After Halloween H20 confused everyone as to how exactly to pronounce it’s name when asking for a ticket, the other lasting effect of that slick love letter to Carpenter’s original had was that it gifted audiences with something not usually seen in long running franchice slasher flicks. An ending.
At the climax of the immensely satisfying movie, put upon survivor Laurie Strode finally gave her enigmatic sibling a gift to remember her by, by lopping his head off with an axe, sending it rollin’ like that Limp Bizcuit sing whose title I can’t quite remember right now. It was unexpected, it was shocking, it was AWESOME, bringing a primal sense of closure to a twenty year franchise.
But this is Hollywood and there ain’t nothing that Tinsel Town can’t screw up when money is involved, so before we knew it along came Halloween: Resurrection to piss and shit from a great height on literally everything that made H20 special and essentially kill the series all over again before Rob Zombie got his hands on it.
After a ludicrously convoluted explanation as to how the legendarily stab-happy Michael Myers survived his beheading (he swiftly switched clothes with a paramedic in a costume change worthy of a Lady Gaga stage act and Laurie murdered an innocent man) we pick up with Jamie Lee Curtis’ heroine committed to an asylum, desperately waiting for Michael to return or for her contract to run out, whichever comes first. Luckily for her (not so much for us) both come at the same time as her brother manages to accomplish in the pre-credits sequence what he failed to do for over forty years and execute his victim in a poorly planned set piece. With the whole point of Myers now moot, he slinks back to the old homestead to… actually, I’m not sure. Put together a retirement plan? Chill out in front of Great British Bake Off? Who the hell knows..?
However, an entrepreneur played by Busta Rhymes (that’s right, BUSTA RHYMES) is putting together a sort of online game show called Dangertainment which would involve cameras placed around the Myers family home and have various college kids wander around it all night while discussing the nature of evil or some shit. Why Busta actually thinks this would be a watchable concept in the age of Pornhub is unclear but he gamely forges on with his idea nonetheless and hires a group of devastatingly irritating teens – all with the sex drive of characters in a slasher film from the 80’s – and one “good” girl with a traumatic past. Of course the whole show is a hoax to drum up publicity (for what is never exactly made clear) and is actually a lame first person Blair Witch ripoff designed to inflict cheap jump scares from it’s victims; pretty much like Halloween: Resurrection itself actually. Of course Michael shows up – it IS his house after all – and starts doing Gods work by killing the shit out of these kids and nullifying their student loans the hard way.
Can anyone escape the house (and that idiotic online gameshow) before Haddonfield’s boogeyman cuts down a crop of this generation’s least promising?
Straining to single handedly undo much of the good work done to the slasher genre in the wake of Scream, Halloween: Resurrection is a work of jaw dropping cynicism. You’d kind of understand it if it was directed by some hotshot music video director who was using the franchise as a stepping stone to bigger and better things but this movie was directed by one Rick Rosenthal who not only has made horror movies before but actually made Halloween II! The first damn slasher sequel ever made!! How on earth did he manage to turn in this shit show if he has proven form in it?!
The online, first person gimmick is poorly handled and seems to be written by someone who has never been online in their life and the characters are thin to the point of being nonexistent. Bad enough, but when you recognise a few future famous faces in the cast it really comes through how shoddy it all is – Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff gets a stunningly short shrift, unless “vapid, blonde, shriek-machine” was actually a description in the script.
And yet as bad as everyone is, it’s down to Busta Rhymes to single handedly become a nexus of awful so bad that he simultaneously becomes by far the worst in the movie AND only reason to keep watching. Acting like a man who’s never been clued into what the word “subtle” means he bulldozes through the film a force as near as unstoppable as Michael Myers himself, super loud and unwilling to even attempt a performance that isn’t just him yelling at things. It says a lot that way back when we went from Donald Pleasance eerily describing his former patient as having a “blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes… the devil’s eyes.” to now, where we’re treated to the sight of Rhymes kicking one of the main icons of horror directly in the face while making Bruce Lee noises. Who knows, maybe if Donald had doubled down on some kung-fu moves in 1978 he would’ve defeated his blank-faced nemesis in half the time. I guess we’ll never know.
Sloppy, unscary and just undeniably bad on every level, Halloween: Resurrection (a movie that features no real resurrections, by the way) quite possibly is an all time franchise low for the series proving that our Mr. Myers may finally be suffering resurr-erectile dysfunction…