Our review of The Halloween Collection, published October 31st, 2011, is also available.
Evil finds its way home.
Old horror monsters never die, they just wait a few years for a new sequel to come along. Such was the case with Michael Myers, the infamous killer from John Carpenter's 1978 classic Halloween. Since then there have been eight Halloween films, one of them even spiraling off into a new direction without Mr. Myers' participation (the ill-fated Halloween III: Season Of The Witch). In 1998, original star Jamie Lee Curtis returned for another round with "The Shape" as Laurie Strode in the better-than-expected anniversary event Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later. Due to that film's popularity, producer Mustapha Akkad (and his son) have brought Michael back one more time for his latest adventure in Halloween: Resurrection, now out on DVD care of Dimension Home Entertainment.
Facts of the Case
When last we saw Michael Myers, he was dead. Dead dead. Hasta la vista, baby. I mean, decapitated dead. Proving that you can write your way around anything, the makers of Halloween: Resurrection have brought Michael back through the magic of creative fudging. It seems that at the end of Halloween H20 Michael actually switched places with a cop and got away under the cover of night. After one final run-in with Laurie Strode, Michael makes his way back to his old town of Haddonfield, Illinois, to make a guest appearance on the reality Internet show DangerTainment, run by hyper entrepreneurialist Freddie Harris (H20 had LL Cool J, Halloween: Resurrection gets Busta Rhymes. Go figure). It seems that Freddie has gathered six college teens to run around the old Myers house (now crumbling and dilapidated) for the sole purpose of garnering big ratings and big a career boost. The six teens (including Sean Patrick Thomas, Bianca Kajlich, and Thomas Ian Nicholas)—mounted with mini-cameras on each of their pretty little heads—have a grand time smoking pot, making out, and discovering secrets about the Myers house. But things take a deadly turn for the worse when Michael shows up and brings new meaning to the Internet phrase "getting cut off."
First off, I want to make it clear that I believe Halloween H20 had the perfect ending to this series. What could have been better than seeing Laurie Strode smack off Michael's head with an axe? Through one last confrontation between good and evil, fans were treated to Laurie's long-time coming victory over her dastardly brother (or, as Dr. Loomis might have said, "he's pure EVIL!"). Though it wasn't a great horror movie, it did have a lot of great elements, thus providing viewers with a rather satisfying ending to a very unsatisfying series.
And now we get the needless Halloween: Resurrection, the eighth film in this series. This one was helmed by Rich Rosenthal, who also directed the far superior sequel Halloween II. The big reason Halloween: Resurrection doesn't work is because this was such an unnecessary retread—I want to reiterate that Halloween H20 had the perfect ending. To bring Michael back again not only cheats the audience but also makes for much maligned continuity in the series (not that part six, Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers, was any better with its baffling Druid themes…). While I'm usually the first in line for any sequel to slasher movies from the 1980s, I was more than sorely disappointed at how dull and uninspired Halloween: Resurrection turned out to be. When compared to the entertaining Jason X (released just a few months before this film), Halloween: Resurrection pales in comparison. At least the makers of Jason X knew it was time to try something different. Halloween: Resurrection's only variation is having a Blair Witch-like POV. This was really terrifying in The Blair Witch Project. That was over three years ago. Late note to the filmmakers: it ain't scary anymore.
Once again, viewers are forced to sit through Scream-like dialogue and attitudes that went out with the tide back in 1999. Halloween: Resurrection feels like it's too little, too late—had this movie been made in 1997 it might have done really well. By today's standards it uses gimmicks that are well worn (the whole video camera footage deal) and characters that are either A.) horny, B.) stupid, or C.) annoying. Speaking of annoying, can someone please take away Busta Rhymes' SAG card for good? Under no circumstances should a popular rapper be allowed into a Halloween / Friday The 13th / Nightmare on Elm Street film. What's next? The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 5 with Eminem? Hellraiser 7 with MC Hammer? When the script has to sink so low as to have Rhymes quip "Trick or treat, motherf***er!," it's time to pack things up. The same goes for model Tyra Banks. Thought she's given little screen time here, the fact remains that eggplants emote on a more consistent basis than her.
