Halloween Resurrection

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by dwatts, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    **SPOILERS** If you have not seen this film, and don't want anything ruined for you, don't read! There are also (somewhat) spoilers for "My Little Eye" included (basically a plot outline as you would read on the back of the DVD box). You've been warned!

    Sitting down to write about a much maligned franchise, let alone a film in that franchise that has perhaps been most specifically targeted for criticism, can be thought of as something of a suicide mission. And then, when the person writing the comments is an avowed fan of the series and all its twists, turns, and unreasonable demands for the suspension of disbelief, perhaps it could be written off as the ramblings of a desperate confused mind. All I can say is “oh well” on both counts.

    The Halloween franchise has been through some ups and downs over the years. Some claim it was right downhill after the first installment, others that it has pits and troughs. In this day and age even the initially hated Halloween III, which took the franchise away from Michael Myers instead trying to impose a franchise around the holiday season, garners more fans than detractors. Who knows what’s real anymore?

    Regardless of feelings on the topic, it was Michael Myers that carried on through the films that followed that effort to try something different. Myers IS Halloween, and through strange plot manglings and the death of much-loved characters, he continues to hack and slash through film after film.

    Of course, some seem to want to apply strict linear storytelling to a tale told over 9 films. It should be obvious that this wouldn’t work – Halloween is a slasher at heart, and no slasher I have ever seen has truly extended into the realms where the brains cells yearn for anything more than the next kill. There are threads here, some rather interesting, but the genre in which it sits hamstrings it somewhat. Unless we want a movie with Myers in a psychiatrists chair, we ought to be thankful – and accepting – of what we’ve got.

    Still, having said that, Halloween hasn’t been a completely braindead series of films. Following the Strode family through their living hell, and watching the desperate Loomis hunt his prey, has given the series a driving force that have, loosely, held the whole thing together. However, with Donald Pleasance dead, and Jamie Lee Curtis apparently not willing to resurrect her role time and time again, the series will undoubtedly have to move in different directions. But not before wrapping up some loose ends.

    Halloween Resurrection comes then on the tales of Halloween H20, which brought Strode back to the fray. Halloween H20 was made around the same time as Scream and the like, which its glossy look, pretty teens, pop music soundtrack, and mainstream efforts at tension and gore, it suffered/benefited, from that.

    Halloween Resurrection is a film of two parts. Firstly, it has to wrap up that Strode storyline once and for all (if the term “once and for all” can apply to a film series such as this). This preamble exists to put an end to the Curtis character. It’s a fine segment, with some nice touches. However, it does sit rather awkwardly with the main plot of the film, which is the perennial – “When Michael Comes Home”.

    Strode has been the primary focus of the Halloween tale since day one. While it is regretful that such a key story element is being abandoned, it is difficult to imagine what could have been done with it at this point. Here she looks tired, having been hunted her entire life, ready for that final confrontation, and an ending of sorts. Curtis has been a shining light in these films whenever she’s appeared (as was Pleasance), and in her brief scenes, she truly manages to portray someone who is dead on the inside, hanging around for that final meeting with her destiny.

    There is a fatality to the Strode segment. When the film starts we find her in a hospital room, faking a vegetative state. In fact, she is simply waiting for the night she knows will come, the night when Michael tracks her down, and one or other of them must shuffle off this mortal coil. The thing is, everything from fire, shooting, to falling down mine shafts has been utilized in the search for a way to kill off Michael. I suppose we all knew how this was going to end.

    The climatic scene on the roof is played out with a great deal of sentimentality, with the fatal mistake on Strode’s part being her humanity. Having made a grievous error at the climax to Halloween H20, Strode cannot live with herself if she lets it happen again. This fatal sense of justice is her undoing.

    Hanging over the precipice, hanging on to Michael for fear of falling, with a knife plunged deep into her back, Laurie looks into the eyes of Michael with a sense of family hatred that is palpable. One last kiss, a message they will meet again in hell, and she plunges to her death. One has to wonder if there is any mourning at her failed attempt. Strode must have known in those last moments that the world would never truly be free of Michael. Part monster, part human, yet part of her – Strode falls with a look of resignation more than anything else.

