Thursday, October 21, 2010

Series Killers: Halloween Resurrection

Another Halloween film arrives this week and for the same reason.  Many were surprised by the return of Halloween to 'decent series' status with Halloween: H2O.  Stupid title, but surprisingly-decent film.  The big thing was the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.  Although they couldn't complete the set by getting Carpenter directing again- due to him wanting $10 million, so that he could recoup his unpaid status from the company- the result was still a hit. Naturally, a follow-up was made...and killed the series again.  Yes, this revival lasted two films!  To be fair, it lasted one film and the first ten minutes of the second.  How can you do so badly so quickly?  Well, let's examine the base elements.  Meyers has returned from his death in the last film, despite the series excising the 'Curse of Thorn' element.  They explain the dumbest way possible. Laurie Strode is back...which actually makes this worse.  In fact, they manage to kill all hope for the series within the first ten minutes.  If you don't know, you soon will.  Get out your spare, killer costume for my review of...
The story takes us to an asylum and re-introduces us to Laurie Strode...who is a patient.  Yeah, some things have changed.  As a nurse conveniently-explains to her co-worker/the audience that Strode checked herself in after discovering that the man she decapitated at the end of Halloween: H2O was not Meyers.  Yeah, he apparently switched clothes and his mask with an EMT.  Yes, a giant, stoic killer walked off and nobody said anything.  When did he do it?  How did he fool anyone?  They don't tell us, so we're shit out of luck.  Naturally, the killer is there and offs a security guard.  His super-stealth routine only works here because a guard literally looks away from a monitor he appears on at just the right time.  That stupid conceit happens twice here, so enjoy it!  He gets to his sister's room, but she is ready for him.  She has apparently been pretending to be comatose and managing to fool professionals.  I don't know who should be more insulted- the APA or the audience!  She leads him on a chase to the roof where she has set a trap for him.  It fails, however, when she insists on checking that he's really him this time.  She gets stabbed and dropped off of the roof, but not before kissing her brother.  You know, according to Halloween 6, the world just ended there.  Good job, you bitch!
After that, we meet our motley crew of people that are going to be killed.  We get a slutty girl (played by Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff), a black guy, our Final Girl, a creepy guy, a killer-fan girl and a stoner.  Wow, I care about none of you.  On top of that, we get a kid who is an internet pen pal with the Final Girl...which is supposed to be endearing.  No- you're just creepy.  On top of the top of that, we get Busta Rhymes as a TV Executive and Tyra Banks as his Assistant.  They're whole gimmick is that they're assembling a group of 'teens' to wander around the old Meyers home (which was occupied as of 1995) with cameras on their heads.  Oh good, that shitty MTV show Fear has become a film!  Seriously, way to steal a stupid idea and make it worse.  The people wander around for a bit and discover some creepy back-story items related to Michael Meyers.  Of course, before that, Meyers breaks in (is it really breaking in when it's your old house?) and kills a cameraman.  Tyra does not notice the man being killed because- wait for it- she doesn't look at the monitors at the right time.  She also dances around for no reason while this is happening.  Why?  I guess that is supposed to be funny.  Someone had better die or I'll just kill you!
So the plot breaks down like this.  Meyers wanders around, the people act stupid and, eventually, they figure out that a killer is loose.  Oddly, we get one scene where Rhymes shows up in disguise as Meyers, meets up with the guy and the killer just leaves.  You didn't kill him, why exactly?  The body count racks up slowly but surely.  'Starbuck' gets decapitated- having her head roll down the steps in slow-motion was classy, guys- and the black guy just gets choked.  The movie gets even further into rip-off territory as they knock-off The Blair Witch Project with some awkward close-ups.  Meanwhile, the internet stalker goes online at a party- after dressing up like Travolta in Pulp Fiction- and helps out heroine by texting her where Meyers is.  Yes, technology was that efficient at that point and time.  The only good part: where he tells her that Meyers is nearby and, without even pausing, tells her not to scream.  This actually allows her to live, since she obeys his predictive order.  Eventually, it comes down to Busta and the girl against Meyers.  Naturally, they win and the house burns down Corman-style.  In the Epilogue, Meyers comes back to life...somehow and kills a Coroner.  This will amount to nothing since a reboot would come years later.  The End.
This movie sucks- again.  Seriously, how can you muck up a series so much that you manage to kill a series twice in the span of less than ten years?  Meyers is a very simple character and really has no drive.  You know why?  Because he never freaking talks!  Not only that, but he never has someone speak for him.  Jason doesn't talk either, but exposition is given by the ghost of his mother or weird hallucinations.  Is it silly?  Yes.  Does it at least provide some motivation?  Yes.  Meyers is, killing people.  As dumb as it was, the Cult of Thorn bullshit explained certain things.  Now, he's just Michael Meyers and he kills people...if they are nearby.  The plot of this film is about as bare-bones as it gets.  People go to Meyers' house, so he kills people there.  Oh, you want more than that?  Too damn bad!  If you like to see people get violently-killed, you can see dozens of films with that.  This film is just stupid, pisses on the series' legacy and is the rightful burial ground of a series who ran out of ideas after two films.  After two remakes/sequels, let's see what happens when someone else handles Halloween 3: This Time It's Not a Cop-Out.  I'm not getting my hopes up.
Next up, I go with my back-up choice to end Series Killers.  This one proves that you can make a horror series funny, but you fail when you make a comedy film into horror.  Stay tuned...

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