The director of Halloween II, Rick Rosenthal returns to Haddonfield for the eighth entry in the franchise, yet his directing skills seem to have lessened over the years, as he has helped make a right mess here.
Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode returns, now in an insane asylum herself, waiting on yet another late October night for loony brother, Michael Myers to come after her. Again. Which he duly does, and this time seemingly wins the battle of wits with her. After which he makes his way back to Haddonfield, Illinois to take out some folks who are filming an online live steaming night at the Myers house. On Halloween.
Pointless, contrived, dull and featuring one of the utterly dire acting performances to ever hit the horror genre. Take a bow, Mr Busta Rhymes. The worst case of miscasting you'll ever witness. He is truly awful here, and well worth missing the film for.
Considering the quality and class of where the franchise began in 1978, this is a sad and quite frankly ridiculous fall in to the abyss.
With the events of three years ago still echoing in the mind of the severely disturbed Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) no one could blame her for now being confined to a asylum. Still depicting her actions from three years ago and still petrified that her older brother Michael will return she stays in her room and hasn't said a word for years. Yet when Michael returns Laurie must yet again strive to survive the ongoing and never-ending nightmare.
One year on, on October 31st 2002, 6 college students win a competition to appear in an internet reality show where they return to the family home of Michael Myers and try to piece clues together in order to discover what led to his homicidal ways. Things start to look bleak fairly early on in the show when it would appear that Michael has come home this Halloween...
This is the eighth instalment in the popular horror franchise and seemingly the last before Rob Zombie decided to go back to the beginning and direct a remake of the first two films. This sequel is a blatant attempt and bringing the Halloween franchise into the 21st century with the inclusion of the reality show element with a demonic twist. I was very dubious about how they were going to make this film work (if you've seen the ending of Halloween H20 you'll understand) and it seems that the writers simply threw some ideas into a hat and pulled one out at random, deciding to use the chosen one as a reason to why (and how) Michael would return.
The beginning grips you right away and there is an undeniably chilling atmosphere with the inclusion of the mental home that Laurie is now living in, unlike the previous film the film picks up a good pace immediately instead of the gradual building of the atmosphere which is present in H20. Despite the eerie atmosphere and the ongoing iconic battling between good and evil (Laurie and Michael) things just don't seem the same. I was extremely impressed and quite astonished at how much I enjoyed H20; I have only recently got into the Halloween franchise after watching numbers one and two on TV I bought H20 and Resurrection on DVD to see for myself whether the ever popular franchise should have been left in the dark 20 years ago or whether a resurrection was worthy.
At the beginning we are of course given the an obligatory recap as to why Laurie is staying at the mental institution and why Michael Myers could still be a threat to her. I was unaware that Jamie Lee Curtis was only cast in the film as a cameo so I was disappointed that she wasn't in the film for longer. After her brief 15 minute cameo the unimaginable happens which at first creates a lot of tension but then after the immediate shock, reality sets in that the Halloween franchise has finally run out of ideas and the conclusion of the opening sequence and cameo from Jamie Lee Curtis just goes to show that they are preparing to put Michael to bed... finally.
The acting is questionable at the best of times; after another decent yet uninspiring performance from a once great Jamie Lee Curtis, we're greeted with an array of one dimensional, clichéd characters which audiences have come to expect from low budget slasher films; I was expecting more from the Halloween franchise. Instead of actors we're given a rapper (Busta Rhymes) and a supermodel (Tyra Banks), it would appear that Halloween is desperately trying to branch out to a new generation of horror fans by choosing not to use established actors but celebrities like Rhymes and Banks who are famous for their other career paths. Rhymes seems to be following on in the footsteps of Ll Cool J who appeared in H20, the difference being Ll Cool J has significantly more acting experience and can hold his own in a scene as opposed to Rhyme's wooden and laughable performance. No matter how much I love Tyra Banks on America's Next Top Model, surely it's common knowledge that she can't act, her recent performance on Gossip Girl just cemented this even more. She has such a vibrant personality on her show in which she whittles down girls hoping to become the next big thing in the cut throat world of modelling however on films or TV shows her personality simply fades into the background and she comes across onscreen as being very fake.
The other characters are made up of unknown actors in their 20's being portrayed as teenagers, the only actor of any note would be Sean Patrick Thomas for his performance in Save The Last Dance. All the teenage characters are based very heavily on the cliché that only the virginal characters survive; this does the film no favours in making it extremely predictable given that all the characters bar one are all promiscuous and the film has no qualms about making it blatantly obvious of the teenagers promiscuity.
The character of Michael seems to have lost his edge ever so slightly, in a throw away comment that comes from Laurie early on in the film it sums up Michael's menace in one. "I'm not afraid of you anymore Michael" she bellows at the masked maniac and I couldn't agree more. Michael pulls nothing new out of the bag and infact he uses a lot of the same gimmicks that he used in H20; making him predictable and dull. Some of the deaths are a little more elaborate than in H20 and the very old Halloween films and the film takes on less of a Scream slasher film approach in favour of using the atmosphere of the dark and dreary house as opposed to using scare tactics and jumpy moments. Unfortunately I prefer the latter meaning that I wasn't impressed with Michael at all in this film and it just goes to show that he's definitely lost his menace over the years and I'm hoping that this will now be his last outing.
The film just didn't manage to grip me like the others did, even though H20 was so similar to Scream it still had me enthralled from start to finish and I was taken aback at how much I enjoyed it. As soon as the reality show aspect was brought into the proceedings the film went downhill for me. The films dark settings do nothing for the atmosphere and become very irritating because they use a handheld camera affect with the cameras attached to the characters heads. This makes the shots very jerky and headache inducing.
Overall this was a real disappointment, in the three films I had seen before this (numbers one, two and H20) I was very impressed by them all for different reasons but this film is absolutely terrible and not even worth the £3.99 I paid for it.
The DVD is currently available from play.com for £3.99.
Release date: 2002
A few years ago I came across a movie called Meet the Spartans. It was rubbish. I considered it possibly the worst movie I had ever saw. Then I remembered some toss from several years ago called Halloween Resurrection, which I remembered could never be beaten for all-round cinematic garbage.
