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Halloween: Resurrection

movie reviewmovie review out of 4

*Also starring: Tyra Banks, Sean Patrick Thomas, Daisy McCrackin, Katee Sackhoff, Luke Kirby, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Bianca Kajlich

Review by Macey Wuesthoff
3 stars out of 4

The Halloween series of films opened with a bang with Halloween and Halloween 2, but then began to dwindle with sorry sequels, including Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, in which an eight-year-old girl emulates Michael Myers killings, and Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, in which Michael Myers never even appears. So my husband had to drag me to the theater to see Halloween Resurrection. I wasn't expecting much, especially after the previous film, Halloween H2O, which lacked creativity in plot and filming and crawled until the Laurie-Michael confrontation at the tail end, which was powerful yet unfortunately too brief to salvage the rest of the movie.

But HR was not at all what I expected-it was much, much better, the first Halloween I've seen in years that captures the spellbinding spirit of the first two films.

HR opens with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in a mental institution, apparently catatonic and completely insane. Through the conversation of two nurses, we learn that the masked man whom Laurie decapitated in the previous film, and whom she and moviegoers believed to be Michael Myers, wasn't Michael at all. Instead, he was one of Michael's victims, who had barely survived Michael's attack, been masked by Michael, and could not speak to identify himself due to a crushed larynx. Thus, Michael is still out there somewhere. And Laurie, knowing this, is not as catatonic as she pretends to be as she watches through the institution window for Michael (Brad Loree) to make his next attack. She doesn't have long to wait before Michael returns, and they engage in a fast-paced, cat-and-mouse confrontation that will leave you gripping the edge of your armrest or clawing the hell out of your companion's arm. Curtis, as the fake-deranged-yet-somewhat-truly-crazed Laurie, is as genuine and dynamic as usual in this role, which is why it is a bit disappointing that she doesn't have a more extended part in this movie's story.

This time, the focus of Michael's killing spree is a scamming film director, Freddie (Busta Rhymes), his assistant (Tyra Banks), and a group of student who return to the vacated Myers home to film a live Internet reality show investigating Michael Myers and his motives. While Freddie is an arrogant and irritating stereotype, Rhymes cannot be held accountable for how his character is written and molds himself into the role with energy and conviction. The Net show premise also made me cringe at first, as I feared it would be another one of those stereotypical new age, technical, plots that kills itself in trying too hard to appeal to Generations X and Y. Instead, this scenario spurns some twists and turns that actually creates in HR a high amount of intrigue, conflict, and plot, all elements that parts 3 through 6 lacked in part or in whole. (Sure, there are a few minor plot holes here and there, but at least this Halloween has one!)

Soon it becomes apparent that Freddie has rigged the house to ensure the Internet audience an exciting show, and the characters, the Internet audience, and the real audience are left constantly trying to guess what's actual Michael mayhem and what isn't. And Michael takes full advantage of their confusion. Again, the creativity becomes evident during his slayings themselves, the majority of which surprise even the most perceptive horror veterans by occurring at unexpected times and in unique ways. One savvy Net surfer who deciphers the fiction from the reality utilizes modern technology to aid some of the victims in an unexpected way-a way so original, in fact, that I've never seen it used in any other horror film (and believe me, I've seen most of them). And to the relief of Michael Myers fans everywhere, the writers leave more room at the end of this film than the last one to create a sequel. If you're a horror fan, especially a Halloween fan, I recommend adding HR to your must-see list, even if you skip its last four predecessors all together (and I recommend doing that as well).

Copyright 2002 Macey Wuesthoff

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