I don't want to be that guy, but I have to say it. This movie is rated R for "RRRRReally stupid." It's got a lot of the Michael Myers tropes going on. There's nudity, language (mostly "mf" by Busta Rhymes), and just violence always. I'm giving a warning that it is not as gory or intense as the upcoming Halloween remake by Rob Zombie, but most of this movie is the same level of offensiveness as the previous entries. R.
DIRECTOR: Rick Rosenthal
How? How do you make this movie immediately after Halloween H20? They reset things! I'm thinking about another offender in the reboot camp, Quantum of Solace. James Bond had just successfully retconned a lot of the series with a soft / hard reboot and been amazing with Casino Royale. Quantum of Solace wasn't as good. There was a writers' strike, but that movie is still at least pretty functional. Halloween: Resurrection might be the most unforgivable of the entire franchise. It had everyone's goodwill behind it and then just threw it away. It's not the most unwatchable of the series, but there were choices made in this movie that are just unforgivable. While I still think that The Curse of Michael Myers is the hardest to watch, there's something adorable in the fact that everyone tried really hard to make that movie. Halloween: Resurrection is first credited as a comedy on IMDB and that's where things get phenomenally stupid.
It's weird that Rick Rosenthal directed this. He directed the pretty adequate Halloween II. It's not an amazing movie, but it is a very functional entry into the franchise. Heck, it introduced that Laurie Strode was Michael's sister. That's something. But then Halloween: Resurrection was coming out during the dying breaths (pun intended) of the horror movie craze. As such, it was trying to capitalize on whatever it could. We had saturated the Blockbuster shelves with Scream clones and people were pretty much starting to get fed up with teen horror. This might have put the nail in the coffin for this era because it just feels like the biggest cash grab I've seen. It had this opportunity to take a risk. It saw that Blair Witch had been this game changer. It was the first mass found footage movie and Halloween wanted to do something of its own with that. But it was lazy. Man alive, it was lazy. The thing about found footage films is that they have to be crafted kind of well and depend a lot on luck. There's a reason why the Paranormal Activity movies are extremely hit or miss in the series. They don't always work. But this is Michael Myers we're talking about. This is Halloween. Low res killing doesn't work for Michael Myers. So instead, the folks behind Resurrection wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They decided to make a traditional Halloween third person cinematic experience while also presenting a found footage movie. The massive obvious problem with that is that it doesn't really give us a good experience on either front, but especially not in the found footage arena. The reason that found footage kind of works is the attempt at an aesthetic in reality. Even Cloverfield, which never claims to be based in reality, is scary because it looks like something that you or I could have made. But the found footage element (which isn't even found footage really, but a commentary on reality programming) just screams, "You liked Blair Witch, didn't you? Like me!" No, I refuse. The found footage stuff is the least scary element of the film and perhaps the least effective use of found footage that I've seen.
MAJOR SPOILERS: I need to discuss the mishandling of Laurie Strode. I know that a lot of this falls on Jamie Lee Curtis's shoulders. She had left the role a long time ago, but there were contract problems with killing off Michael Myers. From what I read, Michael Myers was contractually required to survive every movie. Jamie Lee Curtis came back to do H20 so she could put the final nail in the coffin for Michael Myers. That creates a problem. Jamie Lee Curtis didn't want to come back and keep playing Laurie Strode, understandably-despite-the-fact-that-the-new-one-opens-Friday. So to do that, Michael had to kill Laurie. Jamie Lee Curtis didn't want any ambiguity that Laurie was dead, so the first fifteen minutes of this garbage movie has Laurie Strode losing in a battle to Michael Myers. Yeah, there are elements of cool. Laurie has a pretty rad trap set for Michael and it works to a certain extent. But then she does something so fundamentally dumb that it doesn't feel like the character. Remember, Laurie has to lose. So she has to warp her character to make that happen. That's frustrating. Comic books do that a lot. If a character has to wipe out other heroes, those other heroes start acting like idiots. The same deal happened here. (I'm listening to the soundtrack for the film and Laurie's death just happened.) It's so weird when contractual stuff affects narrative. Where's the free reign? There should be tons of stuff that could be done, but because an actor disagrees with a producer, the narrative goes down the tubes? I didn't need to know what happened to Laurie. Yeah, another story of Laurie versus Michael might have had some legs, but a narrative shift isn't always impossible. Also, if the central concept is that that Michael is hunting down his family, what about Laurie's kid? Josh Hartnett wasn't available anymore? I mean, I don't blame him, but that's a pretty huge plothole. This movie almost stresses that Michael Myers doesn't really have a purpose without the Strode family. By taking the Strodes off the board, it becomes painfully aware that Michael is now just Jason, killing teenagers because he can. This is another entry that tries to establish that the house is important to Michael. So it forces people into the house...
