Review: Halloween H20-Resurrection

Michael Myers just won’t stop coming! This time, he’s coming back for Laurie! Again. Thought she was dead. Huh.

Today, we’ll be discussing the end of the franchise proper. (Don’t worry, I’ll get to the godawful Rob Zombie films next week.)

Halloween: H20 and Halloween: Resurrection. One pretty good, one not so much. Let’s get right to it with…

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One of the taglines to Halloween: H20 was “Blood is thicker than water.” In other words, the filmmakers were aware of just how ridiculous the title of the film was. What it’s supposed to be is Halloween: H-Twenty. How everyone pronounces it is Halloween: H-Two-Oh. And of course people would assume that, it’s what it looks like. My opinion: drop the 20 and just call it Halloween: 20 Years Later. Or go with the lame, but slightly less so option of Halloween: The Revenge of Laurie Strode. Or just go with some generic, dumb subtitle like Halloween: Legacy. Not H20. Never H20.

But enough about the title. How about the film itself? It’s pretty alright, but horrifically post-Scream, and horrifically dated. The dialogue is lame-o 90s discount Kevin Williamson. Then again, it was produced by Kevin Williamson. Whatever it is, it’s super dumb. But not majorly irritating.

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It also has a dated CG mask in one scene. Horrifying, right?

So the story goes that the last few Halloween films are out of canon. Guess the timeline split in three: one with the theatrical ending of Halloween 6, one with the producer’s cut ending, and one where 4-6 never happened. Where does Season of the Witch fit in there? Guess it was a fever dream of Paul Rudd. Or something.

After the events of Halloween and Halloween II, Laurie Strode faked her death in a car wreck. Apparently that’s just super easy to do. I guess you could shoehorn in 4-6, but that means you have to believe that Laurie Strode abandoned her 7-year-old daughter. Not a great thing to do, there Laurie. Then again, Danielle Harris may or may not exist in this timeline. Wait, does Danielle Harris exist in Tom Atkins’s world? Why are Tom Atkins and Jamie Lee Curtis together in The Fog? Is this a crossover between worlds? What is happening?!

And that’s why films in franchises shouldn’t selectively reboot. It’s just confusing. But anyways, Michael Myers starts to track her back down. Don’t know what he’s been doing these past 20 years. It’s never explained. Maybe he was one of those painted statue street performers. Or one of those British Royal Guards who have to stand still for long periods of time. He’d probably be good at that. But anyways, we start at the house of that nurse who was briefly in like one or two of the other films, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the Scream Drew Barrymore role of the recognizable actor killed off in the first scene, then we find Laurie as the headmistress of a school, Michael finds her there and starts killing off the few kids who didn’t go on some kind of trip somewhere, and one of them is Laurie’s kid Josh Hartnett.

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No, not Hollywood Homicide’s Josh Hartnett with a horrid 90’s haircut!

Laurie saves her kid, LL Cool J survives being shot, Laurie’s boyfriend is killed (who was the father of Josh Hartnett again?) and Laurie goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Michael, brutally murdering him before stealing the hearse containing his “corpse,” crashing it, and chopping his head off with a fire ax. It’s wonderfully cathartic to see Laurie Strode finally take some initiative, and to see Michael finally taken down a peg. It’s a wonderful end to an alright film, and would’ve been a perfect ending to a franchise. But Moustapha Akkad just wanted to keep milking that franchise. And this was before the dearth of slasher remakes. So of course we ended up with another sequel. And it was bad. It was just real bad.

But this one wasn’t. A mildly entertaining but horrifically dated slasher film that nonetheless entertains due to its subversion of the Halloween Final Chase with Michael as the victim instead, Halloween: H20 earns a B-.

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Interesting fact about this movie: Curtis wanted Mike Myers to cameo, but he refused. Another interesting fact: Dana Carvey briefly appears in Halloween II as an extra working as a reporter’s assistant. I choose to believe that this is Garth working in television before he teamed with Wayne to create the public access television program Wayne’s World. How else do you explain Dana Carvey in Halloween II?!

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If I had to explain Halloween: Resurrection in one word, it’d be: “Dumb.” If I had to explain Halloween: Resurrection in two words, they’d be: “Really Dumb.” If I had to explain Halloween: Resurrection in three words, they’d be: “Really, Really Dumb.” If I had to explain Halloween: Resurrection in four words words, they’d be: “Really, Really, Really Dumb.” And so on, and so forth.

So it goes that, in order to bring Michael back, this enormous and extraordinarily implausible retcon is implemented. So it turns out that the man Laurie slaughtered in the climax of H20 wasn’t Michael at all, but a paramedic Michael swapped clothes with after crushing his voicebox. So Laurie’s a murderer, and all her character groth from the last film is undone as she’s reduced to an blank-faced, guilt-ridden wreck in an insane asylum. But twist, she’s actually capable, and hasn’t been taking her sedatives, leaving her ready to take down Michael for real when he comes for her. But he still kills her unceremoniously. Then we cut to some time later, when Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks (playing characters, not themselves, obviously) have organized a reality internet livestream thingy and are auditioning hot young people. And it’s exactly as trash as you’d expect.

It at first seems as though the film is adding weird backstory changes to the lore, with the group discovering artifacts suggesting an abusive childhood. Luckily that’s quickly reversed and it’s revealed those were planted by the crew. And some of the people are killed off, we get an interesting premise of someone on the outside helping the Final Girl (who’s about as bland as that role gets, by the way) to survive using the livestream’s cameras. Too bad this would be useless in real life, as internet livestreaming nowadays still experiences a significant delay, and we’re talking about tech from like 14 years ago. She’d be dead by the time you can get a message to her, dude. But whatever. Instant livestreaming in 2002. Sure. But Michael is finally beaten, and killed for the last time in the timeline by being judo kicked by Busta Rhymes. And of course he gets an action hero tagline:

What wonderful schlock. If only the whole film was like that, instead of being a dreadful slog. A halfhearted attempt at cashing in on the fading star of Mr. Myers, and a cheap rundown of the horror trends of the time, Halloween: Resurrection earns an F.

f grade

Well, that’s the end of the Myers canon. Tune in next time for something else. Not sure exactly what yet. After that, though, we’ll get to the Zombie remakes, then probably a special Halloween post, but maybe not. We’ll see. But for now, later!

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