Aw, gee whiz, Mikey! You keep killin' folks. I should mention a weird MPAA thing about this movie. Halloween 5 seems to be the cheapest looking movie in the franchise so far. There is a lot of death and a lot of slaughter, but a weird amount of it happens off camera. I don't think that this movie was ever shooting for a PG-13, but it is way cheaper to kill someone off camera. It is still a very R-Rated movie. There's sex and pretty intense sex, but technically no nudity (or brief nudity at the worst).
DIRECTOR: Dominique Othenin-Girard
NO! No movie, you can't do this! You made a pretty bad Halloween 4 an absolutely terrible movie. Okay, this tends to happen to me. When I binge horror franchises, I get into the dregs and they make me mad at the whole franchise. That's not air to Dominique Othenin-Girard, who doesn't have a picture on IMDB. He was making part five in a series that really shouldn't have any sequels. He wanted to do something new (or maybe just the same) as the previous movies. Like many franchises that run way too long, Halloween has the problem when it tries too hard to meet expectations or tries too hard to subvert expectations. It's so odd that this has caused my opinion of Halloween II to rocket up the charts for movies I now kind of like. It did something different and that's what needed to happen. All this being said, The Curse of Michael Myers is stupid and I can't wait to talk about that.
I don't want to use the term "cinema sins" because those YouTube clips are absurd and they whine a lot. But Halloween 5 has let me down in a few ways. I'd like to talk about establishing a new precedent and then backpedaling as fast as you can to maintain the status quo. Part 4 offers one new thing. Jamie was going to be a new version of Michael. She murders her foster parent and is almost killed by Dr. Loomis because he knows that she will be the new Michael. Then the next movie says that Jamie failed at killing her stepmother. Also, she is now mute, but otherwise the same personality. It actually introduces a supernatural element to explain away the end of Part 4. We were all hoping to have murdering Jamie all over the place, but instead we get a character who doesn't really grow at all. She is still innocent, but now she can't communicate what she is seeing. She gets these powers that allow her to see through Michael's eyes. The second sight doesn't really contribute to the story in the way it should. Rather, it is kind of secondary. Introducing that fantasy element should come into play when fighting Michael Myers or change the way that the story is approached. But really, Halloween 5 is extremely by-the-books if you ignore the psychic element. Michael is still tormenting the folks (I was going to say "fine folks", but a lot of them are fairly terrible human beings) of Haddonfield. He is stalking a family member. Lots of people die in the intervals. Like, what else is there. There's nothing new because the filmmakers had to completely 180 an established premise. Were the producers really so afraid of the new dynamic that the fourth movie tried establishing? I think the Friday the 13th movies tried doing the same thing with Corey Feldman's character. This constant dipping-toes-in-the-water is only more frustrating to the grand scheme of things. Sometimes we just need something new. I think that the Terminator movies deal with the same thing. People want more of Michael ripping apart Haddonfield, but there has to be something that differentiates it from the other films. How I remembered this one? It's the one where Jamie can't talk for most of the movie and she can see through Michael's eyes. But is that something that I can tout as being a good movie? Nope, I more remember it for being kind of cheap looking.
I think the next thing is even worse. Horror / slasher movies love the old fakeout. Oh, you rascal. You keep playing jokes on the other characters. It's a pretty standard trope and I don't fault a movie for having these characters. I normally actually tend to like these characters. Sure, they die in the worst of ways, but they add a sense of silliness to a movie that could be considered way too serious considering the lack of depth in the movie. But this one really overdoes it. There is fakeout after fakeout in this movie. I think the same character pulls the same fakeout scare four times in a row. That's not fair. We get a little bit of the boy-who-cried-wolf so that, when the death actually happens, we don't care. Our goodwill is completely exhausted. On top of that, the jokes are insanely over the top. The jester character in this one dresses up like Michael Myers, has his girlfriends run out screaming during a manhunt for Michael Myers, and proceeds to try to stab them. The cops don't shoot because it would be a dark movie if they did. But then he continues to joke around like Michael Myers for a while. Gross, first of all. Then this also illustrates where the weaker elements of a movie are. The cops are meant to be slapstick jokey characters. I'm not going to mince words. There isn't anything funny about these characters. You want to make my hitlist for a movie? Do what Halloween 5 did. Put jokey music over unfunny scenes or scenes where someone fails to be funny. It makes the movie so much worse. The movie tries really hard to convince us that these moments are funny. They aren't. Having the fakeouts in conjunction with comedic characters that don't work just spell death for this movie. Pun intended.
