Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Loree, Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, Daisy McCrackin
“Trick or treat, muthafucka.” (Freddie Harris, Halloween: Resurrection)
Miramax achieved the impossible by taking the flatlining Halloween series and resurrecting it with the back-to-basics Halloween H20.
With Michael Myers relevant and scary again, it was therefore inevitable that another Halloween would come, even though it seemed Myers was well and truly dead after the last film.
How did they manage to bring the pale pursuer back then? Well, I’ll tell you, because I’m nice like that.
You have been warned: Halloween H20 spoilers in the next couple of paragraphs.
At the end of H20, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) seemingly ends her twenty-year feud with Mr Myers by lopping his head off with an axe. A ridiculous piece of retcon foolery, however, changes this tale.
You see, it turns out it wasn’t Michael that Laurie beheaded but a paramedic who Michael had swapped places with previously, giving him his mask and handily crushing his throat so he couldn’t speak and say “I’m not him, by the way”.
Spoilers end, innit.
Resurrection opens, then, with a ten-minute prologue in which both Laurie and Michael are very much alive. Laurie’s been placed in an asylum but ol’ Mick’s tracked her down again, and this time he isn’t letting her get away.
Without revealing too much, it’s safe to say this prologue draws a definitive and satisfying line under the Laurie/Michael story arc and ensures Jamie Lee Curtis never feels pressured to return for any more appearances in the series that made her famous.
Had Resurrection just been a short 10-minute film that ended there it would have been a fitting conclusion to the entire series. Alas, with another 80 minutes still to fill, a brand new story begins: one featuring Myers’ house, webcams… and Busta Rhymes, for some reason.
Mr Rhymes plays Freddie Harris, the man in charge of Dangertainment, a new website that offers customers live streaming videos of normal people investigating dodgy locations. As luck would have it, first up is the derelict house in Haddonfield belong to a certain Michael Myers.
The plan is that a group of six college students will enter the spooky house and spend the night trying to find out more about Michael Myers, all while a captivated audience watches them online. It’s Ghostwatch without the actual ghost, essentially.
Of course, Busta has plans of his own to fuck with his six explorers. Since the Myers house has been abandoned for decades he’s planted some suitably creepy stuff in there to keep things interesting, and at some point he plans to dress up as Myers and scare his unwitting victims.
You don’t need a set of tarot cards to know what happens next. The real Michael Myers – tired from settling his unfinished business with Laurie – finally heads home, no doubt ready to have a well-deserved, relaxing bath. Instead he finds a bunch of pricks running around inside. Stabby stabby!
Although you’d think a reality TV format would provide plenty of potential for interesting ideas, Resurrection never actually makes use of them. The only thing that separates this from a standard slasher movie is that sometimes the picture quality is shit.
Even the odd occasion where we get to watch a first-person POV view from one of the housemates’ personal cameras – something that has the potential to offer Blair Witch style scares – falls flat. Director Rick Rosenthal (previously responsible for directing Halloween II) somehow manages to completely suck any tension out of these scenes to the extent that when Myers appears you’re never really on the edge of your seat so much as fidgeting in it.
All this pales in comparison to the presence of Busta fucking Rhymes though. Any hope that Resurrection would be a genuinely scary film are completely dashed with this bloody joker involved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Busta’s music (Flipmode Squad represent and such) but his role here as the comic relief is just off, as the quote at the top of the review indicates.
It all culminates in a ridiculous climactic battle in which Busta Rhymes fights Michael with some over-the-top comedy cho-socky kung fu, complete with Bruce Lee style “wahaaaa” screams. And of all the ways to kill a slasher villain, thrusting a live electrical wire into their balls is pretty far down there.
After its genuinely brilliant first ten minutes, the rest of Halloween: Resurrection is mindless. It’s perfectly watchable but you will not give an ounce of shite about any of the characters in it, and may actually end up feeling sympathy for the killer as he tries to get these irritating twats out of his house.
Indeed, the best thing about it is that after it was released to unanimously bad reviews (far worse than this one, given the anti-horror stance some more serious reviewers have), Miramax decided to give Michael Myers a rest, opening the door for Rob Zombie to reinvent the series with an outstanding remake.
HOW CAN I SEE IT?
Halloween: Resurrection was only released on DVD in the UK – here’s a link. As for the US, here’s the DVD and here’s the Blu-ray.
In terms of streaming, Brits win out (if this could indeed be considered winning), as it’s on both LOVEFiLM and Netflix UK. It isn’t on Netflix US at the moment.
SHOW ME THE TRAILER: