This review contains SPOILERS Halloween: Resurrection (2002) * * * John Carpenter’s original film will always be regarded as a cinematic classic. Which makes one wonder how the eight installment in the franchise could be any good at all. In truth, however, Halloween: Resurrection comes the closest in capturing the true spirit of the original more than any other. The prologue of the film is easily the strongest scene in the entire film, mainly because it concludes the story arc of our long time heroine Laurie Strode. The opening shot is an almost dreamlike panaglide float through the halls of a mental institution with a haunting voice over by Laurie. As we approach the end of the hallway, we enter into Laurie’s room, and see her sitting in profile at the window. At that moment, a single tear rolls down her cheek. It is a fantastic, gorgeous shot. The lighting and photography in these scenes, as with many others in the film, is bleak and grim while strikingly beautiful at the same time. The opening is a very powerful sequence, more than critics give it credit for. It is in some ways reminiscent of a Greek tragedy. From there we shift our focus to Haddonfield, where six college students are given the chance at fame and fortune. All they have to do is spend the night in the Myer’s house, and it is all broadcasted live over the Internet courtesy of Dangertainment. It is a simple film, which ultimately works in the end. The main reason it works is the atmosphere and look of the film, and the way the suspense is executed. This is where it goes back to the roots of the original: fear of the unknown, what might be lurking in the shadows, etc. It plays on these different levels of our subconscious. Like the teenagers gathered around the TV in the film, we are reminded how voyeuristic we all are, and that just the idea that the murders may or may not be real is truly terrifying. This theme was also used in Hitchcock’s Rear Window. The use of lighting and shadows resembles more of a black and white expressionism film than a slasher. More than any other film in the franchise besides the original, this one treats the villain the way he was supposed treated all along. As John Carpenter once said, he wanted to make the shape a blank slate that we could project all of our fears onto. A kicked up, legendary and iconic force of nature. This film treats Myers just like that, an unstoppable force. The eerie use of slow motion and the darkness that shrouds him reminds us that this IS the original boogeyman that we once knew. Unrelenting fear and terror accompanies him wherever he goes. There is one suspenseful scene that really stands out. After Jen discovers a dead body upstairs, she screams and stands at the top of the stairs, too paralyzed with fear to move. As the others stand at the bottom, they assume it is a prank being played on them. At that moment, Michael comes out from the shadows and stands beside her. After a few breathless moments, he raises the knife and takes a vicious swing, decapitating her. The trick is how the scene is executed that makes it scary. Instead of letting Michael stand there for a few seconds, he could have just jumped out at her and it would have been a jolt moment. But with him just standing there, SHE knows it’s him, and WE know it’s him, but the others don’t so the viewer is put in a powerless situation, which creates suspense. Hitchcock once said, “Show two guys sitting at a table, and after they speak for a while, have a bomb go off. It’s a jump moment, but there’s no suspense involved. Now, show the same scene but pan down and show the bomb under the table during the conversation. That is how you create suspense.” In this age of self-referential and supposedly “smart” slasher films, it’s refreshing to see a film that relishes in the clichés that made these movies so fun to begin with. It is a refreshingly hip (which, as this film proves, is not necessarily a bad thing to be) take on what could have been dead and tired subject matter. As the camera pans down and leaves blow in the darkness, costumed children run up to the dilapidated, resident haunted house and place a lit jack-o-lantern on the porch and run off. It is small little scenes like these that remind us what the original Halloween was all about.