Film Reviews:

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

(Joe Chappelle, US, 1995)

Sixth in series and second to go straight to video in UK after the dismal number 5. This one could have been more accurately titled The Cult of Michael Myers since it places Michael in the role of killer-for-hire for a band of nutty Druids. Following the events depicted in earlier films, the authorities in Haddonfield have, perhaps understandably, banned any Halloween celebrations. The locals rebel against this and organise a big, public party to celebrate the day - attempting to prove they've put the terrible murders of the past behind them. Jamie Lloyd, Myer's niece is raped by the Druid cult and gives birth to a baby that Michael wants to get his hands on. She returns to Haddonfield and so does Michael Myers in hot pursuit. Survivor of the original night of terror in 1978, Tommy Doyle, now a young man, thinks he has discovered the secret to Michael's seemingly inhuman capabilities and he convinces Myer's old doctor, Dr. Loomis to come out of retirement in an attempt to finally put a stop to Myers' killing spree.

The plot has lots of ideas that don't gel and the direction does little to enlighten the viewer. There are some good ideas (the Druids connection is not one of them) but none are fully developed nor given the chance in the plotting to be exploited to their maximum potential. This entry at least largely spares us the teenagers in peril situation of its dreadful stalk 'n' slash predecessor, but comes out only marginally better. Chappelle's attempt at paying homage to Carpenter's original comes across as poor imitation and badly handled at that. But his exterior work, aided no doubt a great deal by his cinematographer Billy Dickson, with its camera angles is very Carpenteresque. But the indiscriminate slaughter remains dumb and dull, and the final thirty minutes tediously recreate classic moments from the first entry. George Wilbur, who played Myers to great effect in Halloween 4, returns to the role, but his movements here are dreadful indicating that again director Chappelle is to blame. Donald Pleasence doesn't get much to do (again) and it's a shame this had to be his final on-screen appearance. The best thing about this film is the video sleeve design.

Rob Dyer

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