Halloween: Resurrection

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008 @ 4:56 am | DVD, Halloween

Halloween: Resurrection
Tagline: Evil Finds Its Way Home
Released: 2002
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Loree, Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, and Tyra Banks
Directed by Rick Rosenthal
Written by Larry Brand and Sean Hood

Format: DVD
Distributed by Dimension Films
DVD Release Date: December 10, 2002

Features:
Special Features:
Widescreen (2.35:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Feature commentary with Director Rick Rosenthal and Editor Robert A. Ferretti
Deleted and Alternate Scenes with Director Commentary
Web Cam Special with Director Commentary
Photo Gallery
Tour of the set with Production Designer Troy Hansen
On the set with Jamie Lee Curtis
Head Cam Featurette
Storyboard Comparisons
Spanish Subtitles
French Track

Premise: Original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween: H20, True Lies) is back and joined by Busta Rhymes (Shaft) and Tyra Banks (Coyote Ugly) in the terrifying Halloween: Resurrection – the latest in this electrifying horror film series! The reality programmers at DangerTainment (Rhymes, Banks) have selected Rudy (Sean Patrick Thomas – Save the Last Dance), Bill (Thomas Ian Nicholas – American Pie 1 & 2) and a group of thrill-seeking teenagers to spend one fun-filled night in the childhood home of serial killer Michael Myers. But the planned live broadcast turns deadly when their evening of excitement becomes a night of terror as Michael himself decides to crash the party!

Plot Breakdown (spoilers): Three years after the events of Halloween: H20, Laurie Strode has been confined to a mental institution on a count of murder. Flashback sequences reveal Laurie did not really decapitate Michael Myers at the end of the previous film, but rather a paramedic with whom Myers forcefully switched clothing and his mask. Laurie pretends to be heavily medicated, but in reality, dodges her pills and prepares herself for the inevitable confrontation with Michael Myers. When Myers finally does appear, Laurie lures him into a trap on the roof of the institution. Before she can kill him for good however, he turns the tables on her, and stabs her in the back. She gives Michael a kiss, tells him she will see him in hell, and falls off the roof to the ground below, dead.

A year later, a group of six college students win a competition to appear on a reality show produced by DangerTainment, on which they are to spend Halloween night in the childhood home of Michael Myers. Their mission is to find out what led him to kill. The investigation is done via live broadcast on the internet, with each student wearing a small camera. The participants think the show is entirely for entertainment purposes, and that the stunt will earn them some publicity and scholarship money. While in the house, the students undercover staged “secrets” of Michael’s insanity, only to inadvertently uncover a subterranean lair where Myers has been living for the past 20 years. The event goes horribly wrong however, when Michael returns home and one by one, kills the students and the crew involved in the broadcast.

Sara Moyer, the only student left alive, uses her PDA and pen pal on the outside to escape the house and into the adjoining garage, where Myers soon follows. After a brief confrontation, Michael is electrocuted and left to die in a conflagration, which destroys the garage. Only Sara Moyer and Freddie Harris, the host of the show, survive the night’s events. Later, Myers’s severely burnt body is taken to a morgue, where a frightened female mortician slowly opens his body bag. He opens his eyes and the mortician screams, just as the screen goes black.

Halloween: Resurrection

The Good: Originally dubbed Halloween: The Homecoming, this film is a true testament of fans’ input. Before production began, the official Halloween website held a poll questioning whether the series should continue with the Michael Myers story or if they should go in another direction, ala Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Fans voted to continue with the Myers storyline, but aimed in a new direction.

In this film, Jamie Lee Curtis gives closure to her character, and it is a worthy sendoff. She portrays Laurie as downtrodden, but defiant, effectively showing off Laurie’s inner strength one last time. After the film moves on to the new storyline, Busta Rhymes carries the film with a performance that ranges from exceptional to terrible (more on that below). The rest of the cast all portray their characters adequately and Rosenthal’s direction is a step up from the style he used on Halloween II. The story here is simplistic, and for once in a horror film, embraces technology. Although the plot somewhat rehashes the Blair Witch Project and several reality shows, it does work on a recognizable and/or familiar level, making it an excellent introduction for casual viewers.

Unlike Dimension’s previous Halloween DVD releases, this release has a well rounded collection of bonus materials. Rosenthal provides commentaries for the film and the deleted footage, giving viewers additional information about the production. Most of the deleted scenes are extended character moments, but are still welcomed additions. Also, the three alternate endings provide an interesting look at how the film could’ve ended. The “Web Cam Special” provides roughly 40 minutes of footage, shot by the cast’s mini cameras. This footage was to be used for a special edition DVD that let the viewer watch the film from the point of view of a designated character. Unfortunately, at the time of this release, the technology “wasn’t quite there.” Regardless, having it included here provides an entertaining look at some established scenes. Other features include a tour of the Myers house set, photo gallery, and storyboard comparisons. Perhaps the most interesting of this collection though, is the short feature: On the set with Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis gives an onset interview regarding her character and her general thoughts about the Halloween story – a fine close to her last foray in the Halloween mythos.

The Bad: One of the most glaring problems with this film is that it fails to balance comedy and horror. Rhymes’s performance, while excellent in the character building moments, loses credibility when he uses exaggerated Kung-Fu on Michael – a scene which required steadier resolve. Other laughable moments, which also don’t work very well, include the “two Michaels” scene and the scenes of the kids watching the webcast. Also, dialogue that is supposed to be serious comes across as laughable, such as Sara exclaiming “this is for…” during the film’s climax.

The shift in story is also a problem here, as the beginning arch with Laurie Strode starts off with one tone, but awkwardly shifts to another with the later arch. This leaves the film no longer feeling like Halloween, as it lacks consistency between the two stories. Though fans’ input is a good thing, here it seems to have been in vain, as the intended direction comes across as clumsy. Whereas Rosenthal used what was effective when directing Halloween II, he seems to have sacrificed for what is “hip” or “now” for Halloween: Resurrection.

Other issues with this film include: Most of the characters are your classic throwaway lot, leaving cardboard cutouts for Michael to kill. Atmosphere is completely missing, as the viewer won’t be able to tell if it is spring, summer, or fall. The explanation for Michael’s survival from the last film is dubious, at best. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the film is just not scary.

Though this DVD release contains features “above the bar” for Dimension, they still continue to make strange omissions. As with previous releases, the film’s trailer is not included, along with some of the deleted or extended materials – specifically the original opening, featuring a grainy home movie of young Michael Myers with his family. With all the other bonus materials included, it is not clear why these features were left out.

Final Comments: Halloween: Resurrection is an average horror film, bearing the Halloween name. Jamie Lee Curtis ends her storyline with grace, leaving the rest of the film to fall flat. The DVD release includes a delightful amount of bonus features for fans and casual viewers alike.
Grade: C (film) | A- (DVD release)

 

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