    Michael, it appears, has now achieved his goal. His family slain, the question remains – what next? Of course, Michael does what he always does, he goes home. This is the start of the main segment of the film.

    For better or worse, Halloween Resurrection decided to be topical. With the Internet all the rage, it was decided to bring it into the Halloween universe. With the similar series Friday the 13th going into outer space, perhaps this is not much of a stretch after all.

    One of the issues remaining in the series is – what drives Michael now? With his family dead, what is going to move him out to slay more strangers? In the case of this film we have a home invasion.

    The plot should be familiar by now. Dangertainment has set up a “reality” show for broadcast on the Internet – basically a “Night in a Serial Killers Lair”. Since this is “reality”, of course, nothing is real. In order to ensure that scares take place, and that mysteries are created, the program makers have filled the house with red herrings, false indicators of what happened before, and some hyper teens after fame. No-one, as it happens, knows that Myers has gone ahead and moved in downstairs. Yes, under the house, in the dank tunnels of an old drainage system, Michael has been sitting eating rats. Once this Internet home invasion occurs, he must do some cleaning up, extermination of the pests.

    There are a couple of interesting things about this film. Firstly, Rick Rosenthal returns to direct another installment. It’s as close to a coup in this franchise as you can get - aside from the ultimate, Carpenter coming back again.

    Rosenthal has brought back the deep blues, the rich yellows and oranges, and some of the tension missing from some entries in the series. At times this is a beautiful film to watch. However, the great footage is interspersed with webcam scenes, which by definition is less satisfying. Perhaps that is why so few people recognize how well color is used in the film. I also wonder how crazy it must have driven Mr. Rosenthal – composing these wonderful shots while being saddled, at intervals, with the necessarily grainy and rather boring webcam inserts.

    Another interesting facet is that the idea behind this film was ripped off wholesale by a film which, as opposed to Halloween Resurrection, is much praised. That film would be “My Little Eye”. The plot of that film is a bunch of teens that go to a house to participate in a “reality” TV Show that is to be broadcast on the Internet via webcams. They must stay there 6 months to get a ton of cash. However, they’ve been set up, and there’s a killer in the house with them. Sound familiar? It should, it’s Halloween Resurrection, without Michael.

    Along with the webcam footage in Halloween Resurrection we have a whole host of homage’s to the rest of the Halloween franchises, and to some other genre classics. Take for instance the first kill in the house – straight out of “Peeping Tom”. In one scene a character gets stuck in a closet, and the others have to break through the white slats… straight from the original film. We get a knife through the door kill, with the trademark tilting of the head, also from the first film. We get someone slipping in a huge pool of blood, as in “Halloween II”. Perhaps more fun, we also get to see some “Blair Witch Project”, when a frightened character, fearing for her life, places the camera under her chin, looking up, as her tear stained face cries for help.
     
  2. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Even the Strode segment has an interesting parallel, seeing her sitting in confinement, staring out of the window, brings back memories of a scene added to the original Halloween film in a TV cut. In that, it is Michael that is sitting in the room… strange echoes indeed.

    One choice that has stood for heavy criticism was the casting of Busta Rhymes. Let’s face it, Busta can’t act. Worse, he’s not even fun to look at. There’s not much that can be said about this really, he’s plain awful. About the only defense is that he’s not in the film very much at all, as it happens. Of course, he comes in for the climatic scene, but hey, failing a CGI makeover he’s what we’ve got.

    Busta, in the film at least, is a bit of a kung fu fan. We see him earlier in the film, sitting in his hotel room prior to a visit to the Myers house, watching old kung fu films on the TV. This establishes his characters interest in the martial arts. Believable or not, that’s the stab (sic) they make. At the end of the day, he’s really not doing much of anything different from what we’ve seen before. It’s easy to pick out Busta’s performance and write off the entire film because of it, but to me that’s unreasonable. Plenty of genre films have poor performances in them. Watching Busta now, which all the initial expectations for the film out of the way, he’s only three-quarters bad, not a complete write-off.

