Movie Marathon V – Halloween

Luke Owen takes in a Halloween movie marathon…

With 3 of our last 4 marathons being centred around horror movies, you’d think we’d move onto something else. But, with October being the month of Halloween (and a good way to end of my countdown special), it felt only right to tackle “The Shape” and his murderous rampage in Halloween.

Being that fellow founding member Jon had an appointment with the TV repair man at 2pm and I had a gig in the evening, we decided to pull our first all-nighter marathon since the inaugural marathon meeting. Loaded with snacks, ales and energy drinks, we were ready to go…

19:45 – Halloween
After ordering food, we began to watch a film that would start a trend that would swamp the 1980s horror scene. John Carpenter’s Halloween is a fantastic movie with brilliant pacing, genuine threat and fairly decent performances. Everything about this movie is pitch perfect and, unlike a lot of horror movies from this era, it has aged quite well. Aside from the clothes, haircuts and short love making abilities, you’d think this was made fairly recently. A really good film and a great way to kick of an evening that was destined to go downhill.
21:24 – Michael Myers is shot but not dead and is heading for a return. The delivery of food slowed down this viewing, but we’re now cooking on gas to fire through these movies…
21:37 – Halloween II
Halloween II follows on from the closing moments of the first movie (which meant we were treated to the final 5 or so minutes of the last film we just watched) and more or less follows the same pattern as the first movie. While Halloween had the chance to have a slow build to Michael Myer’s attacks, Halloween II doesn’t have the same luxury which does lead to the films biggest detraction – it’s actually sort of boring. Not totally boring and it’s not the worst film of the series (boy will we get to those), but it’s really not that good. The kills are cool and the ending is fine, but a large majority of the film is filled with not a lot. This film also acts as the first stepping stone for Loomis to become a really annoying character.
23:06 – Loomis has blown Michael Myers to smithereens and he is seemingly dead to the world, for John Carpenter wanted to take the series down a different road…

23:20 – Halloween III: Season of the Witch
After Halloween II, the plan for the Halloween franchise was to have different Halloween-based tales each and every year. The first attempt at this is the fairly unbalanced Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Many horror fans will tell you that this is the worst film of the franchise because ‘it doesn’t feature Michael Myers’ which I think is utter rubbish. Don’t get me wrong, this film is pretty bad but it’s by no means the worst of the franchise (again, we’ll get to that soon). What annoys me about Season of the Witch is that the idea is actually sort of brilliant but it’s handled so badly and does get a tad silly which ultimately makes it at times a bit boring. It feels like a Twilight Zone episode that was unnecessarily stretched out over 90 long minutes.
00:50 – WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER CHANNELS?! This Halloween detour was such a flop as The Shape was heading back to Haddonfield.
00:55 – Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
This time without Jamie Lee Curtis (who is “dead”) we are now left with her daughter Jamie, played by future scream queen Danielle Harris. I’ll be honest with you here, I don’t really remember an awful lot about this movie other than its ending and there is a reason for that – it is so utterly boring. I’m sorry, if you like this film then more power to you, but this is such a forgettable slasher horror. Even the worst of the Friday the 13thseries were at least memorable in some way. This first part of the “Jamie Lloyd” trilogy is not off to a good start and to make matters worse, Loomis is dropping more into an annoying character.
02:16 – Michael Myers is seemingly dead (again) and Jamie has taken his mantle. What next for this troubled girl?
02:30 – Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Another boring movie apparently. Shockingly, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers manages to be even more boring than the film that came before it. The only real redeeming thing about this movie is Danielle Harris, whose acting had improved greatly from the last movie. But this film is basically the same as the last one with less happening in it.
04:01 – Michael Myers is freed from prison by… someone… and is out to roam free. What next for the boring slasher? Could Loomis get more annoying? Let’s find out.

