Ten movies in seven days. Ten “Halloween” movies in ten days as a matter of fact. Why did I do it? Why did I visit Haddonfield, Ill. and in the case of “Halloween 3” — Northern California?
Because people, I was bored. When you lack a social life at 37, you find yourself ordering all 10 “Halloween” movies off Amazon with the idea of writing about it.
So here we are.
I posted on Facebook each night when I was watching an installment of the series. JOE-DOWN co-author Joe Brown worried about my mental health. Others cheered me on. I took a few nights off — needing some time away from bad plots, bad acting and lazy kill scenes. At the end, I felt just as pale and dead eyed as the famous antagonist in this series — Dr. Loomis.
There was also the continuity issues.
“Halloween” is a franchise with six (now) baffling continuities all battling one another in an exercise that tested my patience.
You don’t believe me? Here they are:
- Continuity 1: “Halloween” and “Halloween 2.”
- Continuity 2: “Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.” Exists outside of the Michael Myers world. In fact, twice in this movie TVs show a trailer of the first movie and someone watching the movie later on.
- Continuity 3: “Halloween” 4-6: Laurie is dead, Michael is part of some cult and suddenly has a tattoo on his wrist.
- Continuity 4: “Halloween H20” and “Halloween: Resurrection.” Laurie is alive and ignores the past three movies.
- Continuity 5: Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” and “Halloween 2” which is in its own world since he remade the first one and built from there.
- A SIXTH one comes out in October that only follows the first film, so yeah…a big bowl of confusing.
See the nonsense I sat through? Why everything felt confusing and strange? There is no explanation in the films themselves, one has to see if the special “making of” feature might give some insight. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t.
Here is my breakdown of all 10 films.
This is probably the first time in decades I sat down and watched the original. Classic, everything about this movie I liked. Michael is creepy, and is treated more like the shark in “Jaws” in that we don’t get to see a lot of him, which makes the terror much better. The soundtrack is killer. Just a great watch.
I did forget how much Myers drives around in this movie, which I found kinda comical for a mental patient who has never driven a car before.
A worthwhile sequel co-written by John Carpenter. More gory than the first, and Laurie’s hair comically is much more lighter here. Takes place right after the first one. Michael burns to death in the end, but killing the antagonist in these films mean nothing. We find out Laurie Strode is Michael’s sister, and Michael is on a mission to kill his family? So the parents are dead? OK, I’ll roll with it, it is a fun follow up.
“Halloween 3: Season of the Witch”
An attempt at an anthology series (how much can you stretch Michael Myers? Well, nine movies, but only two or three are any good). This is my second favorite because of how off the wall it is. Imagine “Mitchell” but instead of a loser, alcoholic cop, the protagonist is a loser, alcoholic doctor. Seriously, Dr. Daniel Challis grabs a SIX PACK of beer for a short road trip with the daughter of a slain store owner. He is drunk throughout the movie — and his alcoholism plays no real part in the story. Dude just likes his booze.
Also, no witch, like the title implies. Just a crazy toy maker who makes masks that turns kids’ heads into bugs with lasers and wants to purge the world. He also stole Stonehenge. Look, there is a lot of (REDACTED) up stuff in this little nugget of awesome.
I love this movie way more than I should.
“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”
Now this is when things started getting weird, and quality dips significantly. This is the start of a trilogy of movies that sort of make Myers the product of a Satanic cult or something. Laurie Strode died in a car accident and her daughter Jamie is the last living Myers. So you know the drill: Michael needs to kill this child. Because of reasons, dammit!
But the girl has a connection to Michael (at least in this one). The twist ending is like her uncle before her, she ends up donning a clown costume and killing her stepmom in an ending clearly meant to be a “shock” but made me yell “Oh (REDACTED) you!” at my TV.
Also, my buddy Dan pointed out in these movies Dr. Loomis, Michael’s crappy doctor played by the great Donald Pleasence, is pretty much the reason things go terrible in these movies and is a villain in of himself. I tend to agree, because he sure as (REDACTED) doesn’t help much.
“Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers”
I know I watched this at the tail end of a binge of 3, 4 and this one. My memories of it are hazy due to the rage of being how stupid it was. It immediately follows up the previous movie of Myers being shot and falling down a mine shaft, and the authorities calling it good and not bothering looking for the body.