The only way that Halloween: Resurrection could considered more of an obvious Hollywood cash-in was if it was infact titled Halloween: Cash In. A personal gripe with this is that I was a very big fan of the previous installment - Halloween H20. There is a story to tell in H20, which is played out very well. Laurie Strode has her final confrontation with her psychopathic brother, with a grande finale culminating in the death of Michael by her hand. An epic cinematic moment to end the greatest horror franchise of all time.
But no, that would be too easy, wouldn't it?
So let's resurrect Michael Myers. Let's cancel out the final events of H20. Let's make up some stupid, farfetched and ridiculous reason for Michael to have escaped his fate in the previous film.
So here we are 3 years on. Laurie Strode has for some reason been confined to a mental home, despite surviving her brother's attacks for over 20 years. She is pretending to have some kind of behavioral problems, and is not taking her medication. Obviously, since Michael Myers is not dead, he tracks her down and the two siblings have one last stand together on the roof of the sanitarium. After a brief exchange of glances and the odd word, Laurie is killed (yup) and Michael heads back towards Haddonfield.
And so begins the plot. Or at least what is meant to be a plot. A company by the name of DANGERTAINMENT (no I didn't make that word up), fronted by the illustrious Busta Rhymes (no I didn't make that up either) get the idea to set up a game to be broadcast live on the internet. A group of students will spend the night inside Michael Myer's childhood home to see if they can decipher the infamous serial murderer's motives. Nevermind the police or the FBI for that job. If anyone can do it, it's one of the virgins from American Pie. That comment might be a bit harsh since he's only in it for a few minutes but I don't care. This movie sucks.
The students start searching the house for 'clues'. They split up into groups, because you need to in a house this big, and of course Michael shows up and starts taking out the kids one by one, in a dull, bland and forgettable fashion.
I've seen quite a few bad movies in my time. Take Jason X for example. A complete load of toss which granted, doesn't take itself seriously. However Halloween: Resurrection does, which is what makes it twice as stupid. The culmination of this movie is easily the worst ending in the history of cinema. Trying to justify it with words is a difficult task, but I'll have a go.
Busta Rhymes, the hip fun lovin' gangsta who is as wisecrack as any TV executive, let's rip the classic line 'TRICK OR TREAT, MOTHERF*****', and spin-kicks Michael Myers to his certain demise. Yes, a man who has previously survived being shot in the chest, off a balcony, through a table, has been defeated with a martial arts move by a hip rapper.
That's the movie summed up. A translucent plot with no sense or logic. Bringing in Jamie Lee Curtis for 5 minutes at the start, then killing her off for the attempted 'shock value' which eventually turned out to be 'these writers are morons value'. The desperate attempt to add length to the film with the drawn-out tension and unoriginal kill scenes in the Myers' house. The horrendous cast who have a subtle competition to see who can be the most annoying. The incredibly offensive ending, and the fact it disparages the fantastic Halloween: H20.
If you ever think of seeing this film. Don't. It's a crass, pointless and an fairly blatant attempt at milking the franchise for it's final payout. Luckily there has been no mention of a Halloween movie following on from this, apart from Rob Zombie's white trash version which I won't take into account.
If your eyes ever happen to lay upon this visual disaster, turn it off and pretend that the Halloween legacy ended at H20.
Thanks for reading
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The seemingly interminable horror franchise Halloween gets its eighth installment in Halloween: Resurrection, a film that, while not quite as poor as the dire third film, Season of the Witch, is a lazily constructed effort that shows initial signs of promise, but quickly squanders them through horror formula and an insulting, cliched climax.
The film opens with Michael Myers escaping from his mental institution to hunt down his sister, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). The two have an epic showdown at the start of the film, resulting in Laurie finally being killed by her brother after over twenty years of fighting. Michael then returns to Haddonfield to hunt down dumb teens once again, invading a special web cast that takes place from Myers' old home, and laying waste to the oversexed and intoxicated kids one by one. Sadly, though, there's just nothing here to make it worth watching: it is as cliched and as routine a horror film as I've ever seen, and is complete with numerous corny and cringe-inducing one-liners.
By and large, this film is a joke - the idea of webcams just doesn't work at all and makes this nothing more than another film attempting to update an old franchise with modern technology, to no avail. Busta Rhymes is horrendous in this film, as are most involved, the notable exception being Curtis, who also steals the show with her opening showdown with Michael but is offed perfunctorily before the film gets going. The final shot of the film will have you shaking your head, I assure you, as we get ready to "look forward" to another sequel (or as it turned out to be, a remake).
These days, it seems like "mash ups" are the next big thing: taking one thing and combining it with another to create something new. So, in an effort to get "down wiv da kidz" and take my reviews into the next century, I'm going to try a film review/recipe mash up.
But first, a bit of background (it's not cheating: many good recipe books give you a short history and origins of the dish in question, by way of introduction. So there). Back in 1978, John Carpenter unleashed the low-budget Halloween on the world, which kick-started the slasher genre and introduced the world to the blank-faced Michael Myers. After a series of increasingly poor sequels, 1998's franchise reboot Halloween: H20, proved surprisingly watchable. Sadly, that just meant another sequel was inevitable.
Anyway, to make Halloween: Resurrection, here's what you'll need
A mature horror franchise, preferably past its sell-by date
A bland, derivative plot involving a "reality internet show" being broadcast from the old Myers house
A large dose of implausibility
A teaspoonful of obvious scares and dull set-pieces
A jar of horror movie clichés
A desperate cameo to "prove" the film's pedigree
Spoonfuls of terrible dialogue
A good looking, but charisma-free cast
A lot of red paint
A hugely predictable ending
A handful of gullible cinema-goers
Take your mature horror franchise and very carefully remove all the bits which originally made it good. Throw them away, keeping just the basic plot outline and the bits you want to nick. Important: you MUST make sure that you remove any sense of identity which might distinguish this from other horror outings and keep your franchise as generic as possible. Next, take the bland and derivative plot and squeeze until all originality and excitement has been lost. Set the plot in a convenient container (an old, deserted house will be fine) and lay the franchise title on top to give a thin crust of respectability.
