In the process of taking notes for this post, I wrote down the following quote spoken by one of Halloween: Resurrection‘s main characters: “Trick or treat…motherfucker!” If that’s not enough to make you go hmmmm, you should know that line is spoken by none other than Busta Rhymes. Because Halloween: Resurrection is trash.
It’s not all Busta-bust’s fault though. While no horror franchise is perfect by any means (especially ones with 10+ movies in tow), the Halloween series is bumpy to say the least. There’s the presumed dead-alive-then dead again Laurie Strode story, an utterly ridiculous cult plot that cuts the franchise at its knees, and then there’s this: a completely unnecessary sequel that’s neither gratuitous in its kills nor campy enough to be fun.
The movie follows a group of kids as they enter the Myers house as part of a web series exploring the mystery of Michael Myers. Dangertainment, a company run by Rhymes’ Freddie Harris and Tyra Banks’ (yup) Nora Winston, has rigged the house with cameras to produce a Big Brother-esque show that turns the “cast members” into rats trapped in a maze. (Or maybe they’re more like lambs brought to the slaughter?) What follows is a predictable tale of forgettable characters who all split up to “investigate” the dark, cheap-scare rigged house while the real Myers unknowingly lurks in the darkness ready to get his stab on. At least there’s a beheading? I’m pretty OK with a beheading that ends with a head bouncing down a set of stairs, but this is really the only interesting kill in this eighth installment.
We open with Laurie Strode in a psychiatric ward because—surprise!—she didn’t kill Myers at the end of Halloween H20 after all! Great. H20 is certainly deserving of its own critiques. Between fans calling it “9021H20” and its vapid attempt at pandering to the Scream audience, it plays out like a Halloween episode of Dawson’s Creek (Oh, look! There’s Jen!). But H20‘s ending was undeniably cool and extremely well-executed. It was kind of…the perfect ending to the series? Resurrection throws that in the garbage by resurrecting Laurie only to have Michael stab her and throw her off the roof of the loony bin. (Why, Jamie Lee Curtis…why? No seriously…has anyone asked her why she did this movie?)
And so we’re stuck with Resurrection like a pair of unwanted step-siblings or a lingering STD or a rat infestation or maybe something even worse, like a plague that doesn’t kill you, but makes you violently ill all of the time. Directed by Halloween 2 director Rick Rosenthal, Resurrection‘s technology-focused plot may have been slightly ahead of its time, pre-social media boom, yet on the cusp of interactive programming and Web 2.0. A group of strangers watching in horror while the Dangertainment cast tries to escape Michael’s deadly grasp is actually an interesting idea. I even sort of liked Bianca Kajlich as Final Girl Sara Moyer. (“Sort of liked” raved Nick Caruso of The Littlest Winslow!) Yet, everything in this movie is half-cooked. The kills are uninspired, the characters are transparent tropes, and did I mention that it stars a rapper named Busta Rhymes? Rhymes’ Freddie even strips true Final Girl status away from the very able Kajlich, as he enters at the last minute to save the day and whip out some of his well-seasoned kung fu. Kung fu! I want to scream “WHAT THE HELL AM I EVEN TYPING!?” but perhaps writers Larry Brand and Sean Hood should’ve done that instead.
While we’re talking about the writing, let’s take a look at some of these shining pieces of dialogue:
“You know, Donna, you got great legs. What time do they open?” There are slashers from the early 80’s with better lines than this.
“This is for Jen! This is for Rudy! For all of them!” Remember when I said I sort of liked Sara Moyer? I take it back.
“Looking a little crispy over there, Mikey. Like some chicken-fried motherfucker.” Uhh…#ChickenFriedMotherfucker?
If I never saw Halloween: Resurrection again, I would lose zero sleep. The world would continue spinning as I desperately try to deny the fact that it more or less ruined this particular timeline of the Halloween tale. When I look back and consider the franchise as a whole, the story ends with Laurie decapitating Michael after rolling a van down a steep embankment. There’s poetry in that ending, a survivor’s story having come full circle.
There are a lot of reasons to be thankful for Halloween 2018, especially with Curtis’s return to the character; getting another stab at righting these wrongs is also at the top of the list. Resurrection isn’t funny nor is it campy. It’s not dark or twisted, and it doesn’t add anything of value to the story. It just exists, sucking on the legacy of Michael Myers like a leech as it reserves its deserved space at the bottom of a Walmart bargain bin.