Blog writers Jason and Mike continue their critical look at the Halloween films with Halloween Resurrection. A film so controversial it will have to be discussed in two parts.
JASON: Halloween Resurrection is an example of a franchise running on empty. A creatively bankrupt cash grab by a producer who treated the series as his personal ATM. The film’s plot is two different tangentially related stories, which would be a jarring transition had either been compelling. The first story is the unsatisfying coda to the superior film that preceded it and the other is a generic haunted house tale desperately hoping to be associated with the Blair Witch Project.
MIKE: I believe that whatever creative shortcomings that Halloween: Resurrection has are a direct result of Halloween: H20’s story. H20 reintroduced Laurie Strode (with the stipulation that the character would be written out in H8) and H20 had Michael Myers beheaded. How was H8 supposed to work with these limitations? If anything, H8 should have moved away completely from H20 rather than be a straightforward sequel to H20.
JASON: Reunited with Halloween 2 director Rick Rosenthal, Jamie Lee Curtis is once again in a dimly light hospital with a bad wig. Contractually obligated to film a cameo for an H20 follow up, Curtis has since described the film as “forgettable.” I wish it were that easy. Let’s unpack this set up, because it’s ludicrous.
MIKE: It’s a silly story, yes, but it’s silly because it chose to continue the story of H20. Jamie Lee Curtis is the one who used the series as her personal ATM. After H20 and her cameo in H8, her career was resurrected (she did the successful Freaky Friday).
Also, I’m disappointed that the alternate opening for H8 wasn’t used in the final cut. The home video showing a young Myers is eerie.
JASON: First off the recreated scenes from H20 now feature the H8 mask alongside the Winston. The Winston mask falls in the decapitation scene and when the mask is pulled off the head (something paramedics didn’t think to do when it was still attached to a body) it’s the H8 mask.
MIKE: Let’s be honest, H20 was less consistent with Michael’s mask than any other movie in the franchise. The decapitated paramedic head could’ve been wearing the KNB mask, the altered H6 mask or a CGI mask. But no, it was wearing the H8 mask because the sequence appears in H8. That’s consistency – something that H20 didn’t care much for.
JASON: Let’s assume Michael did have the foresight to know Laurie would kidnap his inert body and instead of killing a paramedic he merely crushed his larynx to prolong the suspense. Assuming the other paramedics didn’t check a pulse before putting him a body bag. Even assuming the unlucky paramedic isn’t alarmed to wake up in a body bag, has a creepy way of moving and isn’t interested in taking off the mask he should be surprised to be wearing…how is it he can take the punishment Laurie is dishing out? The paramedic loophole is a desperate explanation without concern to logic, story or characterization.
MIKE: Some of the flashback footage was shot during H20. For example, Michael walking around the school in a paramedic uniform and holding a knife. The paramedic angle was an escape clause of sorts introduced in H20. That the paramedic survived all the brutality unleashed onto him by Laurie is a question you’d have to ask the makers of H20. Halloween Resurrection did its best with what it had regarding the paramedic.
The rest of the flashbacks were indeed shot by the H8 crew. That’s why when Brad Loree disappears into the woods his paramedic uniform doesn’t match up with the H20 uniform. I believe a much better explanation for all of this would’ve been for H8 to just say, “The guy in H20 was a copycat; it wasn’t really Michael.” H8 didn’t have to task itself with explaining H20. Too bad it did.
JASON: Laurie leads Michael up to the roof where she catches him in a Scooby Doo type trap that hangs Michael over the side of the building. She knows a fall won’t kill him so instead of getting the authorities (who should be camped at her side every Halloween anyway) she decides to make sure its Michael and you know, not some other lunatic that just tried to kill her. Which begs the question, WTF does she expect to see under the mask? Is she going to recognize him from the split second she saw his face in a dark hallway in 1978? I wouldn’t recognize it and I saw H1 last month.
MIKE: I agree. Laurie’s trap is over-the-top silly. Moreover, I find it hard to believe that she was able to leave her room unnoticed and construct such an elaborate trap on the roof. She’s supposed to be a hopeless case (as revealed by the conversation between the 2 nurses).
Michael’s pleading with Laurie while he’s upside down was embarrassing. And what kind of trap is that anyway? The paramedic in H20 sustained much more punishment than a fall off a building surrounded by CGI trees.
JASON: So after 22 years of hard work Michael finally succeeds in killing his sister. Overlooking Josh Hartnett’s character, and his own motivation from the previous film, Michael hands off the knife and retires. Michael knows nobody in Illinois can solve a murder, so he steals a car from the crime scene and parks it in front of his own house. Who could see a connection there?
MIKE: H8’s biggest mistake was following H20’s continuity. Myers has never been more aimless than he is in this film. He survived decapitation and killed Laurie. How could the rest of H8 compete with what went down in its opening minutes?
JASON: Now that he’s done killing sisters (and in parallel continuity his niece, his niece’s adopted sister, his biological sisters adopted aunt and uncle and his incest conceived biological sons midwife) you have wonder what now? What was it all for? Apparently he’s been looking forward to eating rats. With his mask on. In the subterranean labyrinth beneath his house. Had Strode Realty mentioned that feature on their sell sheet they might have sold that lemon sooner.
MIKE: We also have to put Halloween Resurrection into context. It was released during a lull in the slasher genre. It was after Scream 3. Seed of Chucky and Jason X had tanked at the box office, while the Hellraiser series went straight to video. In an era of Jeepers Creepers, Cabin Fever, The Ring and 28 Days Later, Halloween: Resurrection seemed way out of place.
H8 was a stubborn movie that refused to compromise its basic formula (i.e. masked lunatic kills people). If anything, though, I do commend H8 for integrating the internet into the narrative. To me, at least, there was something creepy about Myers being able to survive in the age of the internet. Also, it’s one of the very few movies of that time that tried to incorporate the innovative elements of The Blair Witch Project. Not delving into the childhood of Michael Myers was a massive letdown. That was a huge opportunity to tell an interesting story.
Part Two of our Resurrection Battle to come!