Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Audio Commentary-Rick Rosenthal (Director) and Robert Ferretti (Editor)
Featurette-WebCam Special +/- director's commentary
Featurette-Tour of Set with Production Designer
Featurette-On The Set with Jamie Lee Curtis
Featurette-Head Cam Featurette
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Rick Rosenthal|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Sean Patrick Thomas
Thomas Ian Nicholas
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The last time I watched a Halloween movie was probably getting on for 20 years ago. The name conjures up the unforgettable theme music (by John Carpenter) and the presence of that definitive "Scream Queen" Jamie Lee Curtis. (Irrelevant trivia: I met her dad at a business dinner function a couple of years ago - charming bloke, with a surprisingly young wife and incredibly small hands). At that time, I enjoyed the first couple of movies although I knew they were not going to win too many Oscars. So, it was with expectations of a slight plot but some scary fun that I settled down to watch Halloween: Resurrection.
Halloween: Resurrection is the latest in a very, very long line of franchise movies. If I am not mistaken, this is the seventh chapter in the saga of Michael Myers, the white-faced, kitchen-knife wielding serial killer. Strangely, it is the eighth Halloween branded movie...but Halloween:III had nothing to do with Myers. This movie begins with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) incarcerated in a psychiatric facility. Ostensibly suffering from an "extreme dissociative disorder", she has been there for three years since she killed an innocent man, a man she erroneously believed to be her insane brother Michael Myers (Brad Loree). This provides an opportunity for the uninitiated to be brought up to speed with the previous instalment (Halloween: H20) through flashbacks as one nurse relates Laurie's unfortunate history to a new recruit. Sadly for us, (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) although perhaps mercifully for Curtis, she departs the film within the first reel after an abortive attempt at finally ridding the planet of Michael's perverse evil. This is a shame because she is the best actor in the movie .
The main plot then commences as we switch to the entrepreneurial Freddy Harris (Busta Rhymes) who is trying to create a name for himself as the head of an internet-based reality show called "Dangertainment". Aided by the alluring Nora (Tyra Banks) he recruits six young university students to don head-mounted cameras and spend a night in the childhood home of Myers. These are the studious Sara Moyer (Bianca Kajlich), chef Rudy (Sean Patrick Thomas), star struck Jenna (Katee Sachoff), brooding muso Jim (Luke Kirby), the Caucasian Donna Chang (Seinfeld anyone?) played by Daisy McCrackin and randy larrikin Bill (Thomas Ian Nicholas). With the exception of Curtis', the acting - particularly the excessive swearing and hammy mugging of Rhymes - is mediocre at best. Interestingly, we learn from the commentary that Kajlich could not even scream adequately, so hers have been over-dubbed by a different actress. To be fair, most of the characters are simply one-dimensional targets and really have been given very little to work with.
Freddy is not content to leave his internet ratings to chance, and sets-up various props to ensure the night will have an appropriate shock value. One of the internet viewers, who plays a key role in keeping this plot device alive, is Myles (Ryan Merriman) a high school student, who has been chatting with Sara although the two have never met. Unfortunately for all concerned, Michael hasn't quite vacated the premises and takes umbrage at the presence of the cameras. What follows is a series of stalking, slashing, decapitation and grating screams, leading to a predictable climax...and the possibility of still further instalments to come.
The Myer home appears to be where plot holes come to retire. A residential neighbourhood, where an internet show is being made in the house of a serial-killer....and nobody is peeping through the windows? Nobody hears the multiple screams of the nearly-departed? Come on - you get a bigger neighbourhood turnout for Backyard Blitz. Myers seems to be made of a blend of Kevlar and adamantinum and becomes virtually invisible and silent between each gratuitous slaying. Gimme a break!
If you can suspend your disbelief, this film will provide a bit of mindless entertainment to fans of the slasher sub-genre. The action is a re-hash of many other similar films and offers little new (despite the potentially interesting "net cam" and handheld PC plot devices). The characters are disposable and the script is perfunctory. Grudgingly, despite the very weak plot and the obvious inevitability of it all, I have to admit I didn't hate this movie. There is no doubt that there are much better horror films out there, Scream or the first instalment of the Halloween franchise for instance - but, thanks to a stunning soundtrack, this is worth a watch. Do not expect anything new - you won't get it, but if you want a bit of predictable slasher gore, this'll do ya for a single watch.
The overall video transfer of this disc is very good, with the main video defects present as the deliberate choice of the director, when he cuts to digital video (DV) footage as part of the plot.
The film is presented in a ratio of 2.35:1 and it has been 16x9 enhanced. This is very close to the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1.
The transfer is generally sharp but there are several occasions where low light levels do lead to moderate levels of grain, particularly - but not exclusively - in the DV footage.
