Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 8: Resurrection (2002)

Halloween 8: Resurrection

Written by Larry Brand and Sean Hood
Directed by Rick Rosenthal

Laurie Strode...Jamie Lee Curtis
Sara Moyer...Bianca Kajlich
Jen...Katee Sackhoff
Freddie...Busta Rhymes
Michael Myers...Brad Loree

If you haven't seen this entry in the Halloween series yet, then you might not want to read this review.  Because I am going to spoil the shit out of this bitch.

What better way to celebrate a new entry in the franchise than to totally ruin it!?  We start off with the required explanation of just how Michael Myers survived being beheaded by his sister Laurie Strode at the end of H20--turns out he placed his mask on an injured paramedic, and so it was an innocent man that Laurie killed.  Rather ingenious, actually.  So far, so good.

Next we learn that Laurie has now been institutionalized due to her "extreme dissociative disorder" which developed following the events of the previous movie, and that she hasn't spoken a word since then.  She looks a little worse for the wear, too, but there's still a glimmer in her eye that makes us think she's not as crazy as the doctors seem to think she is.  That maybe, just maybe, she's hiding out in the hospital for protection because she knows her big brother is still out there, and that sooner or later he's going to come for her.

And he does, leading to an extremely disappointing ending to a beloved character that deserved so much better.  It was bad enough when Laurie Strode "died" in a car accident after only two appearances in the series (before H20 lazily retconned parts 4-6 from existence), but even worse that she is killed again--for real this time, apparently--after she has grown into an even more iconic figure.

As we all know, Michael's obsession with slaughter doesn't begin and end with his sister.  As demonstrated in the aforementioned Halloween 4 through Halloween 6, and again in Halloween H20, he is out to destroy the Strode bloodline.  Last time we saw him, he had been dormant for 20 years, and only came out of retirement because Laurie's son John Tate was now 17...the same age that Judith Myers was when Michael killed her, and the same age that Laurie was when Michael first came after her.  Now that he has successfully murdered Laurie, the next logical step would be for him to go after John.  And were that the case, I could forgive the death of Laurie Strode, as this would have been a new chapter in the Strode storyline (like Part 4 was initially, with Laurie's now-erased daughter Jamie).  But instead, Michael seems to have completely forgotten about John's existence.

He returns to his childhood home (where, we later learn, he has apparently been living out all these years in some heretofore unseen secret sub-basement or some such shit), where he finds a whole posse of trespassers to be killed off one-by-one.

Freddie Harris and his partner Nora (Flipmode rapper Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks; yes, you read that right), the brain-children behind Dangertainment--dangerous entertainment, one would assume--are launching a new internet-broadcast reality show which drops six college students into the old Myers House on Halloween night, seeking answers to why Michael Myers did what he did.  Each of the six investigators wear a POV camera, so the traditional camerawork is interspersed with painfully grainy footage from their point of view.  It's Halloween by way of Blair Witch.  Only worse than that sounds.

Dangertainment is something of a shady enterprise, so for the first half of the movie the investigators (and we the audience) stumble upon what appear to be revelations--an infant's high chair with a padlock on it, a coloring book demonstrating young Michael's emotional damage, etc--but are actually only cheap movie props.  It's a cocktease to the audience, and it doesn't go over well.

There's a lot of technology on display here, as well, which is never a good idea for either a movie or television show, because it becomes instantly outdated.  Interestingly enough, the only way to do a film that spotlights technology without it seeming archaic is by doing it years and years after the fact, going for the nostalgia angle--i.e., Super 8.  But Halloween Resurrection is going for a cutting-edge sort of feel, though it probably wasn't even cutting edge when it was new nearly a decade ago.  Our heroine (and I use that term loosely), a literal scream queen, keeps in contact with her love-interest via some bizarre teletype-like text messaging system on her phone that appears one letter at a time as he types it on his side.

I should also note that her love interest is some underclassman tech geek watching the whole story unfold on the internet.  The two of them have never actually met, and he's been lying to her the entire time they've been chatting online.  One would assume that the two of them would meet up at the end, she would forgive his transgressions, and the two would fall in love.  Nope.  The two never meet during the movie, making his character completely superfluous.

The characterization was weak on all fronts, but Busta Rhymes--no matter your opinion on his music--is a much better rapper than an actor.  He is essentially playing himself here, just using a different name, and it must have been in his contract that he could play a badass.  Unbelievably, Busta drops some cartoonish Kung Fu on Michael Myers...and lives to tell the fucking tale!  Now that's an atrocity.

Overall, this was a groan-inducing experience, the script was poor, and the whole production lacked a lot of logic.  Ultimately, they should have just left good enough alone with H20, and this was the death of the franchise.

Until Rob Zombie's controversial reboot.  But that's a whole 'nother story.

Rated R
94 Minutes
United States

"Trick or treat, motherfucka!"

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