Boy, forcing people into Michael Myers's house has never been so hamfisted. It's really bad. The people of Haddonfield now have a criminally short memory. Remember, Michael Myers is on the loose according to the last film. I know, he hasn't been to Haddonfield that many times in this timeline. But there is a nationwide manhunt for a serial killer and they just send teenagers into the house? Not much time has passed between H20 and Resurrection. How did they get permits? (Maybe they didn't. The movie kind of implies that there's something rink-a-dink about this whole outfit.) But this introduces the most problematic character in almost all of horror history: Busta Rhymes's Freddie Harris. I think he might be the most polarizing element of this film. I can see some people having a really good time with such a silly character woven into the fabric of a series that really hasn't been laughing at itself so far. I see him as Jar-Jarish because it is absolutely absurd having him in the narrative. Was this movie entirely based on the idea that Busta Rhymes wanted to beat up Michael Myers using kung-fu? Freddie Harris watches kung-fu movies in his apartment. It's a stupid, but mildly tolerable, joke that Frankie Harris tries to use his kung fu skills that he learned off of TV to fight the scariest serial killer ever. But then he starts winning. Like, he actually beats up Michael Myers pretty bad. He actually kind of beats him before MIchael re-establishes the status quo. Okay, that's a little forgivable. But then Freddie becomes the hero of the piece. There's a female character that seems to have autonomy, but Freddie has to save her time and time again. Remember, Freddie caused almost all of the problems involved in the story. But I can't help but think that because the part is played by Busta Rhymes, Freddie becomes the hero of the story. I thought Bianca Kajlich was the hero of the piece. Why is she always being rescued?
This movie dates itself harder than I could ever imagine. Tonally, it is the least woke movie I've ever seen. We have a costume from a main character that is an example of cultural appropriation. The movie comments on reality TV in a way that is completely devoid of actually making a comment. (It says how silly reality television is, but thinks its awesome.) Then there's the palm pilot texting. There's a side character who is the male love interest that is fundamentally gross. It's the example of the "good guy" liar character. He is lying about his age and his relationship with the main character. That's super problematic. But then he texts her on her palm pilot. Why doesn't he go over and try to help? There are lots of people who could have handled to the texting. Then, the texts crawl like molasses for effect. Every letter slowly fades in that he's typing at lightning fast speeds. He can make it go fast. He bolds and all-capses "GO NOW", but lets the important details just crawl by. I don't think there was any attempt to make this movie timeless. Yes, John Carpenter's Halloween looks like a movie from the '70s, but it feels outside of time. That movie is still scary and there's not a bunch of moments that are trying to capitalize on fads. This movie just stares at the screen and tries to break the fourth wall whenever it can. I don't think I've seen a self-aware entry in the franchise like this. Tyra Banks is fine. She's great even, but does she add anything to the narrative? I get it, she is a reality star and model. But why is Michael Myers even involved in this? It's his house. That's it. There's no personal relationship between the characters and the killer. There has to be something. I feel like everyone in that house is just fodder for Michael. Even the main character is pretty vapid. I want to root for Katee Sackhoff in this one! I really do. But she doesn't really add much to the mix. We're hitting a series of tropes and running gags that don't really deliver. Any attempt to make characters well rounded is abandoned and everything just kind of comes off as silly.
This movie almost made me mad. This was the only one I hadn't seen (I think. It may have just been really forgettable) and I was kind of looking forward to seeing something fresh. But this movie is just hot trash and I know that people warned me about it. It's rushed and dumb. There are no moments that really make me appreciate anything about it. Michael Myers is more vapid and stupid because of this movie and there's no excuse.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.