At an early stage in the preparation process, carefully insert a cameo appearance by the series' most recognisable "victim" (Jamie Lee Curtis) and quickly wipe away a tear that the original Scream Queen has come to this. Quickly add a recap of the events of Halloween H20. Add a huge dose of implausibility in a vain attempt link this sequel with previous events, then leave to one side and ignore for the rest of the film. Throw in a cheesy "reality TV" angle in a vain attempt to make the film seem interesting and relevant.
Next, take a smattering of good-looking but charisma-free characters. Throw in the whole jar of clichés and make sure every character is well coated. Don't be tempted to skimp on the clichés (use a second jar if necessary) - any hint of originality in either the characters or the plot at this stage would be disastrous. Having thoroughly coated the actors in clichés, force-feed them spoonfuls of terrible dialogue, and then throw into the deserted house and leave to fend for themselves. For that extra element of authenticity, you might want to remove all common sense and logic before adding them to the house (this will ensure that do traditional horror movie stupid things like wandering into dark cellars when they hear a noise). Once the characters have settled in the house, add the dull set-pieces and mix together before asking someone wearing a white mask to stab with a large kitchen knife. Repeat until any sense of excitement or fun has been removed.
Liberally splash in the red paint in a vain attempt to flavour the dish sufficiently for gore-hounds, whilst remaining appealing for more moderate tastes (don't worry if this goes wrong: it always does). Don't be tempted to follow the blueprint of "hotter" or more flavoursome films like Saw or Hostel - for maximum impact, you should seek to make sure your film is so middle of the road taste-wise that it is in danger of being run over by a juggernaut.
Add a few minor shocks that even the world's most nervous guppy wouldn't find scary. For best results, you should use the cheapest shocks available (people suddenly jumping out of the shadows, "dead" people coming back to life etc) and no expense should be expended in an effort to make the film watchable. Ideally, these shocks should be reconstituted and regurgitated from every other horror film of the last 20 years and on no account should you be tempted to add a dash of imagination or . This would be a mistake and balance the completely unwholesome flavour of the whole dish.
The next step is optional, but, when cooking a dish like this, most directors like to include it, under the mistaken delusion that it adds a little spice:
Add what appears to be a hugely predictable ending (the killing of the bad guy). However, as you are placing it in the mix, make sure you give it a slight twist right at the last moment (given that your film has been so formulaic so far, your hungry dinner guests will be expecting one.). Again, don't be tempted to make the twist too subtle or your dinner guests might not notice it. Instead, make it really obvious what is going to happen and don't be tempted to stray too far from the recipe that seems to govern all dull and predictable horror movies.
Finally, mix the whole sorry mess together. Place in the oven and half-bake for 89 minutes. Presentation-wise, you don't need to worry too much and should simply dump the final result out however it comes. Ideally using a mixture of dark locations and confusing camera angles will help to disguise what a dog's dinner of a film this is, since it will render it mostly unrecognisable and anyone with any taste will not wish to go anywhere near it.
Serve to a lukewarm or cold critical reception and a gullible cinema-going audience who still haven't learned that repeated sequels, reboots and "re-imaginings" leave a sour taste in the mouth. Best accompanied by low expectations and universally poor reivews.
Note: consuming this film may result in a mild sense of nausea as you realise just how rubbish this is when compared to the original.
(Further note: when putting this dish together always make sure you leave enough room so that you can re-make this in future (known in the business as "sequels"). Do remember that every time you make this dish again, you MUST water it down further each time, so that every new serving is even weaker and more diluted than the last.)
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Running time: approx. 89 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2009
H20 was pretty darn decent to be honest, and I was looking forward to seeing how Michael Myers didnt actually die at the end of that movie.
The start I think is pretty good, Jamie Lee Curtis is now in a mental home after accidentally cutting a poor paramedics head off at the end of the last movie (oops, and great excuse for another movie!). She cops it at the start of the movie and I think that her not being in it has really ruined the rest which just seems like an excuse to make money if im brutally honest.
A reality show is being shot in the Myers' old home...none of the acting is very impressive, and Tyra Banks really let me down, as a very down to earth personality, I would have expected her to have more movie sense.
Michael Myers has no reason to be there, and the attempt at a romantic angle in the middle between a student and her online 'friend' is feeble to say the least.
All in all, this movie was disappointing, espescially since H20 had managed to, surprisingly, raise my expectations.
The DVD does have a few special features which are quite interesing, deleted scenes, some make more sense than others and you can see why they didnt make it to the final cut! A tour of the set, and an interview with JLC, and a photo gallery. Nothing that really stands out though unfortunatley.
A film only review:
And so the Haloween series continues, with Michael Myers once again able tobe the star of the show due to a convoluted twist at the end of the previous film in the series, Halloween: H20. Like H20, Resurrection tries to modernise things a little bit, bringing us up to date and keeping up with the times.
At the beginning, we find that slasher Michael Myers' long suffering sister Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis), has been institutionalised (it was only a matter of time), and this, in a sense, helps to phase her out of this film, bringing in some fresh targets for our favourite psycho. These come in the form of 6 college kids who have managed to win places on a new internet webcam show. They are to enter the Myers house, now dilapidated in e very sense of the word. Equipped with cameras attached to their heads so that a live internet feed can attract money and make the show's creator Frank (Busta Rhymes) a lot of money, the 6 enter the house, blissfully unaware that Myers is still on the loose and, inevitably, in his house.
That he is present from the beginning kind of takes away a lareg element of the surprise, although I have to say that I jumped on a few occasions watching this. The filming is done part as you would normally expect, but also partly from their heaccams and through the computer screens of a bunch of their friends, watching from a nearby houseparty. These internet watchers are as unaware of Myers' presence as those in the house, which also adds to the effect. Indeed, we as the viewers of the actual film are the only ones who know he's there.
Of course, there's plenty of violence, althought he film is only given a 15 certificate. To be fair, a lot of it is done in the dark, and on a grainy camera feed, so it's not quite as graphic is it perhaps would have been with clear vision, and perhaps this is part of the reasoning for its lowered rating. To be honest, I would not have been surprised to see this with an 18 certifictae though.
I fully expected to feel like slating this film, but the modern elements and the dark and jumpy moments made me actually respect it to a certain extent. That people are still crying out for slasher movies is evident, and the Halloween series is the best known of the genre and its style. Surely, they must be running out of ways to provide Mike with opportunity for massacre, but where there's a will there's a way, and I can see more and more continuing to be made.