Dr. Loomis is just all over the place with this movie. He comes up with really weird theories on how to defeat Michael Myers. I don't know if Donald Pleasence wanted out of the series (only to return in The Curse of Michael Myers), but it is really ambiguous if he survived this movie or not. Apparently he did, but it looks like he died. Man, Dr. Loomis and Michael Myers might be equally unkillable. But his plan at the end is such a half plan that I'm kind of surprised the movie ended that way. SPOILERS: Loomis abandons Michael in the woods with the entire police force to lure him to the Myers house. I kind of like the idea of making the final set piece where it all started. It's a trope that works. But that's the extent of the plan. There's no magic or sorcery that happens. Instead, he lightly Home Alone booby traps one room. That's it. He puts a metal net in one room. Not even Michael's room. Then it becomes this big trip through the house. And on top of that, Michael has apparently been decorating the house with corpses that no one seemed to notice. Going back to it all, it reminded me of Friday the 13th again. There's the shrine to Jason's mother and that's what's happening again. Why is all of this happening? Jamie crawls into a coffin to die? I don't get it. I mean, it works. But the house doesn't even contribute to the overall success of the plan. It just is there. Like, it's a great set piece. I get the creative why. But the narrative why doesn't make a lick of sense. Then there is the resolution. It is super cool. Michael has torn his way out of a police station. But he is like the Juggernaut in that scene. Why doesn't Michael act like that all of the time? It feels like a haunted house or a ride at Universal Studios. "Wander your way through the Haddonfield Police Station". Yeah, it's cool, but it doesn't exactly match the damage that Michael unleashes through the movie.
I'm almost done with with the really rough ones in the franchise. I hear that Resurrection is plain awful. But it is awful different, probably. I'm almost excited to review The Curse of Michael Myers because that movie stinks so hard, but is so '90s that I want to gag on a spoon.
R for being part of the Halloween franchise. There's all kinds of gore and violence. You'd think it was only one kind of gore, but there's all kinds of gore in this movie. There's stabbing gore. I think there's some crushing gore. People get 'sploded. As part of the 'sploding, there's some fire stuff. There's language and drinking and sex. There's some nudity that's not officially nudity, but it isn't doing any favors for your soul. A girl just walks around without pants for a chunk of the movie like that's okay. R.
DIRECTOR: Dwight H. Little
I did something really dumb. The first three movies are easy to remember what happened in each. The first Halloween is the first Halloween. Everything in it is iconic (except for that part that I thought I watched for the first time). Then there's Halloween II. Well, that's the hospital one. I could talk about that one for a while. Then Halloween III comes along and that has nothing to do with the other two. But Halloween 4? That's almost exactly like Halloween 5. I just finished watching Halloween 5 and now I can't remember much of what happened with Halloween 4. What I do remember is that I didn't hate Halloween 4 as much as I thought I would until I watched Halloween 5. Halloween 4 is a movie that establishes the false premise and the fakeout in the series and that makes everything a big pile of garbage.
Halloween 4, 5, and 6 (or The Curse of Michael Myers sans numeral) are the Jamie trilogy. I'm not talking about Jamie Lee Curtis. That would be awesome. Nah, they named the daughter of Laurie Strode "Jamie" as a means of paying homage to the actress of the first movie. Okay, I kind of like that. But that also means that Jamie dies a lame death. Okay, a lame death that would eventually get retconned so she could appear in H20 and Resurrection only to get reconned again for the upcoming Halloween release. It is all very confusing. But I'm still pre-retcon, so I should treat the movie as such. There's some good things happening in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and some things that are kind of troubling. The most important thing that 4 gets right is that it is simple...kind of. The narrative still surrounds Michael Myers terrorizing Haddonfield. Dr. Loomis is there. He's still bugged-out crazy. Sure, his burn keeps on changing. Sometimes, he has really intense burns. Sometimes, I feel like he doesn't have any burns at all. But he's just really an intense version of Dr. Loomis. Remember, this is the same guy who inadvertently got someone pancaked and 'sploded in Part 2. So when I say that he is coming off a bit strong, there's some context for that. Fundamentally, Halloween 4 is really just a continuation from Halloween. I know, everything comes back to Star Wars, but since there was that gap between the originals and the new ones, I'm sure that Halloween 4 was an attempt to win back fans. To a certain perspective (or as Star Wars would say, "from a certain point of view"), that was achieved.
