Reviewing a Cult Franchise – Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

So ‘Halloween H20’ was a huge success both critically and financially and it was decided by ‘The Powers That Be’ that ANOTHER sequel should be made. But there’s a problem. Michael Myers was decapitated that the end of the last film. ‘A problem?’, says the writers. ‘No problem’. It’s plot time.

3 years after Michael Myers (Brad Loree) attacked Hillcrest Academy, he’s back when some intruders enter his home for a web series entitled, ‘Dangertainment’ and is run by Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks.

That is an over-simplified version but this plot is very over-simplified. It’s almost as if this is the kind of film that the Halloween people want to make and every time people get angry at how bad it is, they make a great movie like ‘Halloween IV’ or ‘H20’ and when the profits and positive reviews come flooding in, they all collectively go ‘Phew, that was close’ then go back to making shit.

I missed out a very important plot point from the script, namely the beginning. In fact, the opening scene to ‘Halloween: Resurrection’ is the most important scene in the whole film because it explains what happened at the end of the last film and it’s also the end of an era.

The production must have known that ‘Resurrection’ was shit because they put Jamie Lee Curtis on the movie poster and she only appears in the opening scene.

Anyway, Laurie had been locked up in a nuthouse for 2 years because the bloke that she actually decapitated was a paramedic that was attacked by Michael after he was stabbed by Laurie. Everyone with me so far? Michael crushed the guys larynx so he couldn’t talk and you all know the rest. Michael took the guys clothes and escaped. So to sum up, Laurie killed the wrong guy and was locked up for it.

She’s completely catatonic and just stares out of a window but it’s all an act. Really, she’s waiting for Michael. One Halloween night, he comes for her. After a bit of a skirmish, Laurie leads her brother up to the roof where she’s set up an elaborate trap. It’s a real ‘cartoon’ trap with the rope around the leg and Michael is dangled over the edge. What on Earth made Laurie think that a very high fall would kill him? I don’t know. Michael trick Laurie into getting her closer to him where the rope snaps and both of them go over the edge. Laurie is stabbed in the back. With one final kiss, she plummets to her death.

So that’s it. With Laurie gone, it’s essentially a fresh start but to do what exactly? There’s nothing left to do for Michael, to go home.

HOLD IT!

Hasn’t Laurie got a son? Yes, she does. I know she does because he’s called John and was played by Josh Hartnett in the last movie. That would make John, Michaels nephew. Doesn’t Michael only go after his family members? So why isn’t Michael going after John? I like to think that if I ever wrote another sequel to Halloween, it would focus around John. I haven’t really thought about it much further than that.

Let’s go into this plot a little bit more.

Sara (Bianca Kajlich) is coerced by her friends, Jen (Katee Sackhoff) and Rudy (Sean Patrick Thomas) in taking part in a web series called ‘Dangertainment’ where participants will enter Michael Myers’ house and try to figure out what drove him to kill. The project is run by Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) and his friend, Nora (Tyra Banks). Other volunteers include; Donna (Daisy McCrackin), Bill (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Jim (Luke Kirby).

Sara is emailing a high school kid, Myles (Ryan Merriman) who goes by his internet name ‘Deckard’. He promises to watch her investigate the house online and he could be vital in saving her life when all shit hits the fan.

There is one moment in ‘Halloween: Resurrection’ that does make me laugh. It’s when Rudy and Sara are in the kitchen and Rudy (a chef) is confused when a supposedly rotten pot of herbs smells fresh. That’s right, folks. Michael Myers goes grocery shopping. I can just picture him in his overalls and his mask pushing a trolley around Sainsburys and swiping his nectar card at the checkout.

It’s obvious right from the get go that this film is pandering to the ‘mainstream’ audiences by having guys like Busta Rhymes coming in. It’s not horror anymore when Busta Rhymes is karate kicking Michael Myers. He just brings an entirely different and unappreciated tone to the table. In fact, I only really like one character and that’s Rudy. He’s a nice guy and actually sacrifices himself by distracting Michael when he goes after Sara.

A new element floating through this film is the advancement of the technological age. Sarah carries a ‘pager’ type thing that isn’t quite a mobile phone that she uses to communicate with Deckard when she’s inside the house. What I’m wondering is, when did WIFI come in? How is she doing that? Has she got a phone plan? Has she got a decent contract? Even if WIFI was around in the early 2000’s, I don’t think an old ass house like the Myers’ house would have a decent connection. This is all a bit shady. I think it’s a plot hole that we’re not supposed to think about.

Let’s talk about Sara, the obvious heroine. When the audience get’s their first glimpse of her inside the lecture hall, she has all of the horror movie survivor traits being that she’s pretty, she’s quiet and she’s repressed. The holy trinity. The only problem that I have with Sara is that she doesn’t have a wide range of emotions. There are certain moments in the film where, if it were me, I’d be absolutely shitting myself. The moment were Jen is decapitated by Michael right in front of everyone is a sterling example. She might be able to scream but being terrified is not on her list of objectives when it should be right at the fucking top. In fact, I don’t she cries once during the whole thing. I know I would. I would be blubbing like a very little girl. The ‘not crying’ thing could convey strength but when has she ever been chased by an unstoppable killer to the point where she would be used to it. Freddie ends up ‘killing’ Michael anyway.

Rick Rosenthal returns to direct after having directed ‘Halloween II (1981)’ and he had an interesting suggestion. Since a few endings had been filmed for ‘Halloween: Resurrection’, Rosenthal thought it would be a good idea to have three different versions of the film, each with a different ending and not tell which theatre would get which ending. That idea was quashed and I can see why. If you release a film with three different endings, then that kicks the prospect of any kind of continuity right in the balls. All the endings were essentially the same anyway. They all end with Michael coming back from the dead. One ending did include Sara wanting to see Michael’s body when they are wheeling him out and then she drives an axe straight through his head. That’s a pretty final ending and was quickly scrapped.

The ending that the film ended up with was Michael being taken to a morgue and as soon as the morgue lady starts to take his mask off, Michael’s eyes open, OF COURSE leaving it open for a sequel that never came.

With a budget of $13 Million, ‘Halloween: Resurrection’ took in $37.6 Million and the critical reception was dire. The film did gain a few positive reviews with some calling it ‘smart’ and ‘unnerving’ but I think they were watching a different film.

In summary, ‘Halloween: Resurrection’ was a huge disappointment. The writers made a catastrophic decision in trying to bring in mainstream audiences, possibly thinking that the Halloween fans would show up and love it just because it’s a Halloween film. I’m a Halloween fan and I thought that ‘Halloween: Resurrection’ was shit.

After doing a touch of research (because I’m a pro), it turns out that there were plans for a sequel after ‘Halloween: Resurrection’ involving John with Josh Hartnett returning to the role. To be honest, I would much prefer that to what came next. Get ready for an Earth shattering shit-fit…

… Ladies and Gentlemen…

…IT’S REMAKE TIME!

2 responses to “Reviewing a Cult Franchise – Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

  1. I have mixed feelings on this film. Overall, I didn’t like the film. But I did like the start of the film with the returning JLC. But again, I didn’t like her being killed off. For me, the worst of the series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree. I don’t like that bit where Laurie dies either. I normally skip it. I think they were pandering to the wrong kind of audience, the tone was all over the place and we just ended up with a load of the nonsense. It’s a shame that they didn’t get to redeem themselves before it got remade.

      Like

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