    Another plus for Busta is that he gets to inject a good deal of Myers humor into the film. In one classic scene, we get menace exchanged for humor in a split second. Busta intends to impersonate Myers in order to spice up his Internet show. He dons the overalls and the mask, and creeps into the house. As we see him walking through the downstairs rooms, we can see the real Myers matching him, step for step – right behind. With the camera focused on Busta, we can hear heavy breathing in the mask, but it’s clear it’s the heavy breathing from the real Myers. It’s a strange double-take. We can SEE Busta, we can HEAR Myers.

    However, rather than play out as another murder, we suddenly switch to humor. On turning and seeing the real Myers, whom he mistakes for another of his staff, Busta goes off on a tirade which plays out exactly as it is – a black man impersonating Myers. It really is quite funny, and fans of the franchise ought to be able to raise at least a good grin.

    Halloween Resurrection ends on a crucifixion. Myers strung up by wires (Internet, get it?) burning. Of course, these films will only end when we all stop watching, so it’s all quite open ended. It’s not the most dramatic climax, as it happens, but it’ll do to get us through to the next, well, Resurrection.

    So what can we make of Halloween Resurrection after all this time? Initial disappointments aside, how does it play out now? Truth be told, it plays out pretty well. It’s not a stunning film, it doesn’t bring anything new to the genre or series, and as usual for these films, there’s not half as much blood guts and gore as I’d like. Some more inventive murders would be good, all we get here is one tripod killing and a whole lot of blade.

    However, it’s not out and out horrible. The Internet angle could have been worse (proof of the credibility of the idea is in the success of “My Little Eye” ), and the film doesn’t make any grievous errors (no, in retrospect, rap did not manage to kill Myers). If it is guilty of anything, it’s that this is just another Halloween film. But, if you’re a fan of the series, what’s wrong with that?

    If there is anything truly wrong with this series, I contend it’s the producer, Mr. Moustapha Akkad. The series just plain isn’t nasty enough, in my never to be humble opinion. The convoluted plot lines and dead ends of previous films might well have derailed the entire thing, if it were not for one thing – the heart and soul of the film is that it’s a slasher – a body count film. As long as they keep raking them up, some people are going to want to watch. Especially me.

    Still, no-one can apologize for this film, nor should they. People hate it. Halloween is not a “cool” franchise, and for some, Myers is basically done. Busta was too much, the Internet angle was dumb, and the Strode segment just didn’t fit the rest of the film. Well hell, it’s not like we’ve not had some other questionable moments in this long and troubled franchise. For me, the character of Myers is enough to keep me coming back time and time again. I watch to see him, not to worry too much about the strange storylines that circle him. I think we, as fans, under-estimate the difficulty of keeping a franchise going this long. Sure they’re only doing it for the money, but so what? Most, if not all, commercial film is about the money.

    Michael Myers is still a compelling movie monster. So let’s sit back and not over-analyze it too much. Let’s listen to the few haunting notes of the soundtrack, allow the wonderful orange hued credits to roll, and then watch as teens fall, one by one, onto sharp pointy things. If one installment isn’t to our liking, no worries, there’ll be another along soon.
     
  3. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Guest

    My Little Eye and Halloween Resurrection both came out in the same year. Also, both of them were preceded by Kolobos, which itself was a horror film using the basis of the reality show, Big Brother.

    Anyway, interesting review. I personally find this to be a rather enjoyable entry in the series. Sure, its not a great film, but its a nice time killer, and its certainly better than Part 5 and H20. Definitely not as awful as its been made out to be.
     
  4. Surnom

    Surnom New Member

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    Very interesting review. I've watched that some time ago, and at the time I found it quite boring, which was what i did expect... Maybe I should give it another look, after reading your quite insightful review. Might find something more in it...
     
