by Jim Foote
As we do on The List, I'll be going in descending order, worst to best. This time, I'm lucky enough to have a perfect ten count. The pool of flicks is as follows: Halloween, Halloween 2, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Halloween: Resurrection, and yes... both Rob Zombie's Halloween and Halloween II.
So first, get your picks together and see if they match up. If they don't, tell me what I got wrong, what you would've done, etc. It's a team sport! Luckily, a lot of the flicks were running on AMC, and I was able to fill in the blanks with the dvds in my possession.
I was just straight up chillin'. (Hit the 'read more' to start the countdown!)
10. Halloween II (2009)
And Sherri Moon Zombie plays Michael's mother, who appears with a white horse because... well because fuck you, fuck me, fuck all of us. This is bottom of the barrel.
9. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Other than that, it's up and down, all around. We even get Michael being broken out of prison by some mysterious guy in black, some explosions, and credits. It's completely disjointed and pulled in every direction possible.
8. Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007)
I hate unnecessary origin stories. You don't need them. Leatherface doesn't need one. Michael Myers doesn't need one. Jason Voorhees had a paper thin one that was just enough. But now, we live in an age where every character needs an origin and some backstory. Here, we get this kid. Does he look familiar? Well, if you've ever seen the Will Smith flick Hancock, he's the bully who Smith throws up into the sky. That's supposed to be your Michael Myers. What made the original so good is Michael was pretty much the shark in Jaws. There was no reasoning, no civility, just death. When he was coming, be somewhere else.
Here, we get no real likeable characters. All of the innocence was gone and replaced with Skynyrd fans.
7. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
1. Tyra Banks dies. I think she dies. She dies, right? Either that or they just got tired of shooting her.
2. Catfishing before there was Catfish.
3. The cast includes the guy from Save The Last Dance, girl from Battlestar Galactica, and Henry Rowengunner... Rowsenburger... umm... the kid from Rookie of the Year and American Pie.
4. Busta Rhymes is a karate fan (and maybe expert?).
5. Jamie Lee Curtis actually puts Michael over (wrestling term).
It plays like the Adam West version of Batman. It was 2002, no one took Michael Myers seriously, so they went full retard and just had fun with it. Plus, it has one of the best lines in cinema history. Let me show you. Go to 30 seconds in if you want to go straight there.
6. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
We do welcome acting juggernaut Paul Stephen Rudd to the game, and sadly say farewell to Donald Pleasence after the completion of this one. The character of Jamie is killed off pretty early, played by a different actress altogether than the little girl from Parts 4 and 5. It's a bit uneven, but you get a feeling they tried more than they have with any of the other sequels.
There was an alternate ending... alternate movie really. The Producer's Cut, Halloween 666, can be found at various conventions. In it, they force the pregnancy of Jamie (the cult does) and I think somehow they make it so that Michael got her pregnant. That's left a bit ambiguous but that is the point of wonder on the internet. The alternate ending has Loomis tricked into receiving the curse, while Michael gets away without his mask. Personally, I prefer the released version. The alternate tries to do too much and winds up falling over itself. I've attached the alternate ending in case you want to take a peek.
5. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
Part 4 is a pretty decent flick. At the beginning, Michael is in a coma after the explosion from part 2. Once he hears he has a niece, he Undertaker's himself up and is off to the races. The thing with Part 4 is it gets lost in the shuffle almost all the time. It was the transitional period from the good flicks to the weird ones.
The characters are mostly likeable here, and Loomis hasn't yet resorted to setting traps for Michael. The only reason it doesn't rank higher is the questionable ending. Somehow via either the passing on of Michael's "powers" or just sheer trauma, Jamie stabs her stepmother. Doesn't kill her, but stabs her still. Loomis DOES, for a moment, try to get a shot off at her. Imagine how that would've ended. Jamie kills her stepmother and Loomis shoots her down.
I know. Your reaction to that is the same as that picture of Michael. As for the mask, it does look creepy in its own right. Plus, it would make sense he would have to find a different mask. The entire sequence of the friends and family stuck in the house alone with Michael as he runs through them one by one is pretty boss, though. After all, he crushes one of the guys from Dazed and Confused's heads.
4. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
The movie's almost caught in a weird spot. It's as if at times, it doesn't know what it wants to be. It plays like a direct sequel, especially in feel, to the original. At the same time, it feels like just another one of the bunch of Scream rip-offs. It suffers a little bit, but it's still pretty fun to see Jamie Lee Curtis back in the saddle again. Also, people fault Resurrection for putting a rapper in the franchise, but you get LL Cool J here first. Take that.
For what it's worth, the ending here gave the best possible ending to the whole story. Instead, they just brought it back and fucked up your perfect ending. Damn you, Akkad!
Fun Fact: The next movie my father took me to was Reindeer Games. So, let's call it a .500 batting average.
3. Halloween II (1981)
I always loved the hospital setting. Think about it for a moment. You're supposed to be safe at the hospital, being taken care of at the hospital, fully trusting and vulnerable at the hospital. Nope. Not this time. Michael shows up and quickly dispatches most of the staff, even the hot chick in the hot tub.
Although removed a few years from the original, this sequel manages to keep the same tone, look, and overall feel of the first. Not many movies can pull that off, especially in the horror genre.
The ending is a true showdown, with Loomis stopping at nothing to rid everyone of Michael. You think Loomis dies in the explosion here, but eventually he does return. Ahh, just thinking about it makes me want to pop in the dvd again.
2. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
Tom Atkins is at his all-time best here, trying to stop an evil corporation from releasing the macabre aspects of Samhain via witchcraft, through masks like the one you see above. The masks are triggered by the commercial/song of Silver Shamrock. Once it's triggered, it basically... well... I don't know what it really does. All I know is that the person collapses, dies, and the mask disintegrates into bugs, beetles, etc. It's disgusting and brutal, yet I love it.
That's one thing this movie isn't afraid to die is kill kids. In a horror movie, I believe you have to raise real stakes for the characters and world involved. When a child shows up, there's no way they're up for grabs on the chopping block. Here, they are and they're pretty much screwed.
The best part is the ending. I won't spoil it just in case you haven't seen it. I realize it's been over 30 years, but you seriously need to check this out. It's worth it.
1. Halloween (1978)
This is a perfect film. John Carpenter. Donald Pleasence. Jamie Lee Curtis. The Music. The tone. The feel. It all works. Also, there is no one drop of blood in this movie. If you're lucky, you can maybe make out some through the mask at the beginning. The kills are especially brutal. Let's go through them.
1. Michael kills his sister by repeatedly stabbing her.
2. Strangles friend 1 from backseat of car.
3. Strangles friend 2 with telephone cord.
4. Stabs boyfriend of friend 2 and sticks on wall.
The boyfriend's fate is especially strategic because it's all done in the dark with shadows. You don't see the knife go in, any blood spurting out, or the more graphic and gory horror we experience now. Instead it's done with heavy breathing, poignant score, and the visual of Michael tilting his head at the boyfriend's dead body. That's why it works so well. It's not about a character who needs to rip you in half and play with your insides. He just wants to kill you. It doesn't matter how he does it or how it looks. If you're dead, he's golden.
I can keep writing about this film and can't stop saying positive things about it, but we need to wrap this up. Bottom line, Michael Myers is on the Mount Rushmore of horror villains. The first Halloween is easily in the top ten horror movies of all time and stands the test of time. It's a franchise that will always have whispers of another sequel or reboot and will always have trick or treaters walking around in that jumpsuit and William Shatner mask.
Yes. It's a William Shatner mask.