Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Last weekend, my two neices and nephew came to visit our new home. They love watching movies — particularly, scary ones, and so they asked (as usual) if they could watch one this visit. With their mom’s approval, the three of us plopped down on pillows, downed the lights, and proceeded to watch the 1978 horror masterpiece Halloween. Holy cow! I had forgotten how good that movie really was. By the end of the film, the 6 year old had his head buried in a pillow, the 10 year old was ready to watch it again and the 13 year old was looking out the windows for “the shape”.

I think it was this experience that actually had me excited about Halloween: Resurrection. I guess watching the original Halloween recently made me forget how bad five, six, and seven were (I won’t even mention the abonimable number three). It’s been a while since I’ve seen most of them, and so re-watching the original classic was a pleasant way to wade back into the bloody world of Michael Myers.

Halloween: Resurrection (the eighth film in the series) opens with scenes reminiscent of Terminator 2. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) sits locked away in a mental hospital, pretending to take her medicine and constantly watching out the window, watching for Myers to return. (By the way, there’s about a two minute flashback that explains why Myers isn’t really dead, even though he died at the end of number seven.) But there’s no messing around in this sequal — within the first few minutes Myers is back, hacking and slashing his way through the hospital’s piss-poor security. What Myers couldn’t succeed in doing in Halloween (or Halloween two, three, four, five, six, or seven) he pulls off with ease in number eight — by killing Strode within the first five minutes (Jamie Lee must’ve wanted out of this poor franchise!). With his old nemesis out of the way, Myers heads back to the only place he knows. Home.

Fortunately for Michael Myers, they’re having a homecoming for him of sorts. Six (un)lucky local college students have won a contest to spend the night in Myers’ childhood home. The contest, which is being hosted by local “Dangertainment” guy Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes), consists of locking the six students and three staff members in the home overnight. Each of the six kids are given miniature cameras, so that the audience can see what the kids are seeing at all times. The entire thing is to be broadcast onto the internet, where viewers can enjoy an interactive experience by choosing which view they want to see at any given time.

If this is starting to sound like an episode of MTV’s Fear or even the original Blair Witch Project, then DING-DING-DING, you’ve got a winner! Camcorder quality footage mixed with stationary cameras in the house makes for some scary (yet headache causing) visuals. Often, scenes are so dark that it’s a pain to try and make out what’s going on — I’m still not sure if that was intentional or not.

Harris and his two assistants have rigged the house with some surprises and plan on keeping the webcast interesting, but it’s not long before Michael shows up and throws in some surprises of his own. After that, it’s pretty much just assembly line murders, one kid lining up behind the next to get slaughtered. There are a few funny lines — two, if I remember correctly. The majority of the movie is just formula slasher flick, with Myers’ mask lurking in the darkness in between kills.

One of the girls locked in the house has an internet boyfriend, who not only watches the webcast but ends up helping her avoid the killer by sending her messages on her Palm Pilot. “HE’S IN THE HOUSE” one reads. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can tell you two things about my Palm Pilot. One, is that the batteries are ALWAYS dead when I need it, and two, I can’t read the damn thing half the time in plain daylight, much less when a killer is chasing me. Ah, Hollywood. Of course, this is if you can buy into the fact that none of the nine people locked in a “haunted” house overnight (six of them college students) brought a cell phone. But, plot holes be damned — besides, if you start watching this for the plot holes, your head might explode. Like the “secrity system” that won’t let them leave the house — hello, you can see the light coming in through the loosely boarded up windows! Anyway …

Halloween: Resurrection is a mixed blessing for the horror genre. The fact that Hollywood is showing a bit of interest in the slasher genre is good news — the fact that this is what they’re releasing is the bad. Maybe if this makes a profit, we’ll get to see Rob Zombie’s flick eventually.

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