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47 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Stick to grind-house horror, Rob—you're better at it!

2/10
Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
10 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With its precise direction, slick cinematography, talented and likable cast, and excellent use of a particularly menacing score, John Carpenter's Halloween was a highly polished exercise in perfection. In contrast, Rob Zombie's 'reimagining' of the Michael Myers mythos is an ill-considered mess, delivering the director's grungy 'white trash' aesthetic, an incongruous soundtrack of rock classics, lots of gore and nudity, a raft of characters one couldn't give a damn about, and very little in the way of originality.

And perhaps, worst of all, Michael—the personification of evil in the original movie—is given a back story that robs the character of his status as 'the bogeyman'. He is now, like so many other movie killers, simply the product of a poor upbringing (his sister is a slut, his step-dad is a foul-mouthed drunk, and mum is a stripper). As a lank-haired ten-year old, poor little Michael is bullied, both at school and at home; one day he snaps, butchers his tormentors, and ends up incarcerated in a mental institute where he falls under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell). There he remains until adulthood, too dangerous to ever be released.

Not only is all of this twaddle completely unnecessary, but it is far too long in the telling, and, by the time Zombie has finished trying to make us feel sympathetic towards his psycho, a good 40 minutes or so has passed. It seems like much longer.

Anyway, Michael eventually manages to escape (thanks to a particularly dumb guard who is, for some reason, unafraid of 7ft tall mass murderers that are built like a brick outhouse), and legs it to his home town of Haddonfield to look for his baby sister Laurie—the only remaining member of his family.

From this point on the film gets even worse, as Zombie introduces his audience to the now grown-up Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton)—a thoroughly annoying and obnoxious teen with an even more unlikeable circle of friends—and proceeds to (loosely) follow the original's plot, stealing chunks of dialogue verbatim, whilst adding his own (mostly crap) touches and choosing to omit some of Carpenter's finer moments (the excellent closet attack scene is missing, for example).

After much screaming and bloodletting, but practically no atmosphere or scares, sole survivor Laurie is rescued by Loomis, who unloads his revolver into Michael. The End. Thank goodness.

Halloween '07 is pretty much a failure on all levels: it's ugly to look at, boring to watch, and insulting to horror fans. What this film does do successfully, however, is drive home the fact that some classics should never be remade. Especially by Rob Zombie.

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51 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Remake exists in a twilight world of originality and pure copy never manages to find its own voice, the result is really bad movie movie with a few great moments

3/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
11 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Remake/rethink of the classic John Carpenter film is a mistake. Granted in these days of redone 1970's horror classics and not so classics a remake (after 7 sequels) was inevitable, but however this got made it shouldn't have. It's too unreal to ever work and too referential of the original to ever not be compared. I'm hoping that Zombie was forced to do the film a certain way by the money men since I would hate to think that the man who gave us House of 1000 corpses and Devil's Rejects made some of the choices we see here.

The problems here start with the rethought idea of Myers as a chunky fat kid with long hair. It continues on with his foul mouthed white trash parents who's steady stream of profanity was such I have to think its a bad joke. Shall I go on to the anachronistic settings and props that mix time periods (and when is this suppose to begin anyway?) By the time Michael goes home we have about an hour to compress the events of the original, which then gets told in speedy fashion. Ultimately, as many have said, and as Thomas Harris found out about Hannibal Lechter, the whole idea of explaining the evil takes away the terror.

What really annoys the hell out of me is that as bad and as lazy the narrative restructuring is the individual sequences are top notch. In all seriousness some of the sequences where Michael kills are dynamite. The stabbing death of his older sister is frightening (and whats with that little shape. Creepy) and the escape from the basement by Laurie is masterful frenetic film making. Actually most of the killings are mini masterpieces that regrettably have no gallery to properly show them in. Once again its clear that Rob Zombie is a director to be reckoned with, just so long as he can go his own way. (And I have to say its great to see all the great 1970's name b-movie actors once more).

Not really worth bothering with, this is at best 3 or 3.5 out of 10. Recommended only for those who want to see some fleeting moments of really cool film making in an otherwise crappy film.

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55 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

Unnecessary remake!

