But, H4 did very well, and you know what happens when a horror movie does well..... YEP!! It's SEQUAL TIME!!!!! So then came H5........ Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. This one's gonna be a toughy, cuz ya either like it, tolerate it, or consider it the second worst in the series. I used to hate it with a passion because it was sort of stupid in a lot of places, with attempts at cheap laughs ruining the moment. Nowadays, I am a little more tolerant of it, because I can appreciate SOME of the things H5 did. The movie is carried by Pleasance' obsessed Loomis, Danielle Harris' mute victim Jamie Lloyd, and Shanks as Michael Myers. Most of the rest of the cast is sort of forgettable, I'm afraid. The teens are ridiculous, the cops are ludicrous, and H5 proves another inherent trait with the Loomis character. He is smart, intuitive, brave in the face of death, obsessed......and always one step behind Michael. I think it is VERY misleading on the cover of the video to say "Michael is back....and this time they're ready!!" Nobody was truly ready through the entire film!! Half the town ends up DYING because nobody, not even Loomis, could have anticipated Michael's moves, or those of the mysterious "Man In Black". Loomis tried, and he was the only one who got the ball rolling, but there's only so much you can do when the whole town thinks you're a quack. I liked the psychic link Jamie had with Michael, and they really should've done more cat and mouse suspense with it. Instead, she falls to the floor and stutters "cookie Woman" as a warning. Cookie Woman???? Thanks for the premonition, Yuri Gellar. Loomis has to pull teeth to get Jamie to use her abilities to fight Michael, but she comes around eventually. Michael Myers has some interesting suspense scenes (Including an amusing moment with everyone's favorite Queen of Room service, Tina), but sort of goes through the motions a bit. There were some potentially interesting characters, but they were highly annoying. The goofy cops should have had a better soundtrack than slapstick noises. I'm sure they tried to make their characters interesting, but it simply did not work. Their attempt at comedy was, well.......annoying. Their sudden deaths were probably recieved with thankful cheers by the audiences who gave quizzical looks upon hearing the highly unmotivating clown noises. I need to give credit to Sheriff Meeker. He didn't get to do much since the movie doted on its party teens, but you could see that his character had evolved. The events in H4 changed him. The scene with him and Loomis at the station was tense, and we could see that Kelly's death had affected him forever. They should've done more with him. There was a mysterious hermit. Most decent horror movies have one. Friday 13th 1 and 2 had the same quirky hermit, H4 had Reverend Sayer, etc. This one even had a talking parrot. He didn't do much, though. He hid Michael for a year, then died. No cryptic look into motivations, no dark past, not even a good conversation with his bird. Not even a demented, squinty eyed expression. A potentially good character wasted. Then.....there was Tina Tina and her infamous giggle propelled her to a cult status not to be admired, which is sad because SHE was supposed to be one of the heroines of the film. Instead, her moment in the sun is marred by indifference, her need to party at all cost, and her flawed philosophy of life and love. She also has an acute disrespect for adults, and it is seen with her interaction with Loomis. Hmmmm, Tina. That name lives on in Halloween infamy. You must forgive me if I sound unecessarily cruel. Halloween 5 is just a movie, after all, and Tina is fictional. What's more, there are probably a few Tina fans out there who may feel that they've had to hide in their private cubby holes concerning their admiration for Wendy Kaplan's over the top performance. I've mellowed out a bit over Tina, though I'm sure J Smith has not, so I'm slower to criticize. Tina is not REALLY a Scream Queen in any sense. She's more like a giggle queen. Her moment of heroism is a token gesture to audiences who cringed at her wacky rebellious ways and that grating giggle. Her sacrifice is melodramatic and maudlin in the extreme, and it is truly unclear if Myers could chalk her up on his dead list. J Smith would argue insistantly that Tina was killed, but I have to admit the pointlessly ridiculous technicality that she was NOT covered up on the stretcher. Dead people ARE often covered up, but Tina is not when observed in the film. What could Wendy have done differently? Perhaps being a better friend would have been a good start. Dumping Michael and going cold turkey on the cigarettes would've been plusses. The giggle (nuff said). I hope Wendy hasn't gone through life feeling badgered over Tina in the way some actors