I'm a fan of good horror, but even I have to admit that when franchises stretch themselves too thin, it's a pathetic sight to behold. Most will either stunt cast a character from the original movie or come up with some gimmick that will (hopefully) give it a new flavor. Sadly, 'Resurrection' does both – but even then it's leaps and bounds above the two awful Rob Zombie 'Halloween' remakes.
Even though she had just returned to the series in 'H2O,' Jamie Lee Curtis is back – only this time her role is just as small and insignificant as that of Drew Barrymore in 'Scream.' Her cameo is odd because the start of it is dedicated to showing clips of 'H2O,' in case you didn't see the previous one but are happily watching this one. She appears in the beginning of the movie just long enough for you to say, "Hey, there's so-and-so," before - well... you may have to watch it for yourself if you're curious. The strangest thing about her cameo is that her physical appearance is nothing like that on the cover art. Instead of featuring the "strong female" look with short hair - the way she looked in 'H2O' - in the movie she's frail, donning a head of frowzy long hair. Locked up in an insane asylum, she now resembles the crazy version of Sarah Conner in 'Terminator 2.' She's submissive and mellow, but that's only a front. She's saving everything she's got for a big escape, only – well... you may have to watch it for yourself if you're curious.
After this pointless 16-minute intro of the film (sound like the intro to Rob Zombie's 'Halloween 2?'), we get into the real narrative of 'Resurrection.' Set in the time when reality television and the internet was just getting big, six college-age youngsters have been chosen to appear on an internet reality program called 'Dangertainment.' This special streaming episode will send these six horny and ill-fated twenty-somethings into the run-down and abandoned house of Michael Myers to look for clues as to why he ended up slaughtering his own family. Running the show are Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks, two of the very worst actors in the movie – not that horror movies require the best actors, but we're used to actors being better than this. Rhymes and Banks are just as bad as Paris Hilton in 'The House of Wax.'
Our six-some of soon-to-be dead students is a mixed bag of typical characters. There's the trashy girl hoping to achieve celebrity status, the dark questionable guy, the hard-to-get uptight girl, the nice guy, the dirty guy obviously over-compensating for something and the sweet and innocent paranoid girl who, in typical horror fashion, is our lead character. She's our virgin who just might make it through the knife-induced blood bath that ensues.
So, what's the gimmick? Well, made a short time after 'The Blair Witch Project' made a bajillion dollars, 'Resurrection' piggy-backs on a similar "found footage"-ish method. Showing the authenticity of the 'Dangertainment' experience, each subject on the show wears a small camera that's attached to a headpiece. At-home viewers can switch around from camera to camera at any time. Surprisingly, those cameras on the actors' heads are functional and the footage that we see from those low-res cameras is the actual footage from the movie's shoot. Mind you, the movie is not limited to those cameras at all. It's not even close to purely consisting of that footage, but it's there.
One of the most annoying factors of this movie is the idea that it only takes two people (at times, it only takes one) to run this live show and that the six-some is literally locked inside the house. They couldn't get out if they had to, so when they truly need to, they're stuck. This house with a bloody past becomes a humid and musty meat locker as the heads literally start to roll. Aside from the shooting style, nothing new is added to the deadly experience. We see a few killings from the first person perspective via the head cams, but that's it. Everything else unravels in the typical manner. Even the ending is exactly what one might predict.
'Halloween Resurrection' isn't terrible, but it sure isn't great either. While there are plenty of great horror movies out there, 'Resurrection' doesn't hold a candle to them. Instead, it's flat and typical, the type of movie that you'd find in an $7.99 Blu-ray bin.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
While most recent Miramax titles have been brought to Blu-ray by Lionsgate, 'Halloween Resurrection' comes to us on a BD-25 via Echo Bridge Home Entertainment. The lame artwork features five small faces crammed into a tiny area. Those of Curtis and Banks are the only two that are recognizable. The audio as listed on the back of the case is not accurate with that of the movie. In reality, the three options are English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround and 2.0 LPCM Stereo tracks. Only an FBI warning plays before the main menu.
The 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode of 'Halloween Resurrection' isn't great, but it's a lot better than expected. The negative from which the new transfer was stricken had been cleaned up quite well, but on occasion white specks of dirt and grime are visible. A nice layer of film grain covers the image, but there's also a bit of digital noise that accompanies it.
Sharpness is pretty nice, but fluctuates. This inconsistency ranges from super sharp to DVD quality. Black levels also range from great to poor. At times black are strong and deep, other times they're a bright shade of gray. Shadow delineation is poor also. The color palette is bland, but there are a few exceptions. The blue lighting that shines through the boarded-up windows is vibrant and alive, as are the reds of blood and John Wayne Gacy's wig.
Aliasing abounds, not only on fences and grates, but even tree bark. Flickering noise appears in extra dark scenes. Bands aren't an issue, but occasional edge enhancement and DNR are noticeable.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track kicks off with a strong mix of John Carpenter's original 'Halloween' theme that sounds superb. Spread throughout all the channels, this music mix is alive and bassy. It's fitting for the opening credits, but once the dialog kicks in, it's trumped by the music. The dialog is too quiet, at times making lines inaudible – but this isn't a major issue. The biggest problem with the vocal is how flat they come across. The music is wildly dynamic, the dialog not so much.
Sounds effects are also mixed surprisingly stronger than expected. During the opening asylum sequence you can hear large solid doors and gates locking and unlocking from different channels. Bangs, screams and other active effects are frequently strongly mixed around the channels and, honestly, they sound fantastic.
I enjoy horror movies – but they have to be good for me to fall in love with them. Perhaps because I've been ruined by the awesomeness that is 'The Cabin in the Woods,' 'Halloween Resurrection' just doesn't deliver anything noteworthy. They try adding a filmmaking twist, but it doesn't enhance the movie at all. 'Halloween Resurrection' is simply more of the same thing we've already seen before. The Echo Bridge Blu-ray release features some very strong points, but their consistency falters. High image detail is bastardized by fluctuating soft shots and flaws. The dynamic audio mix is thrown off by too-quiet dialog. The special features are decent – but only for the big fans of the franchise; otherwise it's skippable fluff. Unless you love the series and find 'Resurrection' worth adding to your collection, this Blu-ray is a rental at best.