Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, the sixth film in the Halloween series, should have been the movie that went deeper into what made Michael Myers the killer that he is. To the film’s credit, it does attempt to flesh out these details more. At the same time, the whole endeavor feels lazy and unearned. Michael has been a faceless, wordless killer for so long that the mystery has worn off. The ‘Samhain’ and occult connections that were teased in Halloween II took four more movies to fully bloom, but by this point it’s just an excuse to no end. Halloween; The Curse of Michael Myers just feels obligatory.
Spoilers for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers follow
Any other movie series with enough foresight to know that there would be a sequel released seventeen years after the original could have maybe pulled this movie off. Halloween is not that series. From the start, the long-running horror series has daisy-chained its mythology together and the resulting timeline before Rob Zombie’s reboot in 2007 would become a mess and full of inconsistencies. Laurie Strode is both dead and alive in the timeline (Shrodinger’s Last Girl). But despite everything, the timeline did consistently move forward. As such, Curse of Michael Myers taking place seventeen years later had hoped to capitalize on this time gap and actually bring in more consistency to the timeline. However, for various reasons this consistency was never achieved.
Brian Andrews, who played Tommy Doyle, the boy Laurie Strode babysat for in the original, to return to the role as his character would cross paths with Michael as an adult. Andrews could not be reached. Danielle Harris, who carried Halloween 4 and 5 as Jamie Lloyd, Michael’s plagued niece, was also approached to return for a third entry, but Harris didn’t like the script, much less the director, so she was recast. The only actor to return of course was Donald Pleasence. But by this film, even the consummate professional was appearing tired despite saying this is his favorite Halloween script since the original.
Curse of Michael Myers was directed by Joe Chappelle and based on a screenplay written by Daniel Farrands. The ‘curse’ of the title is the Curse of the Thorn, which is the final reveal of the various occult seeds planted in previous Halloween entries. Chapelle and the producer of the film Paul Freeman shot the film in Salt Lake City, and reportedly were constantly changing the script on a daily basis. The film later went on to be notorious for the rushed and inconsistent behind-the-scenes production which was so poorly managed that Miramax took over the film and ordered reshoots. And unfortunately, on February 2, 1995, Donald Pleasence passed away.
The film was reshot after poor reception to test screenings. The original film ended with Dr. Loomis receiving the power of the Curse of Thorn from the Druid cult that appeared to be manipulating things behind the scenes of the series. As a result, the reshoots and re-edits removed almost twenty minutes of film time dedicated to the Curse of the Thorn.
I haven’t really talked much about the plot of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers yet, and honestly there isn’t much to tell. Jamie Lloyd is killed relatively early in the film meaning once again we no longer have a protagonist to root for with the exception of Dr. Loomis. Michael, of course, does what Michael does best. But nothing really amounts to anything in the movie, especially by the end of the proceedings where Michael has once again escaped. None of the characters stand out, and I only remember Tommy Doyle because Paul Rudd plays him. There is a girl who obviously is meant to hearken back images of Laurie Strode who did fine with what she had, but what she had wasn’t great.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, the next film in the series feels like a soft reboot of sorts, as it cherry-picked what elements of the movies that came before to use. And by this point you can’t blame them. Somehow a film series like Fast & Furious manages to have explanation and inclusion of its various subplots, but the Halloween series isn’t nearly as deft much less planned. Curse of Michael Myers feels like it doesn’t know what story it wants to tell, and the troubles during shooting have only made my confusion seem validated. At least with Halloween 4 & 5, there was a good balance of supernatural mixed in but still good slashing. Well, maybe not good but satisfactory. Here it feels gory for the sake of gory but for no purpose. And the film ends ambiguously, obviously implying Michael hasn’t been defeated, but at this point, did you expect anything else? And the final shots are of Donald Pleasence screaming in agony at losing Michael once again to be quickly covered a “Dedicated to Donald Pleasence” title card to the end the film.
Curse of Michael Myers is a messy and off-balance film and is regarded as one of the worst in the series though still most people think Season of the Witch is the lowest point. The film had gone through several scripts before production and was plagued with even more rewrites and reshoots during production, only to have an ending completely redone after the death of the lead actor. The resulting film isn’t terribly bad (it’s not good though, don’t get me wrong) but there’s really nothing here worth remembering other than completionists who want to see every movie in the series.