are dogged. Peter Falk runs far, but can't escape the shadow of Columbo. Shatner will always be remembered for his Kirk, Michael Richardson for Kramer, Pia Zadora for......ummm, whatever she did, Linda Blair for her Exorcist role, Henry Winkler for Fonze, Leslie Nielsen for Frank Dreben, etc. We fans get carried away, and I'm sure she has settled down to become a wife to some resturant owner and is mother to some darling children. Still, her role in H5 will not be easily forgotten, and may very well take the brunt of jokes for a long time. Then again, Wendy knew what she was doing. She must've realized the script sucked, but she was going for the gold anyway. She molded Tina. Like any actor/actress, she added these quirks. Maybe I'm being too lenient.......DAMN YOU, TINAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! Whoops, heheheh.......sorry....... Her friends aren't much better. Boyfriend Michael, often referred to by fans as the "Fonz wannabe", spends his fifteen minutes of fame fawning over his car and getting killed. He was a jerk anyway. Spitz, clerk of a local dairy mart type store, tries to sneak beer out for his friends, and ends up gettin the freak on with girlfriend Samantha in a filthy barn. He, too, has an annoying giggle, but I suspect the guy was trying to add SOME kind of flavor to his part. Interesting to note that Sammy and Spitz DO take a moment to acknowledge the need for safe sex, which is somewhat admirable. Randy's #1 Rule sneaks up on them, nevertheless, and neither lives long enough to enjoy the afterglow. I do have to give some credit to the character of Samantha. She's not over the top like the rest, but unfortunately that means she's unmemorable. Still, she is not skewered by witty barbs in the way Tina has. Samantha is the typical teen compared to the rest, well meaning and more spiritual in her quest to be with Spitz in the barn. "MORE SPIRITUAL?" you ask "What the hell's THAT supposed to mean?". It means that she wasn't the virginal heroine, but she wasn't a beer-and-pot party animal either. She was simply looking forward to a special intimacy with a moron (Oh, how blind love is!) So.......in light of the character revelations I've made, the burning question must be asked: WHERE in the world was Rachel Corruthers??? Well, it is an easy answer. The Heroine of H4 is seen briefly interacting with others in H5, then she dies. Just like that. I'm sure Cornell doesn't consider it a terrible loss artistically, but we fans tend to blow it all out of proportion. Rachel's death sucks, that's all there is to it. The ongoing subplot between Rachel and Jamie is gone forever, and the storyline is commandeered by Tina and her wacky friends. Rachel is the sensible heroine written out of the series at the request of Cornell herself. I suppose it was the right move. In an interview, Cornell commented that she wasn't keen on the sequal, and didn't like the "philosophy" of the H5 script. My guess is she was politely saying "This script sucks". Well, it may have been for the best. Ellie gave up screen time in exchange for some dignity. Others had a longer life span and are now mocked mercilessly because they were ridiculous. After all, one can only take so much of the "teen party attitude". Even teens settle down to read a book once in a while, even if it's a goofy magazine like Rolling Stone (oooh, I'll bet I get slammed for that one) :) H5 does have an excellent chase scene in the Myers mansion. Jamie's struggle in the ventilation shaft is thrilling. Her discovery of Rachel's body in the attic is another lump-in-the-throat moment. She sees the special coffin built for her and almost seems to give up on life. This is the ultimate climactic moment. Michael hovers over her, and she is prepared to die. What happens next is either disappointing to some or continually riveting to others. Michael seems to recover some humanity and cries as he looks over Jamie, who calls him "Uncle Michael". It could have been a touching moment, but Michael reverts back to evil, Jamie makes a run for it, and Loomis goes crazy one last time. Perhaps Loomis goes too far this time, holding Jamie out as an obvious piece of shark bait. His obsession has taken over, and getting Michael is all he can see now. Michael falls foor the oldest trick in the book and is captured after getting the crap beaten out of him by an overzealous Loomis. Pleasance has admitted that he also didn't like the script, and took as many liberties as possible. He hoped Jamie would become the new killer, but the powers that be didn't want to mes s with "the formula", that essence that breathes life into every sequal. Michael, through the defiant powers of Hollywood Gods, would return to do this film. The result is less than satisfying. Many compare H5 to a Friday 13th movie. Every potential it had is upstaged by the flaws: 1) The psychic link could've kicked ass, but it was never thoroughly explored. 