But that's where things kind of go off the rails. I know, we can't have Laurie Strode in every movie. This definitely feels like Jamie Lee Curtis just wasn't interested in coming back for another Halloween sequel, especially one practically completely devoid of John Carpenter. I saw his name more on the other movies (even the ones he didn't direct) working in some capacity. I only saw his name attached to the "Halloween theme by" credit. The change has a little kid as the protagonist and, honestly, I don't care about Jamie. The one thing I liked about Halloween III is that it actually killed off kids. Nothing seemed too taboo. Halloween 4 is a bit precious with children. On top of that, Jamie is kind of like Dawn in Buffy Season 5. While I grew to love Dawn, there was an adjustment period to reconning a character. (I know that neither one is technically retconned, but spiritually, they are both very retconned.) Laurie's life primarily happened off screen. She died a horrible death (I already spoiled this for you that she didn't) and had a family. All of Jamie's trauma seems a little bit forced. We meet her already traumatized. I know, this makes me a bit of a soulless demon to complain about an orphan crying too much, but that's her only real defining trait because we never met her when it was normal. When a plot develops, we see what normal life is like. Jamie's character is already dealing with the plot when we meet her. Her life is plagued with nightmares involving the Boogeyman / Michael Myers. I know that Part 5 brings in the psychic connection between the two characters (*groan*), but it's also a complete mislead for an audience. We don't get to see Jamie normal. There are hints of normal, but her life is already terrible because she is tormented by the town for being the niece of Michael Myers. (Also, I know that kids are terrible, but it seems like the adults aren't that much better. Remember, Myers means "victim" because Michael likes targeting his family members. Yeah, I know I'm being way too logical for Halloween 4 and that the world is a messy place, but I have expectations, you know? Also, Michael Myers is her uncle, not her dad. Let's realize that not many of us are super judged for our uncles. ALSO, WHY IS SHE LIVING IN HADDONFIELD? There's no reason.
And now I'm mad. There's so many moments where I just had to question some choices. Oddly enough, there was one moment where everyone made the sensible decision and it still went poorly. I'm going to forget later on, so I want to talk about the right decision moment. SPOILER FOR THIRD ACT AND CONCLUSION OF THE FILM: The angry mob shows up to rescue Rachel and Jamie. They are really there to tear Michael apart. They already "Monsters are Due on Maple Street"ed a guy earlier and it looks like they're ready to get a jump on Michael at the elementary school. Cool beans. Jamie and Rachel say, "Let's get out of here" and I'm thinking that there was no way that was going to happen. But then they actually all say the sensible thing and say "Okay". I was flummoxed. Then the movie cheated and had Michael under the car. There's no way he got there in time. And this actually nicely translates into my diatribe about how some things would never have happened. Michael shows up in Haddonfield after escaping. Somehow, both he and Dr. Loomis survived through some pretty intense retconning. They got 'sploded and are now perfectly fine. Heck, Michael hasn't lost a step. I have that picture above of him covered in bandages. Do you know where he gets his mask? In a grocery store/pharmacy in Haddonfield! Nope. I refuse to believe that Haddonfield would sell that mask a decade from the time that there was a huge massacre involving that mask. Apparently, it was a popular seller because multiple people own that mask. Haddonfield is a world where cops don't shoot that quickly. I mean, good for them. We, as a society, could learn something from Haddonfield. I mean, it didn't work out very well for them, but you know, small victories. But WHY IS THAT PHARMACY SELLING THAT MASK? There's no reason those jerks should be alive. Also, is the Shatner mask so popular in Halloween universe? Michael shouldn't have found another mask like that in Illinois, let alone anywhere. It's bizarre enough that a kid had in it Halloween II and you saw how that turned out for him. But there are just so many bizarre choices and I don't know why any of them are happening. Remember when Dr. Loomis just dragged Jamie and Rachel to the school? He's really stuck on that plan. Is the school somehow fortified because it seems like a terrible place to hide out from Michael Myers. You know what is a good place? A straight line in any direction.
