Dr. Loomis: A Quick Appreciation

deathWhat sets Halloween above and beyond all other slasher films is the pivotal character of Dr. Loomis (the creepy Donald Pleasence).  Other than Phantasm, Halloween is the only horror series to maintain the narrative consistency of it’s “Dr. Ahab” character.  Sam Loomis has always been an intriguing character to me, but as I get older I start to understand where he’s coming from a bit more, especially in the first film.  At the opening of the first film, especially, when he is so worn down and tired, strapped with a responsibility he’s learned he can not do because his hands are tied by a bureaucracy that will not listen to him.

All we know of Micheal we know because of Sam Loomis, the bald headed Englishman in the brown trenchcoat.  When Micheal does come to life and escape to become the menace Loomis warned about, Loomis also comes to life.  As much as Loomis informs us about Micheal, Micheal informs us just as much about Loomis.  Dr. Loomis so wrapped up and duty bound, that even at Micheal’s worst he wants to help him or put him at rest.  But he does show little pieces of himself as the series goes on.  He enjoys scaring little kids in part one.  He risks his life to stop Micheal in part two.  Part four we see him bond with a hard drinking preacher hunting demons of his own and by part five, he’s so desperate he pulls a magnificent bastard move by using Jamie Lloyd as bait for Micheal.  And it pretty much works.

If they ever do another remake (not trying to encourage them — but I like this idea) they should play up an angle where Loomis is almost self-righteous about MIcheal’s murders because he had warned Smith’s Grove so many times and they’d never listen.  A middle-aged and bitter Loomis rubbing their noses in the murders, taking a snide sense of relish from it would be rather captivating to me.

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