ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 18, 2002
Two of the most memorable attributes of the original 1978 Halloween movie—director John Carpenter’s unsettling score and the realistic performance by scream-queen-to-be Jamie Lee Curtis—are revived for this eighth entry in executive-producer Moustapha Akkad’s undying slasher series.
Unfortunately, neither of them lasts long enough to make a positive impression.
Carpenter’s creepy “Chopsticks”-from-hell piano theme is soon replaced by an onslaught of generic hip-hop tunes to satiate the baggy-pants contingent drawn to the film by the casting of New York rapper Busta Rhymes. And Curtis’s long-suffering Halloween character, Laurie Strode, only makes it through the movie’s first 15 minutes before being stabbed by Michael Myers and falling from the roof of the mental institution she’s been cooped up in since, we now learn, decapitating the wrong guy in 1998’s Halloween: H20.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the gutsy Strode is actually dead. If Akkad decides that he can milk the Halloween name a few more times, you can bet they’ll find some way to resuscitate her.
Lord knows they’ve done it to Myers enough times. Like Jason, Freddy, and the Energizer Bunny, the masked maniac just keeps on tickin’, no matter how many times his potential victims hang, burn, and electrocute his sorry ass. By the end of Halloween: Resurrection, he’s been turned into a smoking crispy critter, but you just know his eyes are gonna snap open in that climactic morgue scene. Without any chance of closure in a Halloween flick—or any need for a decent story—the most that slasher fans can hope for is a few good scares and some creative murders.
But even those are hard to find in this latest entry, which blends reality-based TV and a high-tech Internet angle with good old-fashioned head-loppings.
Rhymes stars as smooth-talking TV producer Freddie Harris, who enlists six American college students to spend Halloween night in Myers’s decrepit childhood home. For the purposes of Harris’s Dangertainment show, every room in the house has been equipped with multi-angle cameras; the students also wear video headsets, and everything they see is broadcast live over the World Wide Web. Not surprisingly, Myers shows up and slaughters almost everyone until martial-artist Harris and the series’s new heroine, Sara Moyer (Boston Common’s Bianca Kajlich), team up to shock him in the nuts and say things like: “Trick or treat, motherfucker!”
Things get a tad exciting when Moyer’s teenage cyberpal, who’s viewing the live broadcast, starts desperately e-mailing her warnings of Myers’s locations in the house. Other than that, this Vancouver-shot film is only worth seeing for glimpses of such local landmarks as Kingsway’s 2400 Motel and VTV’s Tamara Taggart.