Haddonfield has the worst (REDACTED) cops…
Anyway, Myers is rescued by a hobo, who just has this body in his hovel for a year, when Myers awakens and gets ready for more murder. There is a lot of idiocy here, with The Man in Black (no, I wish it was Johnny Cash, but alas it is some dofus) popping in and out with no explanation. Jamie is a mute in parts and speaks in others and I really, really disliked this movie. Michael is captured by the police, but The Man in Black busts him out of jail.
Also, Myers’ mask is the cheapest looking here than in all the series. This was the second worst of all the movies. Somehow, one other found its way to anger me more.
(REDACTED) this movie.
“Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers”
Believe it or not, this one wasn’t that bad. Featuring a young Paul Stephen Rudd, and is the last onscreen performance by Pleasence, this movie tries to explain a bit more of this weird cult that is connected to the unstoppable killing machine that is Michael Myers.
Young Jamie is now older, has a baby and she is killed pretty early on, making her story arc completely pointless (remember when she emulated her uncle in 4 and nothing really came of that?). Seriously, a main character in this trilogy who had some sort of psychic connection to Myers is just tossed to the side like an afterthought. Rudd plays an older Tommy (the kid Laurie was babysitting in the first film), now a creepy pervert who leers at women out of his window. Long story short, Myers kills a bunch, Jamie’s baby is now his target and the target of some nonsense cult mumbo jumbo. But the film is much more enjoyable than the previous two and we get a decent ambiguous ending, with Loomis going back to this cult-run hospital to take care of Michael. We hear him scream, and fade to black.
Remember those last three movies? Well, they are now RETCONNED! It is the 20th anniversary of the original film, so they brought back Jamie Lee Curtis to play Laurie Strode again, this time as an functioning alcoholic and in charge of a private school! She has changed her name and has a son played by Josh Hartnett. And Michael Myers travels all the way to California in a comically old car that he steals at a rest station. So, kudos for bringing back Myers behind the wheel. Still have no idea how he learned to drive and no idea how he has laid low for two decades.
So, teens and Laurie trapped in a private school. Myers on a rampage. LL Cool J works security and is an aspiring romantic novelist — (REDACTED) you, movie! Laurie chops her brother’s head off in the end to make sure he doesn’t pop back up again.
Michael Myers pops back up again! See, this unfeeling murderer had the foresight to knock out a cop, switch clothes with him, and make sure he can’t talk so everyone thinks the guy is Michael. Then Michael just walks away into the night.
Laurie is in a mental hospital. Michael kills her. Sure.
Enter Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks making a reality TV show at the old Myers house, where Michael is sleeping in the family basement like a millennial who just graduated college eight years ago. Bunch of teens are hired, and they end up getting slaughtered by Myers in front of the world.
There is a plus side to this very stupid movie:
So there is something that scares The Shape: Being yelled at by Busta Rhymes.
“Rob Zombie’s Halloween”
The remake nobody asked for, and the remake that was shockingly better than any of us expected. While there is a lot of exposition dumps in this, and the unnecessary tale of Michael Myers’ white trash upbringing (and the fact Sheri Moon Zombie can’t act) there is a lot to like. The music, the kill scenes, Zombie’s style all make this a decent watch. Plus Malcolm Mcdowell plays an excellent Dr. Loomis. Was it needed? Nope. The original will always be a high water mark in the slasher genre. This was already covered by The JOE-DOWN.
“Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2”
One of the worst movies I have ever sat through. There was nothing enjoyable in this, and Zombie doubles-down on more of his wife acting in this, which I remind you, she is not very good at. Everything you might have liked with is first one is thrown out the window: Loomis sucks and is now a snotty celebrity, the mystery of Myers is killed because he just looks like a jacked up hobo with a giant beard who wanders corn fields and rarely wears the mask. Everything about this movie is a pile of stupid.
After a week, I was exhausted. I am a sucker for horror movies, and 80s slasher flicks are my go-tos. And frankly, this is pretty much the series that really kicked the genre into high gear. The highs are high and the lows really makes one wish Rob Zombie would stop making movies. I think the anthology idea they tried with the third film would have worked in this day and age, but it was a bit ahead of its time, so we got a lot of garbage to sit through.
So how do I rank these movies? Here we go!
- “Halloween 3: Season of the Witch”
- “Halloween 2”
- “Rob Zombie’s Halloween”
- “Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers”
- “Halloween H2O”
- “Halloween Resurrection”
- “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers”
- “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers”
- “Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2”