Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers should not exist. It was 6 years since Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. A movie that by all accounts should have been enough to kill the franchise. Turns out there’s still more they wanted to do with Michael Myers. Jamie is now older and gives birth to Michael’s grandchild. Which means he has to go after the poor thing. The new protagonist is actually Tommy Doyle, the boy Laurie Strode babysat in the first Halloween. It’s a clever connection and he’s even played by a before he was famous Paul Rudd. It’s just not enough to keep this entry from being both unnecessary and incoherent. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers attempts to answer the question of why Michael Myers can’t seem to die. One that makes as much sense as Dr. Loomis still being alive after having a massive stroke. Apparently some mystical symbol and a vague cult ritual are responsible for Michael’s unkillable nature. The Cult of Thorn is made up of past characters that your not gonna recognize unless your some kind of obsessed fan. SPOILER ALERT! they don’t even tell you if Michael Myers or Dr. Loomis survive in the end. At least it’s notable for being Donald Pleasance final appearance in the franchise before his death. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is a mess that desperately needed to be cleaned up.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is when things started to get ridiculous. With a rushed story that clearly shows in the final product. It takes place one whole year after Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Apparently Michael Myers was in a coma for that exact amount of time, being tended to by an old man. What a coincidence that he just so happens to wake up just in time for next year’s Halloween. Although they do have a lazy excuse for why that might have happened. They just ignore the last movies ending of having Jamie be a killer. Instead they make the aforementioned lazy excuse that she has a psychic link with her psychotic Uncle. Jamie is now mute and stuck in a trauma ward, but she’s still the best character in the movie. Michael’s motive is pretty much the same as before. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers just feels like a half baked continuation. If you thought the mask looked bad before, it got much worse. The movies only redeeming quality is that it features a long awaited showdown between Dr. Loomis and Michael Myers. Starting with Michael’s pursuit of Jamie inside his house, followed by a trap set by Loomis. SPOILER ALERT! Loomis has a massive stroke and Michael gets arrested. Until a man in black breaks him out for some reason. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers should have killed the franchise, but we’ve still got a lot more to get through.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers finally brings Michael Myers back to the franchise. After their misguided attempt to make the franchise an anthology with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, they ditched their ghost story idea and just brought the iconic slasher back. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers takes place 10 years after Michael’s apparent death by incineration at the end of Halloween II. Michael Myers discovers he has a niece named Jamie and he sets out to find and kill her. Going through the same basic set up of killing someone for a jumpsuit and finding another Shatner mask at a store. Dr. Loomis is also somehow alive and desperately trying to track Michael down. Jamie Lee Curtis does not return, because Laurie apparently died between movies. Kind of a disappointing end to the iconic final girl. Overall, this was a fairly lackluster follow up that never strays too far from the formula. The only difference is having part of the town try to stop the killer with vigilante justice. Meanwhile the Michael Myers mask seems to have gotten worse. Now it looks more cheap than creepy (it even turns blonde briefly). Though I will say that Danielle Harris as Michael Myers young niece Jamie is a worthy character in the franchise. Her foster sister Rachel is ok too. SPOILER ALERT! having it end with Jamie seeming to become the next Michael Myers was a shocking image that could’ve been an interesting change of pace. Still, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers isn’t quite that clever.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch having nothing to do with Michael Myers sums up the movie completely. The Halloween franchise was originally meant to be an anthology series. With every movie having a different storyline that centers on Halloween. If that’s the case then why make Halloween II a direct follow up to the original Halloween? Let’s just say that it was a gamble that didn’t pay off. I’m not even sure how to explain this movie it’s so needlessly complicated. Halloween III: Season of the Witch takes place several days before Halloween. With 3 masks (a witch, a pumpkin, and a skull) being the hottest selling costumes. A doctor and the daughter of a murder victim investigate the company that made the masks named Silver Shamrock. While there, they discover an evil plot to kill children using the masks via the most annoyingly catchy TV commercial ever. Through an illogical witchcraft ritual and using well-dressed robots as bodyguards. As a Halloween movie, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a disappointing detour. It just doesn’t work without Michael Myers. Plus the plot has a ridiculous amount layers to it. As a standalone movie, Season of the Witch has cult value. I suppose it does work if you don’t think of it as a sequel in a franchise. It’s a lot more violent and has a completely different pace that makes it stand out. So if you’re just here to see the famous slasher, you might want to skip Halloween III: Season of the Witch. However, if you just want to see a campy ridiculous Halloween themed movie, Season of the Witch just might peak your interest.
