Setting: Haddonfield, Halloween 1995
In an underground basement, a woman gives birth surrounded by candles in a strange, pagan ceremony. The baby is marked with the Thorn symbol |>. The Pointy Hat Man steals the baby from his mother, who is revealed to be Jamie Lloyd, who had been kidnapped from the Police Station six years before.
A nurse helps Jamie take the baby and escape, Jamie steals a truck and drives to a local bus station, where she phones "The Barry Sims Show" on the radio, begging for help. Listening is Tommy Doyle1 as well as Dr Loomis and his colleague Dr. Wynn, head of Smithsgrove Mental Institute.
Michael comes after Jamie and her baby, Jamie hides the child and drives off, pursued by Michael who catches her and kills her inside a barn. After the murder, he burns the symbol Thorn into the hay behind her.
Meanwhile, in Haddonfield, the Myers' House has been transformed into a family home. Laurie Strode's adopted father's brother John Strode and his family have moved in, mainly because neither John nor his brother, both of whom being estate agents, were able to sell it.
The Strode family is not as happy as outward appearances would suggest. John is a sadistic, drunk bully who is cruel to his wife and children, and deliberately kept his family ignorant of their home's horrific history. The mother is Debra, a likeable, but weak woman. Their adult children are Tim and Carol, who is despised by John for having a son, Danny. Danny himself, living in the room that was once Michael's and is the age Michael was when he killed his sister, is plagued by hearing voices telling him to kill.
Tommy finds Jamie's son in the bus station toilet, following a trail of blood, and arranges to meet Dr. Loomis later that night. He also meets Carol and Danny, and explains the danger they are in. He tells how Michael is controlled by the rare constellation Thorn which only appears on some Halloween nights. Whenever it appears, Michael murders, and he warns her to watch her house across the road. They are looked after by Mrs Blankenship, a lady who babysat Michael on
the night he murdered his sister, whilst Tommy goes to visit Dr Loomis.
They meet at a party organised by Tim Strode's girlfriend Beth and hosted by radio DJ Barry Sims, who later decides to broadcast his show from the Myers' house. Tim, Beth and Barry Sims are soon killed by Michael, and Carol, Danny and Jamie's baby are kidnapped by Dr. Wynn, revealed to be the Pointy Shoe Man.
Tommy and Dr. Loomis pursue, uncover a secret cult society made up of doctors in the basement of Smithsgrove Institute. There they discover that Wynn has attempted to control Michael as his own personal killing weapon, manipulated through first Jamie and now her baby. Michael rebels against his control, and kills all the members of the cult whilst Tommy rescues Carol, Danny and the baby. Dr. Loomis returns to confront Dr. Wynn whilst Tommy etc. escape, yet we hear him scream, finally killed by his nemesis Michael Myers...
|1.||Nurse||Stabbed||Basement||Helped Jamie escape.|
|2.||Truck man||Neck broken||Outside||Cult member|
|4.||Debra Strode||Axed||Myers house||Relative by marriage|
|5.||John Strode||Stabbed/electrocuted/exploded||Myers House||Relative by marriage|
|6.||Barry Sims||Stabbed||Radio car||DJ|
|7.||Tim Strode||Throat cut||Myers House||Had sex|
|8.||Beth||Stabbed in back||Myers house||Had sex|
|9.||Cult woman||Killed||Basement||Using Michael|
|10-15.||Doctors & Nurses||Killed||Basement||Using Michael|
|16.||Dr Loomis||(off screen)||Smithsgrove||Michael's Nemesis|
|Donald Pleasence||Dr. Samuel J. 'Sam' Loomis|
|George P. Wilbur||Michael Myers|
|J.C. Brandy||Jamie Lloyd|
|Paul Rudd||Thomas 'Tommy' Doyle|
|Marianne Hagan||Kara Strode|
|Devin Gardner||Danny Strode|
|Mitchell Ryan||Dr. Terence 'Pointy Shoe Man' Wynn|
|Kim Darby||Debra Strode|
|Bradford English||John Strode|
|Keith Bogart||Tim Strode|
|Leo Geter||Barry Simms|
|Janice Knickrehm||Mrs. Blankenship|
|Alan Echeverria||Dr. Bonham|
Those whose names are in italics are recurring characters.
After the appalingly bad Revenge, 1995's Curse is a fresh, inventive film, the best sequel so far. Even having to follow up to Revenge fails to detract from its brilliance. Sadly Donald Pleasance, the actor who played Dr. Loomis, died whilst the film was being made, yet even this does little to detract from it.
The scenes he is in are a fine monument to this brilliant, under-stated actor, and the film, dedicated to his memory, is a tribute to his skill. Many films are hindered by the loss of their star, yet Curse is able to move seamlessly on. Only the ending which would have proved a show-down between Loomis and Wynn feels as if it was ad-libbed ad-hoc, with Dr Loomis' death being heard off-screen bringing a shocking end to the film.
Unlike Revenge, which tried to be little more than a re-make of Return, Curse is not afraid to try new approaches, and in fact brims over with them.
Gone is the simplistic "let's just film lots of people being killed" approach, and instead Curse introduces us to a host of original ideas and characters we root for. They are, unlike those in it's predecessor Revenge, likeable, well-thought out, and in many ways unique.
It is true that some of the new ideas do not quite work. The greatest failure is that of suggesting that Michael has a symbol, Thorn. This is the first mention of it in the series, and seems unneccessary, as does the astrological reason behind his killing. The idea of a live broadcast from the Myers House is one that will be returned to in "Halloween: Resurrection". The character of Mrs
Blankenship, Michael's babysitter, is under-used, which is perhaps a blessing as this twist could so easily have failed and seemed corny. Even the Pointy Shoe Man comes to life to some respect through the character of Dr. Wynn, although sadly we do not see a satisfying ending for him.
After seeing Curse, you feel once again the excitement of wanting to know what happens next, even more so than after the conclusion of Return. The characters are so well developed that they leave so strong an impression on you. Tommy Doyle is one of a man whose earliest memory is of seeing Michael Myers attacking, and as a result has become obsessed with him. Danny is a member of the family who adopted Laurie Strode. He is the age Michael was when
he killed his sister, and hears the same voices that Michael did. You never know which path he'll take, especially after seeimg how he threatened his grandfather with a knife. Kara, too, is a far cry from the annoying Tina, and is a character you strongly empathise for. Laurie's child too intrigues, as he is the last living relative of Michael Myers.
Not only that, but both Michael and possibly even Dr. Wynn are still at large in Haddonfield, waiting for the opportunity to strike again...