I keep forgetting to write about this, but I'm going to write about this now, despite that I am emotionally and spiritually empty right now. The last thing I want to be doing is writing this review, but everything seems overwhelming so I'm just going to power through. What is Michael's intelligence level? What is his dexterity? If we were to make a Michael Myers character sheet for a role-playing game, what would it be? Michael Myers has some Weeping Angels thing going on because he covers a lot of ground for someone who is so slow moving. When there is a camera on him or someone is looking at him, he walks Jason level slow. But this dude can bi-locate. He can be on a roof and chasing someone who fell. He will just be on the ground, slowly walking up to them when they look up. Nope. I call nope. Also, Michael can drive a car. He can navigate to Haddonfield wherever he is. I mean, I can give him supernatural homing. He's clearly drawn to this place and he has some kind of supernatural connection with things. Okay, I can go with that. After all, he never met Jamie and shouldn't really know that she exists. (I have a feeling some of this is going to be touched on in The Curse of Michael Myers.) But he is almost different people depending on what point of the movie we're in. Sometimes, he's really spry and intense. Other times, he's this lumbering husk of killing. It's really all over the place. The car thing is mind blowing. I can't ever imagine Jason driving a car. (Admittedly, Jason drowned in Camp Crystal Lake before getting his learner's permit, but Michael was institutionalized at age 6.) We all know the answer to this. Michael is a device for scariness. Whatever works to push the story forward, Michael can do that. He is also fairly unkillable and these movies really love having the film serial ending that kind of change the end to allow for the story to continue. Only in this case, the bad guy is the one who is never actually in peril as opposed to the heroes.
I'm not excited to finish 4-6. I have to write a review for Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers tomorrow and I have a feeling I'm going to be touching on a lot of the same points. But I also am planning on watching The Curse of Michael Myers. I remember that these were the movies that were constantly at Blockbuster and there were a million copies, so I watched them a few times. But my brain healed itself and took away all memory of these movies except for the fact that they weren't great. Anyway, I will try to be here tomorrow to write about a movie that is remarkably similar to this one.
The month of October is devoted to discussing EVIL! EEEEEVILLLLL! Or just scary movies. We discuss Hereditary, a movie that's actually pretty scary.
R for gross kid death. I take it back. There's one entry in the franchise that gets even weirder for its MPAA choices. This is about kid genocide and gross kid genocide to boot. There's nudity and a question about whether or not a relationship could be considered statutory rape. There's human gore and robot gore. Honestly, there's a lot going on here and it all deserves to be R-rated.
DIRECTOR: Tommy Lee Wallace
Oh man, is it possible to like a movie for five seconds worth of footage? Halloween III: Season of the Witch is hard to love. I know that there are die hard Season of the Witch fans, but man alive, there's some absolute stupidity going on. But then something happened and the absolute last shot of the movie was great. Like, it's honestly pretty amazing, especially considering how mediocre the rest of the film is. Can I say I liked a movie because it completely stuck the landing in my book?