Halloween II is a sequel 3 years in the making. Yet the movie actually takes place mere seconds after the first Halloween. By the end of the first movie, Michael Myers was shot several times, but disappeared. Leaving Dr. Loomis to desperately search for his whereabouts exclaiming that he isn’t human. Meanwhile a traumatized Laurie Strode is taken to the hospital for the rest of the night. Michael Myers, of course, goes on a killing spree and continues to single out Laurie in particular. Halloween II is notable for being set in a hospital. One of the scariest locations you can set a horror movie. As a sequel to a classic, Halloween II just can’t hold a Jack-O’-Lantern’s candle to the original. Some of the kills are just there to increase the body count. Even if they do help to make Michael more threatening. Laurie on the other hand, doesn’t really have anything to do but lay in bed most of the movie. Though I do think they did a good job of making Halloween II feel like a direct sequel in terms of scares. SPOILER ALERT! Laurie being revealed to be Michael Myers other sister was a good twist. Giving them a far greater connection that gives reason to his stalking. The ending definitely felt like a logical conclusion to the series. With everything taking place in one long Halloween night. Overall, Halloween II isn’t a game changer, but it should be enough to satisfy fans of the franchise.
Halloween is a horror classic from visionary director John Carpenter. Obviously, I mean the title is Halloween afterall. It was the movie that popularized the (masked) killer formula that we all know today. I’ve seen Halloween many times. It’s the kind of movie you watch traditionally every Halloween night. Halloween opens with an iconic POV shot of a clown masked shape killing a topless teen. The shape turns out to be a child named Michael Myers who’s just murdered his sister. After 15 years in a mental hospital, Michael Myers escapes and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween day. The only man who knows of his evil is psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis. Played brilliantly by Donald Pleasence. Halloween also popularized the term final girl. Jamie Lee Curtis makes her “Scream Queen” debut as Laurie Strode. A teenage babysitter that Michael Myers stalks in particular. She’s one of the all time best even though she keeps dropping her weapon. There’s a fair amount of disturbing kills and some tense moments that I imagine were really scary back then. Plus Halloween has what is easily the most memorable horror theme of all time. Michael Myers is an iconic horror slasher. He traditionally wears a dark blue jumpsuit, a white mask, and is completely silent. Save for some heavy breathing. The mask is famous for being a William Shatner mask that was painted white (now that’s terrifying). His weapon of choice is a long kitchen knife. Put that all together and you’ve got an unforgettable shape. He was also the first killer to be practically unkillable. Knock him down and he just sits right back up. SPOILER ALERT! Not even 6 shots to the chest are enough to kill him in the end. Halloween answers the question, “What is the Boogeyman?” And it’s Michael Myers from horror classic Halloween.
Followed by: Halloween II
Darkman is what you get when your unable to secure the rights to Batman or The Shadow. You get an original “superhero” from the mind of Sam Raimi. An R rated story about a man who gets horribly beaten by a gang of criminals, has a life changing operation, gets revenge on the criminals, and eventually confronts the evil businessman responsible. Oh wait that’s Robocop. Well Darkman still has its own unique style. Although it sounds just as dark as every other superhero movie that came out in the 90’s, the tone is actually very campy and darkly comedic. Similar to the Evil Dead movies it’s sandwiched between. In fact, the role was intended for Bruce Campbell, but it ended up going to Liam Neeson instead. Making this his first action role. Darkman is about a scientist named Peyton Westlake who creates a synthetic second skin. A gang led by Durant leaves him horribly burned and disfigured. After which he gains superhuman strength and an immunity to pain, but he also loses his mind. Going on a gleeful quest for revenge that requires the use of his second skin to frame the criminals that wronged him. While at the same time trying to win back his girlfriend Julie. His appearance is like a cross between The Phantom of the Opera and the Invisible Man. As he himself gradually becomes a monster. My parents were actually the ones who introduced me to the movie. They frequently quoted lines that they thought were funny. The most infamous one involving a pink elephant at a carnival. The most impressive action scene involves Darkman swinging from a helicopter. Really a lot of moments are similar to Raimi’s mainstream superhero flick Spider-Man. Darkman is just as underrated as it sounds.