2) The relations between Rachel, Jamie, Meeker and Loomis are not as developed. 3) The ending sets up for a sequal, which squelches any terror we would want to build. Michael escapes from jail, and Jamie realizes that the nightmare isn't over. Soo.....we have to see H6 to see if it ever concludes, producing what may have been a loud, frustrated "Grrrr!" from the audience. 4) The man in Black could've made for an interesting mystery, but he didn't get to do much either, except break Michael out of jail. One more detail I want to mention. The Myers Mansion. A lot of people didn't like it because it wasn't the original house. I, on the other hand, liked it. I liked the big haunted house. Nuff said. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers So, it comes to this. Michael goes after Jamie loyd one last time after a bizarre turn of events. Jamie is kidnapped by the Thorn cult, impregnated by Michael Myers, then is killed unceremoniously in the first twenty minutes. Many fans have debated this film on so many different levels, mainly because there are two versions of the film. So, making things even more difficult, reviewers compare both films with each other AND with H1. I myself can make a whole seperate article covering my thoughts on this one, so I will be a little brief with it. I must admit I like to see creative things done with each sequal. Each one propels Michael and Loomis to a new level, for better or worse. I don't think the Thorn Cult was a particularly bad idea. It was an interesting concept surrounded by bad direction, bad execution (if you'll pardon my choice of words), bad script logic, etc. There was another batch of interesting characters. Kara Strode and her dysfunctional family, Dr Wynn, Barry Simms, The Nurse with a heart of Gold, etc. Before I forget her, I should include Ms Blankenship (Or is it Mrs B? Never did see her hubby. He was probably the hermit in H5). She was cryptic, weird, mysterious, and creepy once she showed her true colors. Not a bad character, really. She served her purpose in helping the Man In Black. About the MIB. Now, let's not fret over any secret Identity. We all know it's Dr. Wynn. There weren't too many other suspects, though I DID read somewhere that Charles Cyphers was invited to play the part, reprising his role as former sheriff Brackett. He was too old, so they got Mitch Ryan. He was creepy enough for the part, but I don't think he got a chance to do much with his character, other than wear that silly cape and talk about restoring the balance. He did a good job, though. The MIB was creepy enough to catch my attention. His ending in the Producer's cut left me wondering about his fate, but the makers of H20 didn't seem to give a rat's ass. I used to not like the whole bit with Kara's family. I thought were set up to be more fodder, but at the time, I didn't see what a good job the actors had done to make that family dysfunctional. I'm sure there were a lot of fans who couldn't wait to see the father bite it, but that's a testament to his ability to make us hate his alcohol swilling, daughter slapping personality. He tricked us, and I have to applaud him for that. Wendy tried to make a heroine to root for and failed terribly. The character of John Strode (I believe that's his name if I remember correctly) was a frustrated man dealing with a town's superstition, battling the bottle, and at odds with a defiant daughter who had, in his opinion, disgraced the family. He had little redeeming quality to him, and though we knew he'd get it sooner or later, his character was better developed than we were able or willing to admit Debra was trying to keep the family together, and struggled as the wife who tried so hard to love her husband. A bit too whiny perhaps, she doesn't last long, but she did give Loomis an excellent opportunity for a good creepy monologue. Tim was pretty cool, though at the time I first saw it I classified him as another goofy teen. He also had a little more depth, but was stuck with having to do the movie's token sex scene in the Myers house. He and his girlfriend are well meaning in their attempt to make Halloween fun again,but don't get to do too much except be Barry's target du jour. He did get to show some good sibling relation with Kara, and taught Danny the philosophies of a good beverage Which brings me to Barry....... Barry Simms, to be frank, was nothing but Myers bait. He was a bit too annoying for my taste. Howard Stern was asked to do the part, and it was probably a good move for him to turn it down. He was a shock jock character, and all he did was get mouthy and crazy. Instead, some guy who looks like Cary Elwes plays the unlucky Simms, and does it with all the bluster of an American Johnny