October Horrorshow: Halloween: Resurrection

I don’t know what I’m going to do. This is the eighth year that I’ve done the October Horrorshow, and at the end of every year, on Halloween, I’ve reviewed one of the Halloween movies. But, with Halloween: Resurrection, I’ve run out. This is it — the last of the movies from the original franchise. I already reviewed the Rob Zombie remakes before the Horrorshow existed, so those are out, as well. There is a new flick in the works, but apparently it’s stuck in development hell and won’t be in the can before next year’s Horrorshow. Oh, man. My hands are shaking and my heart is beating fast. This feels exactly like when I graduated college and the rest of my life was staring me in the face. I can see far but there’s nothing but blackness at the end. I’m…lost.

Nah. I’m not. Wherever there is horror cinema, I will watch it. Whenever there is a worthy movie, I will review it. I have taken on the responsibility, for free, I might add, to bring horror reviews to my Loyal Seven readers every October. I won’t stop until I’m dead, which I’m hoping won’t happen for at least another 150 years. In the meantime, there is one flick left in this year’s Horrorshow, and while it’s shitty, it could have been a lot worse.

Halloween: Resurrection, as I wrote above, is the last of the Halloween films that was part of the original franchise. Previous efforts, going back to the first sequel, did a lot of work to ground the property into the dust. So much so that the film before this one, Halloween H20, retconned everything that happened in Halloweens 4-6. That really is a good thing, too. There were plot acrobatics galore in those flicks, making what should have been simple tales of a mass murderer into a conflated mess about devil worshippers and a mysterious man in black. Halloween H20, then, was a breath of fresh air for a franchise that had grown stagnant.

Halloween: Resurrection picks up three years after the events in the previous film. Laurie Strode has been left traumatized by those events and is now in resident therapy at a psychiatric hospital. She’s there because, it turns out, she really didn’t lop off Michael Myers’ head at that film’s climax. Instead, it was all a ruse by Michael, leading Laurie to kill an innocent paramedic. It’s the guilt over what she’s done that has led Laurie to her hospital bed. Of course, Michael shows up to finish the job, and of course Laurie is ready for him. But this is just introductory stuff. Laurie isn’t involved in the main plot at all. That happens back in Haddonfield, Illinois, where it’s Halloween again.

Busta Rhymes (who received top billing in the opening credits) and Tyra Banks play Freddie and Nora, a pair of producers who come up with an idea for a Halloween-themed live streaming internet show. They’ve picked a group of young and pretty college kids to spend Halloween night inside of Michael Myers’ childhood home. They’ll be wearing cameras and microphones, and wandering around the house searching for clues to why Michael became such a psychotic murderer. Everyone involved has made the biggest mistake of their lives. It’s a bad idea to be in Haddonfield on Halloween, and an even worse idea to hang out in Michael’s home. He shows up on scene and begins killing everyone in the house one by one.

It’s exactly what we viewers expected and almost exactly what we want out of a Halloween film. Michael is a slasher, and he finds people to slash. I say it’s almost what we want because it is inferior to John Carpenter’s original classic in one key way. All the college kids are shallow characters. There isn’t an ounce of sophistication among them, and that wasn’t the case with Laurie Strode and her friends back in the original. Carpenter shied away from caricature. Rick Rosenthal, this flick’s director, did not. It’s nice that, as horror fans, we get some simple bloody stuff again, but some investment in character development would have made us care about these folks a little more. Although asking this cast to handle any heavy lifting would have been bold.

There’s not a whole lot to recommend this film. It’s a mediocre cash grab, but I’ve seen many other horror flicks with the same intentions that were far worse. On a cold and rainy Halloween night, it beats watching Alien: Resurrection.