The film has a rather predictable ending, but it ultimately still sends a nervous shiver down your spine. I was annoyed with myself for jumping and for this shiver, as I knew exactly what was going to happen, in what sequence, where and when, yet something about it just increased the tension. The original Halloween music is used once again, and I suppose this added to it, but overall I guess it was just the general quiet suspenseful moments where you know where he is and they don't. It makes you want to shout a warning out to the screen!
The acting is almoist irrelevant in this film, which is just as well, as it is rather mediochre. Sure, they didn't have to do much really, and so don't! If anyone does try, it's good ol' Busta, but he goes over the top with some of his lines, and it spoils the character somewhat. Teen flick stars such as Breckin Meyer and Sean Patrick Thomas rear their heads, and Tyra Banks has a minor role, too. However, the acting all round is just average.
And so, in all honesty, is the film itself. Sure, it had its moments, and was very suspenseful, but it was nothing particualrly new, and revisisted similar formulae the series has already tested. Okay, there were enough modern elements such as the internet cams and the idea of spending a night in the Myers house to find out what made the man tick. This didn't drag it up enough, though, and I found myself watching yet another Halloween film with the same old start, middle and end. A 3 star film, as it was enjoyable, but here's to hoping they throw a cat among the pigeons for the next one!
Laurie Strode cut Myers head off at the end of H20. With an Axe. So there is NO Myers for this film. I find it unlikely that he would be able to locate her in the Mental Institution (why was she even there anyway?). And once he'd killed Laurie there was no reason for him to do anything any more. He would never have known about the TV show being done at the Myers old house.
Why had this house not been demolished? It's been empty a long time and no-one would ever buy it considering it's history. And no-one knew about the tunnels under the house? Did anyone else notice the mistake where the girl read the newspaper article about Laurie Strode "Myers Sister"?
I doubt the police would have allowed anyone to film on a house on such a day. Oh, and being hung from the camera flex would have killed him. The whole film became a joke once the last girl got the chainsaw. At least the electrocution would have killed him beyond any shadow of a doubt. This is the 1st Halloween film to end showing us Myers is still alive. Every other film has either shown him dead or locked away or impossibly trapped. This film was dire.
If anybody noticed, they've stopped numbering the Halloween films, for the fear that if somebody noticed this was film number 8 they'd refuse to see it. There are many reasons for refusing to see it, not least the fact that Michael was apparently decapitated at the end of the shamefully brilliant H20.
Two years have passed, and Laurie Strode (reverting to her real name in this installment) is in a mental institution. We quickly learn in an excellent opening sequence that Laurie accidently decapitated the wrong man, and is now silenced by guilt. Unbeknown to the medical staff though, Laurie's silence is simply patience as she waits for Michael to turn up. And he does...
Once the Laurie / Michael story is put to bed, Michael returns to Haddonfield only to discover the old Myers house where he dwells has become the focus of an online broadcast on Halloween. Quick to restore tranquility to his lair, the masked psycho sets about picking off the film students who plan to spend the night. All the while, the murder and mayhem plays out to an audience who initially think that Michael is part of a plant by the ghoulish producers.
Resurrection starts off promisingly, despite a flawed premise for his continued existence, but runs out of steam very quickly. Jamie Lee Curtis returned to the role that made her famous for the fourth time, but insisted that this be her last. She is discarded rather disrespectfully in the first sequence of the film, and its only her performance as the destroyed Laurie Strode that makes this film even initially watchable.
Soon, the film gives way to a weak plot about planted horrors in the home of the killer, and a group of idiots who think playing tricks on each other is the ideal way to enjoy the scariest night of the year. Obviously, when somebody revealed the history of the Myers house, nobody remembered to mention that the killer wasn't actually dead. Therefore, between their idiocy and their ignorance, these characters kinda get what is coming to them.
Its a shame that the initial opening of Halloween Resurrection is thrown away on cheap scares and slow motion sequences that only highlight how unscary Michael's motives have become, because the initial premise of a destroyed woman who has been stalked is the most interesting thing about it. However, the previous film and director managed to capture Laurie's horror so much more effectively. This time, she's simply a hook to hang the film upon.
The film also cashes in on a theme that has become all too familiar. Many an exploitation film has explored the premise of the internet as a way of luring in potential victims. Whilst this film turns that on its head, and actually shows the victims setting up the internet broadcast, its a concept that is spoiled by bad cuts and frustrating editing. There nearly isn't even a single message in there to warn of the many many dangers of internet broadcasts and chatrooms. In fact, this film glorifies the use of the internet, and almost suggests that it single handedly saves a girls life.
Rick Rosenthal takes up directorial duties, and marks his second crack at this series. His first Halloween was the original sequel. John Carpenter clearly had a hand in that instalment for it was much scarier and made more sense. In attempting to explain the whereabouts of Michael for all these years, the film throws up more questions than answers. Why would the home of a killer that has lay empty for 30 years or more still contain some of his posessions? Why is the basement of the house bigger than the house itself? Could somebody really exist in the basement of a house, and never ever be seen skulking about for 30 years? These questions are pointless diversions, because by this point its hard to care, but in the duller sequences in the film it promotes a small amount of fun.
Resurrection itself isn't the worst film I've ever seen in this genre, neither is it the worst film of this series. In fact, the return of Curtis, along with the inclusion of Tyra Banks (in a role that just isn't big enough) and Busta Rhymes is certainly welcome. Rosenthal also makes a decent attempt at making this film scary, chucking in enough terrible deaths and blood to justify its existence. However, as Michael plunders through the old house for all the world wide web to see, any mistique or credibility is watered down to one mildly entertaining moment where the daft killer comes face to face with himself.
If Id hated this film, I would only have myself to blame. Having watched so many modern stalk and slash horror movies I really ought to know what to expect, so it would almost be repetitive to criticise such a film for being unoriginal and contrived. Surprisingly enough, although I thought I knew what to expect, I found myself quite enjoying Halloween Resurrection, which had just enough new ideas and sparkle to convince me that it was worth making.
