Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween 6 (1995)

This may end up being one of my most controversial reviews, and I look forward to the reader response. HALLOWEEN 6 is easily the best Myers sequel (excluding SEASON OF THE WITCH). It is dark, mean spirited, and downright evil. There is not a single moment of light-heartedness. No one is getting ice cream, no one is going trick 'r treating, no one is going on a date. From start to finish, it is a complete downer.

The film starts with Jamie fleeing for her life and the life of her newborn, as her killer uncle Michael Myers returns to finish what he started in the previous films. From here, the film delves into a sinister mythology behind Michael's madness and the ancient forces that have harbored his longevity. Unlike the sequels preceding it, where Michael had no other motive than to just kill his family, this entry gives purpose and meaning behind the bloodshed. Now, I'm not saying that this was the most profound background or even the best move for the series, but after three sequels of stalk and chase with no character development for the killer, it was refreshing to see an attempt on something original. I respect the original for leaving Michael shrouded in darkness, but that had been done. I enjoyed having this 'alternate-reality' Michael driven by an ancient druidic curse.

There are so many frightening shots and scenes in this film that I still get nervous watching it every time I see it. Favorite scenes include:

-Michael violently throwing a girl on to a wheat shredder, then outstretching his hands to help her, only to shove her deeper down the blades and activating the machine to eviscerate her.
-A young girl dressed as a princess dancing under a tree, inquisitively saying "Mommy.. It's raining.. It's raining red.." as the blood from one of Michael's victims rains down upon her.

Stark contrasts make Michael burst out of the black voids and into atmospheric blue filters and fog-laden sets. Michael's demeanor is much more fluid and uninhibited in this entry, which is a thankful change from the rigid and robotic Shape that appeared in the 4th and 5th installments. George Wilbur carries the character with conviction; His portrayal of Michael is entirely sure of himself, he is in complete control of his actions, and it is clear that he enjoys his work.

Really, there are no other likable characters in the entire film. After a brief cameo by Jamie in the opening scene, the remaining cast from the two previous films are removed entirely with the exception of Dr. Loomis. Tommy Doyle, the young boy being babysat in the original, reprises his role as a creepy and obsessed teen bent on destroying Myers. The lead protagonist Kara is never portrayed as a strong, independent female presence or final girl, but rather as a subjugated and struggling single mother living beneath her abusive stepfather. The remaining cast members only serve as filler to keep the blood pouring as the plot is slowly revealed.

Whereas the deaths of the 4th and 5th installments felt stilted and lacked any significant punch, the killings here deliver much more impact and are downright brutal. This is easily the bloodiest of any in the series, and though it is far removed from the subtle scares of the original, it is infinitely more terrifying and gory than the entries that came before or after it.

Any true HALLOWEEN fan knows that two significantly different cuts of the film were created, though one has never received an official release. Many claim that the reason for the incoherent plot points in CURSE are a result of rough edits forced upon the film, and that the so-called "Producer's Cut" (PC) is the more intact and sensible of the two versions. Having seen both of them, I can tell you that both versions are inherently flawed, and while there are aspects of each that succeed, neither version is complete. The PC offers integral plotting points regarding the curse of Thorn and the passing of the curse that were removed from the Theatrical release, however it also severely cripples many of the stronger gore scenes. For the large majority of HALLOWEEN fans that hate this entry, there is no reason to seek out the PC, since it will only serve to piss you off even further, however the few of you that enjoy this film for the same reasons as I do must find themselves a copy to sew together many of the loose ends that were left open-ended in the Theatrical release.

I can literally talk about how much I like this god damned piece of shit movie for hours, but I couldn't claim to be an objective viewer if I didn't speak on the film's flaws. Because of the editing mentioned above, the fucking thing doesn't make a damn bit of sense unless you go into it with the background knowledge of the events that occur in the PC version of the film. While the acting isn't atrocious, the lack of any continuous characters brought over from the previous films forces fans that enjoyed the character arches in 4 and 5 to side with a new group of characters that fail to reach the intensity or closeness that the audience shared with Jamie and Rachel or Laurie before them. Obviously, the mystery that many people enjoyed in Michael's mindless rampage is dispelled here, which many fans whole-heartedly object to. There are also a few deaths that were sure to absolutely piss the hardcore Halloweeners off, since they really do not do the characters justice (and are actually pretty insulting send-offs).

I will cut it at that. Despite its flaws, I love this film. Love it. It scares me like few films do. It is a bad film, but one that I feel gets a much worse wrap than it deserves.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 9/10.
Gore: 8/10.
Number of views: 12.



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7 comments:

  1. I don't know. While there are some scary/dark moments, I am left more confused and "lost" watching this one. But, I have never seen the Producer's Cut, so who knows. I may like that version!

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  2. I had this HUGE review of my own written right here, and then got weirded out cus I don't like making long drawn out comments.:)

    Love/hate thing that I have going with this movie. Script is weak, story line is "LAWL" and completely unnecessary. Character of Kara makes me want to punch someone in the head. Her kid was an unnecessary character who didn't even die to entertain me. DEath scenes all rock, love Tommy Doyle being a complete weirdo and LOVE LOVE LOVE the creepy old woman.

    I love it because it's Halloween, hate it because I've hated everthing post 4, mostly.

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  3. Damn would have loved to read the rest of your thoughts!

    *SPOILERS AHEAD*
    The role of Kara's child is the most cropped part of the Theatrical release; in the PC, the kid is set to take over the curse of Thorn once Michael has finished his duties and killed everyone in his family. Michael would then take on the role of Wynn as the protector who must look after the new evil avatar while he begins purging his family in the pagan cleansing to protect the rest of the families in the coven. All of this is lost in the Theatrical release, making the scenes with the kid having nightmares and almost stabbing his dad irrelevant.
    *END SPOILERS*

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  4. Oh man, see that?! I need to buy the PC version, then. Ty for the spoilers! I'll be posting a better review of what I thought of it when I do my marathon nights. Two are scheduled. I'll bet you can guess which two marathons are coming.:)

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  5. I too have a love/hate relationship with this movie. There are lots of things I love about it (the beginning scene in the hospital, all of the dark tones, the explanation of who Michael Myers is, the whole feel of the film and the ending) but there were many flaws (Paul Rudd's way over the top performance, Kara and her kid, toss off death of Jamie in the beginning). It's a fun movie though and I plan on watching it again this year.

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  6. Thank you Carl! I've always loved this Halloween because it is so dark and raw. I think it's the scariest one of them all since the original. Giving Michael a motive may betray Carpenter's original vision, but I'm not going to let that stand in the way of my entertainment. Plus, I think people can do what they want with sequels once it gets to number 6.

    There is something distinctly mid-90's about this movie as well. Kind of like The Crow, there's this brooding realism behind fantastical events that I really love.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there with this one. Good to know I'm not the only one with similar feelings.

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  7. Im just amazed that more people didnt disagree, I thought this entry was universally considered to be the death of the series, whereas I feel 5 and 8 are the extreme low points. The love/hate relationship many of you share is absolutely warranted, since there were too many conflicts of interest during the making of the film, but I only expected hate/hate.

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