When Dimension Films acquired the rights to the Halloween franchise and made The Curse of Michael Myers, people weren’t really sure what to make of it. It was a jumbled, often incoherent movie that pushed what began as a pretty straightforward slasher into cultish, cosmic horror territory. People weren’t ready for that and audiences didn’t respond well to it. They had no idea where to take it from there.
Following Curse, Dimension’s original plan was for the Halloween series to follow the same path as the Hellraiser series. They made one theatrical Hellraiser that was unsuccessful and then produced the rest of the sequels straight-to-video. Hallowen was all set to follow that same exact template until Jamie Lee Curtis approached them with the idea of coming back. Even the idea of that film being set at a secluded private school was leftover from when the next sequel was going to be a video entry.
Halloween: Resurrection feels like the straight-to-video sequel that H20 was originally meant to be. And I don’t even necessarily mean that in terms of quality. There’s something almost reboot-ish about it. Other than the prologue quickly wrapping up its connection with the previous entry and killing off Laurie Strode, it kind of stands on its own. It’s not a reboot by any means, but I don’t think you need to see any of the previous films in the series to be able to understand its story. There’s more than enough exposition to cover anything that new viewers would feel alienated by.
I can be very, very forgiving of sequels. No matter how it turns out, I love to see care being put into these franchises, I love to see people making an effort to breathe life back into these characters, whether they succeed or not. I love the attempt that was made with Curse of Michael Myers, even if I have mixed feelings about it as a whole. But Halloween: Resurrection barely feels like a sequel to me. It barely even feels like a movie.
It feels like the whole thing was written in a boardroom. It feels like there was a marketing demographic meeting that led to the entire cast and concept. It was the early 2000s and the age of the Internet was dawning. Clearly, it wasn’t something that was going away any time soon. Resurrection jumped on that by having the plot revolve around a webseries that followed a group of contestants investigating the Myers house for clues as to what caused young Michael Myers to snap.
When you look at the horror climate of the era, it’s gratingly obvious to see where this plot came from. This was post-Scream and post-Blair Witch Project. The Internet show and investigative nature allowed them to sort of do the Blair Witch version of Halloween. But that also allowed the sequel to be meta and to point out the tropes and inconsistencies of Michael’s origin, which it never really does in a smart or interesting way.
Everything about it feels like they were clawing tooth and nail to keep Halloween relevant. But H20 was successful. They would have sold any movie with Michael Myers in it at that point. The irony is that all of Dimension’s grasping attempts to keep it current in terms of trends and technology arguably make it the most dated entry in the whole franchise.
I’m someone who tends to root for the heroines, especially in the major slasher franchise. I know people love to root for Michael and I get that because he’s the icon. But this is the only movie in the series where I feel like I don’t really have a choice. I kind of have to root for Michael because, honestly, who else is there?
The relationship—if you can call it that—between female protagonist Sarah and male protagonist Miles is extremely uncomfortable. It’s cringe-worthy. And there’s never really an attempt made to discourage it. There are only a couple of extremely light jokes about the subject. The two of them are basically dating online. She’s in college. He’s a high school freshman. He lied to her about his age. This is never resolved. By the end of the film, she is not aware of this information and we’re given nothing to indicate that he’s ever planning to tell her.
There was a deleted scene in which they actually met face-to-face, but it’s cut out of the finished product. And the fact that there’s no resolution to this in the final version is really uncomfortable.
Even the things I genuinely like about Resurrection are frustrating. There are things that I like about it too, and by and large, they’re things that even some of the best sequels don’t get right. I think the initial idea of doing something that stood on its own and went back-to-basics was excellent. Yes, do a movie that takes us back to Haddonfield. Do something that largely takes place in the Myers house. But why does it have to be this one?
More than anything, though, I love this entry’s depiction of Michael himself. This version of Michael has all of the character’s best elements and balances them well. He’s stealthy, quick with a knife and, above all, smart. This might be the smartest incarnation of Michael we’ve seen, so why couldn’t he have been in a different film. Why couldn’t this cold, calculating and even manipulative shape have been in Halloween 5 or Curse of Michael Myers? He’s tricking Laurie by appealing to her guilt over the man she accidentally killed, which has to be one of the biggest dick moves he ever pulled. He frames the patient obsessed with serial killers, because nobody’s going to question it.
As great as he is, it almost makes me mad, because it feels like they wasted him. But at the same time, I don’t want to have to sit through Resurrection without that silver lining of a really cool Michael Myers.
People love to harp on Busta Rhymes as being the biggest problem with this film. But the truth is, he feels like he’s the only member of the main cast who’s actually having any fun. He’s the only person who actually feels like he’s bringing a little bit of life and energy to the scenes he’s in. Should he have been the one to defeat Michael with the powers of kung-fu he learned off TV? Probably not. But the truth is, by the time that climax rolled around, the damage had already been done. He and Michael could have jumped in the Dangertainment van and driven off into the sunset together and it still wouldn’t have made Halloween: Resurrection any better or worse.
Prior to Resurrection we had so many Halloween films that, no matter how they turned out, always had something to say about the villain himself. This doesn’t reveal anything about Michael, even though that’s kind of the entire point of the movie. Although, admittedly, I’m always a fan of looping back around to the idea that Michael can’t be explained. Still, we don’t have Donald Pleasance to deliver exposition like nobody’s business. He’s not there to remind us how evil Michael is. We don’t even really have Laurie to remind us of the lasting damage Michael caused in her life.
Instead, we’re reminded that Michael Myers is a killer shark in baggy-ass overalls. That’s really all we get.
Halloween: Resurrection started off with the right intent. But at some point down the line, it turned from a genuine attempt to make a movie into a cold attempt to market a product to as wide a demographic as possible. It felt like an attempt to bring in everyone but the people who already loved the franchise, and that’s where it ultimately got lost.