Monday, September 03, 2007

"Halloween" review

Halloween (2007)

Director: Rob Zombie
Writers Rob Zombie John Carpenter

Malcolm McDowell... Dr. Samuel Loomis
Brad Dourif... Sheriff Lee Brackett
Tyler Mane... Michael Myers
Daeg Faerch... Michael Myers, age 10
Sheri Moon... Deborah Myers (as Sheri Moon Zombie)
William Forsythe... Ronnie White
Richard Lynch... Principal Chambers
Udo Kier... Morgan Walker
Clint Howard... Doctor Koplenson
Danny Trejo... Ismael Cruz
Scout Taylor-Compton... Laurie Strode
Dee Wallace... Cynthia Strode
Sybil Danning... Nurse Wynn
Micky Dolenz... Derek Allen
Sid Haig... Chester Chesterfield
Michael Myers was a redneck. This is the big revelation in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween”. Michael grew up in a house full of white trash clich├ęs and couldn’t wait to butcher them all. The other big revelation in “Halloween” is that Zombie is a fiend of the 70’s and cannot let it go. Much like his cinematic partner in crime Quentin Tarantino, Zombie loves and cherishes the B-movies from his youth and wants the world to know it so he packs his movie with a smorgasbord of horror icons. His films are reruns with people and places we’ve seen before going through the paces in the never ending B-movie playing in his head.

John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is a classic horror movie that cannot be duplicated. It is one of the few horror movies that I would consider a genuinely scary movie. Why someone would even try to remake it is a testament to Hollywood’s greed and stupidity. Although I have heard that this is technically a “re-imagining” of Carpenter’s movie but that rings false as various scenes are lifted straight out of the original movie.Although Zombie did have the common sense to not try to out do Jamie Lee Curtis. This version’s Laurie Strode has nothing on Curtis. The original “Halloween” focused on Strode’s Halloween night face-off against boogeyman Myers. Zombie’s version focuses on Michael Myers and his brutal blood lust. Zombie plays to his strengths.

Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” is the slaughterhouse version of “Halloween”. It’s the movie that tries to make us understand why Michael was a tortured soul and loved butchering people for our viewing pleasure. The back story of Michael Myers is the only thing Zombie adds to the movie and it’s completely unnecessary. Do we really need to understand the slasher and his wicked ways? In real life we do but in a slasher flick the fear of the unknown is what makes the movie scary. That’s what makes the killer’s mask work so well because we don’t know what hideous evil is hiding behind it. Thanks to Rob Zombie, now we do! And so now we know that Michael is a dumb hick who kills people. Thanks to Zombie for making Michael Myers a little less scary.

But if it’s one thing Zombie knows how to do, it’s spill the blood and guts. Myers goes about his hacking and slashing in a deadly serious manner. Zombie doesn’t have much of a sense of humor about horror flicks and prefers to show the gruesome killings as harshly as possible. Zombie’s “Halloween” certainly delivers the gore and there were one or two scenes I jumped at.

If Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” was just another sequel in the “Halloween” franchise, (which is really what it is), it would be a decent, bloody time killer. But comparing this version to Carpenter’s movie is no contest. John Carpenter’s “Halloween” blows this one away. Zombie needs to stop fantasizing over his drive-in double feature past and try to make something new. He explicitly understands the horror and exploitation movie trigger points and can crank out the blood and guts as well as anyone. But it’s time to let the 70’s go and move on. Although I was glad that someone finally found a use for Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”. I love that song. I also loved seeing Sybil Danning again. Well, maybe not all of the 70’s needs to be let go.
SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 mean mean Myers


Anonymous said...

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* (asterisk) said...

Good summing up, my man. I shan't bother. Mostly hate remakes anyway.

beedubelhue said...

I'm gonna pass on this one.Never eff with a time tested classic!

Anonymous said... forgot to mention Zombie's flick run like forever, I couldn't wait for this bloody mess to end!