Here’s a fun fact about movie critics: most of us don’t like to trash movies. We watch movies almost every day and we know how much work goes into making a film. A lot of people spend a lot of time and hard work producing a film that can be shown to the public. Critics want to see good movies. It’s never fun to tear down what could be a certain filmmaker’s dream project or criticize a certain actor’s performance when they are just trying to make a living. It is a necessary evil of the job though, and something that all of us must do when the film calls for it.
In the past I have been criticized for being too lenient with films. My reviews seem generous to some people, so much so that some readers think I’m being dishonest in my reviews or that I’m being paid to write positive things (just look at this comment on my Alien: Covenant review for a recent example). None of that is true, of course, but the accusation is still rather insulting. That being said, it takes a lot for me to truly hate a film (though you can look at my review of this year’s The Bye Bye Man for an example of that), and I always try to see the positive even in the most lackluster of films. I find that this outlook allows me to enjoy a film more, even if it’s not the best piece of filmmaking. I will identify flaws, but I will also try to find something positive to point out, because only pointing out the negative is an emotionally draining task. After all, it is very difficult to make a film with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
This brings me to Halloween: Resurrection, the eighth and final installment in the original Halloween franchise, which is celebrating(?) its 15th anniversary today. It is considered to be the worst entry in the series by most fans, and arguably, it is. The film is filled with cringe-inducing dialogue (“You like sushi, motherfucker?”), questionable narrative choices (Can you imagine seeing this in theaters in 2002 and witnessing the death of Laurie Strode? That must have been awful.) and even more questionable casting choices (Busta Rhymes, anyone?). That being said, I decided to watch the film for the first time in nearly a decade and attempt to find 10 positive things about it. It was a daunting task, because this is a truly uninspired and lazy film (which is surprising considering it was directed by Halloween II director Rick Rosenthal), but by God I was determined to see it through.
1. Jamie Lee Curtis
Admittedly, Laurie’s arc in Resurrection makes no sense. Did she go to the mental institution simply to wait Michael’s return? Why did it take Michael’s three years to track her down? How did she set up an elaborate trap on the roof of the institution? Why did she think dropping him off the roof would kill him when he was shot 6 times and dropped off a balcony in her first encounter with him? Why does she kiss Michael before she falls to her death? Why does Michael give his knife to one of the institution’s patients? There are so many questions, but at least Curtis gives it her all.
2. Katee Sackhoff
Just one year before she became Starbuck on Battlestar Gallactica, Sackhoff was Jen Danzig, the wild party girl in Halloween: Resurrection. The role doesn’t ask much of Sackhoff, but she brings her usual charisma to a film sorely lacking any of its own.
3. The Peeping Tom Homage
There’s not a lot of creativity in Halloween: Resurrection, but Rosenthal does know his horror movies. Charlie’s (Brad Sihvon) death is a direct homage to Michael Powell’s 1960 film Peeping Tom, right down to the use of a tripod as the murder weapon and showing the murder from the POV of the killer.
4. Bill’s Death
It doesn’t make a lot of sense that Michael jumps through a window to kill Bill (ha). Is the window part of the wall? Because it sure doesn’t look like it. Still, it’s the only effective jump scare in the film and the shot of Michael stabbing Bill’s head like a jack-o-lantern is a nice touch. Bummer that Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie) couldn’t land a bigger role though.
5. The “Slasher Big Brother” Concept
Setting the film in a reality show scavenger hunt is a very early 2000s thing to do, but it’s still a fun concept, even if it isn’t used to its full potential.
6. Busta, Meet Michael
Their kung fu fight scene is goofy as Hell (and not in a good way), but Freddy’s first encounter with Michael is legitimately funny. Rhymes may stick out like a sore thumb in the film, but at least he gets one good scene.
7. The Use of Instant Messenger
In Halloween: Resurrection‘s one and only suspenseful scene, Michael is chasing Sara (Biana Kajlich) around his house while her chat buddy Deckard (Ryan Merriman) tells her his location via instant messenger. Again, it’s a clever concept that isn’t used to its full potential, but it’s a brief moment of inspiration.
8. The Final Girl Isn’t Terrible
Sara is a pretty bland character, but she does get a few good kicks in and she busts out a damn chainsaw in the film’s climax, so that’s something.
9. Michael’s Penis Gets Electrocuted
You can’t make this stuff up. Busta Rhymes actually incapacitates Michael Myers by electrocuting his nether-regions. It’s so dumb but so funny all at the same time. At this point in the movie, you’ve probably lost all hope, so this is some welcome comic relief.
10. Some Dogs Like It.
Admittedly, it’s really difficult to come up with 10 positive things about Halloween: Resurrection. So difficult that this final entry has nothing to do with the movie itself, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that one (not both) of my dogs was absolutely enthralled by the film. He couldn’t take his eyes off the damn thing (My other dog? Not so much). At least everyone who had a hand in making the film can rest easy knowing that at least one creature on this planet seemed to enjoy it.
What are your thoughts on Halloween: Resurrection? Does it have any redeeming qualities? I admit, I choose to believe that Halloween H20 is the last entry in the original franchise. This film is a turd through and through, but it’s good for the soul to try to see the good in things.