** ½ Out of 5
Tagline- Evil Finds Its Way Home
Release Date- July 12th, 2002
Running Time- 94-Minutes
Screenplay- Larry Brand & Sean Hood
Director- Rick Rosenthal
Starring- Bianca Kajlich, Busta Rhymes, Katee Sackhoff, Sean Patrick Thomas, Tyra Banks, Ryan Merriman, Brad Loree and Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Released in 2002 Halloween: Resurrection is considered by many fans to be the worst of the series and it would be difficult to argue against that; after a successful return to the series with H20 where it ignored Halloween 4-6 and went back to the Laurie Strode plot and with H20 it also sort of cashed in on the success of Scream while also keeping true to the original concept of the series and at the end of the movie it seemed as if Michael was dead for good, but if a sequel can be made somehow the villain will be brought back. H20 really was the perfect ending, but the way Michael was killed off or so we thought was a mistake in my opinion since it sort of broke the rule of never kill off your franchise player even if we now find out it wasn’t really Michael who got decapitated at the end of H20. I think the biggest problem with Resurrection is not only is this a bad movie, but pointless as well. I suppose one can say the past sequels were pointless, but even with their flaws at least they were fun and even in the weaker ones up until this point had some fun moments whereas this was just a disaster and with H20 wrapping things up so perfectly it makes this one the most pointless sequel of the series
Set 3-years after H20 Laurie (Curtis) having accidentally killed the wrong man is now in an asylum and is awaiting the return of Michael Myers (Loree) meanwhile a reality show led by Freddie Harris (Rhymes) is setting up in the Myers house where a group of people will explore the childhood home of Michael on Halloween night and once in the house will be locked up with no way out, but unknown to them Michael is there waiting.
The screenplay written by Larry Brand & Sean Hood is quite weak and while the idea was fairly decent the execution was rather poor; with Michael seemingly killed off in H20 I’ll give Brand & Hood credit for finding a way to bring him back, but as stated before it was pointless, but this was really about the only aspect of the script that was fairly done right with the explanation how Michael is still alive well sort of a good explanation. By the time Resurrection came out the Scream style slasher flicks while still being made were starting to run their course and what was once a fresh take on the slasher film was now becoming run of the mill and Resurrection seems like a holdover from that era and Resurrection also drove the point home that the Scream era was now a tired act.
The characters are boring with no depth at all and serve no purpose other than to be butchered by Michael Myers and while true past sequels may not have had the most Iconic characters, Resurrection easily has the worst characters. None of the characters have their own identity and some are also cheap knockoffs of past characters in the series best way to put it the quicker they are killed of the better. Brand & Hood attempt to create smart and witty characters, but instead they are overly annoying and the more they talk the more annoying they get. Sara (Kajlich) makes for a decent final girl and she’s sort of the modern Laurie Strode and while Bianca Kajlich does well in the role, she is however letdown by her writers and director and really ends up being quite a bland character, but she was still one of the better characters; Jen (Sackhoff) while a clichéd character is the only one that really stands out and that has more to do with the energetic performance from Katee Sackhoff than anything else.
There is also a subplot with a group of characters watching the reality show online at a Halloween party and these scenes are nothing more than filler scenes and add absolutely nothing to the plot and zap the pacing (which wasn’t very good to begin with) and these scenes really could have been mostly edited out. As poorly written as Resurrection was Brand & Hood do have some decent ideas by playing up to modern technology, which is something that has hindered slasher movies, but everything here feels rushed and tiresome and while returning to the Myers house was interesting it was already done in Halloween 5 and actually done better and the only thing this movie has over Halloween 5 is the house looks to be the proper size. Simply put Larry Brand & Sean Hood write a rather poor and forgettable script that is easily the most pointless of the series.
Rick Rosenthal who directed Halloween II returns to the series for Resurrection, which got some fans excited and as much as I enjoyed Halloween II, Rosenthal simply just followed what Carpenter did with the original, but for a sequel to a masterpiece of a film, Halloween II actually turned out fairly well. However with Resurrection things couldn’t have gone any differently. The opening act had some decent suspense with Michael Myers chasing Laurie in the asylum and while Rosenthal handles the scenes well overall it also lacks any common sense, which has more to do with the writing than the direction.
The pacing of the movie is quite sluggish and shots of Michael hiding within the house stalking the characters grows old quickly and everything just comes across as a poor rehash of past installments of the series. Rosenthal is unable to deliver any suspense or tension and the movie moves along at a slow pace and when there is lack of any action the movie can get quite grueling as the characters aren’t strong enough to carry the movie and the attempts at any suspense and tension are laughable as the film is devoid of any scares as each scene is as sluggish as the last. The Myers setting, which could have made for an excellent setting grows old quickly as scenes of the characters exploring the house while Michael somehow manages to always be out of sight grows quite tiresome very quickly. For the majority of the movie we can repeat this over and over again and at no point does it ever work. The direction by Rosenthal is lazy and uninspired and yes some problems are due to the writing, but horror movies and in particular slasher movies don’t always feature strong writing and flaws with the writing can be made up for to a certain degree if the director is able to make a suspenseful movie and Rosenthal handles the production as poorly as Brand & Hood handle the script.
The final act is when things pick up just a little bit and while by no means is anything highly suspenseful, Rosenthal does manages to put together some fairly decent scenes, but anything Rosenthal was possibly building is completely destroyed by the idiotic antics of Busta Rhymes. Having Busta Rhymes do a karate stance and spin kick Michael Myers out of a window is not scary, it’s just stupid and laughable. Having Busta Rhymes beat the hell out of Michael and always have a comment isn’t funny, it isn’t suspenseful it’s stupid. Michael is the villain and not a punching bag. I like when characters put up a little fight and not just stand there and die, but you don’t have your franchise player reduced to being nothing more than a bitch, it zaps any credibility he had left. As bad as Resurrection was like I said the final act actually had a little bit of suspense, but it’s destroyed by the Busta-Fu and anything that Rosenthal might have had going is lost and impossible to get back. Some people wonder how this film was by the same person who made Halloween II, but with that movie Rosenthal did have many people from the cast and crew from the original, which helped and of course John Carpenter did some reshoots, which some feel hurt the film whereas I felt they helped, but that’s for another review, but my point is a lot of the success with Halloween II had a lot to do with the cast and crew and not just Rosenthal and this movie sort of proves that.
The biggest mistake the film made was killing off Laurie Strode and while I guess that was needed to bring the series into a new direction, but certain characters should be untouchable and Laurie is one of those characters and with more creativity Laurie could have been written out without being killed off and still bring the series in a new direction and the worst part is how idiotic Laurie’s death is handled. After chasing Laurie to the roof where she has a trap set up for Michael where he ends up hanging from his ankles over the roof and quickly grabs at his mask where Laurie says she has to be sure this time. Ok I get why she would have to be sure, but does it really matter at that moment seeing as Michael or not he just tried to kill you!
Overall Halloween: Resurrection is a poor movie and while every so often I can dust it off and give it a watch it can be tough to get through and for me this is easily the worst of the series and as I stated before of all the sequels this just might be the most pointless one. I justify the movie by seeing it as just a horrible nightmare Laurie was having.