Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is commonly noted as being a terrible film. Known for its troubled production, which included re-shoots, cuts and arrangements made in the editing room that resulted in cast and crew members disowning the film altogether, the sixth installment would eventually release The Producer’s Cut, which has since gained a cult following and is generally considered to be the better film. While that’s undeniably the superior version of Curse, I’m in the minority of people who feels that Halloween 6 stands as a great addition to the franchise, even without it. Why?
Because it’s goddamn terrifying.
I cannot argue that the final version of the film lacks a cohesive narrative, but if you can forgive the fact that the SIXTH INSTALLMENT OF A SLASHER FRANCHISE doesn’t make much sense (rolls eyes with ample shade), then you’ll find a film that presents viewers with the scariest version of Michael Myers we’ve ever seen.
The unflinching brutality of Michael is evident in the opening sequence. Whereas in other films, it feels like Michael Myers kills folks simply because he’s Michael Myers and that’s what he does, Halloween 6 showcases a purposed and scarily determined Michael unlike anything we’d seen in the series. Our introduction to Michael in the film sees our villain appearing from the shadows- one of the most effective horror images that I remember terrifying me as a child- grabbing a midwife by the throat, and slamming her head into a spike. Check it out here. If that wasn’t enough of a warning as to the ultra-violent Michael we’re dealing with, he twists a goddamn head off shortly after.
In more ways than one, Halloween 6 draws comparisons to John Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece. That’s not to say it’s nearly as great, just to point out the parallels between the two. Relatives of Laurie Strode are living in the Myers house, most notably Kara and her impressionable young outcast son, a la Tommy Doyle. Speaking of Tommy, he’s all grown up now and totally obsessed with the evilness and motives of Michael Myers. After Michael disposes of Jamie- the lead protagonist of the previous two Halloween entries– in a frightening barn scene, he returns to Haddonfield with the intent of collecting Jamie’s baby, picking off members of the Strode family in the process- and it’s up to Tommy and Dr. Loomis to keep them safe.
Again, these kills appear especially terrifying and brutal because of Michael’s purpose and determination. He’s going to get the baby, and we feel as though there’s nothing anyone can do to stop him. For especially violent proof, see this head explosion.
The plot culminates in a finale that takes place in Smith’s Grove- a familiar location for fans of the franchise- and is, for my money, the most terrifying sequence of the entire film series. Tommy waking up in the sanitarium and attempting to break down the door to rescue Kara while being pursued by Michael is a nerve-racking exercise in “oh shit” terror, and the subsequent hospital chase that follows is my literal nightmare. You’ve seen Michael Myers roam hallways before, but never with the intense pep in his step brought to you by Halloween 6.
Though Tommy “defeats” Michael and impressively saves Kara, her son, and Jamie’s baby (did you expect anything less of Paul Rudd?), the viewer gets the sense that a determined evil such as Michael Myers cannot truly be defeated- a feeling that’s justified by the screams of Dr. Loomis prior to that great Brother Cane song playing over the credits. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is hella flawed; that cannot be denied. But it’s also scary as hell, and don’t you dare say otherwise.
Which Halloween film features your favorite Michael Myers? Let us know in the comments and on social media!