There are movies where the end is better than the film as a whole. But usually, it is the final act that really sells the end. Maybe it's a solid resolution to a film that kind of makes you look at the whole thing in a new light. This is not that. This is literally a fantastic five second shot that completely wraps up the movie. LET'S JUST MAKE THIS SPOILER HEAVY: The movie does a silly misdirect and doesn't allow itself to rest on its laurels. It's pretty fantastic. The entire movie is about trying to shut down a television commercial before it kills the kids of America. A novelty company is trying to appease the old gods by selling masks that will kill kids if they watch a television commercial that is being broadcast nationwide at the same time. If they watch that commercial with their masks on, their heads will melt into snakes and bugs. It's really gross. It happens to a kid three-quarters of the way through the movie. Now, this seems like it is a lost cause. This doctor from po-dunk nowhere tries to stop the major networks from not showing this commercial once he escapes these Irish druids. If you could watch me watch this part, you would have seen my eyes roll back into my head. This guy couldn't convince his ex-wife not to show his kids this commercial, let alone convince the networks to remove this commercial because "they have to believe him." But this guy on the other end of the phone believes him. The commercials are interrupted just at the right moment with a "technical difficulties" problem. And I nearly lost it for copping out of the movie. Except that it only did that error message on two of the three networks. The kids kept changing the channel to the third channel that still broadcast the ad. How great is that? I'm not doing it justice. Season of the Witch fans, you know what I'm talking about. That ending is way better than this movie deserves. It teased us with a happy ending and then just pulled the rug out from us without warning. I'm used to the horror movie having the secretly evil ending. The guy gets up and it implies that he's going to kill everyone again. I'm used to that. But immediately after you think the protagonist has won? Good for you, Mr. Wallace. I'm sure you wrote this story with simply the ending and then worked backwards because that ending is fantastic. Also, extra points for making the victims kids. It took the taboo and made it the standard. (I'm not pro-killing kids. I just like the idea that a horror narrative doesn't create a safe space.)
But the movie is really dumb. Like, it's really bad. I'm not treading on new ground here. I'm going to get all list-y, so I apologize for the writing style that I'm normally trying to avoid. The plot is dumb and I'll get to that in a second, but the protagonist is the worst. I don't know what this movie was shooting for in terms of crafting the main character. Dr. Daniel Challis is an alcoholic womanizer, but we're supposed to be supporting that? It kind of felt like I was hanging out with members of my extended family who drink way too much and expecting me to support them with their drinking problems. There are jokes about how fun drinking is. Narratively, it explains why Challis isn't home with his kids and why his ex-wife doesn't believe him. Okay, but Wallace makes Challis's ex-wife look like the bad guy in every scene she is in. While most movies celebrate booze while secretly condemning it, this movie gives the message of "Yay, Booze" (or as in Jamaica, they say, "Hooray, Beer!") while making it inadvertently look really gross. But to make matters worse, Challis cheats on everyone constantly. I think every female character under the age of fifty sleeps with Challis. A) I'm sorry, Tom Atkins, but that doesn't scan. B) Are you trying to make Challis look like a bad guy. In my head, this is the James Bond mentality. The old guard used to think that, the more women that James Bond sleeps with, the cooler he comes across. But even that doesn't play in the classic Bond movies. Bond would seduce the female protagonist (I feel gross writing this) because he would develop a relationship with her. He may sleep with a villain after that, but usually to glean information or escape from some death trap. It's gross in both, but it's just completely botched in Season of the Witch. He keeps secrets of whom he is sleeping with from the other characters. I spent a long time trying to find out the name of the character who is doing his research. For some reason, I'm just not seeing her on IMDB, but he slaps her butt and kisses her. Then he sleeps with the daughter of the guy who just died. After they sleep together, he asks if she is old enough that it wouldn't be considered statutory rape. That's gross. The guy is clearly old enough to be her father. I'm surprised that isn't their cover story because that makes a lot more sense. Season of the Witch is kind of the pervy version of what someone takes away from a Bond movie. It's how James Bond would look like in real life, only the director isn't aware that is the joke. It's very weird. We're supposed to follow this guy into the destruction of this evil cult? No thank you.
