"Halloween: Resurrection" (2002) Review
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Katee Sackhoff
Directed by: Rick Rosenthal
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
If you look up "unnecessary sequel" in the dictionary, the definition should read, "see: Halloween: Resurrection (2002)." There is absolutely no reason for this eighth entry in the seemingly never-ending slasher series to exist, other than to suck more cash from the pockets of the franchise's amazingly patient fans (of which, I will shamefully admit, I am one).
I've expressed my fondness for Resurrection's predecessor, Halloween: 20 Years Later (1998), in a previous article, but my reaction to Resurrection was "Why did they even bother?" After all, H20's slam-bang ending could've - and should've ---- served as a excellent capper to the entire Halloween franchise. Apparently everyone involved with H20 - including star Jamie Lee Curtis and director Steve Miner - had been under the impression that it was to be the final "Halloween" film. However, H20 made more money at the box office than the previous three or four installments combined, so of course the studio said "Let's do another one!" even though...
(MAJOR SPOILER ALERT FOLLOWS FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN 'H20') Laurie Strode had beheaded serial killer Michael Myers in H20's final moments. So what do you do when your boogeyman is dead? Revive him by totally ridiculous, unrealistic means, of course! What the hell, the Friday the 13th crew have been doing that with their guy in movie after movie for years now, right? As Resurrection opens, we're supposed to swallow the idea that the "Michael" Laurie killed at the end of H20 was not the real deal, but an unfortunate paramedic whom Michael had switched clothes with immediately prior to the film's fiery ambulance-crash climax. Uhhhh...okayyyyy, riiiiiight . Sure. (END SPOILER ALERT)
When Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode in Resurrection's pre-title sequence, it appears that she's been locked up in a mental institution ever since the traumatic events of H20. The staff has diagnosed her with Extreme Disassociative Disorder, since she never speaks and spends all of her time staring out the window. We viewers know what she's watching for, or course -- the inevitable return of Brother Michael. When he finally does arrive at her door on Halloween night, after carving up a couple of hapless security guards along the way ("What took you so long?" Laurie asks), Laurie lures him to a trap she's set up on the hospital roof. Unfortunately things don't go quite as Laurie planned and (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!) Michael finally succeeds in killing her (I'll see you in Hell," she snarls before falling to her death). (END MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!)
Wow! Mind you, this all happens BEFORE the title of the film even shows up on screen!! Where can they possibly go from here?? Honestly, the idea of Michael Myers on the loose in an insane asylum would've been a pretty kick-ass movie, but unfortunately nothing is done with it; instead, Michael walks placidly out of the hospital, the opening credits kick in, and Resurrection goes straight down the poop chute and stays there for the rest of its run time.
The action shifts to a year later, when a group of random Haddonfield University students are informed via e-mail that they've won a contest on the website "Dangertainment.com." This site (run by the irritating "Freddy," played by the equally irritating Busta Rhymes, and his partner Nora, portrayed by Tyra Banks) is planning a Halloween night reality-TV web cast direct from the infamous Myers house. Our six lucky winners are strapped with web cams and a variety of electronic equipment, set loose in the house to "look for secrets," and are locked in. Needless to say, unbeknownst to these collegians, a certain former resident is stalking the halls of his old family home and as our group of wanna-be reality stars quickly learn, he doesn't take kindly to trespassers.
By now, if you're even half the Halloween fan that I am, you're probably saying, "Um....what ?"
The rest of the movie is basically an episode of"'Fear Factor" with special guest star Michael Myers. The cast pokes around the rooms of the Myers house for a while before they start doing the usual stupid things that characters in slasher movies do (smoke dope, have sex, etc.) and eventually Michael starts carving them up one by one. I have to say, the Myers house must be a LOT bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside, because there seem to be an endless series of nooks & crannies for Michael to hide in and pop out from. I'm sorry if this is not the most detailed plot description, but I honestly couldn't bring myself to care about any of these generic, cardboard characters (even if one of them was being played by a pre-Battlestar Galactica Katee Sackhoff). If you can stay awake long enough, eventually the cast dwindles down to the virginal Sarah, who serves as our "final girl," and Busta Freddy, who utters the lone memorable line in the film ("Trick or treat, motherfu**er!") during his kung-fu fight(?) against Myers. I won't bother telling you how the film ends, because let's face it, if you've seen more than one Halloween film, you probably already know. ("I'll take 'cheap jump scare' for $200, Alex...")
Summin' it up...
So where does Resurrection rank in comparison to the rest of the Halloween series? I still stand by my opinion that 1995's Halloween: the Curse of Michael Myers was the franchise's absolute nadir, but Resurrection definitely joins it at the bottom. The "internet/reality TV" hook, which must've seemed way high-tech and futuristic when this film was made in 2002, already makes the movie seem dated. The cheap set pieces in the Myers house are as cheesy and unrealistic as any random made-for-SyFy TV movie. Director Rick Rosenthal may have helmed one of the better films in the series (1981's Halloween II) but he came up snake-eyes with this return to the franchise.
Unsurprisingly, Resurrection was met with tepid box office results and major fanboy hatred on the Internet. Rather than giving the series a "fresh start" as the producers probably hoped, Resurrection simply painted it into a corner again. The franchise would lay dormant for another five years till the studio did the only thing they really could do - hire Rob Zombie to do a remake of the original film and start all over again. Whether or not Rob was successful with his 2007 endeavor, of course, depends on which fan you talk to.
Halloween: Resurrection is available on DVD from the budget label Echo Bridge Entertainment as a stand-alone single disc and also as part of a 3-film package called "The Halloween Collection," which includes Resurrection and the two sequels that immediately preceded it - Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween: 20 Years Later (a.k.a. H20). Either version will run you about five bucks, but in this critic's estimation, you can safely save that five bucks unless you're a completist who simply has to own the entire Halloween series on DVD.