|<||Rating:Rated R for lots of blood, guts, slashing, cutting, decapitating, slicing, dicing, and making of julienne fries. Also contains some naughty language and possibly one or two female nipples
Starring: Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tyra Banks, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Directed By:Rick Rosenthal
In October of 1978, the great and powerful John Carpenter released his vision of terror, Halloween, onto millions of unsuspecting moviegoers worldwide. The film went on to earn over 47 million dollars, becoming the highest grossing Independent film of all-time (A record since broken, first by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, then by The Blair Witch Project, and now held by this year’s hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding.). Unfortunately, success equals sequels. So here we are, almost 25 years later, watching the 8th installment in the series, Halloween: Resurrection.
Before I go any further, I need to mention something. I am as big a fan of this series of films as is humanly possible. Halloween ranks second-to-one (Yes…I meant one, not none) to me in the world of cinema, and the fact that the sequels (barring 3) return the evil of Michael Myers to the screen gets me everytime, despite the fact that maybe 2 of them (the 4th and possibly the 2nd) have been good films. I guess you could say that I’m a Halloween addict.
That being said, I entered the theater for Resurrection with a buzz of excitement, but at the same time I knew I was in trouble. The plot of the film revolves around a “reality” entertainment (a la Survivor or The Real World) website called Danger-tainment, run by a seedy entrepreneur (played by rapper Busta Rhymes; and his scheme to hold a live broadcast inside the infamous Myers House on Halloween night. This of course requires a pack of college slaughter-lambs, err…I mean students. They are of course trapped inside all night, and it appears are not alone. Soon, only the girl who brought her portable instant messenger is safe, thanks to the teen geek boy whom she met on the internet and is watching the broadcast from a party. (Yes, it’s a stupid plot.)
I knew Dimension films, which now holds the rights to the series, would try and make the film appeal to a widespread teen audience, and I was right. The playing in of the “reality entertainment” theme that is so popular at present is a dead giveaway. As is the casting, which includes small roles for recognizable teen faces like Sean Patrick Thomas (Save the Last Dance) and Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie), along with supermodel Tyra Banks.
Not to be outdone, the producers also went for the support of the Halloween faithful like myself, bringing back director Rick Rosenthal, whom directed Halloween II. They also bring back Jamie Lee Curtis, who made her film debut as the teen heroine in Halloween to reprise the role for the fourth time here. The opening scenes with her are crucial for any fan of the series, and I found them to be very entertaining. Unfortunately, once that segment ends we get to the actual plot.
Amidst all the attempts to make a movie that will draw every possible crowd, the idea of making a good movie seems to have been forgotten. The script is unoriginal, ripping off everything from The Haunting to The Blair Witch Project, even taking time to steal a scene from the classic Under Siege 2: Dark Territory! The direction by Rosenthal is shotty, but does what is needed. For the most part, the young cast is idiotically bad, with the exception of the heroine played by Bianca Kajlich, who simply has nothing good to work with.
What this film does do that makes it entertaining at points is try to have fun. Rhymes’ character is engagingly cool, and in a different setting would be a funny character to watch. Add to this the enjoyment of seeing Michael Myers at work and the opening with Curtis, and there are some moments of fun.
A last complaint I wish to make is this. Though this is still my beloved Michael Myers at work, it is easy to see that the character has been stylized to fit today’s culture. Many of the kills are far-fetched and overdone, and fail to remind us of the Michael Myers that dominated the screen in parts 1, 2, and 4 of the series. Unfortunately this is a trend that has been increasing since the 5th film, and one we are left with nothing to do about.
As much as I wanted to enjoy my time watching Halloween: Resurrection, it gave me so much to dislike. A silly and unoriginal plot, bad character development, uninspired acting and a weak ending all left a bad taste in my mouth. Despite all this, I still was intensely involved with every scene, and seeing Michael pop up behind an unsuspecting moron still gave me the chills. I’m going to be generous with my grade, because deep inside this movie is a part of me, whether I like it or not. But if you don’t know anything about the series, and want to be entertained, don’t come to the Myers house for this lame duck.