Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Initially, I had planned on letting Halloween come and go and pat myself on the back for a successful month of October featuring some vampire movies.  I thought, "Hey, I had a theme, I have a movie coming up that will run parallel to Doctor Strange in the first Friday of November, and I even have an Election Day Special planned.  I'll just ride out Halloween, a job well done."  Then I watched the Halloween movies to celebrate the holiday.

Suddenly, all those repressed memories of Halloween: Resurrection resurfaced and I got mad.  Really, REALLY mad.

Because fuck this movie in the asshole.  Right up in that asshole.  Just get right in there and go balls deep.  All the way in.

Let's back up.  For those of you who are somehow unfamiliar with Halloween, the series follows the wacky exploits of serial killer Michael Myers.  He's got a real hard on for killing his family members.  In the first, he killed his older sister.  In the second, we learn our main heroine, Laurie Strode, is Michael's younger sister, so therefore that's why he's trying to kill her.  In the fourth and fifth movies, he's after his niece, and in the sixth he kills her and then tries to sacrifice a baby (long story short - it's his inbred rape baby he had with his niece).  A seventh film told four, five, and six to go fuck themselves and brought Laurie back.  After that was a success, we landed here.  With Busta Rhymes.  And Tyra Banks.

Fuck.

From the back of "The Halloween Collection" three-pack from Miramax "Classics" (quotation marks used for emphasis on this set that includes the sixth, seventh, and eighth movies), the plot is as follows: "The reality programmers at DangerTainment have selected Rudy, Bill, 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 the evening of excitement becomes a night of horror as Michael himself decides to crash the party."

Now, remember, this is 2002.  So reality TV was in its initial climb to pop culture phenomenon.  This also borrows from the far superior The Blair Witch Project by having all the characters equipped with cameras to record their reaction to the endless amounts of jump scares.  These things are not excuses.  Just setting this scene for you.  Let's just get to it, shall we?


Passin' the time until Scream Queens becomes a thing.
The movie picks up three  years after the events of the previous, Halloween: H20.  Laurie Strode is in a mental institution after decapitating a guy who she believed to be Michael Myers.  Instead, it was an ambulance driver who Michael dressed up as him and crushed his larynx to prevent him from saying he wasn't Michael.  So, simply put, this invalidates Laurie's triumphant exorcism of this demon from her past because it was a summer movie hit and gave fans some hope that Halloween sequels could actually be worthy entertainment.

Great job, Miramax.  All for a buck, right?

So here we are.  Laurie is locked away in an insane asylum.  Her son, Josh Hartnett, is nowhere to be found (good for you, Josh, go make that Sin City movie instead).  Because it's an asylum, of course there are goofy inmates there too.  The main one we get introduced to is a serial killer expert who walks around in a creepy clown mask and recites information like he's reading the back of Topps Trading Cards for killers.  He also looks an awful lot like Shelly from Friday the 13th Part III.  So much so I have, on more than one occasion, had to look it up to make sure he wasn't.

Anyway, Michael shows up and. even though Laurie is ready for him and tries to trap him and/or kill him (again), he kills her.  Again, it's an unceremonious killing for Michael that totally invalidates the 20+ year struggle Laurie Strode has had to get over her haunting Halloween night when she first came face-to-face with her brother.

There's lots I could say about how this is a total shame that our greatest horror film heroine was killed off and left to never have her total victory as we all believed she did in the previous movie.  I could probably even spend time pondering why Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role of Laurie.  My guess her salary for one scene paid for something nice.  I could rant about how two screenwriters actually had to feel good about the decision to kill her off and just make her another tally mark on Michael Myers' scorecard.  All these things crossed my mind, but it's actually something else that bothers me.

