Most franchises have that one movie that’s so bad, you get to the end credits scratching your head and wondering if everyone else just saw the same travesty you did. You have your Jason Takes Manhattan, Phantom Menace, Moonraker…all of which inspire one to exclaim, “What the fuck?” Halloween: Resurrection is right there, floating in the muck at the bottom of the barrel.
Directed by Halloween 2’s Rick Rosenthal, it’s a direct sequel to the previous film, Halloween: H20, so it continues to ignore parts 4-6, but it also undoes the ending of H20, which was honestly the best part of that film. No, not Laurie beheading Michael. I mean the end credits. I love the Halloween franchise with all my heart, but I can’t hide my distaste for H20 and Resurrection.
I went to see Resurrection the weekend it opened. I had actually skipped H20 based on the hideous trailer that made a Halloween film look like not a Scream knock-off, but a knock-off of a Scream knock-off. This wasn’t a great era to be a horror fan anyway. I don’t even remember why I talked my wife into go seeing a film I was fairly sure wasn’t going to be very good and it didn’t take ten minutes before I wanted my money back. And then it got worse.
The film stars rapper Busta Rhymes, who gets top billing, and runs a production company with Tyra Banks, called Dangertainment. It’s kind of a Fear Factor/Big Brother web show, where contestants wear cameras and act as criminal investigators. The latest episode is set to take place in the infamous Myers House, which has been wired with cameras and filled with props to scare the contestants. What the actual objective is, I don’t know. Is it a game show? Are people supposed to just watch a group of dorks be scared for hours on end? It’s not at all clear. Worse is the rest of the cast, six poorly written stereotypes, five of which we know will die as soon as we meet them and one, the smart sensible one, we know will be our final girl. The most famously bad part of the film is Busta kung-fuing Michael, and that’s the part that’s often brought up when discussing how shitty Resurrection is, but let’s be fair. Busta is given a mouthful of exposition and nonsense to spout in cluttered chunks, but he’s also the only member of the cast that seems happy to be in the film. His performance is bad, but I blame that on writing and direction, and as bad as he is, he acts circles around everyone else.
Like H20, Michael’s mask looks horrible, the actor isn’t the least bit imposing and, in fact, most of the scenes in the Myers House remind me of the Porky Pig cartoon, The Case of the Stuttering Pig. A good example is the scene where Busta is dressed as Michael and Michael is creeping behind him. Busta turns around, not knowing it’s Michael and starts yelling at him to go back to where Tyra Banks is and that the back door is unlocked (not joking). And Michael just walks off! Seriously, watch Resurrection and The Case of the Stuttering Pig as a double feature. This begs the question: was the movie supposed to be kinda funny? Probably not, but it plays like an Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein more than a horror movie. Worse, we have two sets of characters that couple up, each with a skeezy guy trying to get in the pants of a girl. When their scenes are back to back, we pretty much just watch the same scene twice. Not one kill is memorable, the overall saga of Michael Myers is not progressed an inch, and literally the only almost good line is Busta saying, “Happy Halloween, motherfucker!”
From the theatrical cut of part 6 to the laundry list of bad ideas in H20 to this abomination, I think the blame can be laid at the feet of Dimension Films, who absolutely did not care about the product (as I mentioned in my part 6 review, just look what they did to Hellraiser). Who watched Halloween: Resurrection and said, “OK?” I know there was some level of quality control, because there are three rejected endings on the Blu-ray (they’re all terrible), but this cold turd got served to theaters.
Sadly, this was the last of the series that long time producer Moustapha Akkad’s name appears on a Halloween movie. He and his daughter were killed in a terrorist bombing in Jordan. His son, Malek, took over for his father and let the franchise breathe a few years before handing over the project to Rob Zombie for his two remakes. As far as I’m concerned, Moustapha’s legacy was tarnished by the partnership with Dimension and I don’t hold him or Malek responsible for the quality of the films. Zombie, for whatever flaws you want to lay at his feet, made Halloween scary and serious again.
I don’t recommend watching Halloween: Resurrection unless you’re a die hard completist. If you do, don’t forget my double feature recommendation.