In the last instalment of the Michael Myers series, we watched his sister decapitate him at the roadside when she finally realised that he was beyond redemption. At the start of Resurrection we find out that she has been confined to a mental institution on the basis that she is completely insane. It transpires (rather conveniently) that the man she believed to be Michael Myers was in actual fact another man, who had been forced to dress up like Michael Myers so that the real thing could make his escape. It certainly isnt as implausible as some other cinematic explanations for how people have survived an apparently final death, but I would suggest that its probably best to switch the old grey matter off for a while. Needless to say, Myers comes back to get his sister and disappears into the night once more.
Meanwhile, a trio of high school students is advised that they have been successful in their applications to appear on Dangertainment. The show is an Internet-based live experiment, during which they and three other young people are to be left in the childhood home of Michael Myers where they will be left to try to uncover some of the reasons behind his descent in madness. The whole event is to be broadcast live over the Internet and if successful will make the shows creator an awful lot of money. Most of the participants simply want to use the show as a vehicle to get into the business, but Sara Moyer really only agrees to go along to keep her friends company. Amongst Saras friends is a young boy who settles down to watch the event online along with thousands of other Internet users.
As things get underway, the teenagers find a number of items of furniture that appear to come from Myers childhood. A babys high chair is found in a kitchen cupboard, complete with child-sized chains and manacles where he was apparently tied up. They also find the bedroom in which Michael murdered his own sister, and a small dungeon under the house where Michael appears to have been incarcerated. Nonetheless, despite these grisly finds, they remain high-spirited and happy to carry on taking part in the show. They have no idea that they are in fact not alone, and that a seventh and an eighth guest can be found lurking in the shadows. Was that a trick of the light, or did two Michael Myers just appear on the camera?
John Carpenters original Halloween film remains one of the most critically acclaimed horror films of all time. Halloween literally set a precedent that very few films have ever managed to follow, and this applies just as much to the deluge of sequels as it does to the competition. However, demand for more of Michael Myers never seems to diminish, and the sequels just keep on coming. Its an interesting reflection on todays cinema audiences that these films just dont seem to frighten people any more, as evidenced in the 15-certificate applied to this film. Halloween Resurrection is arguably just as violent as the original film, but is now resigned to become a quick fix of horror action for an increasingly unimpressed teenaged audience. The films only saving grace is that it brings itself bang up to date, and plays around with a few ideas that we havent seen before.
Regardless of the fact that we have to accept that Michael Myers has once again cheated death and is once again on the loose, Resurrection is slightly more interesting than usual in that we have this idea of playing the whole thing out like some kind of bizarre Internet spycam. Each of the six houseguests is given a camera, which is worn over one ear and is used to relay the sights and sounds exactly as the youths experience them. The film is therefore a wild mixture of shaky camera footage, coupled with static cameras around the room and interspersed with normal film camera work. It works strangely well, and gives us an interesting new take on an old idea. As with any similar movie, the kids are initially blissfully unaware that they are in genuine danger, and it is only the Internet audience that gets a brief flash of Michael Myers as he wanders across a darkened doorway. The appeal of a stalk and slash movie is rather like that of a pantomime in that the audience loves to cry out, Hes behind you! even though it will always come too late. In Resurrection, we are the audience of an audience who is as initially unaware of the danger as the inhabitants of the house are. The sudden realisation of both groups is therefore much more effective than youll find in other films of this type. To make things a little more interesting, once the Internet audience has cottoned on to whats going on, they are the kids only hope of survival, and her friends relay vital messages to Sara via her palmtop communicator. Its all pantomime from start to finish. When Sara asks the screen, Where is he? you almost expect the traditional response to flash up on her screen.
Despite its 15-certificate, Resurrection is still quite a violent film. Michael Myers brandishes his trusty knife with his usual aplomb, and slashes the students to pieces as he did in all the previous films. Throat slashing, disemboweling and decapitation are all on display, although nothing has a particularly shocking feel to it. Very few films seem to be able to make a decapitated head look like its living owner, and I always snigger in ridicule at the waxwork lumps that end up bouncing down the stairs. Theres very little to be frightened off either, because Resurrection is so utterly unsubtle. Michael Myers is just there right from the beginning so there is absolutely no anticipation of his presence whatsoever. The original music is occasionally used to announce his arrival, but where this was once very atmospheric it now seems out of place and gratuitous.
Resurrection follows the ongoing Hollywood trend of casting gangster rap stars in leading roles. This time its the turn of Busta Rhymes, who plays Freddie Harris, the creator of Dangertainment. He fails in exactly the same way that all of his predecessors have failed by lavishing the whole role with far too much bad attitude. He probably thinks he looks hard we just think hes a bit of a tit. Jamie Lee Curtis gets a small part at the start of the film, but she is phased out before the main event, which was probably a good idea given that she really wouldnt have fitted in with the rest of the film. The other cast members comprise an assortment of faceless girls and boys who could have been in countless other movies, but who you would never remember in a million years.
Overall, Resurrection succeeds in three main ways. It takes an old idea and adds a bit of a modern twist to it that makes us feel as though we are getting something new. It mixes up a cast of naughty, sexy young people that provide plenty of opportunities for grisly killings. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it keeps things short and simple. These things are probably enough to enable most fans of the series to enjoy this new instalment, even if the ending is utterly, shamelessly predictable.
Resurrection had a bumpy ride getting to our cinemas. After the rather unexpected success of H20, the planned final film, Dimension decided to raise the knife once again and a sequel was soon green lit. It seems that studios just dont know when to stop when they see the opportunity for more money to come their way. That was in 1999. From then on its been subject to more cuts, edits and name changes than most films could ever imagine. During its development time its been known as H2K, Halloween: Michael Myers.com and Halloween: The Homecoming to name but a few of the titles. After going through countless redrafts it was released in 2001 to an underwhelming reception and Dimension wanted parts to be re-written and re-shot and so it was released, two years after the planned release date, in July 2002 in the US.
