Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Halloween 4, 5, and 6 - The Thorn Trilogy

This is where shit starts to get crazy. Since the fanbase was so pissed off with Season of the Witch, they decided to bring Michael Myers and Loomis back. And they also introduced Laurie’s daughter into the mix (and killed Laurie offscreen in the interim). The fourth film just does its best to bring the series back to the original formula, and it’s okay. Honestly, the only crazy thing about this movie is that Loomis survived the explosion at the end of Halloween II. I’m glad that he did, though, because this could be called The Loomis Trilogy just as much as The Thorn Trilogy. 

 Loomis is a bit more unhinged in this one, culminating in him trying to shit a child at the end. The fifth movie truly unleashes him, though. In that one, Laurie’s daughter Jamie is a mute due to her interactions with Michael in the previous film, but she seems to have a psychic connection to him now. 

What makes this one nuts is that Loomis has lost all sense of humanity. He has no interest in protecting Jamie at this point. Instead, she is just a tool to catch Michael. This leads to scenes of Loomis screaming in Jamie’s face, and he eventually holds her up to bait Michael at the end. It’s fucking fantastic. But things also get messy with the fifth one…well, messier.

So the fourth film made it seem like Michael’s evil could be transferred. The fifth film expanded on that with the psychic connection aspect, but there was an added, seemingly random element: the man in black. A man in black appears throughout the movie, most notably at the end. After Loomis captures him, Michael is taken to jail to await transfer to a maximum security facility. The man in black shows up, kills the entire police force (that’s two years in a row that this police force was completely killed off, by the way), and frees Michael. That’s the end. There’s no explanation as to who this guy is or anything. Apparently, it would be explained in the next movie. But while the fourth and fifth movies came out in back to back years, it would be six years before the sixth movie came out.

Halloween 6 (the title has the numeral in the Producer’s Cut) is the messiest movie in the series. At first, an attempt was made to explain the man in black, but the studio hated it. The film was recut to get rid of the more ridiculous story elements, but it also made the movie almost impossible to follow. Because of this, there are two cuts: the theatrical cut and the Producer’s Cut. I’ll mainly be referencing the Producer’s Cut because it’s the version of the film that truly makes this the Thorn Trilogy. But both versions are fucking stupid. So let’s finally get into this Thorn nonsense.

If you make the same slasher villain reappear so many times, eventually you will need to explain why he can’t die. Friday the 13th finally did this with their sixth film, Jason Lives, which has Jason’s corpse get struck by lightning, turning him into the immortal monster we all love instead of just being a guy in a mask. With Halloween 6, the filmmakers decided it was time to finally explain how Michael has been surviving all this shit since Halloween II. It turns out he’s been the tool of the Cult of Thorn, which is run by the random doctor from the first film who argues with Loomis about whether or not Michael can drive. He’s the man in black who’s been pulling the strings all along! What…the…fuck.

So Michael is being controlled by this cult. It’s very unclear what their goal is, but it has something to do with runes and Druid shit (kind of like Season of the Witch), and they need Michael to rape and impregnate his niece, so that their incestuous baby can be killed, which will allow his young cousin (?) Danny to carry on the killing. It’s not clear why Michael can’t just keep doing the killing on his own, but whatever. Eventually, Paul Rudd puts some magic rocks on the ground that stop Michael. This is the kind of stupid shit a franchise has to do when the villain isn’t allowed to be killed off. 

Despite the confusing mess that Halloween 6 created, I actually kind of like the Thorn Trilogy. They could have just kept bringing Michael back to life with little to no explanation. Instead, some poor bastard felt the need to justify his survival. As a fan of weird shit, I’m glad they tried. But no amount of ironic enjoyment can lead me to think of any of these films as “good.” I’m not the intended audience for this shit, anyway. This is probably why after this debacle, the next film decided to just forget this shit ever happened.

Random Thoughts (for Halloween 6)

I'm willing to bet Loomis has fired a gun more times than any other cinematic psychiatrist. 

I’m not going to get into the weeds about differences in the two cuts too much. Just watch the same videos I did if you want that. I do want to point out a couple things I found interesting, though.

In the Producer’s Cut, Loomis explains he had plastic surgery done, which is why his scars are gone. This very short exchange is taken out of the theatrical cut? Why? Did they intentionally create plot holes?

They clearly only had the baby for a few scenes because that is the most bundled up baby in the history of bundled up babies in all the other scenes. It’s a good thing they used a fake baby for most of the scenes, though, because the way Kara is running with it at the end of the Producer’s Cut would surely have broken its neck.

The Producer’s Cut is definitely the more cohesive movie, but they did alter my favorite kill. In the theatrical cut, the evil dad gets electrocuted until his fucking head explodes. It’s amazing. In the theatrical cut, he just dies from electrocution. Lame. But this is literally the only thing that’s better about the theatrical cut.

Watching Paul Rudd sincerely talk about runes and shit adds another level of enjoyment to this messy film. He actually gets to say, “The power of the runes stopped him.”

According to IMDb trivia, there was an unfilmed scene in which the man in black admits to teaching Michael how to drive years ago. God, I wish they had put this in, especially since this character makes such a big deal about Michael being able to drive in the first film.