3/10
Author: JoeB131 from United States
30 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The problem with remakes is that if something was made wrong the first time, no one cared about it enough to try to remake it. If something was truly good enough to be a "classic", then it was just fine on its own and didn't need to be messed with.

This is the problem with Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween. He tries to deflect from the point by reminding us that John Carpenter remade "The Thing from another World" (Putting on background TV TWICE during the film, just so we didn't forget it.) Carpenter, however, took the whole concept in another direction.

Zombie does "Michael Myers, the early years". The thing that made Myers so horrifying is that he was just a normal kid where something had gone horribly wrong. Zombie decides to give him a full background with a stripper mother, an alcoholic loser father and a slutty sister, so you understand how he becomes the town psycho. It's a lot of unnecessary exposition, and he eats up half the film with it.

The Jaime Lee Curtis character is played by someone who has almost no screen presence. You don't care what Michael does to her in the end, which reduces the amount of suspense in his remake of Carpenter's work in the second half.

Finally, you have the ever so creepy Malcolm McDowell playing the Donald Pleasence character. His attempts to get through to Michael are so lame you can't believe this guy is even trying to practice psychiatry.

The rest is a Zombie gore-fest, not even worth watching.

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106 out of 187 people found the following review useful:

Somewhat disappointing...

5/10
Author: kennyeatsbirds from United States
3 September 2007

Like many of the horror fans out there I went through my phase of being angry and disgusted that they would remake Halloween and especially that Rob Zombie would be the director to do it. This eventually wore off and I came to terms with it. I am a fan of Rob Zombie and as it got nearer to the release date I came to believe that I would probably enjoy the movie, although I figured it still wouldn't compare to the original. Hell, I was even pretty excited to go see it (It's rare these days that we get to see horror films out of Hollywood made by people who actually give a sh*t about the genre, which is why I like Zombie even though I don't find him to be a genius director or anything like that.)

Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with what I saw. For the most part, the first half of the movie was interesting and held my attention but once it became night time, the whole film went downhill. Essentially, like many "slasher movies" today, the last 30 minutes or so of the film turned into a string of boring chase sequences. Don't get me wrong, chase sequences are essential to these kinds of movies, but they can't carry a movie for half an hour.

It seemed to me that one of the main problems was that Zombie seemed to drop the ball when Michael Myers completely turns into a silent killer. His talent as a writer is in creating interesting characters (i.e. house of 1000 corpses & the devil's rejects), but with no personality left in his killer, the script and other characters become boring. Rob Zombie is not a suspense director and the attempts he made at it during this film were pretty lame. It wasn't scary and none of the "jump scares" worked. This isn't to say that he is a bad filmmaker, he just seems to be out of his element with this movie.

Although I thought the back story was decent and entertaining enough, I still tend to find Michael Myers a more interesting character with less back story and more mystery like in the original.

I appreciate the effort put into the movie and I have given it a rating of 5 because I still think it was probably better than what they would have made with a different writer and director, but this movie just didn't work for me.

Luckily I got to see this at a drive-in theater along with the original Halloween and Grindhouse, so the night was still pretty great.

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71 out of 124 people found the following review useful:

HOLLOW-EEN... another Devil's Reject

3/10
Author: Kashmirgrey from United States
8 September 2007

Some film makers live in a world where all men are sadistic rapists, all women are sado-masochistic tramps, violent murder is abundant and perceived as funny, and everyone uses F$#& every other word. Hey, to each their own reality, whatever...

First, let's take a short jog back in time... John Carpenter's Halloween is a film considered by many to be one of, if not the best horror films of all time. For me, what made Carpenter's 1978 classic so frightening was the not-knowing why a 10-year old kid, who came from a middle-class, two-parent family living in a nice home in a nice suburban neighborhood, would don a clown mask, and proceed to savagely butcher his older teenage sister. Why would he then remove his mask and stand outside the front of his home with an expressionless look on his face, waiting for Mom and Dad to return? What made this even more disturbing was how the perspective of the viewer was shot through the eyes of the mask so that the audience sees what Michael sees. That, and of course the fact that it all happens on a Halloween night and in cadence to a magnificently, creepy musical score. Insane asylums always conjure up unease intensifying the scene where Michael escapes from the mental institution and seizes the two doctors' station wagon amidst ghostly, mentally-disturbed patients wandering around outside. Why does Michael want to kill his sweet, younger, teenage sister Laurie Strode? Why does he wear a mask? Why can't he be killed? What, if any, is the method to his murderous madness? Why does he arrange the corpses that certain way? These questions we want to know, but at the same time, the not knowing is what makes us pause the film and check that all the windows and doors are locked.

