Apparently, You Really Can’t Kill the Boogeyman.
If I’ve learned anything from watching 8 Halloween movies in a very short span of time, it’s that Michael Myers really and truly can’t be killed. Unfortunately for the Halloween franchise, by the time H20 and Reserection most people probably wished he had been dismissed years before. In a series of mostly diminishing returns (Season of the Witch and The Curse of Michael Myers being exceptions), Mark 1 of the franchise really comes to a weak end with these two movies.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later
I was in high school when H20 came out. I watched it three times in theaters, so I would say that means that I liked it pretty well. The original Halloween was by that point already my favorite horror movie, so the idea of getting to watch a new sequel in the theaters was pretty awesome. Up until now I don’t think I have ever re-watched the movie so I went into this one pretty fresh. My memory of the movie’s details were very foggy so watching it again was a lot like watching it for the first time, but with 16 years of horror movies under my belt. This did not help H20 in the least.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (yes that is the complete title of the movie) begins, cleverly enough, 20 years after the original. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has faked her own death and has taken on a new identity. She has a teenage son named John (Josh Hartnett), and is apparently a very over-protective mother due to the murders of 20 years previously.
Michael Myers is thought to have died in the explosion/fire of Halloween II, even though Dr. Loomis apparently survived the same explosion and has just recently died. In the pre-credit sequence Dr. Loomis’s nurse from the original Halloween comes to his empty house to find that it has been broken into. She gets a young Joseph Gordon Levitt to investigate but no one seems to be in the house and only one room has been ransacked.
It turns out the ransacked room was Dr. Loomis’s study where he kept all his files. The Files on Laurie Strode have been stolen and within a minute or two the nurse, JGL, and JGL’s friend have become the newest Myers victims. Myers takes off in a bad-ass muscle car and I wish for a minute that it would turn into a heist movie with Michael Myer’s as the get-away driver. Alas, this is not the case so Michael Myers just goes looking for his sister Laurie and her son instead. Now you might be saying, “hold up a sec. What happened to the whole Thorn cult plot-line?” Well you see, H20 just pretends as if Halloween 4, 5, and 6 never happened. I would have no problem with this if the filmmakers had made a movie that was a 100% improvement over those movies, but they really didn’t. It is a better movie than 4 and 5, but it falls short of 6, and the Thorn plot-line, as ridiculous as it is, is still more entertaining than the Laurie Strode fakes her death thing that H20 plays off. The rest of the movie, for better or worse, follows the slasher formula to a t.
H20 also shares similarities with a lot of other horror movies in the immediate post-Scream world; it doesn’t quite know what to do with itself. It isn’t as gory as the movies from the 1980’s slasher movie heyday, it tries very hard to have “hip” dialogue (which it fails miserably at), and it has a lot of unnecessary throw-backs and homages to other films in the series and other films in general. H20 belongs more in the I Know What You Did Last Summer category than the original Halloween. Now whether this is a good or bad thing is an entirely subjective point but to me, it makes for a pretty lame Halloween movie.
After Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (I had to do it one more time), my girlfriend made the remark that “it was just kind of boring.” That to me is the best review that a person can give of this movie; it’s boring. If the only Halloween movie you had ever watched was H20 you would wonder why people ever liked them. I’m not sure I could say that about any of the other movies up to this point. Even in the dregs of 4 and 5 there were still visions of horror greatness (Donald Pleasance was still awesome in them for one). Not so in H20. It’s a limp noodle.
In the summer of 2002, my girlfriend at the time went on a vacation to New York. While in Chinatown, she bought a couple of bootleg VHS tapes (remember those?), one of which was Deuces Wild, the other was a copy of the just released Halloween: Resurrection. As is often the case with bootlegged movies made in a foreign country, the word Resurrection was spelled Reserection on the box. From that point onward Halloween: Resurrection has been Halloween: Reserection in my mind, although the film contained within has no chance of ever inducing an erection unless what makes you horny is Busta Rhymes saying, in all seriousness, “Trick or Treat, Muthafucka!” If this is the case, then you will probably soil your pants a couple of times throughout the film.
I’m not even going to bother with the plot of this one. Halloween: Reserection stands head and shoulders above all the rest in terribleness. The plot is horrible, Laurie Strode is killed off in a pre-credit sequence that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, and the movie actually has the worst dialogue and performances of the entire series. It is directed by Rick Rosenthal, who also directed Halloween II, and the only reason I can find for this is that he was trying to make Halloween II seem that much better. If this is the case then congrats Rick, it worked!
Reserection feature both Tyra Banks AND Busta Rhymes in acting roles. I wish I was joking about this. In all reality Tyra Banks isn’t terrible and she only has about five minutes of total screen time. Busta Rhymes, on the other hand, turns in the single worst performance in all of the Halloween movies up to this point. I hope he is as ashamed of his performance as the coked-up producers should be for thinking he had any acting ability. Really listen to his dialogue if you are ever forced to watch this turd; he is obviously ad-libbing the majority of it and it is terrible. Oh yeah, and he gets into a badly choreographed kung-fu fight with Michael Myers. Thanks Satan!
The film also features Katie Sackhoff doing her best Brittany Murphy impression, that guy no one remembers from American Pie (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and oh who cares? All you need to know is that this movie blows. I doubt that anyone involved (except for Busta Rhymes) still has this movie on their resume. If you have to watch this one, watch it with friends and laugh at the absurdities of it.
It’s time, Rob Zombie. It’s time to answer for House of 1000 Corpses (not really, but one day!). Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween and Rob Zombie’s not remake of Halloween II that is still called Halloween II for whatever reason are coming.
Until Next time…