From The Vault: Halloween Resurrection (2002) Simon Fitzjohn October 30, 2017 Editor's Choice, From The Vault, Halloween 4198 Having waded through oceans of cinematic (mostly horror) drek over the years, it takes a lot to get me angry. Slightly annoyed? Yep. Frustrated or disappointed? Hell yes. But angry? Fists clenched, temples hurting, bile-rising angry? That’s pretty rare. Step forward then 2002’s Halloween Resurrection, a film that oh-so belongs in that rarefied company. I’ll go into further detail later on, but it’s fair to say that my disdain for the film, the shiver-up-my-spine, cold sweats feeling I still get whenever it gets mentioned, lingers for one line in particular. If you’ve had the misfortune of seeing the film, you may have already guessed, but if you haven’t, here goes: “Trick or treat, motherfucker.” Uttered by the bombastic Busta Rhymes, you may think that line is actually pretty innocuous. But, please bear in mind the dialogue follows a scene showcasing Rhymes spin-kicking Michael Myers, uttering some karate flick sound effects and then kicking the masked one out of a window. That’s right folks, one of cinema’s most enduring, most iconic villains has been reduced to mere patsy, the brunt of a pithy one-liner from a rapper masquerading as a film star. To say it sullies the franchise is a massive understatement – in fact, when I sat through this crap in a Swansea cinema back in 2002, Rhymes’ antics may as well have come with a ‘warning – franchise deceased’ sign flashing up on screen. Yes, I know there have been a couple of flicks since then, but they are Rob Zombie’s reboots, as the original saga literally had nowhere left to go. To be fair, as soon as the possibility of another Halloween entry hit the web, fans were somewhat bemused – after all, Laurie Strode had hacked off Michael’s head at the end of Halloween H20 back in 1998, which tends to make another instalment somewhat difficult. But this is the movie business after all, so we get some claptrap about Myers having switched outfits with one of the medics at the scene, conveniently crushing his larynx so he can’t speak, then drifting off into the smoke, leaving this poor medic (now dressed in Michael’s garb) to get decapitated by Strode. Laurie doesn’t take too kindly to being deceived, and gets packaged off to the loony bin to see out her days. Fast forward three years, and Michael decides it’s time to pay her a visit, leading to yet another showdown between the pair (this time on a rooftop) before Strode bites the dust. That in itself was a strange sight, but I suppose Jamie Lee Curtis had had her fill by then (until John Carpenter stepped into the breach this year), and those opening moments rank as the high point of the film. From then we switch back to Haddonfield, with Rhymes heading up an online reality show company that plan to stream an all-night vigil at the old Myers house, drafting in a host of breathtakingly annoying students/teens to suffer the pitfalls. Right from the off we can tell who is going to survive until the closing credits, with the virginal, shy, quiet Sara (Bianca Kajlich) surrounded by the usual sex-crazed, airhead buffoons that populate films of this ilk at an alarming rate. This even includes sci-fi favourite-to-be Katie Sackhoff in an early role (billed as Sachoff), with further eye candy in the shape of Tyra Banks (who is woefully underused). Anyways, Rhymes has a way of ensuring his online audience get their money’s worth – he’ll pop on the mask and overalls, and spook the house’s guests by pretending to be ol’ Mikey. Wouldn’t you know though, Michael himself has been supposedly living under his own house for quite some time, and he decides to show up for real, carving his way through the nubile nitwits in question. Rick Rosenthal returned to direct this time round, but this is far, far, far removed from the quality work he did on Halloween II back in 1981. Begrudgingly I’ll admit there are a couple of things I like here – Myers handing over a bloodied knife to a mask-wearing, serial killer groupie in the mental hospital, a couple of the kills are quite neat and the script at least makes a couple of references to reward long-term fans of the series. But the whole thing is so hackneyed, so clichéd and formulaic that you end up watching it in a kind of stupor, able to point out exactly what is going to happen before it actually does. And that’s before Rhymes turns all wing chun at the climax, which quite frankly is a punch (rather than a slap) to the face of anyone who has dutifully sat through the previous seven entries. Interestingly, there appears to be some footage floating around that could have improved things – home camera footage of Michael playing as a child, an on-screen death scene for Banks and alternate footage in the Myers/Strode face-off to name just some of the deleted scenes. It’s unlikely that even the inclusion of those scenes would have raised Halloween Resurrection into a category resembling anything near to ‘good’, but it may have stopped it wallowing in the ‘risible’ file it currently resides in.