As much as I love the Halloween series I was dubious about an eighth instalment. What made me concerned was, for me, Halloween went out on a high with a fantastic ending in H20. It was final (nothing its much more final than the killer getting his head chopped off), it wrapped it up even if it didnt address some of the sequels, and it was a polished effort. Now an eighth sequel comes along with is propelled mainly by greed, though Halloween 4 also was and that turned out okay, and totally discredits the great ending of the previous film. Rick Rosenthal, the director of Halloween II, returns to direct this instalment and though he really wasnt my favourite Halloween director at least he knows some ropes also the sequel wasnt set in space which was another plus point and its premise of a web-cast did try to inject some kind of difference into the film to set it apart so it wasnt all bad. However with the countless re-shots and setbacks only time would tell if Resurrection should have stayed dead and buried.
Resurrection begins four years after Halloween night of 1998 when Michael Myers, after 20 years, tracked down his sister Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and once again tried to kill her and her son John (Josh Hartnett) with a few people coming under his knife as he did so. However Laurie decided to end the terror once and for all by killing him herself with an axe and a quick cut to the neck. But evil never dies. It turned out she killed the wrong guy; a paramedic who, thanks to a flashback, we find out Michael had severed his throat and put him in his mask unable to talk. Laurie was then detained at a state mental home and has not spoken a word since and she waits for the day her brother eventually comes back for her.
Meanwhile, back in Michaels hometown of Haddonfield, the old Myers house is now in media frenzy once more. Thanks to the recent wave of reality entertainment the Dangertainment company fronted by Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) is set to send six young men and women, Sara (Bianca Kajlich), Jenna (Katee Sachoff), Donna (Daisy McCracken), Rudy (Sean Patrick Thomas), Jim (Luke Kirby) and Bill (Thomas Ian Nicholas) into the home of Michael Myers for the night of Halloween where they must stay in order to win the nice cash prize. All their movements would be recorded live via web cam all around the world. However what the young people didnt bargain on was Freddies determination to make Dangertainment a hit by setting up all manner of little tricks and scares around the house. However what the both the young people and Freddie didnt bargain for was Michael Myers himself turning up at his house to rid them all from it.
The film does get off to a good start thanks to the always-solid Jamie Lee Curtis. She appears only in the fifteen minute opening before the title sequence as she was only contracted to do a cameo in this film so anyone hoping that this would be another Halloween fronted by the original Scream Queen are going to be let down. However while she is on screen the performances are dramatic enough when her brother does indeed try to pay her a visit. During this time there is a brief recap of the events of Halloween H20 and also the all-important explanation of Michael Myers being alive with his head. From then on though Resurrection lacks any sort of sparkle to set it apart from the long line of sequels. It is worth noting that the web cast idea was thought of before the recently released My Little Eye and it is just unfortunate to have two horror films that rely on the same novelty factor in their films as a means to make themselves a little different released so close to each other. However the web cast, though different, does not dispel the fact that this Halloween is just like the others except this time we get to see people killed who have no past links to the previous Halloweens nor people that we have the chance to care about in the first place.
The films primary downfall is the characters in it. Where as the previous Halloweens always tried to have at least one link in character, bar Laurie, there are none in the main cast. This would not be so bad if there were a small number of them but six of them being introduced into a 90-minute film (or 75 when the opening is out of the way) doesnt leave much room for development. Most of the screentime is dedicated to the Sara character that is portrayed as the millenniums version of Laurie Strode. It doesnt work. She is devoid of any sort of character other than an ever so sweet and innocent wide-eyed little girl which has been seen a hundred times over. It doesnt help that all the other characters are presented each in their one-dimensional fashion. We have the friend who is the polar opposite to Sara, the horned up young lad, the resident psycho guy who is also horny, the weird girl who is still just as horny and the token black-guy, devoid of apparent horniness. With this one dimensional feeling to the characters the actors dont have much chance to excel on screen but merely do a passable job performing and, while none of them stands out, not one of them really ruins it. One person that does ruin it is Busta Rhymes. Why Hollyood films these days need a token rapper in their films is beyond me. H20 had LL Cool J that I actually didnt mind he was funny and he didnt take up too much time. Busta is different. His character isnt meant to be liked, he is a man bent on the success of his business and money after all, but as an actor he doesnt cut it at all and for a main character that isnt good. He goes over the top many times, he hams his role him to huge amounts and his facial expressions are the silliest ever seen. He has minimal talent and proves he cannot carry a film off. His presense may have worked to draw in the crowds in America but in the UK I doubt itll have the same pulling power and will make a lot of people angry at the fact he was cast. Next to him all the young people seem likeable and you really will be wishing for his character to snuff it.
Michael Myers has had another facelift for the film. After seeing it for the first time over the Internet I wasnt that impressed. Michael looked angry which defeats the whole point of the mask not showing emotion. However it the film it looks the part and has a more rough edged look than in H20. Notable mention goes to Brad Loree who reprises his role as The Shape and, although he now is slightly faster than in Halloween 4, he plays Michael well. The kills from Michael are a bit bloodier than in H20 and that is probably more than likely down to Roshenthals directing style more than anything. The knife is still the main killing implement but it is used more elaborately. Despite being more violent Michael behaves sometimes rather absurdly. In one stand out instance he actually takes an order from Busta Rymes character. This is somewhat unbelievable and shocking to see the once famed Bogeyman obeying someone other than himself and really does destroy his image somewhat. Why that was left in is anyones guess. But once again Michael doesnt fall into the Freddy trap of becoming the camp, lovable villain and, while his reputation gets ever more tarnished, his presence is still commanding and scary.
There is another problem with Myers, however, that goes beyond cosmetics and is another main bone of contention of the film. That is, why? Why would Michael Myers go after a bunch of young kids at his house? Wouldnt he want to try and track down his nephew? Has he nothing better to do? It just seems that the film is at a major loss; Lauire Strode is only a cameo and Dr. Loomis was no more after The Curse of Michael Myers. The film had to build up a satisfying story to follow on from there but doesnt. It could have carried on with Lauries son John, but there is not even a mention of him in passing. It could have tried to link in the many surviving characters of Curse, including Tommy Doyle, but doesnt. Instead it relies on a bunch of un-charismatic new people and a threadbare storyline focussing on Michael getting his house back.
But so much criticism let us now bring Resurrection from the hole it has been buried in. While Resurrection isnt full to the brim of good points it is not the total disaster you may have been thinking up to now. For behind all the diabolical acting from Busta and the missed opportunity for a good storyline Resurrection still works okay. For starters tradition is kept to a high standard. The musical score is great. The Halloween theme has never sounded so good since the first one, its far more beefed up and sounds just as good and its great to hear it in its new version. The Myers home is also a plus point. It went through a slightly gothic phase in the middle of the series but now it looks fairly like the first one though now far more run down and decrepit a bit like a haunted house.
