Last, but by no means least, we turn to the Halloween franchise to countdown the best characters therein.
Strangely, I found it difficult to elect many characters I genuinely liked… I don’t know why, I like all the Halloween movies (bar Season of the Witch, that can go fuck itself), but they seem a tad short on super-fab-I-want-to-be-your-friend types, as we’ll see…
Mya // Rob Zombie’s Halloween II
There’s not that much to like about either of the RZ Halloweens, largely because he populated them with objectionable, self-absorbed twats for characters. That said, Brea Grant (also in Midnight Movie) as Mya was my kinda girl. Specs, spunk, and attitude – though not a bad attitude, unlike Scout Taylor-Compton’s horrible excuse for a heroine. I was sad she died.
Charlie the cop // The Revenge of…
Cops in slasher films are rarely afforded names before they’re done away with almost summarily: They usually exist to get in the way a bit and take an axe to the head. Charlie (Troy Evans), makes a small exception to that rule by going all out to protect little Jamie Lloyd from her marauding uncle, calling her the bravest little girl he’d ever met and standing up to an increasingly unhinged Loomis. Alas, it does fuck all to save him, but he has the honor of dying to protect a child. Good show, Charlie.
Sassy Reporter // Halloween II
This chick only appears for a matter of seconds during the better scenes of Halloween II (before the dull hospital drama), don’t you just love the giant cravat thingy? The bouncing hair? The amazingly proto-Gale Weathers approach of: “You need their parents permission to make a statement, if you can’t find their parents, get a statement anyway.” Awesome.
Mrs Blankenship // The Curse of…
Most of Mrs Blankenship’s screen time in Halloween 6 is inconsequential. She owns a rooming house across the street from THE MYERS HOUSE! and babbers on about being Michael’s babysitter that night, but things peak when it turns out she’s a part of the Thorn Conspiracy, turns around wielding a huge knife and greets Marianne Hagan’s heroine by saying: “Hello dear,” like any huggable grandma.
Rudy // Resurrection
The most likeable of the reality TV explorers in the much-hated (but loved by me!) Halloween: Resurrection. With gal-pals, Rudy (Sean Patrick Thomas) wanders around THE MYERS HOUSE! looking for clues about what turned Michael into a loon. His main character trait is his love of food. Not eating it, creating it. He’s probably also the only person to ever stop one of these psycho’s by throwing the right mix of herbs in his face…
Annie 2.0 // RZ’s Halloween II
Danielle Harris is something of an enigma in the Halloween realm, playing two different characters. We’ll get to the other one later, but here, she also became another character rarity: the not-final girl who survives (in the ‘first’ movie). She’s has more to do here as the resentful best friend of Laurie, disapproving of her BFF’s wayward lifestyle, nursing scars of her own. It’s a good performance from Harris, in contrast to her bouncy-sexy high school girl schtick.
Dr Hoffman // The Return of…
Bitchy Loomis-adversary Dr Hoffman is another minimal backgrounder, though Michael Pataki got his name in the name in the opening credits for the mammoth two scenes he’s in. Still, his presence is amusing, not least for his tired-of-your-shit attitude towards Loomis: “For Christ’s sake, spare me the speech – I’ve listened to it for a decade.” See him also as the beleaguered principal in Graduation Day.
Jamie Lloyd // The Return of… &
The Revenge of…
It’s Danielle again! Laurie Strode’s orphaned daughter Jamie (until H20 went and stomped all over that thread) becomes the unlikely heroine of the late-80s Halloween franchise, as Uncle Michael wakes from his coma to come and end the bloodline for good, primarily targeting little Jamie, who shares an unclear psychic connection with him. An outstanding acting job from the 10-year-old Harris leaves many of the more accomplished players in the dust.
Lynda // Halloween
Who couldn’t totally love Lynda? Nobody, that’s who! As one of Laurie’s girlfriends, PJ Soles, who’d already tasted teen horror as a nasty girl in Carrie, is the more carefree, hippie-esque member of their little group. But she’s totally nice. She might have sex in the bed of a total stranger and drink their beer, and totally not care about school or the future (kinda fortunate considering she had none), but she’s perky and sweet. Had she not totally died, I’d have foreseen a career in waitressing for Lynda. Fuh-neee…
Rachel Carruthers // The Return of… &
The Revenge of…
Jamie’s sister by adoption is initially self-obsessed high schooler Rachel (Ellie Cornell), who is too into her boyfriend Brady to realise he’s more into his own dick. Nevertheless, Rachel is able to alter her priorities and take lil’ sis trick or treating, thus entering into the nightmare of escaping Michael. She puts Jamie first in everything and pays the ultimate price in the next film. Sad times.
Tommy Doyle 2.0 // The Curse of…
Here’s a curveball. Halloween 6 was one of the first slasher films I ever saw and thus I probably am too kind to it. Part of the appeal of the Halloween franchise up to this point was bringing old characters back into the drama, in this case Tommy, one of Laurie’s babysitting charges from the original, now a Myers-obsessed weirdo living across the street from THE MYERS HOUSE! Paul Rudd allegedly hates the film, but he gives a twitchy, interesting performance anyway.
Laurie Strode // I, II, H20 & Resurrection
THE final girl of all final girls, Jamie Lee Curtis’ took Laurie from bookish nerd to, well alive bookish nerd – and later alcoholic head teacher. Ignoring what became of her in the sequels, Laurie is just everything in the first film. Youwanther to be your big sister, your babysitter, your friend. She’s just that nice girl you’d take home to Mom and Dad with about a gazillion thoughts going through her muddled mind, some of them not quite so innocent…
Dr Sam Loomis // All but Season of the Witch and everything after The Curse of…
While I want Laurie to be my friend, Doc Loomis is Halloween, just as much as Michael Myers, if not more. Donald Pleasence’s engaging performance as he goes from self-assured to paranoid to eccentric over the arc of the five films he features in is like a cuddly old sweater you can’t throw away. Though if he was ever right about anything essential is never established as Michael kept surviving, but the character has influenced so many imitations in his wake, and after he died, the spirit of the series kinda went with him.