The rest of the cast is made up of a few familiar faces that include Thomas Ian Nicholas from the American Pie flicks and Sean Patrick Thomas of Save The Last Dance fame. Though Nicholas is dispatched fairly early on, Sean Patrick Thomas sticks around for quite a while (surprising, considering he's given a screen credit that reads "special appearance by"). Patrick Thomas is one of the most charismatic, likable actors to come along in quite sometime—his turn as a know-it-all college student in Barbershop is one of the best of the year. It's a shame that his acting abilities are wasted on such inconsequential drivel like Halloween: Resurrection. And please, someone tell the producers that Michael's mask looks nothing like the original film's mask! At the very least if the film is going to such, go for the costume continuity angle. As for Jamie Lee Curtis, her character pops up only in the beginning (**SPOILER ALERT**) and is then killed of by Michael in such a careless, clumsy way that it seems almost a betrayal of her character. Laurie Strode deserved better, and Jamie Lee Curtis deserves a new agent.
As abysmal as Halloween: Resurrection is, it's not half as bad as Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers. That film takes the cake as being the absolute worst film in this series. Or maybe it was Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. I can't remember…most all of them are stinkers. I wish I could tell you all that Halloween: Resurrection is the end of the line for Michael Myers, but judging by the final scene, we've got a few more miles to go in this series. Tread lightly and carry a big kitchen knife.
Halloween: Resurrection is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Say what you will about the movie (and I welcome any and all comments about its crappiness), this transfer looks great. The only flaw I spotted was a small amount of grain in a few key scenes. Otherwise, the colors and black levels (there are a lot of them) all appeared to be solid. Overall this is the best looking Halloween film so far.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English and French. Thrill to the "snickity-snick" sounds of Michael Myers' knife in glorious Dolby 5.1 Surround! Much like the video transfer, this sound mix is great—boasting a wide array of directional effects, this mix is a lot of fun. The dynamic range here is excellent without any hiss or distortion bleeding into the track. Those with a home theater system should be very happy with the way this mix sounds. Also included on this disc are English and Spanish subtitles.
It's always the needless follow-ups that get the special edition treatment. Sheesh. Dimension has included a large batch of extra features on this edition of Halloween: Resurrection. Here's a rundown of what's on the disc:
Commentary by Director Rick Rosenthal and Editor Robert Ferretti: This is only a so-so track with Rosenthal babbling endlessly about all the video footage, monitors, etcetera, that are prominently displayed in the film. Ferretti also interjects with a few asides, though this seems to mostly be Rosenthal's show. While I'm glad this audio commentary was included on this disc (it's the only commentary featured on any Halloween DVD), I don't think it's something I'll feel the need to watch again.
Six Deleted Scenes and Alternate Endings with Optional Commentary by the Director: Six deleted scenes are presented in non-anamoprhic widescreen: "Freddie & Nora in the Control Room," "Contestant Interviews," "Sara & Jenna Dropping Out," "Michael Driving Up to the House," "Photo Album," and "Sara & Freddie at Car," plus three alternate endings. The scenes are all fairly bland and deserved to be trimmed out of the final film. The three endings are all very weak (could this film have ended strong anyhow?), with the commentary illuminating things only slightly.
Web Cam Special: What viewers get is 40 minutes of video footage comprising a good chunk of the film. Rosenthal apparently wanted this feature to be the whole movie in video footage—I can only imagine how terrible that would have ended up being. I got pretty bored after about ten minutes of this stuff, but maybe your attention span is better than mine.
Tour of Set with Production Designer Troy Hansen: This is probably the best feature on the disc. Production designer Troy Hansen gives us a first-hand tour of the Myers house (which was created on a soundstage with the suburban background inserted later with computers).
"On The Set with Jamie Lee Curtis" Featurette: Your basic promotional spot featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Loree (Michael Myers), director Rosenthal, and actors Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Katee Sackhoff all talking about why they love making Halloween: Resurrection (answer: the paycheck). I would have liked to have seen Curtis talking a little more honestly about why she was in this film (my guess: contractual disputes), but this little spot will fit the bill.
"Head Cam" Featurette: A four-minute featurette that focuses on the idea of the kids using cameras on their heads. Boring and pointless.
Storyboard Comparisons: Five scenes are included here, each presented with the final cut film and the storyboards in tow.
Finally there are a few sneak peeks for various Dimension DVD and movies, including the previous two Halloween sequels Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later.
Halloween: Resurrection is for hardcore fans only, and even they might balk at its pointlessness. I guess it's worth a rental if you're curious about Michael's return from the (supposed) dead. Otherwise, let's all write Dimension and ask them if they'll lay this series to rest once and for all.
Halloween: Resurrection is found guilty of being unwanted and unnecessary. Come back when you've got a reason to be around, Mikey!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Dimension Films
• Commentary Track by Director Rick Rosenthal
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