Pretty much the entire series of Halloween focused on one idea - Michael has disdain for his family and hunts and kills them.  He will kill others.  Oh yes, he will kill others, but they are mostly either in his way or possessing something he needs to accomplish his goals (i.e. he needs clothes and a vehicle to get to Haddonfield, etc.).  Yes, we can ponder what is in canon and what isn't.  Do we count all but Halloween III: The Season of the Witch as canon?  If so, then we know that Michael's sole driving force is to eliminate his family.  He doesn't even care enough about Dr. Loomis to kill him, just the Myers that are still around.  Even if we remove Halloween 4, 5, and 6 from the canon, seemingly Michael still has a driving force to wipe out his blood relations.  After all, why did he come back to kill off Laurie, right?

It's right away that you can tell here that this is nothing more than a vapid sequel.  This should have been Laurie's son's movie.  Josh Hartnett's character should be the main person in this movie.  Even if he isn't sure his mother was killed by his uncle, this should be the journey.  It should be him that Michael is going after.  It's his story now.  But that's not what we get at all.

Why?

Because Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, and a shitload of incredibly unlikable fucks need to shoot an internet reality TV show in the Myers house.  That's an easier movie to write, right, Larry Brand and Sean Hood (screenwriters of Halloween: Resurrection)?  Let's just get some generic archetypes to be our movie's victims and it'll all be good.  That's where our movie turns once it concludes the Michael Myers/Laurie Strode Saga.

At Haddonfield University (pfft), we meet Sarah, who is I guess smart and knows all about the "shadow persona" as introduced by Carl Jung, and is apparently the next thing in reality entertainment, according to Busta Rhymes.  Next we meet her generic, bad dye job, blonde friend (yes, that's actually Katee Sackhoff) who is horny and an attention whore.  She also wears sucky early 2000s makeup.  They are also friends with Sean Patrick Thomas who I know from Can't Hardly Wait.  These people are uninteresting.  Worse, Sarah has a chatroom buddy who loves her from afar and is supposedly something of a lovable loser - charming but shy and stays in the distance.  He's a fuck too.

These three friends (Sarah, Blondie, and Can't Hardly Wait) have all been selected to take part on this internet show that will have them spend Halloween night in the Myers home.  I'm not sure why we care about this, but Sarah is mildly warm on the idea, the blonde is getting herself off over the possibility of breaking into network TV something or another, and the guy from Can't Hardly Wait is supposedly excited too.  Again, I don't know why we care other than the movie telling us to feel this way.

Stay out of this, Busta.  My logic is sound on this topic.
One of the guys from American Pie is also in this.  He's the horny archetype. There's this redhead who is indeed quite hot, but she's a total fucking asshole.  She's one of those know it all, grammar nazi, cunts who always talks like she's hot shit in a champagne glass.  She spends the ENTIRE FUCKING MOVIE acting like the most intelligent person involved with the movie.  That is truly not the case because I am smarter simply because I'm not in this movie.  But I am watching it...  Hmmmm.  Wait, I have it...  I may be watching this movie, but I'm more intelligent because I have a blog I can use to tear it down.  So take that, Hotty McGingertits.

Oh, there's another guy, but he's just as generic as they come too with his long hair and biker jacket.

Anyway, Busta and Tyra get all excited because they think Sarah, who gets startled and screams so loud it breaks glass and some other pieces of equipment, is their big ticket to... um... all the internet ratings?  I don't know.  I hate all these people.  Although, I will say that Busta Rhymes watching Kung Fu Movies and later talking down Michael Myers in the most famous scene from the movie is entertaining.  Busta is genuinely okay in this.  Even when Sarah comes to him to drop out of the show, and he convinces her to stay even though he has his own slimy reasons, he's not totally unlikable.  He smiles through his scenes nicely.

