Give the filmmakers behind Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers their due: at least they tried to inject an interesting new twist into the Halloween mythology. Instead of endless scenes of Donald Pleasence's loony Dr. Loomis freaking out -- not that we don't get a few of those -- writer Daniel Farrands and director Joe Chappelle give prototypical masked serial killer Michael Myers a shadowy connection to some kind of Middle American druidic cult. Does this twist do much to leaven the tedium? No. You'd need competently written and filmed suspense sequences to do that. But at least there's some tiny hint of a new plot point to differentiate this chapter from the previous several. The Halloween series has stunk ever since the quickie second installment, which was memorably mishandled by John Carpenter himself. But this muddled, dreary hackwork represents a new low point. Much has been made of poor Pleasance having this film as his swan song, but so what? Character actors always go where the paychecks are, so at least Pleasance got something out of this film -- unlike the audience.