THE LAIR EXPERTS
Matt: The first time I saw 'Halloween 6', it scared the crap out of me. The producers delivered with a lot of the right elements that make a 'Halloween' film a success (Haddonfield setting, Michael chasing family, etc), and get Michael back to being a gruesome, emotionless killing machine. George Wilbur returns as Michael and delivers a totally different performance than he did in the fourth film. The mask was at least passable in this film, and Wilbur was very scary in this one up until the last act, but there was really nothing he, nor anyone else in the cast, could do about that. The script was so well done until that last act that it could have gone down as one of the great sequels of all-time. Instead, it has practically fallen off the face of the earth, and is even rarely played on TV anymore.
Donald Pleasence delivers his swan song as Loomis, as he unfortunately passed away following filming. He was again as great as always, but his role was very limited again. This time around, the plot focuses on Tommy Doyle (a debuting Paul Rudd) in his quest to discover the true secrets of Michael Myers. His trail leads him back to the Myers house, which is currently occupied by members of the Strode family, relatives of Laurie. So you can see what was going to happen there. Other supporting cast worth noting are Marianne Hagan as Kara Strode, Bradford English and Kim Darby as John and Debra Strode, and Mitchell Ryan as the diabolical Dr. Wynn, who is revealed to have been part of the conspiracy that allowed Michael to escape Smith's Grove in the first place. It is also worth nothing that the role of Barry Simms (played by Leo Geter of 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' fame) was originally offered to shock jock Howard Stern, who turned it down because he was putting his own movie, 'Private Parts' together at the time. Geter did a good job playing the role, but watching it now, you can clearly see if was written with Stern in mind. My, what a different movie it would have been.
Alan Howarth returns for his third film behind the music, equalling John Carpenter's input. But the main difference between Carpenter and Howarth is that I still listen to Carpenter's scores today. Howarth's, meanwhile, remain on a scrap heap somewhere, and this film is no different. While he does deserve credit for bringing back some of the classic Carpenter tracks in his music, the new instruments he introduced just do not work. Using a guitar on the classic 'Halloween' theme? Give me a break. And what about that Japanese-sounding score titled 'Empty Stomach'. At that point, I shut off the CD. A good thing about the music though is the inclusion of Brother Cane's 'And Fools Shine On' as the main title track. It seems to fit the story pretty well and does not detract from the storyline or slow down the film whatsoever. Too bad they never hit it big, because they had a pretty good sound.
Despite the great elements included in the film, the indecisiveness in the final cut and the cult angle totally killed this movie. The producers were faced with the daunting task of explaining Michael's madness-- and they failed miserably. They couldn't even agree with each other on what direction to go. Note to the producers-- Michael's madness needs no explanation. That's what makes him scary!. RIP Donald Pleasence. 5 out of 10.
A.J.: This one scared the hell out of me, and it would of gotten a 10 if it wasn't for the damn cult angle and the end that left me very pissed off. I guess they had to kill off Dr. Loomis somehow. 8 out of 10.
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