Rotten. My guess is that Barry was supposed to make Halloween 6 cool, a source of hedonistic revelry for a teen audience. It really gets insulting when Hollywood tries for the cool factor (I haven't seen "Josie and the Pussycats", but I'm willing to bet my soul that it's a PERFECT example of a massively lame attempt to showcase cool characters. Characters trying to be cool are usually NOT cool. Barry Simms is just NOT cool) Barry Simms should have been nothing more than a reoccuring element in H6, like maybe Ensign Barclay on Star Trek: The Next Generation, or like the house in the Nightmare series, or maybe the typewriter in Stephen King's Misery......or the pizza in Mystic Pizza, or Renfield's weird laugh in "Love at First Bite"......... To sum, Barry on radio was interesting, Barry in person sucks. Nuff said. The best new characters are, by far, Kara and Tommy. Kara, the single mom trying to get her life in order and reconcile the bad blood with her father. Tommy, scarred by the terror, returns as a younger version of Loomis. He's creepy, paranoid, obsessed. That's what makes him such a great character. Also in this mix is Kara's son, Danny. He is targeted by the cult to become the new killer (I think) PLUS..... There is the infant, Stephen. Born of a twisted plotline that maybe we could have done without, or at least one of a less gruesome origin. I'm not a big fan of rape in the movies (I'm not even a small fan), even if it was implied in a brief flashback. Not just rape, but ritual incestual rape involving 15 year old Jamie, and the now 600 year old Michael Myers!! The baby's cute, though, and Jamie nurtures him briefly despite the dismal birthing atmosphere and imprisonment by the cult. Stephen is to be sacrificed by Michael so that the evil can be, uhhhhh.....spread to Danny (I think) My memory is a bit hazy on the film, and the logic of the theatrical release simply falls short of rational. Michael spends two sequals trying to kill Jamie, now he has sex with her?? The cult is made to look like it has control or something, but why go through all that trouble to sacrifice a baby when they had Jamie in the first place? Was Danny's involvement planned by the Man In Black, or was it an accident brought on by Jamie's escape to Haddonfield and Tommy's interference? Well, I've found out how botched this whole production has become through a variety of sources. Script changes, an out of control director, poorly executed plots, etc. What's more important, there is a blatant lack of respect for the actors involved in this project (Something I can relate to in some instances). The director, Joe Chapelle, has been bashed for many things by Halloween fans, but I believe IMO that his greatest sin was against the cast. Perhaps Paul Freeman shares some of this blame as well. Maybe even Moustapha as well. How the HELL can you be Executive producer, own the whole farkin franchise and NOT KNOW the disastrous things going on?? I get the feeling Akkad was sippin a pina colada at the beach ignoring phone calls from the production staff (Okay, that's unfair and harsh and pure speculation. I'm the type of person, however, who would oversee every damn detail if I were the highest authority in a project of this nature). The original script is mauled, the original cast is deleted, and Michael's final battle involves pipes and syringes, and a muddled mystery over the fate of Dr. Loomis, the most pivotal character in the series. I need to look at this from both sides of the coin. First, there ARE some decent scares in H6. Joe did capture a little essence of the H1 suspence (Many of you argue against this, but there are a few instances of suspense for me) There IS a cute jingle in this (It's raining, it's raining red!), which is something any cheesy movie can and should have. Kara is an adequate heroine, and I give credit to Marianne Hagan for fleshing out this character as well as she could. Tommy is an excellent hero. Had the movie been better, he would've become a good replacement for Loomis I should also give a thumbs up to newcomer JC Brandy, who was brought in to play Jamie. I can imagine the flak she must have gotten by fans for taking a role that belonged to Harris (Once again I'm blowing this up out of proportion. Danielle was probably disappointed until she realized how bad the movie was. Danielle escapes scathing reviews, JC gets a paycheck and fifteen minutes of fame. Everybody wins). She did her best, and I think she captured the character as well as Danielle would have. Of course, this review has to include my thoughts about the final bow for Donald Pleasance, and his tormented hero Dr. Loomis. It's a sort of unwritten law that every notable actor and actress who's ever done a movie or TV show is remembered for one specific character or movie. For instance, Michael Richardson is