Although the web cast angle doesnt offer much new we are treated to a quarter screen point of view at some points during the film. Also an outsider viewpoint is presented with a few kids at a Halloween party which works quite well also, with the use of a palmtop computer, it does add an interesting aspect to the final stalk chase which does show some nice inspiration. The web cast will really come into play with the DVD release, which is rumoured to include all web cam footage of the young people in the Myers house.
As said though the film doesnt offer a lot to differentiate to the other Halloween sequels. This is, however, not all bad as the Halloween sequels, while not of the highest calibre, are a fairly decent bunch. It still, with the music and the house along with the basic plot remains traditional. The directing is also fairly decent too. The tension is built up steadily throughout the film and, for scares; it really just relies of jumpy frights to sustain it until the end. Unfortunately another main flaw of the film is that it just leaves too much of the killing until the end. Many of the characters get killed in the space of a few minutes, which mean that any scare build-up is minimal which is a shame. However the finale isnt too bad, even if it is a bit of a hark back to Halloween II, and, yes, the ending does leave way for a sequel. The ending isnt as momentous as H20 nor as good as the rumoured ending of Michael Myers disappearing in a sea of replica masks but goes for a more shock ending. Whether a part nine of the series remains to be seen. However the film made $30m at the US box office, which with little hype and it being released in the un-Hallonweeny season of July isnt too bad. It also shows a long running series can still fare well unlike Jason X, which didnt do too well when released. Itll be interesting to see how it fares in the UK where it is being released in the Halloween period; it can only aid its cause.
Halloween: Resurrection isnt the saving grace of the Halloween series. It isnt as good as H20 and, really, should never have been released anyway. However it was released and we are left to view it. As it stands it isnt the best Halloween sequel nor one of the best horror films but it is worth viewing even if you only see it because it is in season. It has suffered from the cuts and re-shoots but it isnt the disaster it could have been. It isnt that scary but most horror films these days arent. It doesnt use the novelty idea of a web cast as well as it should do but at least it tried. Any Halloween fan will see this new addition to the series anyway and for the general film goer just go and see a new Halloween film on the big screen in time for the Halloween season. Such things dont come every year.
HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION IS
An okay sequel
An okay horror film
A great film to watch for Halloween
HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION IS NOT
The best sequel
Full on the tension
A film that should have had Busta Rhymes
In 1978 John Carpenter made a low budget chiller named Halloween. It went on to become the most successful independent film for many years to come. It launched the careers of Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis and also brought a new figure to the world of horror icons-the brooding and haunting Michael Myers. Naturally any horror movie that makes a good profit gets a sequel and then a possible franchise. Five more Halloween films followed, each of them never coming close to the original, however they still had some enjoyment in them. Then in 1998, Jamie Lee Curtis was enticed to reprise her role when teen slashers were the in thing. Halloween H20 turned out to be a decent film which was well shot, well acted, very tightly paced and generally delivered everything you?d want in a good horror film. Above all else it appeared to be a fitting end to a franchise that could go out on a high. Sadly four years later the cash cow was once again resurrected when Michael Myer?s returned for an eighth time. Yes I know, you thought he was killed once and for all by Laurie at the end of H20. Well it turns out that the decapitation of Myer?s wasn?t true. He has swapped bodies at the end of the last movie and Laurie has killed an innocent man. This sends her to a mental institution where she waits day after day for Michael to return. Needless to say, he does and he comes face to face with Laurie which ends with the death of his sister and needless to say Jamie Lee Curtis has held up her obvious contractual obligation. The movie then moves into a story where an entertainment company stages a reality webcast where some young people scour the old Myer?s house for anything creepy. Needless to say they didn?t count on Michael Myer?s showing up with his large knife and turning an innocent stunt into a bloodbath. I?d love to tell you that the resurrection was true to its word. Sadly this movie is frankly awful on every level. The producer?s first mistake was to hi
re Director Rick Rosenthal, before this he has been directing TV for many years. His connection to the Halloween movies was that he directed the second film that was described by Curtis in previous movies as a ?bad movie?. The direction on this movie is incredibly bad, for some reason the majority of the film is shot in the dark so you can?t really see anything. The scares are non-existent as the editing and pacing of scenes look like a monkey who hadn?t been fed for a few days cut them. The final cut also looks like it was heavily edited to get something that worked to a degree. Of course you also have a group of characters that are completely annoying that you can?t wait for them to be dispatched. They are given banal dialogue to spout and also do things which make no sense, one of the females is completely turned off by her male counterpart?s advances but then moments later she?s all over him just so the film can have a ?naked breast? moment. This film also has shows some amazing technology as this webcast seems to offer perfect video quality to anybody who views it on their computer. Needless to say this isn?t true to life. The only person who comes off well in this film is Busta Rhymes, purely because he seems to think he?s in a comedy. There is a moment when the emotionless killer that is Myer?s confronts Rhyme?s. Normally Rhyme?s would be sliced and diced but instead he berates Myer?s as he think?s he?s somewhere else. He ends by telling Myer?s to go do some work, Myer?s actually does what he?s told! Then in the finale they have a fight where Rhyme?s uses some lame kung-fu. By this point I couldn?t believe that this movie actually got past the script stage. Of course at the end there is a hint at another Halloween movie to come. This is surely proof that there is no god. Needless to say, Halloween:Resurrection made over double it?s budget in the US alone.