But we gotta get back to these other assholes.  There's Sarah's chatroom buddy who is watching despite being invited to a party and his buddy takes time to chastise him for being pussy-whipped.  So, guess what - we will soon be watching him watching her for the rest of the movie.  Goddammit, movie, that is not an interesting way to edge the run time to 90 minutes!  Also, I bet he becomes a hero in some way by simply watching her online too.  I could go into why that would not even be possible to do in 2002, but I think you guys probably know why.  It all has to do with how fast that live stream would have been able to broadcast and there's no way he would be able to assist her from a computer in that era.  You can barely do it now, in 2016.  Fuckers.

When Busta tells everyone how their personal cameras will work, the redhead stares into a camera and says that "Cameras look so phallic."  The fuck does that even mean?  Ugh.  She's just the worst.  Yet the hottest.  Which also applies to Tyra Banks.  Nice to look at, but completely worthless in this movie.

Yeah, Sweettits.  That camera is phallic if you are into tentacle porn.
This movie is such a goddamn bummer, man.  Again, we go back to the general M.O. that Michael Myers always had in his previous appearances.  Yet, we have removed that normal drive once he tossed Jamie Lee Curtis off the building in the opening.  Now, it's like we're just watching the side story that happened while we followed the main characters in the previous installments.  You know, like what Michael was doing while Laurie or Jamie (depending which movie you were watching) were in school or dicking around with friends, etc.  I mean, like, he did stuff while he waited for nightfall to come so he can chase his relatives.  He'd eat some rats, or kill kids who broke in his house, etc.  That's what this fucking movie is.

Imagine it being like if you had a Friday the 13th movie where Jason was put on a boat and dropped in Manhattan...  Erg.  Never mind.

Mike, they're all there.  Please... Kill them.  I'm begging you.
So these assfucks walk around and find all sorts of stuff that make it look like the Myers locked Michael into his high chair or in the basement.  Generally, it looks like he was abused.  The fuck...  Is this a Rob Zombie Halloween movie?  Can we bring back that cult angle from the sixth flick?  At least that ties to a better motive than the Myers being total jackoffs.

By nightfall, everyone has settled into the Myers house for the reality show.  People pair off to go exploring and "find answers" about why Michael Myers went nuts and killed his sister.  Blondie Dyejoberson and American Pie go into Judith's room.  Michael watches (in slow motion and believe me we will be talking about the use of slow mo in this movie momentarily) while Blondie and American Pie talk about her showing her boobs in order to propel her career.

In another room Hotty McGingertits and Longhair Genericleatherjacket go into the basement and she babbles on about what she thinks drove Michael to murder with some real expensive words.  She also rebuffs his advances by saying "Screwing a music major is tantamount to lesbianism."  I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.  I also am not impressed by your vocabulary.  Elsewhere, Blondie is heard screaming.  Sarah and Can't Hardly Wait go looking for her after American Pie says she suddenly disappeared.  Sigh...  Instead of something interesting happening, it's just Blondie playing a prank to scare them.  So now, we have to wait for things to build up again.

People keep walking around, and things keep freaking them out.  Sometimes it's something falling into eyesight.  Sometimes it's one of the group being a dick to the others.  At the party where Sarah's little lovebug is, he keeps watching it instead of being a socially normal guy (kinda like people who spend a Saturday writing a blog post instead of finding Halloween fun).  More and more people from the party come in and start watching with him.  So now we have a group of people doing things, a group of people watching them, and now the movie's audience itself watching.  This is like watching seeing a turd in a tiny toilet embedded into a larger turd in a normal size toilet.  I feel like I'm gazing into an infinite asshole.

Also, fuck this guy.  No way that girl is hooking up with a white boy wearing a fro with a pick sticking out of it without the
help of roofies.
When McGingertits and Longhair find a hidden hatch(?) in the basement to a dungeon(??!?!??!?), the screenwriters show how much they understand girls who are critical studies majors who like to show off their smarts using big words and extensive vocabulary by having her go tits out so she can fuck the music major.  I guess, based on her own statements earlier, she's going to be a lesbian now too.  The wall next to where they are having horrifically dirty sex caves in and they get covered by skeletons.  However, that's just a prank set up by Busta and Tyra.

