Season of the Mask 5: Peaks and Valleys

You want me in Part 9? Are you crazy???Note: this column contains significant spoilers!

When Miramax/Dimension took over the Halloween franchise, it’s fair to say the resulting films were the nadir of the series with one sole exception: Part7, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998), where Jamie Lee Curtis came back to reprise the role of Laurie Strode and show us what happens when you live in fear for 20 years.

The reason the film works is more than Curtis owning the part; it’s the fact that fear from a serial killer is no different than fear of a delusional stalker who won’t go away, or an abusive spouse bent mangling the life of another. Michael Myers is a person with a singular drive to gratify himself by meting out some bizarro justice that goes beyond wiping out his family; it’s wiping out the sister who also won’t freakin’ die.

She’s an equal, and it’s bloody annoying.

But what if Michael finally reached that goal and eradicated every trace of his family?

The finale of H20 was written as the formal end of the Strode saga; the only recourse for the franchise godfathers was to have Laurie herself transforms into Michael and go after her son John, but that would’ve been too stupid.

Michael is done with, and Laurie is now free, although she has some legal issues to contend with, alongside the realization that she lopped off her big bro’s noggin in a strangely bloodless coup. That alone should, in a normal person, craft some recurring nightmares for, what, twenty years?

Part 8, Halloween: Resurrection (2002), kind of goes there, because we do see Michael finally getting rid of his sister, and unless she’s made of rubber and Jamie Lee Curtis needs some serious cash, that character is done with. The only recourse is to follow her in some prequel, and make up some lame scenes where toddler Michael maybe shoved a grapefruit in her face, or peed on her favourite dollie, or cooked her pet rabbit in the soup pot.

Beyond sibling fisticuffs and generic cruelty, the saga of Laurie Strode is over.

That’s more or less what Part 8’s screenwriters accomplish in the opening reel. After getting rid of Laurie, they’ve set up a scenario whereby six coeds become contestants in an online reality show, and must spend a night in the decrepit Myers home and explain to viewers how Michael Myers became a serial killer.

With no Dr. Loomis (he dead in Part 6, and again in 7), no Laurie and no John (her son) in Part 8, Michael has no raison d’etre beyond experiencing a minor annoyance with trespassers.

Whether he still retains any claim on the property is a legal issue. One assumes the assets of a serial killer – in this case, Michael – were seized and sold off to compensate the victims, so even Michael might be considered a trespasser on government/private property.

In any event, Part 8 shows that without a Strode roaming planet Earth, Michael is just another serial killer, and that’s kind of dull. The reasons Part 8 – directed by Part 2’s Rick Rosenthal – stinks like rotting potatoes, though, is more complex.

So as I continue to wade through the diminishing logic of the franchise, do check out reviews of Part 7 and Part 8, after which I’ll cover a lengthy documentary, and movie on to Rob Zombie’s ‘re-imaging’ or ‘rebooting’ of John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s classic.



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