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Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Halloween Movie Guide

First it was Friday The 13th. Then came Nightmare On Elm Street. Now I present to you the Halloween movie guide.

Halloween (1978): In 1963, a young boy named Michael Myers brutally murders his older sister. 15 years later he escapes back to his hometown with his psychiatrist in hot pursuit.

The Good: This is the granddaddy of the slasher film genre. It laid out the rules that other horror movies would follow for decades later. Without Halloween, there would have been no Jason, Freddy, or Chucky haunting the cinemas. The film boasts some top-notch acting, some genuine scares and a memorable soundtrack.

The Bad:
Absolutely nothing.

Notable Stars:
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles & Kyle Richards.

Halloween 2 (1983): The unkillable Michael Myers continues his reign of terror in the unsuspecting town of Haddonfield. But some unexpected family ties may cause danger for one of his victims.

The Good: Still helmed by director John Carpenter, the movie does have some suspenseful and memorable moments. Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence are wonderful and really improve a slightly mediocre sequel. There is also a television version of this film with cut scenes that better explain the film, a must watch if you can find it.

The Bad: Halloween 2 takes place the very same evening that Halloween ended on. With three years having past between films, the actors have grown older. It's hard to suspend disbelief with this film. The kills are gorier but less scary.

Notable Stars:
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Dana Carvey, and Billy Warlock.

Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch (1982): A mask maker schemes to kill all the children on Halloween night.

The Good:
This movie is not a bad movie nor is it the greatest. This film is best known as the Halloween without Michael Myers. Halloween was never intended to be a slasher franchise, it was supposed to be an anthology featuring a new big bad in every film. But the studios wanted another Michael Myers movie and the die was cast. The movie unfairly suffered due to the backlash.

The Bad
: The mask company's theme song. An insipidly evil ditty that becomes trapped in your head never to escape.

table Stars: No one. It is rumored that Jamie Lee Curtis did a voice only cameo in the film.

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988) After 10 years of being locked up, Michael escapes and heads back to Haddonfield.

The Good: This is what a Halloween movie should be, suspenseful, scary, action packed. Donald Pleasence reprises his role as Dr. Loomis. Jamie Lee Curtis is gone but replaced by two of the greatest scream queens Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris. It also has one of the most powerful endings in horror movie history

The Bad:
I understand that every slasher film needs a bimbo character to show her goods. But the one they cast in Halloween 4 is especially annoying. Any scene with her is a scene too many. The whole teen love triangle subplot was too soap opera like and was not right for the field.

Notable Stars: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, and Sasha Jensen

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) Michael Myers is still killing, but will the audience care?

The Good: Donald Pleasence and Danielle Harris reprise their roles. This upgrades the film from intolerable to mildly tolerable.

The Bad:
Let's see a rushed and confusing storyline with many plot holes hanging. Ellie Cornell is killed off seconds after she appears. The cast is one of the most annoying, unappealing, and virtually talentless group of people I have ever seen. Halloween 4 was gold and to follow that film with this is a slap in the face to all horror fans.

Notable Stars:
Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, and Ellie Cornell.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) After seeing Halloween 5, I said "Well the series can't get any worse." I was wrong.

The Good: Donald Pleasence returns, giving it the old college try.

The Bad: Another poorly thought out script. Thorn Cults! Danielle Harris doesn't return but her character Jamie does. Thorn Cults! Unlikable characters. Did I mention the damn Thorn Cult? Thorn Cult, Thorn Cult, Thorn Cult! Gahhhhhhh!

Notable Stars: Donald Pleasence, and Paul Rudd
Halloween H20 (1998) Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her rightful place in the series. The audience breathes a sigh of relief.

The Good: Again, this is what a Halloween should always be. Suspenseful, scary, with a talented cast and coherent script. There are great cameos and even a nod to the late Donald Pleasence who passed away after Halloween 6.

The Bad: The movie retcons every that happened since Halloween 2. While it erases the horrid world of haunted masks and thorn cults, it also eliminates the existence of Danielle Harris' character, Jamie. I wish they could have kept the character but oh well. It was a small price to pay in order to have a decent Halloween movie.

Notable Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, LL Cool J, Jodi Lynn O'Keefe, Janet Leigh, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Halloween Resurrection (2002) The last nail in the coffin for the original series. It ended with a whimper, not a bang.

The Good: Jamie Lee Curtis is kind enough to reprise her role in order to give her character a final send off. It's not the worst Halloween movie in the world. It lacks the suspense of the better films but is still a good watch. Busta Rhymes is hysterical and proves that a singer can be an actor and not fail.

The Bad: If movie producers want to make a million movies about killer Internet/phone/videos, they have my blessing. Just keep the tech-horror out of the slasher genre. The whole Internet reality show plot came off as a desperate attempt to appear cutting edge and trendy.

Notable Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, Sean Patrick Harris, Katee Sackhoff, Thomas Ian Nichols, and Tyra Banks.

The Rob Zombie Halloween Series has already been reviewed. In my opinion those are a reboot and like the Friday The 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street guides, reboots really have no place in the original series.