Speaking of Busta Rhymes and his pranks, next up is our most memorable scene.  Busta walks through the house in a Michael Myers costume.  He's being followed by the real Michael.  When he realizes this, Busta thinks it's a cameraman who was killed earlier (but not important enough for me to bring up earlier in the post).  Busta proceeds to bitch out "Charlie", but is actually bitching out Michael Myers.  It's funny, see?  Busta is just standing up to Mikey and calling him a "motherfucker" and telling him to "scoot", "scadaddle", and "get the fuck outta Dodge!" and the like. It's utterly ridiculous, but this movie has to have something memorable in it.

Actually it is quite funny.  Busta Rhymes actually prevents himself from being stabbed and killed by Michael Myers by being himself.  He does, though, doom Tyra by telling Michael that he left the door open for him to go out the back and into the garage where she is.  Oops!  Also, I always thought you can totally tell it's Busta Rhymes in a mask without even a closeup or hearing him talk.  It's like they got a white William Shatner mask that had a little touch of Busta Rhymes in the mask making machine.

McGingertits finds a secret room in the catacombs under the Myers house...  That's a thing in this movie.  She finds where Michael sleeps and eats raw rats.  Oh whatever, he kills her.  Let's talk about her character's name for a second - and no, it is not Hotty McGingertits, it's actually Donna Chang.  Something about that name makes me think she was not originally intended to be be a tall, fair-skinned redhead.  It's just something in my gut that tells me so.  I could be crazy, but I don't think so in this case.

There's a bigger thing in this movie that needs to be talked about now that the redhead is dead and everything that could possibly be interesting went with her and her toplessness.  This movie overuses slow motion and it's obvious and super annoying.  I strongly despise unnecessary slow motion.  It completely and totally takes me out of a movie.  In an action scene when something big happens, that's one thing.  However, when it is just used to draw attention to something like the shadow of Michael Myers walking by, or to make sure you realize he is in the background, or, even worse, to pad out a running time that is severely in danger of not reaching feature length, it makes me cringe and pisses me off.  The effect is even used when Michael turns a corner to kill the blonde girl.  I think it is even used in the supposed "raw" footage from the characters' cameras on their heads.

Oh, hey, something is happening now in the movie.  The blonde gets decapitated.  Everyone realizes now that Michael is real and in the house.  He grabs Longhair by the head and crushes it.  He completely and totally ignores Can't Hardly Wait and goes after Sarah.  Can't Hardly Wait eventually gets Michael's attention and tries boxing him.  Remember when I brought up Jason Takes Manhattan a few paragraphs back?  Remember when the boxer tries to beat up Jason?  While Can't Hardly Wait doesn't get his block literally knocked off, he does get killed.

Informational text (L), REALLY FUCKING IMPORTANT
TEXT! (R)
Sarah runs around the house and out onto the roof while getting help from her internet boyfriend.  Not only do I despise the idea of a guy watching online in a feed that would have surely been delayed, but he's also using a text message service from a computer that is not his own that I'm not sure was all that.  Also, it types out each individual letter in huge font on her phone.  Also, it changes font style when he has something really important to say.

This movie makes me want to slit my wrists.

Busta finds Sarah and they plan their escape.  When Michael finds them, Busta asks him, "So you wanna be on DangerTainment?" (Sigh) and then proceeds to karate kick and chop him.  Michael looks at him like he's a fucking idiot.  Which he is, but at least he is able to kick him out of the window and apparently hangs him in some wires or something...?  Seemingly Sarah and Busta have won the day, but there's still like some ten minutes to go.  Thankfully, Sarah's boyfriend texts them that Michael is still alive and has freed himself from the wires.  He sneaks up on them and stabs Busta a few times, but I have a feeling that much like L.L. Cool J in the previous installment, Michael is going to have problems killing a rapper.  Michael literally chases Sarah through the house in slow mo.  No, seriously, there are like six consecutive shots of him in slow motion.  Let this be a lesson to you filmmakers...  If you don't have the shot for the editing, do reshoots.  Don't just order up slow mo.  Motherfuckers.

