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Director John Carpenter Reveals The Halloween Movie That Made Him Cringe

Esteemed filmmaker John Carpenter made audiences shake in their boots, cry in their theater seats, and harbor an intense fear of Halloween night, people in masks, and men named Michael with his 1978 horror classic Halloween. But once Carpenter dipped out of the franchise after writing 1981's Halloween II and producing 1982's Halloween III: Season of the Witch, handing the keys over for a litany of directors to grab hold of, the hallowed series went from spooky to screwy. While Carpenter has avoided watching most of the Halloween franchise sequels, he did see one — but his viewing experience wasn't exactly pleasant. 

Chatting with a group of journalists about the newest Halloween film, the David Gordon Green-directed reboot that's already shattered box office records, Carpenter revealed the franchise entry that made him cringe: Halloween: Resurrection

"I watched the one in that house, with all the cameras. Oh my god. Oh lord, god," said Carpenter (via TooFab). "And then the guy gives the speech at the end about violence. What the hell? Oh my lord. I couldn't believe."

A brief refresher for those foggy on what went down in 2002's Halloween: Resurrection: the Rick Rosenthal-helmed flick picks up three years after the events of 1998's Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, which ended with Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode decapitating who she thought was the masked murderer Michael Myers. Unfortunately for the people of Haddonfield, Illinois, Michael is still alive and well, since Laurie actually killed an innocent man she simply mistook for her brother. An institutionalized Laurie eventually lures Michael into a meeting with her on Halloween — but when Laurie hesitates to kill him, Michael gets the last laugh by stabbing her and pushing her off a roof. 

But that doesn't even begin to describe the wildness that unravels in Resurrection

From there, the film shifts focused to a group of college students who participate in a live internet reality horror show called Dangertainment, one episode of which is filmed inside Michael's childhood home. Rosenthal experimented with shaky camerawork and found-footage-style direction throughout Resurrection, which chronicled the 20-somethings' efforts to discover what brought Michael Myers to the edge of sanity and turned him into a killer. 

As expected, Michael shows up and ruins their plans by stalking, slashing, and slashing the six students — but not before Dangertainment director Freddie Harris, inexplicably played by rapper Busta Rhymes, meets up with the killer while wearing a replica Michael Myers mask, shows off his karate skills (dramatic hi-ya! declarations and all), and roundhouse kicks the real Michael in the face. 

Freddie's behavior gets even weirder at the end of Resurrection, when he delivers the strange speech Carpenter mentioned. Asked by reporters if he can give a statement about what went down in Michael Myers' house during the taping of DangertainmentFreddie slams the press for treating the killer like "a sound bite, a spin-off, a tie-in, some celebrity scandal." He states, "Michael Myers is a killer shark in baggy-a** overalls that gets his kicks off of killing everything and everyone that he comes across. That's all. We're done dancing for these cameras," and then proceeds to lunge at the reporters. 

Needless to say, it's easy to see why Carpenter was cringing left and right while watching Halloween: Resurrection. Between the premise that doesn't follow through, the "blurry found-footage trickery," and the "Blair Witch-style adventure that plays like a bad soap opera," Resurrection lacked what makes the Halloween franchise — even some of its half-baked and rinse-repeat sequels — worth watching. 

When the film debuted in July 2002, it panned with critics and fans alike, with both camps agreeing that the pic was a hot mess. To this day, many still despise Resurrection. Flickering Myth's Shaun Munro recently wrote that Resurrection is "the most cynical and low-effort of all the Halloween sequels."

But thankfully, all the cringing Carpenter did while watching Resurrection didn't discourage him from diving back into the franchise he started 40 years ago. In 2017, Carpenter met with director Gordon Green and screenwriter Danny McBride to hear the pair's pitch for the Halloween reboot, and he was seriously impressed by the idea of bringing the film series back to its roots, making Michael Myers a real threat again rather than a supernatural killer, and, most importantly, ignoring all the sequels that came after the 1978 original. Carpenter was so taken by the pitch, in fact, that he climbed aboard as the project's supervisor and ultimately scored the reboot film as well. 

The director previously explained his motivations for working on 2018's Halloween after shying away from the franchise for so long, telling Fandango, "The sequels –  I haven't even seen all of them. I don't even know what really was there — but finally it occurred to me: Well if I'm just flapping my gums here, talking about it, why don't I try to make it as good as I can? I could offer advice. I could talk to the director. I like the director very much. I like the script. So, you know, stop throwing rocks from the sidelines and get in there and try to do something positive."

It's just like the old adage goes: When life gives you Resurrection, make a rockin' reboot.