Halloween: Resurrection

"Oh Michael. I knew you'd come sooner or later."

Even before Halloween: Resurrection, there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that the franchise had long before run out of steam. The prospect of another installment, especially for a fan of the original film, filled me with dread, and not because I thought I’d be hiding under my seat. I would up seeing the movie on a whim, and surprise: I’ve seen far more desperate slasher flicks, and for a 7th sequel, this is downright impressive (Jason X, anyone?). At the very least, director Rick Rosenthal (Halloween II) has made an attempt to give the movie a fresh feel compared to the other movies in the franchise, though he rips off Blair Witch and doesn’t come up with much else.

The opening sequence, the movie’s best, presumably absolves Jamie Lee Curtis of any further responsibility to this beleaguered series. Then the real movie begins. This time, an up-and-coming entertainment promoter (Busta Rhymes) has arranged for a group of college students to enter Michael Myers’ childhood home, armed with cameras that allow internet audiences to see what they see. They are required to spend the night there, with the doors locked and the phones disconnected, and when they emerge they’ll be able to tell everyone that… well, that they spent a night in Michael Myers’ house.

Heads roll, of course, as good ol’ Michael shows up to say hello. One of the franchise’s biggest weaknesses is arguably that its villain, the stoic, expressionless Michael Myers, has no motivation: he’s just insane. At least Freddy Kruger wanted revenge; Myers is simply malevolence personified, closer to the menacing Big Rig in Duel than anything else. Here, his dispatching of good-looking teenagers isn’t even creative, mostly being stabbings with a few impalings thrown in for good measure.

Rick Rosenthal, brought back after the much maligned Halloween II directs at a nice clip, and his 94-minute production never becomes embarrassingly boring. He milks some effective scares out of the Blair Witch-y camera format, though he regularly cheats by interspersing regular footage with the black-and-white stuff “captured” by the players’ cameras. Never mind that the movie is like a year late for tapping into our reality tv obsession, and even tardier for exploiting the novelty of the “webcast.” And since you can essentially predict the order in which these faceless teenagers will be executed, Halloween: Resurrection has little hope of bringing anything new to the slasher genre.

I’m not sure what else to tell you about this could-have-been-worse sequel, except that it’s wise enough to make use of John Carpenter’s still supremely creepy Halloween theme which, in a few spots, actually threatened to get me to move my head from the seatback. Aside from that, Michael Myers no longer seems to have the capacity to genuinely thrill, though it is commendable that the franchise is at least attempting to find “new” angles on its formula. I dunno. It didn’t bore me.

-- Eugene Novikov

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Screening Log

Snitch

Ric Roman Waugh, 2013

Score: C

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh, 2013

Score: C+

10 Years

Jamie Linden, 2012

Score: B-

The Place Beyond the Pines

Derek Cianfrance, 2013

Score: B+

Warm Bodies

Jonathan Levine, 2013

Score: C

Beautiful Creatures

Richard LaGravanese, 2013

Score: B-

The Window

Ted Tetzlaff, 1949

Score: B+

The Chase

Arthur Ripley, 1946

Score: B

Street of Chance

Jack Hively, 1942

Score: C

The Taste of Money

Im Sang-Soo, 2013

Score: C+

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