Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Halloween: Resurrection
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Bianca Kajlich, Katee Sackhoff, Ryan Merriman, Sean Patrick Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas
Rated: R

Trick or treat, motherfucker!

Let the Dangertainment begin...up in this motherfucker.

Hey Mikey, happy fuckin' Halloween!

God damnit, what the hell does somebody got ta do to get some help up in this motherfucka.

Fear is good, fear is what gives us the feeling of being alive.

What do you mean you don't want to be famous? That's the American dream!

Michael Myers is like a killer shark.  In baggy ass overalls who gets his kicks in killing everyone and everything he comes across.

Looking a little crispy over there, Mikey. Like some chicken fried motherfucker.  Well, may he never, ever rest in peace.

                            ~Freddie Harris

When this retrospective ends and I do my rankings, the first and last spots are going to come as no surprise as to which movie takes them.  We already discussed the clear winner of the rankings, now meet the biggest loser.  Halloween: Resurrection is an easy and prime candidate for worst film entry into franchise horror ever.  I'm not talking schlock like the Camp Blood series, I'm talking the majors to midlevel players.  Freddy and Jason never stooped or got to this level.  There is at least enjoyment in some of their lesser entries.  I can't even laugh at this film its that offensive and embarrassing.  Hell, I really didn't want to write about this damn thing either, but I felt skipping it or making a snarky comment and moving on wasn't fair to the retrospective and cheating you, the reader.  So, I watched it for like the 3rd or 4th time ever and to no surprise, this thing is still awful.
I'm going to start by trying to compliment and say something nice about this movie first.  I will commend it for having the balls to get away from the "Michael only goes after his family" motiff that had been handicapping the series from doing anything else for 2 decades.  However, upon watching what they did do, another safe family stalking would have been ideal.  Also, this movie has 3 black characters in a slasher movie.  Its hard enough to think of one that has 2 (Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood and Scream 2 are the only ones coming to mind), but 3 is some sort of triumph.  However, 2 of them happened to be Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks, so where there's good there's god awful as well.  Aside from saying "at least the mask didn't change 8 times in the course of the movie this time", there's honestly no other compliments I could come up with for this.  Some might say "at least they returned back to Haddonfield", but I don't think that's a big deal...that's fanboy happy with a series constraining itself and not venturing out and becoming different.  That "same thing all the time" mentality.
We start the 8th entry of the Halloween franchise with a punch in the face and swift kick to the crotch.  What ended so perfectly last time is ridiculously and shamefully retconned.  I would have preferred a copycat killer to this.  I would have preferred a mad scientist reattaching Michael's head or "he who wears the mask becomes possessed by Michael Myers" to this.  Instead of Laurie Strode's greatest triumph and her finally facing her fears and finding her strength and will to move on she...killed the wrong guy?  They now want me to fucking believe that Michael arose, knocked a guy out and crushed his larynx so he couldn't talk and THAT's who was in the body bag in the van?  Michael gets away...WALKING AROUND WITH HIS SCARRED FACE AND A KNIFE!  Oh "there was lots of confusion that night" - kiss my ass!   This is such a middle finger to the fans and to the previous film.  To those fanboys who whined "You can't kill Michael!", there you go!  I hope you enjoy what you got!
This opening scene might feature some of the better filmmaking in this movie, but its still garbage.  This is supposed to be this fond farewell to Laurie strode and its entirely anticlimactic and another piss off to the fans.  Jamie Lee Curtis did not want to come back for this one, was forced to via contract she signed with the original films and it shows.  Just don't have Laurie, leave her out of it.  I don't mind that you decided to kill her off, but the way they've gone about it is ridiculous and makes her look like a complete idiot.  This is up there with Danny Glover's death from the first Saw as being completely laughable and stupid.  This is your flagship character, have some decency with it or don't use her at all.  And when she's now dead, why do we give a flip from here on out?
It's almost like there's two movies here.  The opening sequence (which is lengthy) contains no connectivity to the rest of the story.  We're now introduced to some of the most unlikeable assholes ever to be assembled in a film.  While I do enjoy her now, Katee Sackhoff is obnoxious in this film.  I was so turned off by her, it took me 2 seasons to finally give Battlestar Galactica a chance.  I avoided that show because I knew she was in it and I hated this movie and disliked her performance that much.  And get this, she's NOT the worst.  Oh no, someone thought it was brilliant to put Busta Rhymes in this damn movie.  And if you can't tell by the quotes used above-HE SUCKS.  Congrats Tina from Halloween 5, you're off the hook!  This script is bad, but he manages to elevate this thing to a whole new level of terrible.  These characters weave and wind, behind over-self aware and doing dumb stuff the entire movie.  Its incredibly unwatchable. If this was ever someone's first Halloween movie, or even just their first experience in the slasher genre, I feel so so so sorry for you.
I'm gonna drop dogging on the characters here, because its a tired argument, you just have to see the cast list to agree with me, but there's a part that is SO STUPID I must share.  The camera man is setting up some shots in the house when Michael kills him with the tripod.  Tyra Banks doesn't notice this cuz she's jamming out while making herself a cappuccino with her deluxe machine.  Michael sets the camera down on the floor with the leg of the tripod CLEARLY in frame and she comes back and says something to likes of "Damn, nice angle".  SOOOOOO STUPID.  Gosh, I'm boiling haha.