  5. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    --My Little Eye and Halloween Resurrection both came out in the same year. Also, both of them were preceded by Kolobos, which itself was a horror film using the basis of the reality show, Big Brother.--

    Thanks for that, cujo108. You are, of course, completely correct. I've not seen Kolobos, so cannot comment. The point I was trying to make was that I have read criticism of Resurrection due to it's Internet premise, when in fact, that alone doesn't really have to sink it. But yeah, they came out the same year. ;)

    --Very interesting review. I've watched that some time ago, and at the time I found it quite boring, which was what i did expect... Maybe I should give it another look, after reading your quite insightful review. Might find something more in it...--

    I rewatched it in order to write some comments. Going in now I had no expectation at all - hell I knew everything that was going to happen. Kind of like buying Halloween 4 now, after having seen it a number of times. As such, it wasn't so bad - and surprisingly, Busta wasn't quite so annoying.

    As noted in the review, writing even somewhat positive comments about such a maligned film is difficult. Sure, I went in with a bias (I so WANT to like the film because I love the franchise), but still, with the general negative vibe, I thought it would be a fun thing to do. Sometimes inspiration comes from all the wrong places :D
     
  6. fceurich39

    fceurich39 Well-Known Member

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    i like this movie better than h20
     
  7. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    Personally, I don't understand all the hatred towards this movie. I enjoyed it--perhaps even moreso than H20--and Busta Rhymes wasn't THAT bad.
     
  8. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    Yes in fact he was. I have that on authority from God.

    I just had to clear that up. I was also going to post about Kolobos and My Little Eye, both of which I greatly enjoyed, but Cujo beat me to it so I guess I am done here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2005
  9. Agent Z

    Agent Z "Get to the river...

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    dwatts, the irony to me is that you put in twice the effort and creativity in that great review than the writers did for the entire Halloween: Resurrection script.
     
  10. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    --dwatts, the irony to me is that you put in twice the effort and creativity in that great review than the writers did for the entire Halloween: Resurrection script.--

    :D Thank you, kind sir.

    You can take the review as a desperate search to find something to keep the Halloween train rolling. As I noted in the review: "It’s not a stunning film, it doesn’t bring anything new to the genre or series, and as usual for these films, there’s not half as much blood guts and gore as I’d like." That's a cup half full/cup half empty thing. Since I wear my bias on my sleeve, my cup is half full ;)

    Thanks for the kind words though, tackling such a film isn't exactly easy :D
     
  11. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    Great review, dwatts, I liked the connections you made with Strode in RESURRECTION and Myers in the TV cut of the original. The internet crucifixion is also interesting.

    Personally, I liked the film. I thought the first segment with Jamie Lee Curtis was one of the high points of the series, and definitely a great goodbye to such a rich horror movie character. The internet story seems much worse by comparison, but on its own it isn't all that bad. I actually like Busta in it, he brings energy and a playfulness that helps to offset most of the murkiness in between. And come on, he had the best line in the entire series..."Trick or treat, mutha fucka!!1!1!111" That line cracks me up everytime.

    I think though, with all these big movie franchises, that when the storyline starts veering further and further from the original concept, ie. going to Manhattan, space, the internet, etc. there is a hope that the series would do away with gimmicks and just try to be serious for once. Just go back to the roots of the series and start anew. I'd like to see, more than anything, for Jason just to go back to camp, Freddy back to Elm Street, Michael back to Haddonfield. I think of the three big slasher franchises, it is toughest for the HALLOWEEN series, since it has really used up the most plot ideas. After Jamie Lee died, that was basically it for me. I realized that the series has run full course, and as much as I'd like to see more, I would be content if Michael & Co. threw in the towel. With Jason and Freddy it was just about killing teenagers, but for Michael it was always about family, and when family is gone, what else is there left to explore? Admittedly, Michael exploring internet dating would be good foa laugh.
     
