Revisiting Resurrection: A 14th Anniversary Retrospective

Today marks the 14th Anniversary of HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION, the 9th installment of the slasher franchise. Usually when you celebrate an anniversary, it’s for something nice or meaningful. So, this begs a question: Why the fuck am I celebrating the anniversary of this bullshit? Well, I saw this as an opportunity to really find out what works about this film and what doesn’t, and why it does these things in the process. I may not like this movie, but it’s not the worst Halloween movie. Hell, it’s not even the second worst Halloween movie.  But it is a very interesting product of a very interesting time in horror. Not a good one, but an interesting one for sure. Join me today as we “celebrate” this 14th anniversary of HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION. Sit on down kids, you may actually learn something on the internet for once.

When Halloween: Resurrection was released in 2002, it arrived at a very specific time in horror. Straight-to-DVD horror was booming and Miramax was releasing horror films (mainly slashers) thanks to the huge success of Scream in 1996. It’s not like Miramax was distributing bad films, though. In 2002 alone they distributed films such as City of God, Naqoyqatsi, Chicago, Gangs of New York, and Equilibrium. They were churning out good product, but their horror? It was typically the trashier shit. The Hellraiser sequels and the Mimic series come to mind. Low end horror films made on the cheap for profit, basically what Blumhouse Productions does now.

Not only does that lend itself to why this movie turned out the way it did, but it’s also very important to recognize that the whole Halloween franchise is one that is constantly trying to be hip with every installment. Each film in the franchise is very much a product of its time. The first film is a very 70’s style slasher. Halloween II and III are very 80’s horror films, so on and so forth leading up to Halloween: Resurrection, the only pre-Rob Zombie Halloween film to be released in the 2000’s so it’s really the only one of the franchise that embodies the early 2000’s as far as style and aesthetic go. Because of this, you end up with a product that is painfully trying to be hip, which when you watch it today comes off as very tacky. Hell, back in 2002 it was still tacky as fuck. In trying to be hip, it tries to be hip with the technology of the time, with computers and Instant Messaging driving major plot points, a music star with no acting ability who Kung Fu fights the antagonist, 30-year olds playing High Schoolers, etc. Needless to say this is one of the biggest aspects that makes the film as bland as it is. In trying to be too hip, it really pulls together all of the worst cliches of horror at the time, instead of trying to tell a genuinely interesting Halloween story, which is surprising considering they brought back Rick Rosenthal to direct this, who has been with the franchise since the first film and even directed my personal favorite of the series–Halloween II.

This film really is an epitome of what was wrong with horror films at the time. It winds up just being boring. That’s the cardinal sin that this film commits. When you’re making a movie, the one thing THE ONE THING you need to do is not be boring. It just doesn’t bring anything fresh or entertaining to a franchise that desperately needed that at the time, resulting in an experience that leaves you asking “Why did I just sit through that?”. It’s not a horrible movie, but it’s just a waste of time. There are two saving graces of this film though.

First off is Busta Rhymes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that he’s good in this movie, in fact he’s a terrible actor and his dialogue is even worse, but he’s the only one with any charisma in the whole fucking movie. Sure, his jokes are terrible but at least he has some personality. He chews the scenery up perfectly and in his scenes with Tyra Banks they have great chemistry. Shockingly, without Busta Rhymes this is a far worse film, because if you took him out of the film then whose your comedic relief? Katee Sackhoff?

Right, because she’s a laugh a minute.

Every time–every single time–one of these kids tries to crack a joke, it’s a face palm-worthy moment. That’s why we need stupid shit like Busta Rhymes electrocuting Michael Myers’ dick and then saying “Burn Mother Fucker! Burn!”. That’s the kind of fun shit that entertains me through movies like this. It’s juvenile and dumb, but it’s something. Other than that, the film consists of a bunch of boring kids wandering through a boring storyline driven by the pop culture trends of the time. Although, there is one more aspect to the film that I do like; the actual murders.

Not all of the kills in this movie are great, but there are some surprisingly creative, cool kills here. From Halloween 5 to Halloween: Resurrection, the series had been trying to awkwardly mimic the Friday the 13th creative kills gimmick. To me, this was the only one of those to actually kind of nail it. From crushing a guy’s skull with his bare hands, to killing someone with a camera tripod, those kills are actually pretty effective. Hell, even when they use Sean Patrick Thomas’ death to pay homage to the original film, that was actually pretty well done. It’s just a shame that they are wasted on such a forgettable film.

Well, 14 years after the release of Halloween: Resurrection I can still praise some of the creative kills, as well as Busta Rhymes bringing some life to the movie when it needed it most. But 14 years later we can also see what went wrong with this film. Is it horrible? No. It’s leaps and bounds above the Rob Zombie films, but it’s still a bad movie. It’s a product of it’s time, but not in a good way. It’s almost fascinating to watch because it’s such an embodiment of everything wrong with horror in the early 2000’s, which isn’t to say that all horror in the early 2000’s was shit, but this film really just takes the worst aspects of everything at the time. But that’s why I chose to write about this on it’s anniversary. Not because it’s a classic to be celebrated, but because it’s such an interesting failure. You may look at it on it’s surface as a forgettable horror film–which it is–but if you look at it a bit deeper, it fails in some interesting ways.

So, Happy 14th Birthday Halloween: Resurrection! You’re now officially the same age as the only people who will like this fucking movie.

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