Now let's jump to Zombie's version. Not comparing it to the original and letting it stand on its own two feet, it's just a lousy film. What kept it from "straight to DVD"? Two titles: Rob Zombie and Halloween. Zombie seems to have felt it necessary to humanize "his" Michael Meyers and attempt to provide a sympathetic explanation for Meyers' future murderous behavior, so Zombie has painted a new picture of Meyers' home. The father (William Forsythe) is an unemployed, abusive husband who has incestuous thoughts about his teenage daughter. The mom (Sheri Moon Zombie) is an attractive, but weathered, stripper. The teenage daughter (Hannah Hall) is promiscuous and cruel. There's little baby Laurie. Finally, there is 10-year old Mikey (Daeg Faerch) who is a long-haired, animal-torturing, juvenile delinquent (who looks 14). On Halloween, Meyers' snaps when two older schoolmates harass him and make sexually explicit, derogatory comments about his older sister and mother. Later, Michael, wearing a mask, beats one of the boys to death with a tree branch. Michael goes home where his father degrades him sexually. His mother leaves to strip, and worst of all, his older sister chooses a roll in the hay in lieu of taking him trick-or-treating (that warrants murder and mayhem!) So, he duck-tapes his father to his chair (managing to miraculously accomplish this while his father sleeps) and slices his throat. He then takes a baseball bat to his sister's boyfriend, and finally, after she awakes and catches him feeling her up, he slices up his older sister. Meyers' is institutionalized. After he murders a nurse with a fork his distraught mother blows her brains out. Fifteen years pass and Meyers' gets a break, escapes and proceeds to follow the plot points of the '78 original. Meyers' sister Laurie has been raised by adoptive parents in Haddonfield and Meyers' comes to hunt her down.

What did work for me, not so surprisingly, was where Zombie follows and mimics scenes from the original film. I mean, why re-invent the wheel, right? (ahem!) Meyers (Tyler Mane) portrayed as a tall, dark, and hulking Leatherface-like menace, who seems more deliberate in his behaviors in this film, was a nice tweak. No one could ever replace Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis, but Malcolm McDowell was a comfortable second. The connection between Meyers and his younger sister Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) was defined intriguingly, too, I thought. Unfortunately, the more critical connection, that being the character of Laurie with the audience, is non-existent. (Just an ironic coincidence to make my point, I had to click on "MORE" on this film's IMDb.com main page to even find Strode in the Cast listing!)***10/29/2008 (Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie has since been added) But aside from these, the film is just another House of 10,000 Devil's Rejects. Knowing why Meyers becomes a monster isn't scary with Zombie's textbook serial killer explanation. I don't want to understand Meyers' inner-child. Also, this Meyers, unlike John Carpenter's original, murders with senseless abandon with no attention to suspense. A "re-imagining"? Where's the imagination? I am not anti-remakes. But when you're going to tackle an original masterpiece like Halloween, you need an adept film maker. Zombie, who seems obsessed with incest, rape, flaunting his wife on screen, gratuitous sadistic torture, and words that begin with the letter F and end with the letter K, is not such a film maker. He seems (pardon the pun) "hell-bent" on offending his audiences for the mere purpose of being offensive. What is sad is, these days offensive means controversial and controversial has become synonymous with art.

Some might say I've missed the point. My point in seeing the film was to be entertained and scared. What was your point?

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Just Another Dim Slasher

4/10
Author: Jamie Ward from United Kingdom
3 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Watching this movie was just like watching any other mediocre slasher flick, with one exception: the villain is completely boring and whiny. To be honest, I've never really been a fan of Halloween and this instalment doesn't do it any justice at all. Sure, there are some original and entertaining moments far and few between but this doesn't make Halloween a particularly enjoyable movie.

To summarise this movie is easy: Michael hates himself and decides to take it out on some cardboard characters from the horror movie character bin. That's about it. What is the point in it all? I really don't know and by the end of movie really couldn't have cared any less.

As is the problem with many horror movies these days, very little time is spent creating real characters but instead decides to throw in some stupid stereotypical teenagers as bait for uninspired gore scenes that mean next to nothing to the viewer. It was actually quite amazing to watch this film less than 12 hours after watching Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange': the contrast was vivid, showing just how poorly developed this outing for both Michael and Zombie was.

Sure if you enjoy random, unconnected and repetitious murder scenes, this will be heaven for you. But for anyone with half a brain and an attention span larger than a moth's, you're probably going to feel just as tired as I was by the time the end comes crawling by. Particularly ridiculous was the more or less same death scene that was used three times where Michael comes in between two teenagers having awkward sex, kills the moronic guy who has about 2 lines of dialogue and then cuts up the topless chick who's only real job seems to scream a lot.

The only character that is given life in this film is indeed Michael. The problem however is that he's just some narcissistic brat who craves attention and wears masks because he thinks he's ugly. Indeed, if that doesn't ruin his character, I really don't know what will. Oh, right, there's also the fact that he gets shot numerous times and is stabbed and falls off a building whilst still remaining perfectly alive. What is he, a mutant? A few redeeming qualities: the music; the cinematography; the decent performances; and a few brief instances of tension here and there makes Halloween, not all bad, but certainly not anything worth paying money for. If you like the previous movies, you'll probably enjoy this outing for Myers, but if you're like me and don't care at all for them, you should probably give this one a miss.

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

A messy antithesis of the original [***contains minor spoilers***]

3/10
Author: Richard Cross from Leeds, England
16 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like Alfred Hitchcock and Ridley Scott, John Carpenter knew the secret to scaring a movie audience is to keep them uninformed. In a scary horror movie, less is always more... keep the viewer in the dark along with the movie's victims-to-be, and they will be just as scared.

Imagine a remake of Psycho in which the background of Norman Bates is disclosed at the very beginning. Imagine a remake of Alien in a brightly lit, open plan spacecraft in which you always get to see the whole monster... perhaps you even get a little of the Alien's back-story, showing how it came from a harsh family background...

Rob Zombie's Halloween is simply a generic slasher movie that borrows heavily from the original movie of the same name. In Zombie's version we get a protracted back-story in which we learn why Michael Myers is the way he is, before being subjected to a heavily compressed retelling of the original movie's events. It's like watching the original on fast forward. There's no suspense, there are no shocks... just a series of people being stabbed with a kitchen knife.

In John Carpenter's original Halloween, from the brief glimpse we see of them, Michael Myers' parents seem like respectable middle-class people. In this movie, they're the poorest of poor white trash. Michael Myers is no longer a mysterious and anonymous figure in a strange- looking mask... he's now an abused child out for revenge. He's no longer of an ordinary build concealing superhuman strength, he's built like a professional wrestler. The character of Laurie is so completely different from the way she was played by Jamie Lee Curtis that she no longer fits into the plot.

Hardly any of the classic scenes from the original have been reproduced, and those that have are watered down so much as to be forgettable. All of the character development of the original has been axed to fit the back-story in at the beginning, therefore we hardly know or care about who's being slaughtered... because they're slaughtered before we even get to know them. The cinematography rarely lets you see what's going on, but in a confused way, rather than a suspenseful or scary way (too many extreme closeups using a shaky hand-held camera). The actors race through their dreadful dialogue in a hurried and unconvincing way. I couldn't decide which scene had the worst acting/dialogue: it came down to the scene where the girls are leaving school, talking like hit men from a Tarantino movie... and the painful-to-watch scene in the Sheriff's office in which Loomis is trying to explain why they need to apprehend Myers... the very scene which caused me to walk out of the theatre, insulted that I had spent time and money on this trash.

The only people who could possibly derive any enjoyment from this movie are those that have never seen (or fully understood the subtlety of) the original Halloween or those who cannot comprehend the premise of "less is more"... the "Hostel" generation, if you will.

For me, the only redeemable feature of this movie is that it makes me appreciate John Carpenter's masterpiece even more than before.

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Not the bottom of the barrel, but you can see it from here.

3/10
Author: GroovyDoom from Haddonfield, IL
15 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is Rob Zombie's third time out on filming the same movie. The first time he called it "House of 1000 Corpses", and it was a lot wilder, if not more interesting. Then he filmed it again as "The Devil's Rejects", and it got a lot better. Now he tries to fit it into the mold of a "Halloween" remake, and it's a big step down.

Zombie's attempt to bring new life to the story involves creating a back story for Michael Myers that demonstrates the origins of his psychopathic tendencies (animal torture, abusive home life, bullying at school). Michael is incarcerated in Smith's Grove Sanitarium, the kind of high security mental hospital where they are comfortable with allowing patients to eat with sharp metal utensils (even if they are known for killing people with sharp metal utensils). They also don't groom their patients very well, allowing Michael to maintain his scaggy hair length. Michael spends his time making masks in his cell. We don't really know where he gets the materials for the masks, and nobody ever questions it. Eventually he gets an opportunity to make an escape; once he's out, the hospital administrators are able to hush it up somehow. Dr. Loomis, Michael's equally obsessive psychiatrist, goes to Haddonfield to intercept Michael. From here, the plot unfolds as in the original, although at a much faster clip.

Deja vu is not only a way of life for this film, it's a sacrament. The story is familiar, and so are the characters, but if you've seen Zombie's other two films, the actors will mostly be familiar, too. Zombie keeps directing them into the same characters in each of these movies. He has a thing for degenerate rednecks who spout sexually explicit and abusive language. Sherri Moon Zombie plays the same notes here that she does in the other films too: as Michael's mother, she's a cold, sneering bitch who eventually sobers up until she's suicidal. Other actors from Zombie's repertoire show up, like Sid Haig and Ken Foree. Karen Black must have been busy.

Where the film veers off into the realm of the unknown is with the teenage protagonists of the latter half of the movie, the part that's lifted from the 1978 original, and it couldn't be more different. Basically, the girls are obnoxious to the point of being unlikeable, especially Laurie Strode. Laurie isn't much the same gal she was in 1978; she barely has time to think because the pace is so quick here. The movie is more about Michael than it is about Laurie anyway; our sympathies are almost totally with him. Rob Zombie's film mostly has him killing people who are abusive, snide, irritating, and otherwise unpleasant. The dolts who are having sex with the teenage girls, in fact nearly ALL of the males in this movie, are burnout types with long, stringy hair that looks like it's never met a bottle of shampoo.

No suspense or real shocks here, just a few moments of visceral panic and Zombie's typical obsession with slow, tortuous, grisly deaths. All sense of reality goes out the window once Michael returns to Haddonfield. He is able to walk through walls and shatter automobiles with his bare hands. Some of this hearkens back to the original, of course, but never has it been this over the top before. More importantly, Zombie's re-imagining fails on one crucial level: Michael Myers was scary in the original because you knew so little about him or why he was doing what he was doing. Once it's explained, it's boring. You can see elements of a better film here, but it ends up being ridiculous and completely overshadowed by the legacy of the original.

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16 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Yet another great Rob Zombie film.