  12. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    --Great review, dwatts--

    High praise indeed. ;)

    I know exactly what you mean regarding the series. With Loomis gone, and Strode gone, what are we left with? Interesting question! Yet, we have Myers. There's a lot of flesh to put on those bones, but all the while they have to play to the Slasher conventions. Can it be done? Sure, but it would take some work. As mentioned in my review, the Producer has a ton of influence here, and it's time for a change at the helm.

    I have high hopes for the franchise - though yeah, there's no justification for such. As hard as they try to kill it through bad decisions, I keep holding on to a thread of what might, perhaps, be tangible. Why? Myers is just too great to let die.

    You know, maybe it is time to pair him with someone. Heinous? Hmmmmmm, maybe.
     
  13. RyanPC

    RyanPC Guest

    That's exactly the point I was trying to make. Of course he's not Oscar-worthy material, but Donald Pleasance aside, who looks to the Halloween series for great acting? He brought an element of fun to the film, and I enjoyed him in it.
     
  14. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    Be sure to visit Busta in hell then, where God, aka the big man, has assured me that he and Saw's Cary Elwes will be punished for their performances in said movies by having to eternally rewatch themselves in said movies. It is going to be gruesome. Cary deserved better for his great work The Princess Bride, but it is too late to save him now.

    Also, I wish the franchise could be saved as I love Michael Myers and see good points in all the Halloween movies but this one. I mean, Myers got smacked down and cursed out by a seemingly stoned Busta Rhymes. I am not sure how to come back from that. Jason is in space laughing at him at this point.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2005
  15. maskull

    maskull I finally got an avatar!!! Yay!!

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    i liked this movie quite a bit. I didn't feel the opening scenes were tacked on, they were just right to allow the rest of the movie to happen. If Laurie hadn't of died then Michael probably wouldn't have gone home and we would've had a Michael in the asylum movie (i liked the serial killer fan in the asylum and when Michael gave him a souvenir. that was a nice touch).
    I also liked the internet angle. the reason it worked is because I actually liked the main character and having the people at the party helping her avoid Michael seemed like a great idea to me. I liked how they got involved and were cheering and screaming for her as the movie went along. Kind of like watching the audience watch the movie and I felt like one of those partygoers and as a result got more involved myself. Sure, maybe the internet idea is getting used up, but I thought the ideas for this movie were well thought out and well executed.
    I even liked Busta in this movie. it was good that he had limited screen time as he really can't act, but he was good comic relief. I hope he's not in the next Halloween flick because that would be too much of him (Michael Vs Busta anyone?), but like i said, it was fun to have his small scenes interspersed with the scarier parts of the film. I'm also extremely happy that Tyra Banks had next to no screen time. she could've ruined this.
    I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only person who enoyed this film. while it's got nothing on the original Halloween, I think the people who made this realized they couldn't match the original and tried their own thing with it. In the end i think it worked well.
     
  16. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    -- I liked how they got involved and were cheering and screaming for her as the movie went along. Kind of like watching the audience watch the movie and I felt like one of those partygoers and as a result got more involved myself.--

    Wow, I never picked up on that, but it's totally a valid - and very interesting - point. I'll have to ponder some more, but really, that's an excellent point, and I think a good one for more analysis. Kudos.
     
  17. maskull

    maskull I finally got an avatar!!! Yay!!

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    thank you. :)
     
  18. sacateca

    sacateca Guest

    Interesting review, i agree, but i saw no redeeming qualities in the film itself. In the end why i hate it, even more than H20, is beccause it's 'modern'. It's in the style of what's supposed to be hip at the moment, and it has no Halloween feel to it at all. Could just as well be an entry in Scream, i know what you did.., Urban Legends. And it's not that i'm against films moving onward and abandoning their roots, i quite liked Halloween 3 for example, but when the feel of the original is abandoned solely for the purpose of trying to woo new mainstream audiences, that's what i think is the wrong approach.
    The film is just so cliched and with such bad young "pretty" actors, done without creativity or any kind of 'soul', that i couldn't stomach watching it even to the end.

    But i can understand someone wanting to find good things about it since it's Halloween.

    sacateca
     

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