Kramer, Peter Falk is remembered for Columbo, etc. Christopher Lee will always be remembered for portrayals of Dracula and Fu Manchu. Josh Hartnett may very well be remembered for his role as John Tate, etc. So it is with Pleasance, who is famous as the incredible, almost maniacal Dr. Loomis. H6 was his last, and I think he gave it his best despite difficulties. I wouldn't be suprised if his heart wasn't into it that time, what with the abuse he got from Chapelle (Being edited out of most of the theatrical release) and the lack of respect he must have gotten on the set. I myself have acted in plays or musicals where I have felt a lack of respect from a director (or some diva), and it becomes hard, especially when you are the lead character in a gargantuan five act play. I was three times younger than him at the time and I felt exhausted, God knows how he got through H6 at the age of 75. He did it, though, and has earned much respect for his work in the series. From what I understand, he was a humble kind of guy, easy to work with. It's a shame he was edited out just because he was older. I recommend the Producer's cut for maximum Loomis. It really does justice, especially at the end. On the bad side of this movie: 1) Already mentioned the deleting of Loomis on the whims of evil overlords like Chapelle. Loomis and Michael ARE the most important elements of the series. It's difficult to have one without the other. 2) Abuses unseen, especially against Hagan and Paul Rudd. Two talented performers who got dumped on. 3) Removing Danielle Harris from the lineup, a manuever I STILL do not understand. Here is an actress who breathed new life into the series and she got dumped. Now, I imagine Harris has moved on to other enjoyable projects after all these years, but that is a sorespot for die hard fans. It would be like recasting Jean Luc Picard of Star Trek, or replacing Jerry Doyle with someone else to play Mr Garibaldi on Babylon 5. It's like replacing Roger Moore with Timothy Dalton (Sorry Tim, just kidding!) 4) wrecking the script with added, nonsensical scenes. The original ending was supposed to have Jamie Lloyd, but that was cut for reasons never explained. Instead, they have Tommy beat Michael with a pipe, then the cast leaves. Loomis goes back into the lair and screams off screen. A great dramatic moment is lost forever. I will go on in greater detail with H6 in a later article. A controversial sore spot that nearly killed the franchise. Needless to say, the Halloween series might have been dead in the water were it not for Scream, though Scream provides a double edged sword. Curse Of Michael Myers must exist in a limbo for the moment, forever debated on its effectiveness. Some like it, others vehemently hate it like a three day old sandwich found under the couch. Some fans would use harsh words as they tar and feather people who liked the film. Halloween H20: Following on the heels of Scream and IKWYDLS was this revival attempt that featured the dazzling return of Jamie Lee Curtis. This was to be the final showdown between brother and sister. Seeing as how it did well at the box office back in 1998, it is laughable to think Akkad would let the franchise end with this one. I have a few mixed feelings about H20, but overall I have to say I liked it. A good assortment of characters, plus a few familiar faces. Nurse Chambers returns only to get killed in the beginning (A-la Scream, of course). An interesting way to open the film, but at the loss of any potential future story line. Loomis gets a token mention at the beginning, and this is one of the things that bugs me about H20, but I'll explain soon enough. Michael returns, without explanation and without any tie in from H4-6. He manages to find the location of Laurie's new home and identity (Keri Tate). He crosses country to get there and terrorize Laurie and a few others. Laurie, meanwhile, has spent twenty years hopped up on drugs and booze to solve her problems, but gets it together for a final battle, which I thought was a doozy. The shocking end was pretty neat., and there was plenty of scares to keep you on edge (Then again, when I went to the theatre, I had already worked my third shift and not gone to bed yet, so I was in great mental condition to enjoy the movie). I have to say I was very impressed with LLCoolJ, who performed better than I expected. I thought he'd be dumb comedy relief, but I think he held his own. I also liked Arkin's performance as love interest to the heroine. He was a sensible man caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Josh Hartnett was also great as John, Laurie's long suffering son. He and Curtis work well together, and their characters share some interesting growing pains. There is a small controversy with Michelle Williams (Okay, maybe a big one). She IS a bit bland, but