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Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

#40 - Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
Joe Chappelle, 1995

A notorious serial killer return to his hometown in order to carry out a mission for a mysterious druidic cult.

Considering how much I dug Halloween III and its emphasis on pagan cults, you'd think I'd have at least sort of appreciated the sixth entry, The Curse of Michael Myers, opting to take a similar route in continuing to tell the ongoing story of the masked murderer. Leaving aside the obvious folly in focusing on the back-story of a killer who is scary precisely because of how little back-story he actually has, such an overly elaborate approach (which was already hinted at in previous entry Revenge of Michael Myers with the arrival of a mysterious man in black and depictions of a bizarre runic symbol) establishes what a bad idea it is with astonishing speed in how it opts to reintroduce Jamie Lloyd, the protagonist of the previous two films. Turns out that Jamie has not only been abducted by the cult that ostensibly controls Michael Myers but also been forcibly impregnated with a child (possibly by Michael himself) that is going to figure into some kind of ritual. Of course, Jamie and her newborn baby escape at the first chance they get and make their way to Haddonfield with Michael in hot pursuit. Meanwhile, a variety of Haddonfield residents are drawn into the fray, namely a whole other Strode family who were cousins to Laurie's family and their next-door neighbour (Paul Rudd) who is obsessed with Michael after having witnessed his original rampage as a child - and, of course, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) coming out of peaceful retirement once he gets word that Michael is back.

Though I'm not immediately inclined to consider Curse the worst Halloween (it'd take quite a bit to beat Resurrection in that regard), it's certainly not for a lack of trying. It definitely doesn't have any qualms about showing Michael getting brutal with his marks as the film progresses, but by and large those are the only worthwhile parts of a film that goes to impressive lengths to undermine the franchise from the inside out. A lot of that comes down to the absolutely bizarre development around the aforementioned cult and how it influences the rest of the film, especially when it comes to crafting a plot so choppy and nonsensical I've had to pull up the Wikipedia article almost every time I've resumed work on this review to make sense of it all. Granted, it prompts some distinctive images - a scene of Michael fricking Myers in full mask and jumpsuit idly standing by as a ritual sacrifice is performed in a torch-lit cave by figures in hooded robes has to be seen to be believed - but shots like that can't (and shouldn't) exist in a vacuum the way they do here. Curse was one of the few installments in the franchise I hadn't seen prior to embarking on this series-long marathon and I'd certainly been intrigued by the prospect of Michael being revealed to be involved in a cult, but the end result was a heady mix of boring, depressing, and painful. There are other slasher movies that more than match this one in silliness, but this one feels genuinely, well, cursed.