(Warning! Warning! Spoilers! Warning!)

Someday I'm going to have words with Mr. Wes Craven about the whole 'Scream' phenomenon. He finds a new formula, it proves popular, suddenly EVERY new horror film that comes out has to be about a bunch of teenagers in school/college, and it ALWAYS has to be sort of a self-parody. People HAVE to die if they have sex, and if they take drugs. Come on, filmmakers, where's that inventive spirit? Play with our expectations, people!

Anyway, so Scream came out and a whole batch of knock-offs out to make some fast cash come out. I Know What You Did Last Summer springs instantly to mind. Final Destination, Cherry Falls, Scary Movie ... until they've finally done everything in the suggestion box and some bright spark sticks up a hand and says "Hey, remember that old series about the bloke in the white mask? Why don't we milk that a little so we can bleed money from people who liked Scream and old fans of that?"

And so was Halloween H20 born, reviewed elsewhere on this site, a new Halloween movie in the style of Scream. It came out and made some money. A few years later the producers find they've run out of cocaine money so they pull the stunt again. Halloween 8, aka Halloween Resurrection. As soon as I saw the trailer for this one on TV I knew that, come rain or shine, I would be seeing this film at the very first showing. And I did.

I was quite looking forward to how they would resolve the ending of H20, in which Michael Myers got decapitated. They've never actually openly referred to the fact that Mikey is an immortal superman with regenerative capabilities, I was ready for them to finally give in and admit this. As it turned out, they didn't have to. I won't give it away, but on reflection, looking back at H20, and Mike's behaviour towards the end ... it makes a lot of sense. Believe me, I so want to tell you how Mike survived. I really do. But I won't, because there still might be people who want to be surprised.

Don't look now, but that deadbeat brother of yours has come to leech off you again.

Anyway, Jamie Lee Curtis at the start of this film is in a loony bin, insane with the knowledge that Mike will come for her and the guilt of having decapitated some innocent bloke Mike had carefully switched places with when the camera was off him during H20 (Oh jesus fuck, sorry). We learn the full story from a pair of exposition-vomiting nurses talking like characters in an infomercial as they give Jamie Lee her drugs and bugger off for the night.

Meanwhile, some security guards find that one of the loonies has gotten out and the exit has been forced open. The loony wears a clown mask and is pretending to be John Wayne Gacy; he seems to like pretending to be serial killers. Instantly I just KNEW that someone was going to mistake Michael Myers for this guy at some point in the near future, and sure enough, that's exactly what happens. A security guard is decapitated by the Myers man himself and his head gets put through a spin cycle. Michael has bigger fish to fry, though, and he heads up to Jamie Lee's cell, breaking the door down to get at his errant sister. She turns up behind him, whacks him with a drip feeder, and flees, Michael following closely. She traps him on the roof and manages to get him dangling upside-down from a big pulley thing, and gloats over his imminent doom.

But wait! Aha! Michael is a cunning psycho. He starts clawing at his mask like his lookalike did just before Jamie Lee decapitated him in the last film, and Jamie Lee doesn't want to risk that sort of embarrassment again. She reaches for his mask, and he grabs her, pulls her over the roof with him, stabs her and drops her to her death. On the way out he generously gives his bloody knife to the starstruck clown mask guy.

Now, let's hesitate on this for a moment. Michael Myers killed Jamie Lee. For seven whole films he has been unable to do that, and now he has. What's more, this means he's more or less completed his quest; murdered his entire family. Except for Jamie Lee's teenage son who escaped in the last film, but I really don't think Mike feels the guy's worth all the bother. His work done, he can now retire to his base of operations - a filthy cellar underneath his childhood home. So with a spring in his step and a song in his heart he gets back to the fateful Haddonfield house ... and finds a fat guy setting up cameras.

Yes, Haddonfield is now the home of an internet company called Dangertainment, headed by Busta Rhymes, playing the role LL Cool J had in the last film (the black American rapper thrown in for name recognition). They've set up for six lucky people to go into Michael Myers' house, live on the Internet, and try to find out what drove the little boy to murder his older sister all those years ago. Of course, this was answered in Halloween 6 - Myers is the subject of a Pagan curse and must massacre his family for the good of mankind or some shit - but I think the producers of the two recent films would rather you forgot about that. As luck would have it, the six chosen just happen to represent the standard horror movie cannon fodder. There's the slutty blonde who hopes this venture will bring her fame. The creepy weird bloke. The intelligent but also slutty girl. The cheeky jokester boy. The token black bloke. And the troubled, reluctant girl who will undoubtedly end up as the heroine.

