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‘Halloween: Curse of Michael Myers’

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
January 02, 1995


Joe Chapelle
Paul Stephen Rudd;
Donald Pleasence;
Marianne Hagan;
Mitch Ryan
Under 17 restricted

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"Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers" may not sport a number, but it's a sequel de sequels. The filmmakers have raided John Carpenter's 1978 original and the second and third sequels for characters, but wisely avoided any reference to the disastrous "Halloween 5," a film so bad it took even the bogyman six years to recover. Unfortunately, while director Joe Chapelle and writer Daniel Farrands took advantage of a clearance sale at the Horror Cliche Emporium, they forgot to stop in at Plots R Us. As a result, the majority of curses are going to be directed at them, not psychotic killer Myers.

The conceit this time around is that Tommy Doyle, the teenage survivor of the original Myers massacre, has grown into a Myers-obsessed adult (Paul Rudd) living directly across the street from the Myers household, now inhabited by a typically dysfunctional family about to become past tense. Meanwhile, back at the asylum, the rumored-to-be-dead franchise, er, Myers, is still chasing down his niece Jamie (from "3" and "4"), except she's now grown up and has a baby, thus continuing the cursed Myers bloodline. (All this takes place in the first 10 minutes, and if you think this is confusing, wait till you see the preposterous explication Farrands has concocted to decode everything in the movie!)

And so begins the impale imitation of John Carpenter's once-scary bogyman tale, in which every shadow and reflection is premeditated and all the herrings are red. Through a slow, inexorable pursuit, Myers starts decimating the poor little town of Haddonfield, Ill., in ways that are dully predictable (just ax Grandma). And with Carpenter's original score revived as well, it's deja boo all over again.

Alas, it's taps for Donald Pleasence, who returns for the sixth time as the Myers-obsessed psychiatrist, Dr. Loomis. Looking every one of his 75 years, Pleasence speaks his own epitaph when he first appears on screen, after a talk show host confesses the mistaken belief that Loomis had died. "Not dead, just very much retired," says Loomis, but Pleasence himself died a few months after filming ended.

As for Michael Myers, he may have lost the ability to surprise or shock anyone, but it might be precipitous to count him out just yet. We'll have to wait for the grosses.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is rated R and contains a sliver of nudity, a stream of blood and a stack of victims.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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