Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Written by Larry Brand & Sean Hood
Directed by Rick Rosenthal
Jamie Lee Curtis said she was done. So at the end of H2O, she beheads Michael, and the movie ends. But the producers wanted to keep milking the franchise. Moustapha Akkad, the producer who owned the Halloween film rights, provided a clause in his agreement with Dimension Pictures that Michael could never be killed. So when the inevitable sequel was announced, they went to Curtis and asked if she would play Laurie Strode again. Exasperated, the actress told them that if they couldn’t kill off Michael, they would have to kill Laurie in this next movie. So they did. The result is the worst entry in the entire franchise. It’s disjointed, with the first twenty minutes feeling like a short film with Laurie. Then the rest of the film is a poorly aged god-awful mess that completely misunderstands the entire series.
Laurie Strode is confined to a psychiatric facility. It turns out the man she beheaded was a paramedic Michael had slipped his mask onto. The real Michael Myers is still out there and eventually finds his way to Laurie. he breaks into the facility where she had laid a trap but underestimated him. Michael kills Laurie Strode, and…the movie keeps going. A reality show is planned in Haddonfield where six college students will spend the night in the Myers house. I think they win money if they stay the night or something. Who gives a shit. Eventually, the movie concludes with Busta Rhymes kung fu fighting Michael Myers. All the negative things I said about previous Halloween movies cannot be as horrible as this dreck.
The whole tone of the reality show part of the film feels entirely off. I would assume this is trying to continue the ironic meta criticism started in Scream, but you would need a good screenplay for that to work. I guarantee audiences will root for the murders of these obnoxious one-dimensional idiots. In the original film, you feel pangs of sympathy for Laurie, rooting for her to get away from Michael. I couldn’t wait for every kill in Resurrection and was disappointed when some of them actually survived. This entry was directed by Rick Rosenthal, who helmed Halloween III and is good friends with John Carpenter. He should get the material and understand how the franchise works. From this movie, I strongly question that.
Nothing about the kills or premise feels inspired. It’s as if the cast and plot of a shitty random horror movie were plopped into the world of Halloween. Michael doesn’t feel particularly like himself; he’s arguably a non-character. He just shows up and kills, and there’s never a sense he’s thinking or finding pleasure in anything. Much like the audience, it’s just going through the motions so we can get to the end credits and hope the next one is better. The reality show plot and the use of the internet dates the movie in a manner that is not charming. There’s something wistfully nostalgic about suburban Haddonfield in the first film. Everything in Resurrection feels gross and generic.
You realize how much Jamie Lee Curtis brought to H2O when she departs in this film, and all potential for it to be enjoyable is sucked out of the flick. The actress is so compelling to me as Laurie; she really has thought about the character and what trauma means. When Laurie is face to face with Michael here, I actually think I like it a little more than her moments in H2O. There’s more of a sense of tragedy to what happens; that she was never going to outrun him forever. Michael is a force of nature that will always catch up to his victims. To then be tossed into early 2000s internet shlock where one of the primary plot devices is someone watching the show online and texting a contestant feels jarring. Without Laurie, there is no purpose to Michael, in my opinion. He doesn’t have anything to do other than kill people trespassing in his house in the most boring manner possible. I’m guessing that Dimension thought the same because they would suddenly take a hard right turn and hand the franchise over to Rob Zombie.