While a lot of credit has been given to the Blair Witch Project for this plot, I think a more apt pinning would be the Blair Witch-inspired show running on MTV at the time called "MTV's Fear".  The show put a bunch of youngsters with cameras in haunted places and had them wander around in the dark completing a scavenger hunt of sorts.  But really, this house isn't that big and this thing starts when the sun is still up.  Seriously, and hour and a half in this place and I'm sure everything has been covered.  Of course the stuff they are finding is a sham, put up by Freddie, but its all just uninteresting and silly.  Also of note, the Myers house now has a secret cavern in the basement.  Why am I actually pining for that blue monolith in Halloween 5?
So Busta Rhymes kung fu's Michael in the end.  Zapping him in the crotch with some wiring and letting him burn.  That's how we finish this up.  It almost manages to match the opening in terms of offensiveness.  Who thought all of this was a good idea?  Who was on set thinking, man, this is awesome!  Originally titled Halloween: The Homecoming, this movie even got delayed for some reshoots.  It's possible the movie was even more terrible than we saw.

Rick Rosenthal returned to direct.  This was his chance to prove that he was responsible for why Halloween II was good.  Well, i think by now we know John Carpenter, Debra Hill and Dean Cundey made that film work.  Halloween: Resurrection is incredibly amateur and absolutely terrible no matter was franchise or genre you're in.  The Weinsteins actually wanted to possibly go in the Halloween III type anthology direction again, leaving Michael dead.  But Akkad jumped in and was like "NO, remember Season of the Witch!  Bad box office!"  And thus, we got this pile of shit.
Here's an unpopular opinion of mine.  Many people credit Moustapha Akkad with being the biggest hero of the entire franchise.  That he was responsible with what was so great with the franchise.  Well, I give him credit for keeping it alive and giving us plenty of sequels.  But while he may be the franchises best friend, he was also its worst enemy.  I think its very clear that Moustapha didn't entirely have a grasp on what worked and what didn't with the franchise.  Every time he lucked out and got something that worked really well, he turned around and totally fucked it up with the following entry.  He did good on Halloween 4.  It was great.  It could have ended there highly satisfactory, but if it was to continue it had terrific possibilities.  But no, he rushed up, ditched an original/intriguing direction and gave us "more of the same".  That rush job was the first step into the eventual retconning that was Halloween 5.  Then, Akkad hits another homerun.  He can't stay pat, he fucks up again and gives us Resurrection instead of something else.  Let's not forget he shitcanned Carpenter's original direction for Halloween 4 and also balked at him causing him to leave Halloween H20.  Yes, this guy was the only one around for all these sequels, but that's because he had the rights, the money and this was the only thing he had.  Its very much like the Broccoli family and the James Bond franchise.  Call it what you want, but he was essentially a guy trying to get every dollar he could out of the franchise.  Yes, it was his baby and he did care about it a lot, but I don't think he had a grasp on filmmaking or scriptwriting at all.  And he also didn't know when to let a good thing go.
Halloween: H20 should have ended the franchise.  It was a surprisingly good movie with and ending so good and final that other franchises would be jealous.  By making Resurrection, they have essentially spit on the face of it and those who enjoyed the film.  This movie is bad.  Its offensive, embarrassing and you can't even laugh at it.  Halloween should have been rebooted, reimagined or remade after H20.  That or trying the anthology route were the only viable options.  Hell, a followup to Curse would have been understandable if you wanted Michael to continue.  We like to say Resurrection doesn't count or "forget it", but you can't.  It happened, its there.  I can skip it in my marathon all I want, but the movie, the story- its done.  It happened and effectively killed the franchise right after it had jumped to a high point and been put in the good graces of theater going audiences.  There was nowhere satisfying to go after that.  RIP original cannon.  Sorry you went out on this note.

Next Time: Rob Zombie takes over and I'm sure my comments section has a chance to fill up like never before.

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