Lookout!  Dead Tyra Banks...
"You don't know me!"  Well, we really didn't, Tyra.  I don't even remember when you actually got killed.
Sarah gets out into the garage where she finds a chainsaw and swings it at Michael, hitting him a few times while yelling who each cut was for (though but the third cut, she forgot everyone else's name and just said, "This is for all of them!").  There was a gasoline leak or something that ignites on fire and just when you think Michael is going to get Sarah, Busta returns and says...


Busta then goes on to act like a kung fu master by beating Michael with a broomstick before Michael tosses him off to the side.  More slow mo as he raises the knife to stab Busta and Busta grabbing a wire and electrocuting Michael.  Busta and Sarah escape before the Myers house burns completely down to the ground.  Her little boyfriend texts that he can see her on the news.  She thanks him on TV and all the people at the party think he's the man, even though he's a complete nerd loser dork. Michael is taken to the morgue, where, surprise surprise, he revives.  Sadly, the franchise is not.  Instead, the Rob Zombie remake and its subsequent sequel takes the place of continuing the fledgling original franchise only for that to be its own fledgling franchise.

There's lots that can be said about how this was yet another soulless slasher flick as opposed to the thought provoking original that John Carpenter made.  Shit, opinions about where this series went wrong is all over the internet.  I don't have to add to it.  No, instead, this movie has its own problems.  None of those other issues have anything to do with the actual transformation from the original thriller into the slasher fare that the original, itself, inspired.

Katee Sackhoff reminding us that, once upon a time, girls'
fashion would advertise if they were into porn or not.
Again, the characters are pointless.  Tyra Banks didn't have to be here.  The six college students are all caricatures and could be interchanged between this series or a classic Friday the 13th installment.  The use of the reality element blends the popularity of reality shows with the found footage craze that we've still not grown out of some seventeen years after The Blair Witch Project.  The overuse of slow motion is terrible.  Busta Ryhmes, while entertaining, is just a mouthpiece for what all the alpha males tell their scared dates they would say to a person like Michael Myers.  There is no real plot.  Even the worst of the sequels before it had some kind of actual plot.  This is just a vehicle to throw kids in a scary house and have them picked off one at a time (especially after McGingertits shows her boobs).  Fuck, even the poster doesn't even look like everyone wants to be there.  They took a stock picture of Michael Myers' face, then superimposed a knife over it with head shots of some of the actors and stuck it on the knife.  It's exactly what you would expect from Dimension and Miramax.  They were the masters of dipshit box and poster art.

For me, though, the worst is that H20 at least tried to end on a triumphant note.  It's the one true successor to Halloween and Halloween II.  Laurie finally conquers Michael without a doubt and is able to live free from being hunted.  But, fuckin' nope!  That movie made money so we need to make another.  What, Jamie Lee Curtis doesn't want to do another one?  Fuck it, kill her off!  Ruin that triumph her character had for the sake of a few bucks in July.

Wait...  Did I just say July?  Yes I did.  This movie was released in July of 2002.  If that doesn't tell you how cynical and soulless this sequel was, well, sir and/or madam, you just don't get it.

Let me end this Halloween Special in the immortal words of Busta Rhymes' character, Freddie Harris:

"Michael Myers is not a soundbyte, spinoff, tie-in, some kind of celebrity scandal... Michael Myers is a killer shark.  In baggy-ass overalls.  And gets his kicks out of killing everything and everyone that he comes across.  That's all.  We're done dancing for these cameras.  Let's get out of here, Sarah."

Wait.  That's not the right quote.  Where did I put that quote...  Oh yeah, here it is...

"Happy fuckin' Halloween!"

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