Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Evil Finds Its Way Home.

A group of teenagers win a contest to spend one night in Michael Myers’ childhood home where their every move will be broadcast live over the internet via the Dangertainment website. What they don’t know is that Michael has come home.

 

As long as cinema continues to be one of the most popular forms of entertainment on the planet, studios will continue to crank out sequels to their biggest franchises. They’re easy ways of making quick cash and there’s always a loyal fan base to pillage whenever studios decide to fill up their coffers for other riskier ventures. The Halloween series was in danger of becoming a straight-to-video series after the last couple of sequels (Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers) met with commercial disaster and obvious critical disdain, not just from the usual suspects but from fans of the series who had grown tired of the same rubbish. After a few years out and with the return of Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween: H20 was released.

Hot-on-the-heels of the rebirth of teen slashers thanks to the likes of Scream, it at least managed to be better than the previous couple of Halloween films as well as a competent, if unremarkable slasher, on it’s own merit. Despite featuring a ‘definite’ ending which seemed to wrap up the series, you know that you can’t keep a good slasher down and script writers are adept at coming up with innovative ways to get around endings, hence the illogical way they’ve written around Michael’s death. Its box office success made a further sequel inevitable and here we have Halloween: Resurrection.

After seeing the trailers, reading some previews and looking at the cast, I was bracing myself for this to be worst of the sequels. Thankfully that isn’t the case and despite the pointlessness of the film, it’s wasn’t as bad as I was expecting – certainly better than the last two sequels which had Donald Pleasance in. Unfortunately for Halloween: Resurrection, the best part comes before the title credits right at the beginning as Michael Myers reacquaints himself with Laurie Strode (played by a very weary-looking Jamie Lee Curtis) and continues their epic feud. You could quite easily stop watching right there because it’s as good as anything you’re going to get out of any of the sequels, providing continuity and closure at the same time.

But Halloween: Resurrection is almost like two films rolled into one. The intro is the link to the previous films to get the old fans on board and tie up some loose ends and then the rest of the film is the path to what the producers obviously hoped would be a new breed of sequels, squarely aimed at the teenage audience who have grown up long after Michael Myers had done his best killing work in the late 70s and early 80s. So it’s hardly surprising to see that the rest of the film isn’t very deep as a group of cardboard cut-outs shuffle their way around the old house and get murdered one-by-one. This could be any killer stalking these teenagers around the house and Michael could easily be switched with a generic killer with little change to the overall narrative. In attempting to give the feel a different feel to the other sequels, director Rick Rosenthal shoots a lot of the film from the angles of the cameras scattered around the house. This gives it the reality show vibe they’re gunning for but it’s a technique grossly overused by the time this came out anyway. It can get a nauseating at times and frustrating at others, especially when you’re trying to get a good look at what is going on.

This does work in the film’s favour at times though, particularly in the way in which director Rick Rosenthal presents Michael Myers. Instead of showing him in direct full close-ups, a lot of the footage of Michael is seen through the characters’ cameras, presumably in an attempt to give him that supernatural feel back like he had in the original where he was rarely seen in full. However when Michael Myers is the best developed character in your film, you’ve got problems. Granted we’ve had him star in six previous films but you’ll care more about him than the cardboard cast of teenagers. One of the strengths of the earlier films was that unlike Jason and Freddy, as an audience we never really allowed Michael Myers to turn into an anti-hero where we would start cheering him on as he sliced his way through Haddonfield. There was always Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode, Danielle Harris’ Jamie Lloyd and of course, Donald Pleasance’s Dr Loomis to keep the audience on the right side. Yes, the sequels contained their fair share of fodder characters we no doubt liked to see perish but this trio of sympathetic characters has never allowed us to fully cheer Michael on. We wanted to see the three of them survive and thus see Michael fail. There’s no chance of that happening in this one.

With no one to side with, we want to see Michael destroy this group of characters as painfully and quickly as possible. Busta Rhymes tops that list with ease. His “trick or treat motherf****r” line must rank up there with the lowest point of the series. To be fair, at least you’ll remember his character for the wrong reasons. The same can’t be said for the rest of the cast who make no impression whatsoever and are simply hanging around to be bumped off. In this respect, Halloween: Resurrection plays it safe. Rosenthal borrows too heavily from the previous films for the kills: there’s a head-crushing and the now-traditional shot of Michael stabbing someone before lifting them off the floor with the knife still firmly stuck inside.

The ending also left the way open for another sequel but, thankfully (or maybe not given what was to come) this had not come to fruition by the time of writing and instead, we were given Rob Zombie’s ‘re-imagining’ of the original. On that note, I’ll end the review…..

 

Halloween: Resurrection has a very strong opening ten minutes which ranks up there with the best bits of the series. From then on it’s a downward spiral of mediocrity until it reaches rock bottom with Busta Rhymes dishing out some martial arts moves on one of the icons of horror. It’s a poor way for the original incarnation of Michael Myers to bow out but the series could have done a lot worse to send him off.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

Related Movies

Post a comment