence, who died shortly after making the film. It’s such a shame that this happened to be his last onscreen appearance. Poor guy.
In short, Halloween VI had so much going for it, but it completely missed the mark with weak writing, lousy acting and absolutely no scares. As quoted by Sherriff Brackett in the original Halloween: “It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare.” Not if you’re watching Halloween VI. Forget about it.
Length: 96 mins
Reviewed by Eric Hatch