Aaanyway, the six go in - all with cameras strapped to their skulls - and begin looking for answers. They find a baby's high chair with leather restraints, a colouring book full of delirious scribbles, a secret dungeon under the kitchen with chains on the wall and a headless doll. This, I felt, could have been great. Finally we could learn what got into little Mike to go on that rampage (disregarding evil Pagan curses), but no. It turns out this was all planted by Busta Rhymes to make better viewing. Michael Myers' dark motivation disappointingly remains a mystery for now.

Slutty girl is persuaded by cheeky jokester boy to take her top off for the cameras, and she starts to do so very slowly while Mike watches from nearby. This was rather unrealistic, I felt - everyone knows girls in reality TV shows never hesitate to bare their funbags. Anyway, she drops her shirt at the last moment, giggles and scampers off like a gazelle. Then cheeky jokester boy gets stabbed to death by Michael. I mean, be fair. This is the first time victims have actually actively come to him, rather than him stalking them, he really doesn't want to disappoint them.

Busta Rhymes is also in the house dressed up as Michael, and in one of the most entertaining scenes in the film, he meets the real Michael and, believing him to be one of his staff, starts shouting at him to bugger off. Mike gives him a strange look for a few seconds, then turns around and lurches off.

The intelligent slutty girl and creepy weird bloke start gettin' it on in the dungeon basement thing, but they're interrupted by a wall collapsing and a load of plastic skeletons falling out. Weird bloke retreats, but slut continues and finds Michael's little setup, complete with half-eaten rats, one of which is unrealistically still alive. Mike turns up and impales her on a spike, because everyone knows constantly using a butcher knife can get very tiresome.

Kiss me, damn you.

Next to go is slutty blonde, decapitated by a single sweep of Mike's knife (oh, to buggery with realism, thinks the director), and only then do the "heroes" realise their unfortunate situation. Next to go is creepy weird bloke. Once again bored with the butcher knife, Mike grabs him and crushes his skull. Token black bloke is nailed to a door with three knives and left to dangle. Now only Busta Rhymes and heroine remain. Mr. Rhymes doesn't seem to have a key to the house despite organising the whole thing, so they try to escape through windows but find them all boarded up. Eventually Mike ... you know, I don't know why I'm bothering with all this. You know the score. They try to kill him a couple of times and think they've succeeded but haven't. Let's spin on, shall we?

The only bit you need to know about is a little later. Heroine is trapped under a fallen desk. The room is on fire. Mike is coming for her. He raises his knife just as Busta Rhymes (believed dead) bursts in, says a one-liner, and begins ... er ... karate-kicking the unstoppable killer. Mike's not too impressed until Mr. Rhymes grabs a power cable and zaps him with it. Myers collapses into a load of live wires and is heavily electrocuted, then the house burns up around him while the others escape. His body gets wheeled into a morgue and, just before the ending, his eyes flick open. Whoop de fuckin' do.

You know what? This film was not very good at all. The opening scene with Jamie Lee was the highlight, but after that it all descends into very familiar teen slasher territory, full of crap dialogue and shallow characters.

Let me tell you what the next film will be about, because there will be another when the cash cow needs milking again. It will centre around the heroine of this film, probably at university. She will have made some new friends, including a couple of slutty girls, some boys for them to get it on with, and one or two token ethnic characters. She may or may not have a boyfriend, whose death is pretty much guaranteed. Michael will turn up and slit them all up a treat in various inventive ways, and the heroine will continually evade him until finding out that she is distantly related to him. Finally Michael will be supposedly killed, and in the end his eyes will flick open just before the end credits roll.



Fingers in Ears Rating: 8/10
But this just might be because I saw this in a cinema, and it was very loud.

Similarity to Last Film Rating: 7/10
Setting and situation may be different, but they're both just stupid teen slasher movies.

Blood and Guts Rating: 7/10
Meh. The usual blood-dripping knives and dismemberments.

Get Nekkid and DIE! Rating: 9/10
Of course it applies. It applies to all teen slasher movies because of that stupid fucking self-parody thing Scream introduced.

Hateful Heroes Rating: 10/10
You get the feeling that Busta Rhymes only agreed to be in this film if he could be the wise-cracking, karate-kicking hero, and his presence is certainly not welcome.

Overall Horror Movie Sequel Rating: 8/10
Do yourself a favour and pretend the series ended at Halloween 6. Or better still, write your own script where Michael turns out to be an alien from the planet Zog who befriends a little boy and returns home in a big flying saucer at the end. I guarantee it will be a better film than this.

Quality Rating: 38%

Slightly-More-Than-One-Word Summary: "Evil fucking capitalist directors bleeding money from the honest hard-working horror movie patrons"

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All material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw
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