Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
Written by Daniel Farrands
Directed by Joe Chappelle
One of the most infuriating things about the Thorns trilogy is how both Return and Revenge end on promising cliffhangers only to have them dashed with the next film in the series. Likewise, the Curse of Michael Myers takes all the character development of Jamie Lloyd and subsequently flushes it down the drain. For what purpose? To apparently introduce a whole host of new characters whom we never really care about and tangentially connected to Laurie Strode. It seems at times that this movie exists in the same universe as the previous two, and then at other moments, it ignores anything we might have learned during them.
Six years have passed since Halloween V. Jamie Lloyd is now a grown woman, pregnant, and in the clutches of a cult. She gives birth and escapes the cult with Michael Myers in pursuit. At some point in her journey, Jamie stops at a bus station and calls into a radio show talking about Myers. Her call is overheard by a retired Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) and an adult Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd), the boy Laurie was babysitting the night of the original film. Tommy has become obsessed with Myers, almost a young Loomis, tracking the legend of the killer through news reports. After Jamie abandons it in the bus station bathroom, Tommy finds her baby and joins up with Loomis to prepare to take down Myers.
Ah, but then we have the new target of Myers, the randomly plopped down Kara Strode, a cousin to Laurie. Her family currently lives in the Myers home, a fact she is unaware of. Her abusive father is a real estate agent who moved the family after he failed to sell the place. Kara has a son Danny who has a dark aura about him. He talks about seeing a man in black in the shadows of his bedroom talking to him. Kara gets caught in the crossfire and works alongside Tommy and Loomis when Myers sets foot in Haddonfield again.
The Curse of Michael Myers is a complete and utter mess of a movie. The director and producers don’t argue against this as they have talked about the copious reshoots and alternate versions of the film that exist. There were seeds planted of a larger mystery in Halloween V with the man in black, but it is so apparent here that there was no clear idea where that plot was going. The identity reveal of the Man in Black feels obvious as there just aren’t that many characters in the story. I also never fully understand the motivation of the cult. They want to perform a ceremony of some kind, but the purpose and reason are so obtuse. It basically boils down to Michael is pure evil, and we want to transfer the evil to a baby or sacrifice the baby to keep Michael alive? Abysmal writing.
There was an interest in revealing the entire population of Haddonfield as being involved in the Thorns cult, but I think that would be a little too ludicrous. So instead, they went with Smith’s Grove being a front for the cult. At one point, Kara and Tommy stumble across a lab with fetuses in jars implying Michael was genetically engineered, I think? There’s the feeling that the story is trying to combine elements of the occult and science, much like Halloween III did. I almost wish they had made that movie a part of the Myers universe if they would go there. It would have certainly been more interesting than what we got.
The most egregiously terrible part of the movie is the butchered ending. Tommy and Kara, and her son run off to safety. Loomis stays behind at Smith’s Grove after the cult has been killed by Myers. Myers, of course, appears to have been killed as well. The final shot is Myers’ mask on the floor with no body and then Loomis’ scream over the scene. Cut to credits. There’s a complete lack of closure. You aren’t even sure what the hell just happened in the ending. Did Michael kill Loomis off-screen, and that’s what we’re hearing? Did Loomis see Michael was up and gone again? Who the hell knows! It was clear that the Halloween franchise had truly reached a low point. So that meant a drastic change would come in the form of Halloween: H20.