Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Halloween Films from Worst to First

So I haven't really been feeling the October mood just yet. I don't know why. Probably because while so many people will be having fun on Halloween, I will be stuck at work enduring the much-dreaded $0.50 corndog day (only at participating Sonics). Although I hope I won't be stuck on night shift. I hate working normal nights so I'd rather avoid "special nights" if I can help it. Anyway, enough about that. It's time to start having some Halloween festivities around here! So why not a worst to first list about everyone's favorite boogeyman? 

10. Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers - There are a few things I like about this movie. I like the production. I like the idea of the Strodes moving into the Myers house. I have no idea how anyone could possibly be that stupid, but it makes for an interesting scenario assuming that Michael Myers comes back to his home turf again. And what do you know? This time Michael has come back with a bunch of insane druids who want Jamie's baby for some apparently fucked up reason. Ummm... I'm sorry? Seriously. I kind of get the plot of Rob Zombie's Halloween II; that's why that one ranks higher. At least the story there seemed more reasonable even if the story still kind of sucked. But this? If not for Donald Pleasence I wouldn't even bother with this movie at all.

09. Rob Zombie's Halloween II - I dig some Zombie, but this film is a mess. I mean, I wanted to like it. There was a certain original flair about it that was admirable, I guess. But this movie just doesn't quite cut it. Had there been a more coherent plot and less surrealism it would have been a bit more palatable. 

08. Halloween: Resurrection - Yes, my friends. Apparently, the appearance of a rapper in H20 was such a success that they chose another rapper for its sequel. This time it was Busta Rhymes. Because when I think horror I certainly think Busta Rhymes. At least LL Cool J could act! Add in some Big Brother-style plot device, a hokey explanation for Michael's survival that would fit in perfectly with the Friday the 13th franchise, and the killing off of the only character that anyone cared about outside of Loomis or Jamie and you have this piece of shit.

07. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers - So if you've gotten into the story this far then you are either a huge fan or someone who has too much time on their hands. I'm not sure which I am. Stylistically, this movie isn't much different from the fourth one, but the movie becomes borderline unwatchable with all of this Jamie-Michael psychic connection stuff. And the guy running around in black that rescues Michael Myers at the end... I mean, someone actually planned a cliffhanger to segue to the godawful sixth movie?! Drugs and greed at work, folks. Stay away from them.

06. Halloween III: Season of the Witch - I actually kind of like this movie. It ain't exactly great, but it's different. There's only so many times I can watch Michael Myers get shot or stab babysitters. Although we do have a few androids. 

05. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers - Michael meets the late 80's. This is the last coherent and largely enjoyable Michael Myers movie until H20. Well, the ending makes absolutely no sense at all so there's some serious points knocked for that, but overall the movie is okay and crazy druid-free.

04. Rob Zombie's Halloween - Yeah, I dig this movie. Objectively speaking, Michael Myers is transformed from shapeless evil to tall stinky redneck with a bad childhood, but hey, at least there aren't any crazy druids or shit like that. No samhain talk. If you honestly think this movie is one of the worst in the franchise then you obviously haven't seen any of the movies in this franchise. The film isn't perfect and it isn't the original but it is good and mostly competently made. It is kinda like a modern day Edward Lee novel with more swearing, though. Which might or might not be your thing.

03. Halloween II - The original sequel. The original bloodier ripoff with a higher body count and sillier kills. Here we are introduced to the pandora's box of all horror movie plotlines: Laurie is Michael's sister! It's an enjoyable enough movie, but it hasn't quite aged so well in my eyes. Expanding the setting to cover an entire hospital (magically devoid of more than five people, of course) and half the town (whose townspeople were conveniently rioting at the Myers house) just didn't quite get across that unnerving sense of isolationism and dread that the first one did. Hospitals have the potential to be creepy and scary places, but the environment is just too aesthetically neutral and sterile to make the feeling stick for an hour and a half. Plus Rick Rosenthal just doesn't have the same skills as a director that Carpenter does. Rosenthal proved that with this film and then further reinforced that notion when he returned to the world of Myers with Halloween: Resurrection.

02. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later - This is the final Halloween movie in the original canon and I don't care if reality says otherwise. It essentially skips all of the previous movies, smartly pretending that they never happened, and reunites us with one of the few characters in this series with which we deserved to be reunited. Having Janet Leigh make a cameo appearance is also a huge bonus. It is unfortunate John Carpenter could not return for this one, but having Steve Miner direct is the next best thing. The involvement of Kevin Williamson is also a big plus.

01. Halloween - Michael Myers was my own personal boogeyman growing up. I was in third grade when I watched the first film with my parents and my mind was blown. Pure unadulterated fear followed by the inability to sleep without a night light on for about three months. Ah, I miss that. Does that make me weird? Well, probably. And it's probably not the only thing, either. The impression Michael Myers made in his debut outing on my brain can still be felt to this day and nothing has managed to fill that impression, either. If anything, it's only been expanded upon by the discovery of other great horror films and books. Naturally, I watched all of the other films in the franchise after that (hence this silly list), but none of them managed to convey that sense of pure terror I got from watching Michael lose his shit in the first film.


1 comment:

  1. I haven't bothered with some of these but I'm with you on the top 3 and I actually liked Halloween III although most people shit on it. If I'm remembering things right, John Carpenter or one of his posse wrote this and they were planning on doing a different Halloween movie every year with different characters and stories instead of sequels. I think naming it Halloween III was the big error. The movie is decent (although it's been years since I've seen it - so my opinion may be different nowadays).