04:05 – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
For the last 7 hours, we have watched boring film after boring film and by god was it not going to get any better (but we’re still not at the worst one yet). Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers goes down the oddest of roads with the franchise by making this a bizarre little supernatural movie with spirits and cults and a lot of other confusing nonsense. A pretty terrible movie overall really. At least we get to see Loomis bumped off at long last, so no more long winded “he’s evil” speeches from you chuckles.
05:27 – This series needs something to restore some faith in me. The last 8 or so hours have been torturous. Surely there has to be another good movie in this series right? Right?!
05:52 – Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later
Well thankfully there is. Halloween H2O is a movie that tries to restore some sort of plot back into the franchise by (quite wisely) ignoring parts 3-6. However the film does suffer from that 90s style of writing I talked about in my review of The Faculty where characters just talk in references to other horror movies. A good example of this is where Jamie Lee Curtis (not dead as was told in part 4) talks to a fellow colleague played by her real life mother Janet Leigh. In this scene, Leigh’s character offers her some “motherly advice” (ha ha) before getting into the same car she drove in Psycho while the music from Psycho plays in the background not so subtly. Okay we get it, you’ve all seen Psycho. You don’t need to hammer this home. But aside from that, Halloween H2O is the first movie that isn’t boring and I thank all that I can for its existence. As we were reaching the early hours of Saturday morning, something that resembled a good movie was such a welcome element.
07:10 – Michael Myers has had his head chopped off in a really touching climax to the franchise.
But wait, there’s more!
07:23 – Halloween: Resurrection
But how? At the end of H2O, Myers had his head taken completely off by his sister. Not only did that close both of their emotional arcs, it should have killed off the character. But it seems that money talks as Michael Myers was brought back through a totally contrived scenario involving mask swapping and hiding. Very, very silly indeed. After a fairly good opening which includes the death of Jamie Lee Curtis, the movie flies downhill at a scary pace. Remember when I kept talking about the worst film of the franchise – well here it is. I hated this movie with an unworldly passion. This is one of the worst films I have ever had the misfortune of seeing. Nothing about it is good, nothing is redeemable, and Busta Rhymes is one of the lead stars. Everything from the dialogue to the acting to the cinematography to the story to the characters to the set up to the ending to the deaths are just bad, bad and more bad. Urgh. I really, really hated this movie.
08:47 – I don’t want to talk about it anymore. This film was so bad I’d rather watch parts 3-6 again. And with the Halloween franchise dead and buried, there was only one thing left to do. Reboot!

09:19 – Halloween (2007)
Before we start, I just have to say – I love Rob Zombie. Astro Creep 2000 is one of my all-time favourite albums and Hellbilly Deluxe is a fantastic solo album. Educated Horses was utter pants, but I have a great deal of respect for everything this man has produced musically. But when it comes to his movie work, I’m kind of on the fence. I half liked, half didn’t like House of 1000 Corpses but I really liked The Devil’s Rejects. What could he bring to the Halloween series? To be honest, I’m not too sure.
Firstly, the first half of the movie is this long drawn out backstory that gives Michael Myers motive as a character for reasons I’m not sure why. John Carpenter himself said that you should never sympathise with Michael but that is exactly what Zombie has done. What makes me laugh about this direction of story is that the first hour of Zombie’s movie was summed up in a few lines of dialogue in John Carpenter’s original:
“I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes, the devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply evil.”
That right there sums up everything you need to know about Michael Myers. We don’t need to see him grow up and make masks or give him motive because he is just simply evil.
On top of that, Zombie has real difficulty writing likeable characters. Everyone from Michael’s mother, step father, nurse, principle, sister, her boyfriend to the lead character is utterly abhorrent. They all talk like hillbilly rednecks who know how to do nothing other than swear and talk about sex. In fact the first Laurie does on screen is molest a bagel sexually. What a charming character.
What I will say however is that I do kind of like this remake as it feels very real. It’s pretty scary at times and does keep you on edge even if it does run 20 minutes longer than needed. I just wish Zombie would write likeable characters!
11:11 – So it turns out I had a lot to say about that movie. Well you’ll be pleased to hear I have a lot less to say about the next one.

11:26 – Halloween II (2009)
This film is awful. There, that’s pretty much about it. It’s boring, boring, boring, boring, stupid, pretentious, messy and boring. I don’t even really get what the film was trying to do other than confuse its audience with horses, angels and odd mind trips. Rob, I love you, but this film is utter pants. The only thing I liked about this movie is how it made Loomis into a jerk who got greedy with fame. That’s it. Everything else was just utter rubbish.
12:59 – Michael Myers is dead (at long last) and our franchise is over. Can I go to bed now?
When people talk about slasher horror movies, the first three franchises that stick with people are Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and this one. But why? Out of 10 films, I can only recommend 2 of them and half recommend another. That is a 25% success rate which is just appalling. The movies are stupid, boring, repetitive and lame. Michael Myers is never as threatening as Jason or Freddy and the characters (save in the first movie) are never likeable. Of all the marathons we’ve done so far, this was by far the hardest one to sit through.
From Best to Worst:
1. Halloween
2. Halloween H2O: Twenty Years Later
3. Halloween (2007)
4. Halloween II
5.  Halloween II: The Season of the Witch
6. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
7. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
8. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
9.  Halloween II (2009)
10.  Halloween: Resurrection
Total runtime (including breaks): 17 hours, 14 minutes
I think we’re done with horror movies for the time being. We were planning on doing Silent Night, Deadly Night as one of the December meets but we’re going to go a bit lighter in tone. And slightly more festive.
Next Time: The Muppets

Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.

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