Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Rated R, 88 min. Directed by Joe Chappelle. Starring Donald Pleasence, Mitch Ryan, Marianne Hagan, Paul Rudd, Mariah O'Brien, Keith Bogart, Devin Gardner, Kim Darby.
The less said about this sixth entry in the Halloween series, the better. I'll cheerfully admit to being an insatiable genre fan, but this is one October ritual I no longer look forward to. Tired, silly, and ridiculously overwrought, the Halloween franchise has limped long past its natural running time, overshadowed in years past by the Hellraisers and Friday the 13ths, and by a general decline in fear films of all stripes. What we're left with, and what we get this time out, is, far and away, one of the most tedious, uninspired offerings thus far (and, worst of all, the door is left open for yet another pointless sequel). Once again, the mysterious masked killer Myers is back in pleasant Haddonfield, Illinois, slicing, dicing, and making julienne fries of various teens and authority figures. This time, however, he's aided by a contingent of Central Illinois Druids (!) who protect him as one of their own, a walking Celtic Samhain myth. An obviously frail Pleasence returns as Dr. Loomis, though this time the role is hardly more than an extended cameo (Pleasence died shortly after filming wrapped, and the film is dedicated to his memory). To be fair, the film has a sense of uniformity to it: from the acting, to the lighting, to every other aspect of the production, mediocrity holds sway over all. Director Chappelle made a decent debut with last year's Thieves Quartet, but he brings none of the originality of that film to this one. Go rent the new Criterion laserdisc version of John Carpenter's original Halloween instead and ignore everything else.
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