31 Days of Halloween – Day 31
The Halloween Series(1978-2002)
Happy Halloween, everyone!
As you could have all probably guessed, I was saving this series for last. Though not every film in this series is great or even good, I have to give honor to what John Carpenter and Debra Hill created back in the day. This review will, like my other serial reviews, put the 8 non-remake films in order from least to best in my opinion.
#8 – Halloween Resurrection(2002)
This poster should tell you everything you need to know about this film. Tyra Banks? Busta Rhymes? Umm, what in the heck is going on? Why would Jamie Lee Curtis even agree to be in a film like this? **Spoiler Alert** Well, after some research, she mentioned that the only way she would agree to be in this film is if they were to finally, and forever, kill off the character of Lori Strode since killing her brother in the prior film didn’t work. Which they do in the first 10 minutes of the film. Says something about what this film ended up being. A cash grab on an established franchise. It tried too hard to bring Michael into the “new age” by centering the story around the then new media style of reality tv. It was a sad ending to the “original” series and the Jamie Lee Curtis series.
#7 – Halloween 6 – The Curse of Michael Myers(1995)
I cannot, for the life of me understand what the film makers were trying to come up with when they wrote this film. I guess they were going for the ultimate “why” Michael is so violent and wants to hunt down his family members? So they concocted this weird astrological back story and that Michael is being controlled by some ancient cult group. Why? Who knows. Be aware there are two versions of this movie. There was the theatrical release and then there is what is now known as the Producers Cut of the film. The Producers cut of the film went WAY deep on the whole “curse” side of things. Which is why the theatrical version suffered so much. The studio couldn’t make heads or tails of what was going on in the Producers cut and had to re-shoot a lot of the film to add more kills as well as change the ending. Needless to say, it isn’t all bad. This is the last time we get to see Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis in a Halloween film as he died shortly after the completion of this film. This film might be entirely better if they just used some other faceless killer in this film instead of Michael Myers.
#6 – Halloween 5 – The Revenge of Michael Myers(1989)
By this time in the series, instead of focusing on Lori Strode, we are now focusing on her daughter, Jamie Lloyd who may become the next Michael Myers. It was a great concept from part four that was just simply thrown away in this film for more mayhem and violence. Which was unfortunate since I thought that premise was a great unique twist. However, we spend this film centering around some clueless high schoolers who end going the way that most do in films like this. This film isn’t awful but I guess I ranked it lower just because it wasted an opportunity to really change the film up and bring new life into a series that was starting to get tired around the edges.
#5 – Halloween 4 – The Return of Michael Myers(1988)
After the brief hiatus that Halloween III was, audiences wanted our white faced killer to return. In a big way. It introduces us to Jamie Lloyd, daughter of Lori Strode who is now got the attention of her Uncle Michael and must do what she can to evade his killer grasp. Dr. Loomis is also back ready to help her deal with him. I thought this film was pretty a decent entry in the series. Danielle Harris, as Jamie, was a great new addition in this film and she was easy to root for. It expanded on the universe just a bit and overall, had some really good tension in it.
#4 – Halloween III – Season of the Witch(1982)
This movie gets a lot of crap from fans. I get it. I understand. Your favorite psycho killer is not in a movie with Halloween in the title. However, if you take a step back and simply look at this film as a horror film, independent of the Haddonfield stories, then this is a decent entry into the Halloween genre. In interviews, John Carpenter has always stated that Halloween was meant to be a series of anthology films. Every year, a new, different story centered around the holiday would take place. It is a bold concept and one that could have really been done well. Think about a horror themed version of the Twilight Zone in film form. The possibilities are endless. So from that perspective, I thought this film was a lot of fun. Do I still like Michael Myers as the butcher knife wielding killer? Of course, but I can appreciate what they tried to go back in 1982.
#3 – Halloween H2O: Twenty Years Later(1998)
Let me start by saying I HATE the name of this movie. Some clever marketing exec probably thought they were being funny. It just sounds dumb. Anyway, this is Lori Strode’s opus. This is the film where she is able to put her demons behind her and finally confront her brother twenty years later. It is the first time Jamie Lee Curtis has played Lori since Halloween 2 with 4 films in between. Again, through interviews, the only way she agreed to do this film was if she was able to actually kill off the character of Michael Myers. They agreed but of course omitted the fact that any maker of a Halloween film must agree to the fact that Michael Myers can never die. No matter what. Oh well. Regardless, this film really breathes some great life into the original trilogy. Similar to what Wes Craven did for his Nightmare series, we get a great new take on the Halloween universe and it adds a lot to the series. This film is worth it for the final fight between Lori and Michael. It has some great action and tension. It was a sequel that was done right.
#2 – Halloween 2(1981)
After the success of the original Halloween, the film studios wanted to rush another one out. They also wanted John Carpenter back but he was hoping to move into other territories. However, he did agree to collaborate with Debra Hill once again and wrote this movie. The great thing about this film is that it takes the very same night as the original. It adds an almost maniacal quality if watched back to back. Unfortunately, the story does suffer a bit since they don’t really have to do any set up and just have to keep the body count racked up. Though it isn’t prefect, this is a great sequel to the original.
#1 – Halloween(1979)
As if you didn’t know that I would rank this film at the top. I have spoken about it often and this is BY FAR my favorite horror film in ANY genre. It is the perfect horror film. I have seen plenty of interviews with John Carpenter about how this film came to be and his attitude is pretty ambivalent about it all. He shrugs his shoulders a lot and hoped it would let him direct more movies. To him, it was just a job. I guess he underestimated his fans. As a matter of fact, it was just by chance that this film was even called Halloween. Originally, it was to be called the Babysitter Killings but when they realized that there were no prior movies that were simply called Halloween, they changed the name and the rest is history. That history is a lot as well. From the opening steadicam shot(which was in its infancy then) to the innocent final girl, Halloween created some of the most used and iconic slasher horror film tropes that are still used to this day. It spawned a LOAD of horror movies to be made in the 80’s. All were looking to take the Halloween crown. Some got very close but in my opinion, this original classic will never be topped. There are so many memorable things about this film, I don’t think that I can list them here. Needless to say, this film encapsulates the season in a very distinct and unique way. It is a must watch for any horror fan and is the perfect Halloween horror film.