Dir. Rick Rosenthal (2002)
A company called Dangertainment is hosting a livestream for reality show hopefuls inside the Myers residence in Haddonfield. Things do not go well.
2001 was one of the worst years for horror in recent memory. Standouts of the year include Session 9 and Jeepers Creepers, but most of the rest of the year with filled with lackluster sequels and even that movie where Jason went to space. Horror fans knew that 2002 was going to have to be a blockbuster, and boy was it: we got 28 Days Later, Cabin Fever, Dog Soldiers, May, and The Ring. We also got another movie in the Halloween franchise, but... that one is probably best left off of genre favorites for the year. That's right, we've finally made it to "the one where Busta Rhymes tries to defeat Michael Myers with kung fu," Halloween: Resurrection.
Resurrection was not a terrible idea for a film, though most fans of the series (or any horror fans with self respect) would disagree with me on that. Taking advantage of both the rise in streaming video and reality television, the film takes six college students (including a young Katee Sackhoff) who are looking to break into showbusiness by appearing on a reality show and throws them right into the middle of the scariest house in Haddonfield. The brainchild of Dangertainment founders Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) and Nora (Tyra Banks in her worst decision since making contestants do blackface on America's Next Top Model), the idea is to plant a bunch of scary shit in the house that the "contestants" can find, and eventually to have Harris himself come threaten the group dressed like the famous killer himself. When Michael actually shows up, all hell breaks loose, and he tears through the young adults with ease.
To be completely honest, I don't hate this movie. That is not, of course, to say that it's actually a good movie. A lot of the film doesn't work as well as it should, and it lacks a lot of the scare factor that existed in the rest of the films in the franchise. Resurrection feels very much like a standard early 2000's horror film, an era that many genre fans declare to be the worst in horror history. And that's fine, I don't necessarily disagree with that. However, having spent my later formative years fully immersed in this period of horror, for nostalgia alone I have to almost give it a pass. It is, however, the first Halloween movie that feels completely a product of the generation in which it is made rather than the natural progression of a declining franchise. This may very well be even worse in your eyes, but if you're a fan of 2000's horror, there's a decent chance that you'll actually enjoy this one despite yourself.
The original sin of this film isn't the era in which it was produced, however, nor was it the movement of the franchise towards more traditional paths taken by other slasher series while it refused to up the gore and violence like they did. No, the primary problem a lot of people had with this movie comes right in the very beginning, where we see the return of series heroine Jamie Lee Curtis before she is almost immediately dispatched after making a stupid mistake that her character would have never made in more intelligent filmmaking hands. While I do tend to be a champion of this film, and I will defend to the death that it's better than 90% of even the best films from other franchises, this was a critical and crucial error that cannot be discounted, and it put a bad taste in the mouth of many fans right from the opening sequence of the film.
Despite its many (many) shortcomings, there is a lot to love about Resurrection if you don't take it too seriously. Rhymes delivers an exaggerated performance, but it's campy and fun. All of the participants of the reality show are perfectly hateable, but that part is intentional: it's a pitch-perfect impalement of early reality television shows like Survivor and The Real World. It's just a fun movie, a film that fits perfectly into the "popcorn" genre that most of the rest of the Halloween franchise has largely ignored. While there's nothing wrong with going for more serious fare, the last several attempts to do so in the series fell flat, so it was kinda nice to see a movie that exists purely for entertainment value.
While Resurrection was a largely hated film (and currently sits at a 19 metascore, the second lowest of the series), I wholeheartedly contend that it's still well worth a watch. If you're a fan of the series and want to watch "the fun one," this is the one to pick. It's goofy, ridiculous, and flat-out disrespects the series, but... every franchise gets one of those. And this one has Busta Rhymes, so checkmate, Friday the 13th.
Who this movie is for: Early 2000's horror fans, Worst-movie-in-the-franchise lovers, Cash Money
Bottom line: Yeah, this is probably the worst film in the series (besides maybe Curse), but it's still better than most. Resurrection has the death of Laurie Strode, random karate, and turn-of-the-millennium buffering video. What more can you ask? If you're down for a stupid movie that will make you laugh far more than it scares you and don't mind your dose of Michael Myers watered down a little, it's not that bad of a film. If you're a series purist... maybe skip this one. You won't miss anything.