Scream 4 brought the Scream franchise back from the dead. Although it was intended to be a trilogy and 10 years past since Scream 3, there still needed to be a more satisfying conclusion. So Scream 4 ended up being a cross between a sequel and a remake. Since every famous horror movie got an unnecessary remake by this point. The opening first makes fun of never ending horror movie sequels. With multiple Stab sequels shown back-to-back starring famous actresses. When we finally enter reality, its been 15 years since the first killings. Neve Campbell plays Sidney one last time. This time she returns to Woodsboro to promote her self-help book. Gale and Dewey have now been married as long as David Arquette and Courtney Cox. They’re the three untouchable characters. So the body count is left to a fresh young cast of teens obsessed with horror. Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby is the most interesting of the bunch. Together her friends discuss the rules of horror remakes: death scenes are extreme, expect the unexpected, virgins can die, modern technology is incorporated, there’s always an opening, respect the original, and be gay. The violence is definitely more brutal, but not to the point of torture porn. While the 90’s flare of Ghostface can only work so well in the modern age. I mean everyone has a cellphone at this point. SPOILER ALERT! The killers are revealed to be Charlie and Jill. Two Sidney and Randy wannabes who crave instant fame. Charlie is a little obvious since he’s played by a Culkin, but Jill is a genuine surprise. Not only is she the first female killer to wear the costume, but she’s Sidney’s cousin as well. She’s also played by modern “Scream Queen” Emma Roberts. Scream 4 is a fitting send off for horror legend Wes Craven.
Preceded by: Scream 3
Scream 3 became the very thing it sought to deconstruct. With a more successful parody released the same year, that’s pretty unfortunate. Especially considering Wes Craven continued to stay with the franchise. I guess even horror masters can make lousy sequels. As is the tradition, the opening of Scream 3 kills off a high profile star. Which spelled bad news for Liev Schreiber’s Cotton Weary. After getting so much character development in Scream 2, he’s murdered with very little thought. Yet another new Ghostface starts a killing spree. This time targeting the cast of Stab 3 in Hollywood. A movie being made despite a distinct lack of material to work with. Gale and Dewey are consultants for the movie. By this point David Arquette and Courtney Cox were married. Neve Campbell obviously returns too, but Sidney is in hiding as a crisis counselor. Despite the notable handicap of being dead, Randy returns on video to deliver the rules of a trilogy: the killer is superhuman, the main character can die, and the past will come back to haunt you. It’s no small feat to have a satire turn into a satire, but Scream 3 just makes too many dumb decisions. Like having Ghostface use a magical voice changer that can somehow clearly duplicate a person’s voice. Sidney also sees her mother’s ghost. Plus there’s a cameo from Jay and Silent Bob. All these bad decisions can be blamed on bad timing. Since real life violence forced them to lean into comedy. SPOILER ALERT! The sole killer is Sidney’s never before seen half brother Roman. The director of Stab 3 who retcons the first movie’s events to involve him. The final nail in the coffin. Scream 3 ends this intended trilogy on more of a whimper.
Scream 2 overcomes the horror movie sequel curse that it’s trying to satirize. Since everyone knows those tend to suck. Unlike with his Nightmare franchise, Wes Craven actually returned to direct. Meaning Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, and Jamie Kennedy would return too. Instead of having an entirely new cast of victims like most sequels do. Sidney and Randy are now in college where they try to move on from “The Woodsboro Murders.” Which is difficult considering Gale just wrote a book about it. Something that gets between her and a now disabled Deputy Dewey. There’s also a newly released movie based on the events called Stab. Just like Scream, Scream 2 has a very chilling opening sequence. One question some viewers might of had about the first movie is, “Where are all the black people?” Well now there’s plenty, including Jada Pinkett-Smith whose killed in a theater packed with people dressed like Ghostface. Kind of in poor taste if you think about it. Well just like in real life, the previous murders inspire a copycat killer. This new Ghostface seems to be killing people in accordance with the names of the previous victims. Buffy herself Sarah Michelle Gellar is one of them. Sidney is so on edge that she even suspects her new boyfriend might be the killer. He almost was but it was drastically altered due to a script leak. Newly exonerated Cotton Weary is also a suspect. According to Randy, the rules to a horror movie sequel are: the body count is bigger, the death scenes are more elaborate, and something about having a successful franchise. SPOILER ALERT! Random creep Mickey is the killer, but he’s not as important as Mrs. Loomis. Out to avenge her son’s death à la Mrs. Voorhees. With more creative kills and wit, Scream 2 is a sequel done fright.