Lights, Camera, Slaughter! Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the movie theatres you're not only hit with a new Friday 13th movie which unsurprisingly sucked harder than a black hole faced with a Werther's Original but then that other veteran of the horror movie sequel Michael Myers comes back to dish out some more pain in yet another Halloween movie! I shelled out to see Jason X earlier in the year , stupid I know, but having seen the other 1,835 movies in the Friday The 13th franchise it seemed silly not to see the latest as well. I'm afraid I saw this one under the same principle and yes, if they make another Critters movie I?ll see that, or another Leprecaun one and so on. That said, I was actually quite entertained by it... Umm to qualify that last statement for google surfers(hello!) and new dooyoosers, I rather like crap horror movies so you might like to take any positive opinions expressed within this review with a liberal pinch of salt... Anyhoo, it's 2002 and in the parallel universe served up for us Michael Myers(played here by stuntman Brad Loree) is a legendary serial killer up there with the 'best of the best', the Mansons, the Dahmers, the Geins etc. all paling into some kind of insignificance by comparison to his legendary exploits. It's the old thing where the movie makers know they've over-stayed their welcome and try to bring movie folklore into perspective with reality. Jamie Lee Curits is here once more, but she's banged up in a mental institution after it's revealed the man she killed at the end of the last movie was actually a police officer with his vocal cords ripped out and wearing a Michael Myers halloween mask so she takes little precendence in the movie at all. Instead, we get a 'teched up' version of the Halloween story where the principals of reality TV and the internet come into play. You see, some bright sparks have the idea that they are go
ing to pay some students to stay one night in the old Myers house on Halloween night. The house will be fitted up with cameras all over the place, they'll wear microphones and mini-cams of their own and all they'll be asked to do is explore the place for the night and viewers will be able to switch around the cameras and it'll all be great fun. The inevitable happens, they explore, they bitch, they argue, they shag despite(or because of) the house being full of cameras and find a load of seriously odd and disturbing stuff which seems to explain just what made Michael so screwed up. And then the mayhem begins... OK, so it's effectively a slasher movie with some reality TV elements to spice it all up a bit but you can always watch and fantasise about how much better this year's Big Brother would have been if they'd have unleashed Michael Myers amongst the boring sods if nothing else. Of course it probably wouldn't have been that different, Alison would still have been one of the first to go because she couldn't run away fast enough, Sandy would have been next, throwing himself on Michael's machete to escape the horrors of being forced to socialise and Alex would have whinged constantly about Jonny bleeding in the shower... Anyway, the movie, you already know whether you like ths 'kind of thing' or not, there can't be that many who've never seen or heard of the Halloween movies or who have never seen at least ONE slasher movie in their time. If you found those entertaining then you'll get *something* out of this too, if not then there's nothing to see which'll make you change your mind. For fans of the franchise (and for them to make this many then there must be one or two of you) then rest assured it's one of the best in the series, probably second or third to the original and certainly a distinct step upwards from the abysmal H20 which was the last time Michael (dis)grac
ed our screens. Oh and rest assured also that it's left wide open unlike the latest Friday The 13th, and not just for one sequel, but if you think hard about the first 15 minutes, for at least two more. Whichever way you look at it, it's crap, but it's crap with it's tongue planted firmly in it's cheek so it's good crap as opposed to the Swimfan/My Little Eye kind of teenie crap I yawned through last week. Gripes and moans? The acting stinks, but then you saw the other movies, or any slasher movie, so you knew that anyway. The script stinks too and again you knew that and it's all veeeeery obvious...which you also knew. Teens stay in dark spooky house, big dude with a machete comes and hacks them up, you've seen it all before - whether you want to see it again, is something only you can answer. More legitimate moans come from the depiction of Michael who has gone from a big dude with sickly looking grey flesh and black pits for eye sockets in previous movies, to Pennywise the clown in this one. Brad Loree looks like he's wearing a porcelain face mask which just made me want to giggle...and I did, often. He also gets far too much time on screen in full camera shot and with the porcelain white mask effect and resolute muteness you get the feeling you're looking at a beefy mime in a boiler suit. Marcel Marceau may well be lined up for the next movie... More moans...there's not enough blood 'n' gore. Am I worrying you yet? Well, surely blood 'n' gore is one of the few reasons to watch something like this and there's not enough I say! Oh there's a few beheadings and some butt-clenching close-ups of the machete going in but...do people not bleed anymore??? How many stabbed, hacked and beheaded people don't bleed? Mmm, well these ones don't, much. There's also very little in the way of real shocks and tension here, rather we're looking at a few "BOO!" scenes fo
llowing a somewhat disproportinately long build up to the action actually taking place and tension in a few fleeting instances. You won't be too shocked at what you see here, nor will you be sitting on the edge of your seat...but you might be entertained in other ways. The reality TV aspect worked for me, so too did the use of the on-body cameras which I thought added something to the mayhem although of course it makes it all a little confusing. Equally intriguing are the explorations of the house and the things the knife-fodder cast uncover which does set this above some of the other entries in the franchise which seem content with pitting Jamie Lee Curtis against Michael and be damned with any kind of intriguing storyline. This one isn't 'good' as such, but it?s more interesting to anyone who has seen the others than all the other sequels... In all, you probably already knew whether you wanted to see this or not so this is something of a throw-away review. Resurrection is certainly more interesting and has more in the way of clever ideas than many other slasher movies but ultimately, it boils down to dumb teens wandering around a house and getting hacked up...same as it ever was. I'd rate it second best in the series behind the first Halloween and the rating below reflects this alone. As a general slasher movie it's probably a 3 star watch-at-home affair or a flat out zero if you think slasher flicks should have remained dead and buried in the 80's where they probably belong. OfficialSite: http://www.halloweenmovies.com/ This is the official Halloween website and offers a wealth of information on ALL the Halloween movies as well as offering fan chat, merchandise and a whole lot more. It is a bit on the slow side though for modem surfers and you will need the flash plug-in to fully appreciate it, but worth a look if you're interested in such things.
The eighth entry in the series, Halloween Resurrection maintains connections to John Carpenter's original. A prologue picks up the thread of Halloween: H2O, with poor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) now in a psychiatric hospital and determined to shut down homicidal Michael Myers once and for all. The story then shifts to the old Myers house, where a TV reality show has enticed six teenagers to spend a single night in the spooky home in a plot-line stolen straight from the indie thriller My Little Eye. Needless to say, things are spoiled when Michael barges in: "I so did not sign up for this," sighs the young heroine, when the bloodletting begins. The mayhem is being broadcast live on the Internet, which makes the film a bit like Rear Window with Instant Messaging. The interesting premise is routinely handled, but that's enough to make this one of the better sequels in the series. Maybe they finally finished off Michael in this one, wink wink. --Robert Horton