61 Days of Halloween- Halloween: Resurrection

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Halloween: Resurrection

It’s nearly impossible to drop the ball as badly as this installment of the series does. This is the one that almost justifies starting all over from scratch. Which would be fine but the fact of the matter is no one sets out to make something terrible just so they can start over. There are no ‘rebuilding films’ you think “Oh, this’ll work.” Then when you fall flat on your face you start trying to figure out how you’re going to fix it.

What makes it so terrible is the set up is there. This film pulls off the best cross-film trick of the series. Laurie’s triumph is rendered her tragedy and in a much more convincing way than occurs in the new series Laurie ends up institutionalized.

However, in a much worse way than Part 6. This film botches a farewell. Laurie Strode is this franchise every bit as much as Michael and Dr. Loomis are. You don’t send her out the way they do such that it was a near accident. That is no blaze of glory which after four films is what she deserved.

So here you are left with an Austin Powers in Goldmember kind of set-up (“Austin caught me in the first act, what’s with that?”). Who are we to root for and who does Michael want to kill now because at this point he’s gotten everyone, except Laurie’s son but no he doesn’t go after him, this would be the rare case where I’d be for recasting, he goes after random people.

Granted these are random people who are all in his house in Haddonfield but random nonetheless. In other words these people are all expendable I could care less whether they live or die, in fact, the quicker Michael kills them the happier with this pile of slop I’ll be.

But it gets worse and here’s how: remember how there was actual social commentary thru the guise of a mid-90s shock jock in Part 6. Yeah, well here there’s a reality show and it really just serves as a vessel through which they will attempt to get a “modern” audience to relate. In the end it just allows these ridiculous caricatures to be even more dense than they otherwise would’ve been through their pathetically contrived audition tapes with their deep thoughts on Michael Myers.

The sequence in which this farcical show is being taped manages to be just as if not more slow moving than the crater-sized lull in Part 5 but what makes it harder to bare is that there is literally not a person you want to make it through this thing alive.

The acting overall is just plain pathetic and as if it’s not bad enough the capper to the series is left to Busta Rhymes who cannot convincingly deliver a line unless the more complete and vulgar variant of mofo is included. Lucky for him he says mofo a lot. His conclusion is Michael is a mofo. He is a smart man and this is a dumb, dumb movie, which isn’t worth the film stock it was shot on.

1/10

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61 Days of Halloween- Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Most holidays worth their while encompass entire seasons, such as Christmas, for example. However, as you may have noticed there is a corporate push every year for us to think about the next holiday even sooner. While this has many negative side effects I figure I may as well embrace it.

Since Labor Day is really only good for college football and movie marathons cinematically it is as significant as Arbor Day, which means the next big day on the calendar is Halloween and we can start looking toward it starting now.

Daily I will be viewing films in the horror genre between now and then and sharing the wealth. Many, as is usually the case, will not be worth it so for every disappointment so I will try and suggest something worth while as well.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (Dimension)

About the only thing that Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was not about to tackle was the whereabouts of Laurie Strode. In fact, that had been left rather open since the end of Part II. It was safe to assume that Michael was alive so why couldn’t she be?

With a name like Halloween: H20 you wouldn’t expect much but there are many pleasant surprises. The first of which is the return of the song “Mr. Sandman.” It’s a small touch but it’s such a great dichotomous use of source music it is welcome back and it’s acknowledged by Laurie for a good laugh.

The first kill in this movie is notable because it is a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt who gets his face sliced open but what’s most notable in the casting of this movie is, of course, the return of Jamie Lee Curtis. She is great reprising the role of Laurie Strode many years on and having her as anchor makes up from some of the shortcomings the film does suffer from.

One of those shortcomings is that though the series has not been rebooted there is some confusion in chronology. The original established Michael as 6 when he killed his older sister and he was 21 when he broke out. This film seems to indicate he was 15. It’s little details like that which may drive you crazy.

It’s good to hear Donald Pleasence in voice over even though he cannot be there. While Jamie Lee being back is clearly the biggest casting storyline there is in this film one of the better casts the series has boasted and much of it due to good fortune. The next installment would attempt one-upsmanship by trying to name pick but this one had young stars before they had broken out.

The conflict between Laurie and her son (Josh Hartnett) was quite good as he was trying to move on with his life and trying to get her to move beyond Michael Myers. There is also a scene between Jamie Lee and her mom Janet Leigh, where strains from Psycho play underneath it. It is a rather funny scene because of it and well played by both.

Laurie’s psychological struggles are used to great effect in this film and create some surprising scenes where you think you can discern reality from hallucination.

Even the phony scare which becomes a staple of the series works very well here and perhaps there is the most effective cross-film trick conveyed in these two films not to give too much away.

This film though adding a new generation of actors and paying tribute to one past still stays very grounded in what this film is about. It knows that you can’t move the story to Southern California unless Michael is given a reason to go there. It doesn’t do things just to be hip or trendy but because they make sense and it actually works surprisingly well nine times out of ten.

This would’ve been the perfect place to leave the series off before thoughts of reboots entered anyone’s mind but alas it was not to be.

7/10