Blacks are solid with no significant low-level noise and good shadow depth. This is pretty much essential for a movie of this ilk, as much of the action takes place in dark or dimly-lit areas.
Colours are well represented with natural skin tones and only the slightest hint of oversaturation on occasion (for instance the police lights at the end).
The transfer is free from really damaging MPEG artefacts, with only the occasional occurrence of pixelization - for example on the torchlight at 57:20. Film-to-video artefacts are more common with several instances of minor aliasing (for example on the torch at 6:25 and on the desk at 16:18) and a mild shimmer on the nurses' uniforms in the opening scenes. Minor edge enhancement is sometimes visible but not overly distracting.
Film artefacts are present on occasion, with a few fleeting specks on the film, but again these are minor and not distracting.
There are two English subtitle tracks available, one for the Hearing-Impaired. They both follow the dialogue well, with the Hearing-Impaired track also providing a good sense of the ambient sound effects.
This is an RSDL disc but I could not detect a layer change, so I am assuming it occurs between the movie and the extras.
The audio quality of this disc is extremely good - I would say it is of reference standard.
The solitary audio track is a hugely atmospheric Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in English recorded at 448 kbps. There were no major audio defects noted with hiss, clicks and pops undetected.
Dialogue was mostly clear, with only Rhymes' thick accent causing any minor intelligibility issues. Audio synch issues were rarely present, but one minor issue was at 59:22.
The original theme is credited to John Carpenter and it recurs frequently, continuing to provide an evocative and tension-building backdrop to the action. This is truly one of the great horror themes. The other elements of the soundtrack are credited to Danny Lux and they too do a great job of building suspense.
The surround channels were constantly active throughout. This disc has some superb panning and directional sound effects and some great effects isolated to a single speaker. The movie is replete with the requisite jump-out-of-your-seat sound effects, which add immensely to the tension. Some of the Foley effects were a tad overdone, but this is probably par for the course with a movie such as this.
The subwoofer was heavily used throughout to support the ominous sound effects and the occasional explosion. Truly, this is a disc to give all of your speakers a total workout.
|Surround Channel Use|
The disc is blessed with an embarrassment of extras.
The initial menu is a static photograph from the movie. It allows you to choose bonus materials, subtitle selection or one of a paltry fourteen chapter stops.
A collection of around seventy still shots from the movie and behind the scenes.
The commentary is provided by director Rick Rosenthal and editor Robert Ferretti and is quite entertaining. With an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack recorded at 192 kbps, it reveals a fair amount of information both technical and anecdotal, and is better than many I have heard.
Presented in a full frame 1.33:1 ratio and running for only 4:03, this featurette has an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack recorded at 192 kbps. It is a bit of an homage to Curtis and gives her a chance to explain her motivation for appearing in this movie.
Six scenes cut from the movie are presented in a letterboxed 2.35:1 ratio with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack recorded at 192 kbps. Each clip is available with an optional director's commentary. Interestingly Rosenthal claims that scenes were sacrificed due to due to running time and pacing issues - in my opinion the movie would have had more substance if all of these had been included in the movie.
Three variations on the film ending are presented in letterboxed 2.35:1 ratio with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack recorded at 192 kbps. These are all available with or without a commentary from Rosenthal.
Running for 4:12, this brief segment reveals some of the technical constraints of using head-mounted cameras on the main actors. It is presented in a full frame 1.33:1 ratio with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack recorded at 192 kbps.
Running for 41:15 this interesting and substantial extra allows us to view the events in the movie which are captured purely from the digital video head cams and surveillance cameras within the Myers house. It is presented in a l.33:1 full screen ratio with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack recorded at 192 kbps, and has the option of running with or without a commentary track from Rosenthal. It is intended that this footage will become available as an interactive feature, allowing the viewer to choose which camera to watch at any given point in time. It will be interesting to see if this proposal ever becomes a reality.
Five scenes are presented with film footage running in parallel with original storyboard drawings. The use of the angle button allows storyboard, film or both to be watched at any given time.
Troy Hansen, the production designer, leads us through the set of Michael's house. Running for 6:53, this is an fascinating glimpse behind the scenes and illustrates the level of detail that goes into making a movie such as this. Presented in a ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack recorded at 192 kbps.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version of this DVD appears to be identical to the Region 4 version.
Halloween: Resurrection offers a new twist with the addition of internet broadcasts, but I still cannot help feeling it's all been done better before. The video and audio quality are good, as would be expected for such a recent movie, and there is a truly generous helping of extras on the disc. A reasonable way to spend a couple of hours, but probably only worth buying for collectors of the Halloween movies.
The video quality is very good.
The audio is reference quality.
There is a substantial quantity of worthwhile extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||JensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer|