"Let the dangertainment begin," exclaims Busta Rhymes in Halloween: Resurrection, one of the most creative thrillers in this highly popular horror-flick series. Playing a TV reality show producer, Rhymes’ character arranges for a group of teens to spend Halloween night in the place where Michael Myers’ murderous rampage began. Giving these college students tiny cameras as they explore Michael’s dilapidated old childhood home, Rhymes (Shaft) expects BIG ratings for his daring program. How could he foresee that more than ratings would be at stake? For, during the show, Michael unexpectedly returns -- and wants to make sure none of the interlopers leave alive.
The film’s edge-of-your-seat opening sequence features Jamie Lee Curtis, that original Halloween heroine, in yet another bloody encounter with the sinister Michael (Brad Loree). To bring you up-to-date, it turns out the person killed off in Halloween H20 was someone else, not Michael. No wonder Curtis registers more determination and terror than ever here. Good thing, too, because this is her last chance in terms of the Halloween franchise. (I can’t say more about this without spoiling things for you.) But, as viewers should know by now, Michael possesses great staying power. And, of course, the notorious serial killer lives on to cause additional mayhem – just like the Halloween movies. This one is number eight, right?
While those many Halloween sequels lack the quality of suspense and pure horror of John Carpenter’s classic original film, this one emerges as more watchable than most. I was intrigued by its emphasis on the "new technology" and by the way people viewing the reality show via the Internet reacted, even to the point of trying to save Michael’s victims. I, too, felt like rushing home to my computer to lend a hand.
One of the most suspenseful scenes in Halloween: Resurrection involves Tyra Banks (Coyote Ugly), who plays Rhymes’ co-director. As she sits before a bank of screens, most of the teen participants die gruesome deaths (this is a typical horror flick, so that bit of information shouldn’t be a spoiler), but she misses all the action. How? By talking on the phone or because of other distractions. At this point in the movie, I became VERY nervous, and it was all I could do to keep from yelling, "Pay attention, girl!"
Standing out among the actors portraying students in Rhymes’ "dangertainment" production are Sean Patrick Thomas (Barbershop) and Bianca Kajlich (Bring It On). Thomas adds a bit of welcome humor, and Kajlich gives viewers someone to empathize with. The others come across more like stereotypical characters usually found in films of this genre. And their demises occur in traditional slasher-film style.
What’s on tap in terms of Halloween 9? I dunno, but the only thing left for our favorite white-masked, zombie-like murderer may be a musical. Don’t laugh. It worked for Phantom of the Opera.
(Released by Dimension Films and rated "R" for strong violence, language, some sexuality and brief drug use. DVD and VHS rental available on December 10th.)