The Evil Dead



Dawn of the Dead



Halloween: Resurrection
Review written by: Alex Sandell

"Oh, real nice, guys.  I get to
play third-wheel, yet again!" 

Do you consider yourself a fan of classic 1980's slasher flicks?  The ones generally reviled by the majority of mainstream critics?  If you don't, you may as well stop reading here, because you sure as hell aren't going to agree with this review.  As for the rest of you ... holy mad maniac in a mask, Splat-Man!  Good old-fashioned slash-and-hack is back!  Kevin Williamson didn't kill the genre, after-all!  With Kevin keeping himself busy Teaching Mrs. Tingle and playing dirty in Dawson's Creek, he just didn't have the time to interject his trademark "wit" into Halloween: Resurrection, as he did with the beleaguered, Halloween:  H20.  We don't get any stupid set of rules.  The nubile young victims run up the stairs, rather than out of the house.  Nobody knows enough to pick up a nearby phone to call for help.  Randy folks who just can't wait to get topless run off to make passionate love while a killer lurks just around the corner, and a good number of murders actually happen on-screen!  Who woulda thunk we'd ever see the day? 

After a sufficiently creepy little intro that takes place in a mental institution where Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) now resides, we are swept to Haddonfield where a dot com entrepreneur named Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) decides putting a half dozen young kids in Michael Myers' childhood home on Halloween night and broadcasting it over the Internet would be a profitable venture.  I'm not quite sure how exactly he's making his money, since people can apparently log on whenever they please, without paying a dime, but we'll save the nitpicking for a movie that actually cares.  

Even before the college students (putting high school students in peril is suddenly taboo in Hollywood, even if the students are played by the cast of Beverly Hills 90210) arrive at the house, murder and chaos ensues.  Michael is on a rampage like never before.  I guess he's sick of hiding behind bushes and stalking people to the tune of John Carpenter's catchy piano ditty.  Maybe it's Jason-envy, but Mikey wants to slice, dice, constrict and pummel.  And he succeeds in a way that would make his face protected protégé proud.  

The murders are pretty effective, despite the obvious slicing and dicing by the MPAA, and switching between the actual camera work of the film and the gritty online video shot by the students is more effective than one would have suspected.  This ain't no Blair Witch Project rip-off, like so many claimed it would be.  

When a group of high school kids (they had to get them in here, somehow) begin watching the online bedlam on a gigantic computer monitor, the suspense is upped a notch, as is the cleverness of the picture.  With the teens watching the victims and screaming for them to run this way and that as the teens in the audience watching Halloween: Resurrection do the exact same thing, you almost begin feeling like you're in the movie.  Sort of like 3-D without the annoying glasses.  Or the 3-D.  I'm sure you get the idea.

The film is not without faults.  Only a diehard fan of the slasher genre would even notice, but I was a little ticked that Jamie Lloyd, and everything else that had to do with Halloween parts 4, 5 and 6, were absent.  There wasn't even a nod made to the dearly departed Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance).  A few years ago Kevin Williamson decided that the only good Halloween films were parts 1 & 2 so he made sure to wipe any memory of parts 4, 5, and 6 out when ghost-writing part 7 (H20).  Unfortunately, screenwriters Larry Brand and Sean Hood one-upped Williamson by turning Halloween: Resurrection into what is essentially the third part in the series, ignoring each prior installment, with exceptions made for parts 1 and 7.  

Fortunately, executive producer, Moustapha Akkad (the man behind every Halloween film) had the sense to bring in a little old-school Halloween talent by hiring back Halloween II's Rick Rosenthal to direct the picture.  To my surprise, Rosenthal's work on Halloween: Resurrection is far superior to what he gave us with the lackluster Halloween II.  The pressure to meet the expectations of the first Halloween put a damper on its 1981 sequel.  This time Rick has distanced himself from the original film and can direct his own movie without the pressure of the first looming overhead. 

The film Rosenthal chose to direct is nothing more than a funhouse ride with a little excess blood and brief nudity.  Things jump out at you and people get their throats slit.  Rosenthal seems to have perfected the art of B grade directing and in the process we are given one hell of a good time.  Unlike in Jason X, which sent Jason Voorhees into space and turned him into a goofy WWE Wrestler, the audience attending Halloween: Resurrection reacted to the film by jumping, clapping and screaming in fear and exhilaration.  In other words, they were having a good time, and for all the right reasons.  Now, if only Rick would take on a few more celluloid psychos.  Who says an aging knife-wielding maniac has to also be a stand-up comic?    

On a scale of 1-10?

8 (if you want to know what dropped this sucker down from a 9 send me an email!  I didn't mention a few things in the review because a couple of them are gigantic spoilers.)

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Text ©(Copyright) 2002 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].

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