you can get a detailed critique elsewhere at this site concerning Molly. Molly is John's gal, and doesn't do too much in the film. We have a tiny bit about her being from a struggling blue collar family, but not much else. Everyone else seems to get all the good developement. Arkin gets to be the love interest, Security guard Ronnie is the wisecracking future writer who gets in trouble with his wife, even the detectives at the beginning leave a better impression (Oooh, that smarts!). Still, she does better than most (You want bland? I got two words for ya: Alicia Witt) Maybe I'm being harsh like Ebert and Roeper, and I should be careful not to drop into the cesspool of hypocrisy. After all, I hate it when critics take movies so seriously, yet here I am, nitpicking about unimportant details....... .....Then again, I'm only human :):) I think I'll be merciful on Michelle, mostly because of that outfit she wears. I'm getting all my praise out now, but I do need to point out the obvious flaws to this film: 1) Too many false scares. Everyone's sneaking up on Keri, and after a while it's just annoying. This woman needs to use her damn peripheral vision to ease the suprises. You know it's bad when JANET LIEGH can sneak up on her in broad daylight!!! 2) The whole tribute to Donald Pleasance. First of all, they mispell his name, which is quite retarded by itself. They were also supposed to use his famous monologue in a Voice over at the beginning, but instead of Pleasance, they use a different voice. Why? Curtis says they couldn't afford it or something. I think that's gotta be the biggest load of horsecrap in the universe, but maybe it's best I don't divulge my theories. On second thought.......here's my cold hearted explanation: Jamie Lee Curtis is determined to restore herself to an A-list status actress, so this movie HAS to be about her character. Giving Pleasance more recognition than necessary detracts from that goal. Using money as an incentive, she convinces Akkad to save some by just getting a cheaper VO. My, but that's dark thinking. What have I done to the real JH??????? I don't think it's a stretch to realize that this Halloween rebirth went to Curtis' head. Watching "Virus" is more proof than I need to conduct a convincing argument. Ego, ego, ego. It's all about the Ego. Watching her on several talk shows also convinced me that she was desperately milking it for all she could. Now, I thought she did great in "True Lies", etc, but I think she was getting carried away with this. 3) No explanation to what has happened to Michael for the past few years. There are newspaper clippings in the opening credits, but no mention of H4-6. Most diehard fans don't mind, since they are more devoted to H1 and H2. Some may have never seen H4-6 (I do know a few of those types). I think it's too bad, though. Trying to completely block out the "Jamie Lloyd" saga is rather conspicuous. I attribute this once again to ego, ego, ego. Curtis must have the spotlight, and cannot share it with another Halloween Heroine. Therefore, the memory of Jamie Lloyd must be erased. This, of course, creates lots of complications. Curtis tries to take the sp otlight by encouraging the idea that there was never a daughter. Yet, the popularity of H20 is going to create new fans, fans who will go to video stores to research ALL the sequals. They will find H4-6 and ask questions, questions that Akkad, Freeman and Curtis are unable or unwilling to answer.......sheesh, I'm beginning to sound like an episode of the X-files!!! I gotta relax. Still, there should have been some connection, or at least an honorable mention, or just blatantly have someone shout "JAMIE LLOYD!" in Keri's ear to make her feel the gutwrenching guilt of letting her first child die on a thresher (or by getting shot, depending on your Point of View). 4) The title of the film. Halloween: H20. They should have just called it Halloween 7 or something, or flat out called it "Twenty years later" rather than H20, because there have been too many jokes about "water", and inevitably someone is gonna ask "What about H8-H19??" 5) The Scream bits. Killing Chambers at the open, playing the "token black character" joke with Ronnie, Keri acting like the Randy Meeks of the film, etc. She seemed to instinctively know "The Rules", so she went out of her way to kill Michael in extreme ways. These little trends are cute up to a point, but then you get something bloated and irrational like Scream 3, then it's time to end the trend. Following trends cheapens the film. I DO like some cliches, but sometimes it's inappropriate. The Halloween movies should seperate themselves from Scream and other slashers. After all, H3 and H4 weren't following trends, they happened in their own way. Maybe H4 was made to compete with F13 and NOES, but it wasn't being so imitative.