Pumpkin Person rating 7.5/10
I used to hate this movie with a passion, but compared to the new Halloween (2018), it’s a masterpiece.
The film was written by Daniel Farands who was just some 20-year-old nobody at the time, but he had an obsessive passion for horror films, and sent a letter to the series’ producer Moustapha Akkad, and somehow managed to land an interview circa 1989. During the interview Farands presented his encyclopedic knowledge of the series and all his ideas about where the story could go and Akkad, his co-producer and his son listened politely and then thanked him for coming by.
For four long years, Farrands heard nothing, and then one day in the mid 1990s, Farrands was suddenly hired to pen the latest Halloween film. Akkad had never forgotten the obsessed fan boy who knew more about the series than anyone he had ever met and Akkad was desperate for good ideas on where to take the series after the bizarre ending of Halloween V.
At the end of Halloween V, Michael Myers is captured and placed in jail, only to be freed by a mysterious man in black who obliterates the entire police station with a machine gun, allowing Myers to walk free. Unfortunately the people who made Halloween V just pulled this out of their hat and had no idea how to explain this odd ending.
Only Farrands had the passion to salvage the narrative. He decided that the man in black was actually the head of the mental hospital where Myers had spent his childhood, and he was the leader of a secret cult that worships and helps Myers do his killings.
But now that Myers is getting old, the man in black is stalking a six-year-old boy named Danny who moved into Myers’s old house and is hoping to turn Danny into the next Michael Myers (who killed his first victim at age six). The family thinks Danny is having nightmares, little do they know the man in black is literally hiding in Danny’s closet telling him to kill people.
Danny’s mother is horrified to learn that half the town seems to be part of the cult, including the sweet old lady who lives across the street, and suddenly pulls out a knife and says “Hello Dear”
Despite the totally contrived story-line and the poorly edited climax, this is rapidly becoming one of my favorites in the series because of the memorable characters like the verbally abusive John Strode who buys the Myers house for cheap, neglecting to tell his family that a mass murderer used to live there, or the creepy Tommy Doyle, played by Paul Rudd before he was famous.
I also loved the Halloween atmosphere they were able to capture by shooting the film in Salt Lake City Utah in November, unlike the original Halloween shot in South Pasadena.
And above all, the mask in this film was the best it’s looked since Halloween II (1981) and the actor playing Myers had the height and bulk to look scary on screen.
And last but not least, this was the last film of the great Donald Pleasence, who died before ever seeing the film. A decade later Moustapha Akkad would die in a terrorist attack.
May both men Rest in Peace.