A scene from 'Halloween: Resurrection'
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** stars 94 minutes | Rated: R
Opened: Friday, July 12, 2002
Directed by Rick Rosenthal

Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, Ryan Merriman, Katee Sackhoff, Daisy McCrackin, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Luke Kirby, Billy Kay, Brad Loree


You know it, I know it, everybody knows it: The only good "Halloween" movie is the first one. So why bother?

   VIDEO RELEASE: 12.10.2002


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Semi-clever reality-TV gimmick drives 8th 'Halloween' flick, but where are the scares?

By Rob Blackwelder

Trying to breath a little "Blair Witch"/reality TV life into a horror franchise that has been on creative life-support for over 20 years, "Halloween: Resurrection" features masked psycho Michael Meyers going Ginsu on a bunch of teenagers (no, really?) who spend the night in his dilapidated childhood home as part of a live internet broadcast called "Dangertainment."

The college kids vying for tuition money wear headsets with little cameras in them so we can see their point of view as they get hacked to death, and one of the program's producers (played by over-acting, incessantly yapping hip-hop star Busta Rhymes) dresses up as Michael Meyers to give the kids a scare, not knowing the real dude is in da house. But while this camera gimmick is put to good use once the bodies start piling up, the movie fails in several other ways -- not the least of which is that it's never even a little bit scary.

The picture opens with a prologue that includes perpetual franchise victim Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, making her final appearance in the series) locked in a sanitarium so explanations can be offered for how Mike is back after she beheaded him at the end of 1998's "Halloween: H20." (What isn't explained is the absence of Laurie's son, played by the now too-hot-for-horror Josh Hartnett in "H20.")

After a bit of blood is spilled, director Rick Rosenthal wastes the next 40 minutes or so on pointless, runtime-padding dialogue, dialogue, dialogue -- much of it involving speculations by the reality program contestants' about what turned Michael Meyers into a killer in the first place. "Impulse control disorder," offers a bleach-blonde bimbette psyche major (Katee Sackhoff) who signed on for this live-TV dare hoping to become a celebrity.

Once people shut up and start screaming, the movie almost gets good. Rosenthal employs the extra cameras well, with sometimes goosepimpling results, and he resourcefully taps into the internet angle of the plot when a geeky teenager watching the broadcast starts sending instant messages to the main hottie (a coed played by someone named Bianca Kajlich), to warn her when Michael Meyers is just around the corner.

But while this eighth "Halloween" film (which provides a backstory that wisely negates sequels 3 through 6) is capable of holding your attention for a few minutes at a time with its occasionally savvy storytelling techniques, there's way too much plot for a dead teenager movie -- which inevitably leads to way too many plot holes.

The sad thing is, Rosenthal (who directed "Halloween II" in 1981) and screenwriter Larry Brand are really trying to make this a worthy sequel and not just another slasher flick. If they hadn't failed in the fright department, the shortcomings in "Resurrection" might not have mattered so much. After all, who is going to be nit-picky when your skin is crawling and you're jumping over the back of your theater seat?

But when even the Dangertainment producers (Rhymes and model-actress Tyra Banks) aren't paying attention to their own broadcast (they just shrug it off when the first kid's video feed goes dead -- and I do mean dead), how interesting can it be?


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