11. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Evaluating and ranking the lesser entries in a slasher series like Halloween, which features more than a few movies that could charitably be described as completely awful, is a fun methodological task: Do you reward bad movies for deviating from the formula in bizarre ways or celebrate bland movies for dutifully checking the genre boxes with little flair or pizzazz? Personally, I'm more sympathetic to horror sequels that make big, bold choices, like sending Jason Voorhees to space or turning Freddie Kruger into a weird snake, than those that choose to play it safe. Unfortunately, Halloween: Resurrection makes goofy decisions and sticks to a tired script. The best of both worlds? Not quite.
This movie, which was the last to feature Jamie Lee Curtis before the new reboot, typically sits at the bottom of rankings like this, and for good reason. In one of the many cases in the series where the next installment immediately undermines the ending of the previous movie, Halloween: Resurrection opens with Laurie Strode in a mental institution after it was discovered she decapitated an innocent man she thought was Michael Myers at the end of Halloween H20. (The flashbacks to the previous film in this one are a little tough to parse; at one point, an orderly provides a recap of the entire franchise when he says, "There were several murders, lots of confusion.")
It doesn't really matter what happened with Laurie because she gets killed by Myers in the first 15 minutes, an unceremonious end for a beloved character, and we shift to a plot about college kids shooting an internet reality series in the abandoned Myers family home back in Haddonfield, which means lots of blurry digital video footage, Yahoo chat rooms, and a reference to The Osbourne's. If this movie has any redeemable element, it's rapper Busta Rhymes as kung-fu-loving, red-wine-sipping super-producer Freddie Harris, one of the best supporting roles in the whole series. (He runs "Dangertainment," the company that's producing the reality show.) After surviving multiple assaults from our masked villain, he describes Myers as "a killer shark in baggy-ass overalls," a vivid assessment that will stick in your mind far longer than anything else in this dumbass movie.
Where to see it right now: Stream on Cinemax Go; rent on iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, and YouTube (watch the trailer)