The story is absolutely goofy. Honestly, it feels like something that came out of Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? That show was awesome, so I don't want to besmirch it while I talk about this, but the story is about Halloween masks that kill. Season of the Witch is the weirdest experiment I can think of. You know how some people say that some people say that a concept sounds dumb, but will be cooler in execution. Season of the Witch actually lives up to that plug, but that's not the best thing in the world. The movie is entrenched in 1982. It looks very 1982 and for some things, that's awesome. The gore effects and stuff like that look pretty rad. But this is also the era with the horrible lighting special effects. So the movie looks cool considering how dumb the actual plot is. It is the best version of a bad idea. Like, it checks off all of the boxes for just dumb ideas. I can never bring myself to read Christine because it just sounds silly. Killer Halloween masks are in the same camp. Then you add Stonehenge. Yup, Stonehenge makes a cameo. There's a weird Irish thing that is supposed to make sense, but attaching a shamrock to Halloween makes this seem like an evil St. Patrick's Day story. Also, this is so superficially covering what is actually believed that it almost comes across as insulting. When I wrote about They Live, I complained that Carpenter painted with wide strokes. Pretty much every character in here is an archetype. They all seem to be walking around without a wardrobe department to make them interesting an unique. The bad guy is the fake corporate dad type. Outside of the protagonist, who is also an archetype, but just extremely poorly executed, there isn't an original character in this movie. Why didn't a lot of this get stopped way beforehand? Now I'm going to seem petty, but there are just a billion plotholes that are just the worst. They do know that time zones exist, right? Is that why there is a horror movie marathon going on? They want to murder all these kids, but are kids really staying up to watch John Carpenter's Halloween? On top of that, the idea that every kid is buying the same three masks at Halloween? I guess Tickle-Me-Elmo existed for a while, but there's some part of your brain that you have to shut off to make this work.
But again, there are cool moments. I mean, a lady gets a hole shot through her face and bugs came out of it. A guy got his face broken open through the nose when a robot killed him. It's a weirdly gross movie for such a dumb concept. But you know what really rescues this movie besides the baller ending? It's only an hour-and-a-half. I can do horror that is an hour-and-a-half long. Yeah, it's phenomenally dumb, but I can also say that I didn't regret watching this for a second. I can't go as far as to say it was fun, but I do want to make Silver Shamrock jokes forever. But I can't stress this enough: You don't have to watch this movie. It has almost nothing to do with the Michael Myers entries of the Halloween movies (except for a Jamie Lee Curtis voiceover and television commercials for the other films). I think if you want decent '80s schlock, Season of the Witch can provide that. Otherwise, avo--WAITAMINUTE!
Why is it even called Season of the Witch? They got me!
I'm binging all of the Halloween movies before the new one comes out and for the podcast. Get ready to read a lot of the same MPAA warnings over-and-over. They're all going to be meta. First of all, Michael Myers is a serial killer who tends to decorate houses with people nailed to walls with kitchen knives. It's really gross. There's a lot of blood and more than a reasonable amount of sex and nudity within. There's teenage drinking. I love the idea that you were cool with everything else and then got wildly offended by teenage drinking, but who am I to judge? R.
DIRECTOR: John Carpenter
How? That's my big question. How? As in "How did I miss entire scenes of this movie?" I love the first Halloween movie. It might be my favorite slasher film. It's so good and I'm going to preach about this for a while. But I just started watching my 35th Anniversary edition of the blu-ray and I swear there was a scene that I've never seen before. I Googled it and I'm in the wrong. Apparently, there weren't any scenes added to this blu-ray, so I'm proud to say that I've watched this just the right amount of times. I still remembered the major moments, but I was completely surprised by some of the content. How great is that? The scene I'm talking about is when Dr. Loomis and the nurse pull up to the mental hospital and there are patients just wandering the grounds in the rain. Then Michael jumps on the roof of the car and starts attacking the nurse? That scene was awesome! How did I not remember this?
I tried convincing my wife that Halloween is a great franchise. I think I was basing that on having seen the first movie a whole bunch of times and seeing H20 a whole bunch of times. Then I also loved the Rob Zombie remakes and really was hoping that she would jump on board. This was early in our marriage and she really wanted to pretend that she liked what I liked. It's okay. I give her a ton of points for trying these movies. I know that these movies aren't for everyone. Horror movies, I suppose, really aren't for everyone. But Halloween's genius lies in its simplicity and tension. I'm trying to think about what makes the first Halloween movie work so well when other slasher movies, including most of the sequels, don't. There is always a complication with the other movies. One of my other favorite slasher movies is the first Friday the 13th because it is also extremely simple. But Friday the 13th adds the complication of having a mystery behind the killer and that it is set at Camp Crystal Lake. Haddonfield is meant to be Main Street, USA. I'm pretty sure that Freddy actually says in one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies that every town has an Elm Street. Mind you, the Nightmare mythology becomes extraordinarily tangled (like the sequels to Halloween) that we never really get to appreciate that the scary element of Halloween is that it just a piece of Americana. Michael Myers stalked the suburbs and killed without reason.
