Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

So, what does a film do when its main bad guy has been decapitated on camera in its predecessor? Well, I don’t know what an actual film would do, but the entity known as Halloween: Resurrection concocts an idiotic excuse involving Michael fucking Myers dressing an ambulance driver up in his beloved mask, conveniently crushing his larynx so he can’t speak, and pretending Laurie Strode wouldn’t know the difference between the Shape and a guy with a beer belly. But hey, at least the film starts as idiotic as it is going to continue.

Anyway, because of murdering the ambulance dude, Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis looking so pissed off she must have read the script) has now been in a closed mental institution for three years or so, when one night Michael comes for a visit and murders a few people and then her. Lucky woman.

The rest of the film has little to do with the beginning, except for the coming degree of suckage. We follow the misadventures of a group of six students (final girl Bianca Kajlich, a pre-Kara-Thrace Katee Sackhoff whose acting here is as bad as that of everyone else, and some other people) who have been chosen to star in an internet reality TV show produced by Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) and one Nora (Tyra Banks). They’ll spend a night locked in the old Myers house to, ahem, find clues regarding the reason for Michael’s murderous nature. Of course, Freddie is sneaking around the house dressed up as Michael, of course he and his – tiny – crew have dropped fake clues of ritual child abuse around the house (stay classy, Halloween: Resurrection), and of course the real Michael (Brad Loree) has been living under the house since 1978 (yeah, I’m sure Dr Loomis wouldn’t have copped to that, but what do you expect of a film that doesn’t even get the number of Michael’s victims in the first film right) and doesn’t like house guests. Alas, this being a film very much in love with his smarmy, flat and boring idea of media satire, he takes his dear time killing them, and will suffer from indignities like being kung fu kicked by Busta Rhymes, or, you know, being killed – as much as he can be killed – by the very same acting disabled personage who spouts dialogue like “Trick or treat, motherfucker!”. So at least this thing gives me a new appreciation for the Rob Zombie remake of the first film.

Look, I’m the last one to wish anything bad on the people who made any movie. After all, they didn’t strip me to chair and made me watch it, but a film like Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween: Resurrection makes a boy think bad thoughts, because, frankly, it’s atrocious, inexcusable and crap in all the expected and many unexpected ways. On the plus side, I really can’t complain about boring competence this time around, because competence and this thing have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. Hooray for that, I guess.

I’ve already hit on some of Halloween: Resurrection’s failures while going through the plot, so let’s just repeat for clarity: this one’s the Halloween film where the final fifteen minutes consist of Busta Rhymes being the kind of hero even a 90s direct to DVD action movie would be embarrassed by and the supposed final girl screeching and cringing (like anyone involved with this film would do).

Well, okay, there’s also a script that permanently pats itself on the back for its supposedly smart media satire while missing out on any and all opportunities to actually be one, where characters flat even for a slasher movie are played by actors who just seem embarrassed by the whole thing (who can blame them?), where the whole Internet reality show angle in practice is only a way to prolong the film with more scenes during which nothing of interest happens, where no idea is embarrassing and awkward enough not to be included. And don’t even get me started on replacing the traditional final girl with action movie Busta Rhymes (and does that mean the producers couldn’t even afford Ice-T?), replacing one of horror film’s more pleasant clichés with a much more rote one. Plus, as nice as I suspect the guy to be, an actor he ain’t.

I could add equally ecstatic words on Rosenthal’s direction, the aesthetically utterly clueless way in which he includes the pseudo found footage movie elements from the cameras our internet heroes are wearing, his inability to stage even a single decent fright scene, the bad pacing, the dubious blocking and so on, and so forth, but really, what’s the use with a film that contains not a single worthwhile moment, at this point effortlessly kicking Jason Takes Manhattan from its podium place of the worst movie I’ve lived through during my perhaps ill-advised pre-Halloween slasher film sequel binge. Surely, none of the Nightmare on Elm Street sequels will be quite this bad? Please?

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