Crimson Quill’s Appraisal #63
Number of Views: Three
Release Date: July 12, 2002
Country of Origin: United States
Box Office: $37,664,855
Running Time: 94 minutes
Director: Rick Rosenthal
Producers: Michael Leahy, Paul Freeman
Screenplay: Larry Brand, Sean Hood
Special Effects: Kim Mortenson
Cinematography: David Geddes
Score: Danny Lux
Editing: Robert A Ferretti
Studio: Dimension Films, Nightfall Productions, Trancas International Films
Distributors: Dimension Films, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Bianca Kajlich, Busta Rhymes, Sean Patrick Thomas, Daisy McCrackin, Katee Sackhoff, Luke Kirby, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Ryan Merriman, Tyra Banks, Billy Kay and Brad Loree as Michael Myers
Suggested Audio Candy
 Danny Lux “The Tunnel”
 Danny Lux “Halloween Resurrection”
The time has come Grueheads and I feel it is high time for my quill to begin flowing with a little more crimson. Over sixty appraisals in and I haven’t really gotten to be scathing. It was going to take at least that long before I could even possibly consider wasting my words on something that quite simply doesn’t come up to scratch; as it’s just so darned laborious being negative and my mind has always been wired towards positivity. There’s good reasoning behind me not wishing to be known as a film reviewer as review is just such a crass word and appraisal has so much more elegance. I wish to speak of films which mean something to me on a personal level rather than bad-mouthing failed excursions for the sake of coming across all superior.
However, while I march primarily to the beat of my own soul’s drum and wish to make known the films that have resonated with me on a personal level, I also have a duty to my readership to tell it how it is. I must not fail them, should they walk towards a cliff face, do I simply start whistling with my hands in my pockets and turn a blind eye? Negative, I run like Gump to make sure I stop them from joining Thelma, Louise, Hans Gruber and the Emperor in the chasm below. Thus I am required to gate keep passionately to ensure their safe passage, even if that means dealing some bitter blows from time to time.
My first damning indictment was always going to prove troublesome and it could so easily have been Danny Cannon’s dreadful I Still Don’t Know What You Did Last Summer but I wanted to choose something that at least has a vague chance to reprieve itself. Then, when I was least expecting it, I found myself chanting ”gimme sum mo” and moving around the house intermittently and with really sharp movements and it all became painfully clear. Of course, it was under my snout the whole time. It simply has to be this despicable creature. This heinous, disrespectful, unmittigatingly disastrous, wretch worthy, rivulet of ostrich phlegm.
There I said it. So it looks like I’m already sharpening my knives right? Yes and no actually. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Busta Rhymes ain’t cutting it for me here and that Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween Resurrection represents an opportunity soundly squandered. However, I like to consider myself as fair and there are a couple of key things that his otherwise turgid sequel gets bang on the money. Moreover, considering he provided the long-running franchise with one of its finest hours courtesy of the glorious Halloween II, I owe Rosenthal a fair degree of professional courtesy at the very least. Thus, I shall commence with the positives. Fret not Grueheads, this won’t take long.
Firstly, in Steve Miner’s Halloween H20, Myers has his head lopped off at the conclusion. Expecting that it would take some Voorhees-style bolt of lightning to pump life back into our juggernaut, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the man behind the mask was, in fact, a hapless paramedic with a crushed larynx, rendering him mute when the ax came down. Genius! Credibility is maintained, balance restored and we were off to a solid start. You could pick holes in the theory if you so wish but, at the end of the day, we all just want to enjoy Halloween Resurrection and are willing it on to succeed so this revelation seems both logical and welcome.
The intro with a returning Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in a psychiatric hospital recalls the cat and mouse of Carpenter’s original and it’s starting to look rosy for Rosenthal’s second entry. If I were marking this film on its opening fifteen minutes then Halloween Resurrection would be sitting decidedly pretty at this point and Rosenthal provides our long-suffering heroine with suitable closure, albeit distressingly downbeat.
However, as we’re all aware, the mighty fall hardest and this is proven by the remainder of the film. Certain discrepancies can be forgiven but others are not so easily overlooked. It all starts to go wrong as our disposable teens are introduced and a more stereotypical bunch of American nondescripts would be hard to find. College students Bill (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Donna (Daisy McCrackin), Jen (Katee Sackhoff), Jim (Luke Kirby), Rudy (Sean Patrick Thomas), and Sara (Bianca Kajlich) have placed first in an internet competition and their ominous prize is to spend Halloween night in the old Myers house, whilst having their every movement filmed by executives Freddie (Rhymes) and Nora (Tyra Banks).
This is when our first concerns are exposed. Halloween Resurrection opts for the big brother is watching approach and it fast becomes clear that Rosenthal is looking to follow the current reality TV trend. This has been done to death of late and, after starting so well, things take a worrying turn towards uninspiring. From hereon in, it steadily slides into the trash like burned bacon as there’s barely a character to root for, although Kajlich does her darnedest with final girl duties. Myers’ dwelling is not the chief issue here and it’s the complete waste of that construct that niggles me most.
By introducing the party goers to the mix, attempting to give things a clever film within a film angle, it makes a rudimentary error. It all becomes a little too Scream and the whole meta approach is no longer looking as hip and trendy. Michael Myers doesn’t need to pick up Wes Craven’s scraps as he should have his very own meal ticket. Halloween Resurrection soon becomes contrived and, worse still, implausible which is fine if you’re watching B-grade trash, but feels mighty wasteful when provided with such a mercurial menace as The Shape.
Worse still, we haven’t even got to Busta Rhymes yet and Rosenthal’s error of judgement here is borderline unforgivable. Brushing aside the dead wood, Freddie rides in gallantly and his thick mane and sturdy frame fail to conceal that, this ain’t Doctor Loomis. The good doctor wouldn’t pick a fist fight with The Shape, their battles were done in the mind. Maybe they should’ve cast LeAnn Rhimes instead – she looks like she’d be tasty with her dukes. He attempts to take Myers to the streets but forgets that this is Michael’s street. Moreover it’s his house, not fucking Run’s House. Let’s not get it twisted, I like Busta and his performance is not the issue here. It’s his presence in the first place that I take umbrage with. After fellow rapper LL Cool J popped up for H20, it feels like a cheap shot and one that regrettably fails rather spectacularly.
Come the by-the-numbers conclusion, all we’re left with are the shattered hopes and dreams of a once-proud series. Granted, that won’t stop us from catching the last half hour of Halloween Resurrection on the gogglebox from time to time, and that’s the beauty of a financed franchise film like this. However, it’s also the beast. Myers, the late Doctor Loomis and more recently departed Laurie Strode all deserve better service than some grab some beers and drink until you pass out piece of drivel and, moreover, the fan base deserve better. The clincher however is that Rosenthal’s entry initially shows so much promise and I cut some slack on its overall score purely based on that encouraging opening. Alas, it’s a promise that never looks likely of being honored.
Crimson Quill’s Judgement: 5/10
Grue Factor: 2/5
For the Grue-Guzzlers: There is precious little grue here to write home about other than one decent compressed cranium and one highly questionable decapitation. Not that this particular franchise has ever been known for its gushing grue but, when an entry misfires as spectacularly as Halloween Resurrection does, then a little extra splatter could have provided a considerable bargaining tool. In the words of Busta Rhymes himself, “gimme some mo.”
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of The Crimson Quill
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