10/10
Author: tattooedguy752000 from United States
17 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off I am a huge fan of not only Rob's music, but I think House of 1000 Corpses and The Devils Rejects where some of the best horror films made in the last 10 years. There are so many piece of crap horror movies out there right now, most being PG-13 horror that when i heard that Rob was remaking Halloween, well I got pretty excited. I am a huge fan of the classic Halloween nothing will change that, but I do think that Zombie's version stands up to it. The first time I saw Daeg on screen as Michael Myers I was just amazed. For a kid that age to play a part like Michael Myers, I mean it just amazing. I was real happy that Rob explained what Michael's childhood was like. The first kill has to be one of the best of the film, I will not expose who or how it happens but I will say it is brutal. Sheri Moon-Zombie proved she can play roles other than a murderous psycho, and she did a very good job. Then there was Michaels stay at Smith's Grove. Once again it was an interesting addition to the film. From the childhood scenes to adult, everything was filmed very well. It was good to see a Zombie regular like Bill Moseley. The escape scene was awesome, it shows just how crazy Michael really is. After the escape it is the remake portion of the film. It show Michael as he stalks his younger sister Laurie Strode who is played by Scout Taylor-Compton, who in my opinion does a killer job as Laurie. I loved this part of the movie cause it was similar to the original, but it also had new things. It all worked well together. The end was not what I expected, but it was still a pretty good ending. In my opinion Rob Zombie did what no one else could have, he made Michael Myers scary again and if you are a true fan of the original then you should realize that. If you are on the ropes on weather to see Halloween 2007 or not, well all I can say is if you do decide to see it I don't think you will be disappointed.

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48 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

One giant failure

4/10
Author: Superunknovvn from Austria, Vienna
15 January 2008

When I heard that Rob Zombie had been chosen to remake "Halloween" I thought it was an interesting pick. Interesting as in wrong and not suited for this kind of project, but, hey, maybe that was exactly what was needed: someone who had a completely different approach to the story of a man we've all come to know so well since 1978 (why they didn't just wait one more year for the remake to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the franchise, God only knows). So, was Zombie the right choice? Nah!

Personally, I'm not a big fan of anything the man has made up until this point. Each of his previous movies has been an incoherent and chaotic mess. Zombie thinks foul language, twisted story lines and perverted freaks make for a scary horror movie. Well, not in my book, they don't. You can tell that for the remake of "Halloween" Zombie was trying to restrain himself, but his "style" still shines through. Worse still, his obvious weaknesses in writing dialog and making his actors play naturally become apparent in a story as dependent on suspense and likable characters as this one.

The whole idea of making this movie part prequel, part remake of the original is stupid. It seems like the craziest overestimation of a movie's capabilities since Sam Raimi decided to have three villains in one "Spider-Man" movie. There's just no way this whole story can be told within one motion picture. Besides, who ever really wanted to see Michael's origins? What made Michael Myers so scary in the first place was that he was an evil, dehumanized monster. Getting to know him means taking away half of his appeal.

Of course, it's hard to make a "Halloween" movie in 2007 and still surprise an audience that has seen this kind of movie countless times by now. Then again, no one forced Dimension to green-light this project in the first place. It has just been a bad idea all along and the outcome isn't even good enough to be a throwaway, by-the-numbers slasher-flick, let alone a remake of the mighty "Halloween".

Rob Zombie is to blame most of all. He turned all the characters into Southern rednecks who curse, f..k and drink 24/7. Michael Myers himself is now a long haired metal-head (who listened to KISS in the 70's because... THEY WERE MASKED! Isn't that a great analogy?). In this version of "Halloween" Laurie is a faceless heroine who is every bit as foul-mouthed as her bitchy friends. And Dr. Loomis - well, Malcom McDowell does his best, but Donald Pleasence owned this role and there's not one scene in which it isn't apparent that Pleasence could have done the job ten times better.

McDowell is still the shining light in this ensemble. Most of the cast doesn't do as well as him, most notably the "teenage" girls, but maybe they're not to blame for the horribly contrived dialog they have to recite. Then there are names like Brad Dourif, William Forsythe or Udo Kier - all very cool actors, but what purpose do they serve here in roles that mostly don't have any significance at all? It's typically Zombie to throw together people and ideas like that and hope that the sum of all he thinks is cool will be bigger than the individual parts.

What about the death scenes? Well, they are as trite as they come. There's not one original kill in the movie and some deaths have simply been lifted from the original and repeated with more blood and less tension. Add to that more than a few obvious continuity errors and some scenes that are downright laughable (for instance, when young Michael tapes his sleeping stepfather to a chair and the guy doesn't even wake up) and you got yourself one of the messiest horror movies of the year.

I like Rob Zombie for his passion about horror movies, but let's face it: the guy isn't a good director. He was given a great opportunity here and he messed it up. "Halloween" is one giant failure and an indicator for Zombie that maybe it would be better for him to give up making movies.

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