After the non-event that was the previous Halloween installment bafflingly left more questions than answers, fans clamoured for a sixth entry to clear up some of the many plot threads left blowing loose in the October breeze. After all, Halloween 5 ended on quite the audacious (read: sloppy) cliffhanger with a finally subdued Michael Myers, seemingly beaten, languishing in a jail cell, only to be sprung by a machine gun toting, cowboy boot wearing, shadowy man in black. The final shot of the film involved Michael’s niece and child nemesis Jamie, standing in the ruins of the cell block, weeping as the film cruelly cut to black with no clue as to what the hell went on and why exactly Myers was suddenly sporting the tattoo of a druid symbol on his wrist.
Well, all those fans needn’t have bothered waiting, because Miramax’s belated (and bloated) follow up is more of an incoherent mess that the 5th film was, while still making more of the same mistakes. The victims are still excruciatingly annoying, the kills are edited into utter oblivion and Michael himself is now apparently less a shadowy force of nature and more a hitman for a druid cult with designs on a missing baby.
The plot, or what remains of it after extensive reshoots by the studio, involves a heavily pregnant Jamie (now confusingly played by a different actress) escaping after years of captivity at the hands of those druids I just mentioned and fleeing to have her child in a truck stop rest room. Abandoning the child in order to lead a pursuing Myers away she is killed and the baby is eventually found by Tommy Doyle, a reclusive weirdo who has been obsessed with the multiple murderer’s killing spree since witnessing his original rampage as a adolescent. He’s also played by a very young and VERY twitchy Paul Rudd, overacting to the point of distraction and his unexpected presence repeatedly takes you out of the film because it’s impossible to process the infomation that you’re actually watching Paul Rudd in a Halloween movie.
Menwhile, an off-puttingly awful strand of the Strode family (who might as well all be wearing matching t-shirts that read: I’m With Murdered) has moved into the old Myers house and proceed to waste no time in getting their irritanting dysfunction over everything with the dad being a brutish thug, the mum being a whimpering mouse and the son only wants to tackle issues with his naggy, political girlfriend in order to get laid. Only the estranged, older daughter is worth a damn, only recently back with her odious brood while trying to raise an illegitimate child. She and her creepy kid team up with Doyle to save the baby from the confusing druid plot and stay one step ahead of a apparently directionless killer.
Speaking of directionless… In case we’re in danger of forgetting what kind of film we are watching, a rampaging Michael, still on a baby grabbing mission, turns up just in time for Halloween to crash a Howard Stern-style live radio broadcast and murder people in ridiculously over-the-top ways that increasingly miss the point of the super-subtle original. For example, impaling someone with a crowbar into a junction box will not electrocute them until their head exploded like a pinata stuffed with C-4, and yet here we are…
Failing hard at being a decent slasher flick, being remotely scary, or even managing to wrap up a single one of those part 5 plot threads in a way that’s remotely satisfying, Halloween 6 proves to be a major low point for the series and succeeded in burying this particular timeline for good in favour of H-20’s reboot. It’s even a bad choice for a final film for series stalwart and character actor extraordinaire Donald Pleasance who looks noticeably frail throughout.
Incoherent, boring and edited in that frenetic, epilepsy inducing, scatter-shot style that all below-average horror movies fell back on during the mid-nineties, Halloween: TCOMM is a new low for a franchise (although, worryingly, not the worst of all time…) and it’s truly earnest attempts to bring everything together is part of it’s downfall.
It’s a curse, alright.