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Halloween: Resurrection   D-

Dimension Films

Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Writers: Larry Brand, Sean Hood
Cast: Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Katee Sackhoff, Sean Patrick Thomas, Daisy McCrackin, Tyra Banks, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Review by Jeremiah Kipp

Underground filmmaker Nick Zedd made a film called Why Do You Exist? It's a question worth asking after movies like Halloween: Resurrection, which hopes to set up another 20 years of beside-the-point sequels by dispatching legendary scream queen Laurie Strode (a tired looking Jamie Lee Curtis) in its unnecessary prologue. Why they felt the need to dispatch everyone's favorite slasher heroine so mercilessly probably has more to do with Curtis being sick of offered these continually lame sequels. She's gone from, "I owe my career to Halloween," to "Just kill me already and get it over with!"

As depressing as it is to see Laurie butchered in such an out-of-character way (she's about to destroy Michael Myers when she suddenly, stupidly thinks to herself, "Maybe I should take his mask off... just to make sure I'm killing the right guy!"), fans can take comfort in the fact that her death plays out like Sherlock Holmes falling into the Meiringen Waterfall. Stabbed by Michael, kissing him goodbye with the line, "I'll see you in hell," she plummets to her "death" cushioned by several fern trees. I can see her now in five years popping up in another sequel saying, "You think you could defeat me that easily? I'm home, Michael! Let's dance, etc."

But until that happens, rich fool producer Moustepha Akkad closes a chapter in the never-ending series, fixing up a retooled new Halloween for the age of Survivor, The Real World, and Fear Factor, placing hipster kids with portable camcorders in Michael Myers' house for a one-night only live Internet event. If they make it through the night, entertaining an eager American public online, they'll each get a hefty check and instant fame. Media programmer Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes), who set up this Dangertainment Special, can already see the dollar signs.

Instead of getting picked off one by one for having sex, the kids of Halloween: Resurrection are puritanically slaughtered because of vanity, or the desire for fame. Most of them might as well have "dead meat" stenciled on their foreheads, since the only one clearly meant to make it back alive is wallflower babe Sara Moyer (Bianca Kajlich, no Jamie Lee Curtis she; Kajlich screams well but is completely unconvincing when called upon to show fear -- the most she can do is look vaguely petulant). Replacing John Carpenter's stylish tracking shots through suburban houses is degraded, handheld Blair Witch video-cam footage. Of all the Halloween's, this is by far the most visually unappealing.

While Busta Rhymes is a formidable rap artist, his screen roles thus far have been disappointing. Shaft enlisted him as Samuel L. Jackson's chauffeur, and Halloween commits the opposite crime of indulging his star fueled ego. Giving him all the corny one-liners ("Trick or treat, muthafucka!"), Rhymes is also blessed with mad kung-fu skills and is the only potential victim who puts up a fight -- knocking Myers over with a flying spin kick and hurtling him through a window. I can see his contract now: "Obligated to have comical karate sequence where I trounce Michael Myers; and if I should die, let me go out like a champ!"

Rhymes might become an appealing modern alternative to the superb horror icon Donald Pleasence (who played the indefatigable Dr. Sam Loomis, the terrific hambone Ahab to Michael Myers' Moby Dick, in many of the Halloween films), but he's off to a shaky, vainglorious start as a Mr. Showbiz type whose comeuppance appears in the form of a heavy-handed monologue about media overkill. "No more cameras!" he shouts, hypocritically, preening in his dreadlocks. Though he does get the movie's best scene, and it's a spoiler so if you're planning on seeing this trash, walk away now. Michael Myers is walking through the house, stalking victims. Suddenly, he is being followed by another Michael Myers. The first hears the floor squeak and turns around, shouting to the second, "Charlie? What the hell are you doing here! I already told you, you can't be Michael Myers! I'm being Michael Myers! Now get your ass out the back door where you came from!" Of course, it's Busta Rhymes under Mask #1. And the reaction from Michael Myers, under Mask #2, is ineffable. He stupidly nods his head, turns around, and shuffles away. Was that the bogeyman? As a matter of fact, it was.

Review published 07.15.2002.

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