Now this brings something up that is really interesting. One of the best elements that is added to the Halloween mythos is that Laurie Strode is Michael's sister. It made Laurie special, especially knowing that she doesn't die until way later in the franchise in one of the more disrespected entries into the series. I reviewed Halloween IIa while ago for this blog and didn't particularly love it. But I watched parts 1 and 2 back-to-back and they work better as a set. Part II is the movie that reveals that Laurie is related to Michael. Watching the first movie, it's odd to think that this development wasn't part of the mythology the entire time. This brings me to an odd thought. Halloween is like Predator, the first one. We know very little about Michael Myers beyond what we absolutely need to know. We view the origin of Michael killing his sister as a little boy in a clown suit. We know that Dr. Loomis treated him for fifteen years. We know that he's evil because Loomis won't shut up about it. But that's it. There's a bunch of questions that this movie asks but has no intention of answering. It's really odd because Michael takes some damage in this movie. I'm thinking about how villains become stronger in sequels, but Michael straight up gets wrecked in this film without any explanation of how he survives. If you shut your brain off, you could say that the human body is extraordinarily resilient and we don't know the extent of injury that Michael Myers receives. But I like this so much. I normally like when the villain has limits. Again, I've established my hypocrisy throughout this blog because sometimes it matters to me, sometimes it doesn't. But there are little hints to the greater mythology of Michael Myers. The headstone in the bed is this big red flag that just adds layers to the revelation in part II.
I don't like the sex stuff. There, I said it. There was an unwritten rule that slasher / horror movies had to have drugs, drinking, and sex in them. Scream addresses this outright. These movies act like backwards morality plays. Those who indulge in vice and sexuality are punished for their crimes by being victims of the serial killer. The thing is, why is this a thing? The movies clearly are exploitative of the sex stuff. Is this an attempt to avoid parental wrath? Laurie is wholesome and innocent and survives (sorry, but she's going to be in either the foreground or the background of a lot of these movies). Do we need multiple franchises that exploit sex to sell tickets? The thing about Halloween is that the sex is incidental. I'm still saying that I like Halloween as the best slasher movie, but the sex is fundamental to the narrative of Friday the 13th. (It doesn't need to be in Friday the 13th either, but at least there's an odd narrative justification for it.) This is the opening of the film, but Michael kills his topless sister after she slept with her boyfriend. From Michael's perspective, there shouldn't be anything sexual going on there. Is her sin the motivation for his murder? That doesn't really gel with what Loomis says about Michael. Michael is almost a force of nature according to Loomis. He kills without regard and without conscience. He doesn't even really seem to enjoy it. Loomis stresses that Michael is the manifestation of evil and that is why he kills, but what does that have to do with sex. I remember parts 4-6 being absolutely terrible films, but I'm kind of interested to see what they tell me about Michael's motivations. They have to explore that, right? I'm sure there's going to be talk about cults and opening doors to Hell and whatnot. I kind of remember something like that. But I kind of want to know. Regardless, it gives Donald Pleasance a lot to work with. I love Loomis so much. I know that he somehow returns for some of the later movies. But he is such a ridiculous and over-the-top character. I don't know why having a Michael-Hunter makes the movie so good, but it really does.
Halloween will always be one of my favorite scary movies. Probably, by today's standards, it would be considered pretty slow. But slow is so great. I don't want or need a high body count in this movie. Rather, I like that I get to know the characters by the end of this film. I know that this makes me sound like a sociopath, but connecting to those characters makes them interesting. Yeah, they tend to throw their personalities in the trash the second temptation rears its ugly head, but the movie is overall pretty satisfying. I can't wait to discover some new scenes in a few years, anyway.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.