Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 16, 2019)
Probably due to the failure of 1982ís Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the movie franchise remained dormant until 1988ís Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers kicked it back to life. Another sequel came out a year later, but 1989ís Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers delivered another box office disappointment, so the series went into hibernation once again.
This meant no movies for another six years until 1995ís Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers revived the premise. In 1989, homicidal maniac Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) terrorized his young niece Jamie (Danielle Harris).
At that time, members of a cult abducted Michael and Jamie, and in 1995, teenaged Jamie (JC Brandy) gives birth to a baby. Thanks to a helpful midwife, Jamie and infant escape but Michael remains hot in violent pursuit.
Back in Haddonfield, the town bans the celebration of Halloween as a reaction to their collective past, but citizens remain fascinated with their hometown nutbag. The Strode family Ė adoptive relatives of Jamieís mom Laurie, Michaelís sister and his original intended victim Ė now lives in the old Myers home, some serious fate-tempting if ever I heard of it.
In 1978, Laurie babysat Tommy Doyle, and now as an adult (Paul Rudd), he obsesses over Michael and the entire case. He still lives across the street from the Myers/Strode house and pursues the truth.
Michaelís old caseworker/psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) also tempts fate, as he now resides on the outskirts of Haddonfield. All these paths come together when Michael returns and does his hack-slash-kill thing.
Curse represents Pleasenceís last appearance in a Halloween movie, as he died about seven months before the movieís fall 1995 release. I wish I could claim he went out on top, but Curse just brings more of the same old silliness.
I admit I feel half-surprised that the Halloween producers didnít retain control of Pleasenceís corpse and Weekend at Bernieís the man for more sequels. Pleasence seems disengaged here, perhaps a by-product of his ailing state, but more likely a response to the mediocre material given to him.
1995ís Clueless represented a semi-breakout role for Rudd, but Curse sure didnít help him capitalize on that success. If anything, it seems like it probably set back Ruddís career.
Given Ruddís later fame, his presence creates an intriguing aspect of Curse, though not due to his wholly awful work. He overplays Tommyís obsession and personality quirks to bring a completely unconvincing performance.
If Rudd faded from view after Curse, Iíd assume he was a crummy actor, but given our experience with him over the last 24 years, it seems more likely he just didnít bother to exert himself here. Young actors canít be picky, so he likely took the role for experience and held his nose.
Curse requires a lot of that, as it really does stink to high heavens. Although the plot boasts potential to deliver some interesting twists Ė what with the cult and the continued trauma of the town and other characters Ė it sticks with the most basic slasher drama.
As such, it feels an awful lot like the last two movies, neither of which did much with the material either. As the Halloween series progressed, it became tough to distinguish Michael from Friday the 13thís Jason, and that continued similarity occurs here as well.
This means we get more anonymous young people for Michael to slaughter and little we could call a plot. Given his history, Tommy seems ripe for exploration, but Curse just treats him as a plot device.
The same goes for everything else in the film. We get generic roles who exist as Michael-fodder, and nothing of interest ever develops.
I canít say Curse acts as the worst of the Halloween sequels because I have two more to go. It might not be crummier than Return and Revenge, anyway, as both of those came with substantial flaws.
Nonetheless, I canít find anything to recommend here. Curse might not be the weakest of the franchise, but itís up for debate.