One of my least favorite Halloween films is The Curse of Michael Myers, but I thought I'd tackle it anyway because it's never been reviewed on here and we are coming to the end of May. This is the sixth film in the franchise, and it attempts to follow up with events in Halloween 4 and 5 by incorporating Tommy Doyle and Jamie Lloyd into the film.
This time, Jamie (J.C. Brandy) is all growed up, as the kids say, and so is Tommy Doyle. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a young Paul (Stephen, apparently) Rudd as the main character! Tommy has become obsessed with the Michael Myers cases ever since his encounter with the Shape in the first Halloween; he's set up in a deaf old woman's boarding house, plotting the timeline of Michael's killings and trying to distinguish when he'll come back. On the eve of Halloween 1995, Jamie has a baby in a dingy dungeon, and a group of high occult officials led by a symbol called the Thorn want to take it away from her to complete Michael Myer's familial sacrifice and grant him some sort of demonic powers. I think he's already got those, thank you very much.
There's another Strode in the way, though. Her name is Kara (Marianne Hagan), a relative of the family that adopted Laurie in the first films. Kara's not aware of the connection yet, but she will be after Jamie escapes and drops her baby off at a bus depot. The child is Michael's only surviving relative, and so to complete his arc he must also kill the child, but not if Paul Rudd can help it!
Even though Halloween 6 does use many events from the previous films, it has little in common with them. Rarely does it use the standard synth version of John Carpenter's famous theme music; instead, it opts for a heavy-metal guitar burst that obliterates any of the tension of the original sound. Now it just sounds like Slash got on a guitar and jammed out the Halloween tune backstage before a big gig. There are also loud sweeps of guitar chords that are certainly out of place in the scheme of things; I don't want to hear the squeal of a guitar every time Michael attacks, because it takes me out of that experience.
If the sound is any indication of what has happened to Michael Myers in the five sequels since his magnum opus, you can guess how well the rest of the movie goes. The whole thing is a mess of trying to piece together differing events from the other films into one cohesive whole. Having Tommy come back is great; having Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance, who died during filming) come back is awesome. But replacing one Strode with another just doesn't work here: for one, the link between Laurie and Kara is tenuous at best, and who really believes that her father (who is probably the worst guy you could ever characterize in a film - seriously, he has no good qualities shown in this movie) would move them into a house where their cousins were brutally killed. Kara's also not as interesting as Laurie, and her character is much more bland and irritating.
The plot about the runic symbol "the Thorn" also comes out of nowhere. Director Joe Chappelle wants to try to explain why Michael Myers is as evil as he is, but the satanic worshipers only manage to confuse whatever backstory Chappelle was going for. It's hard to believe that Michael cares about anything in the first place, so it's not like he would be subscribing to this whack legend about killing all of your family and getting demonic powers. Michael just wants to kill everyone. His family is primary, anyone who gets in the way secondary. It's best to leave his psychoses out of the story.
The main draw to Halloween 6, besides the excellent portrayal of Halloween night with jack-o-lanterns and decorations, is the enchanting Paul Rudd. Strangely, Halloween 6 is Rudd's film debut - apparently, his agent thought that starting in a beloved franchise would propel his career. While the film probably wasn't the acting debut they were looking for, he still makes the most of it with a likable, sort of creepy performance as the over-obsessed Tommy. It's hard not to like Rudd, but Chappelle could have focused on Tommy's character more than the weaker Kara, while also eliminating the genre cliche of the final girl.
The film also notably lacks many scenes with Dr. Loomis, who only appears fleetingly and without much impact on the story. Why would Chappelle think to eliminate such an important character in the series? Your guess is as good as mine.
Overall, Halloween 6 is lacking in the atmosphere and pathos of the other films, and it's even worse than Halloween 4 & 5 - though I love those movies for other reasons. The only saving grace here is Paul Rudd and a couple of good kills, but even then, Chappelle cuts away more than he shows. Michael Myers' curse is rather ridiculous when it tries to incorporate the mysterious Thorn cult. Unfortunately, being one of the worst sequels in the franchise isn't saying much, since it does join the ranks of Halloween: Resurrection; at least The Curse of Michael Myers isn't hexed by Busta Rhymes, though.
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers on Rotten Tomatoes