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If I was, I would keep in mind all the elements that made Halloween '78 so popular and leave them exactly how they were, such as prolonged steady-cam shots to give the sense that of The Shape's point of view, a minimal but chilling soundtrack to add to the tension, a brave heroine who isn't a helpless idiot, and keeping the antagonist off screen for at least the first half of the movie to build the tension. This was the formula for all the "great" horror and suspense movies, such as Psycho, The Exorcist, Jaws, and the first Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and I would keep true to it in my Halloween remake.
The only things I would fix in my retelling would be little things that my larger budget would certainly allow. I would make the sets of Haddonfield, Illinois in October look less like Southern California in April. My actresses portraying teen-agers would not be in their late 20s or early 30s, and I would eliminate small holes in the plot like the opening scene of Michael's sister making out with her boyfriend upstairs for only 40 seconds before he leaves, and the sheriff responding to a break-in at the hardware store during normal business hours (usually, burglar alarms don't sound during shoplifting.) I would also pick a year that my remake was supposed to take place and stick to it. I wouldn't confuse the audience by having people with sort of retro fashions and hairstyles driving pristine cars from the 60s and 70s and kids on stingray bikes that haven't been seen in 25 years, but at the same time modern police cars and cell phones.
I understand Rob Zombie's temptation to answer questions that all of us have had about Michael Myers, such as why is he so intent on killing people and why does he insist on wearing a mask? The problem is, in answering the questions and telling about Michael's background, Michael becomes more human and therefore less scary. Even Zombie's choice of explanation is suspect. The audience expects a tormented kid from a crappy home to turn out disturbed, but a bad kid from a seemingly normal home seems a lot scarier, since it could happen to anyone. (Halloween '78 got this part right as well.) Not everything in this movie is completely inferior to the original, hence my rating of 4 stars. The sets look thousands times better than the original. The actresses seem more believable as teenagers than in the original, and we get to see a lot more of them. The new scene of Michael ripping up floorboards in his old house to get his mask and knife was pretty cool, too.
As for the rest of the movie, it is an interesting study in what truly comes across as suspenseful on a screen. Is a powerful, 6'8" antagonist scarier than one who appears and vanishes into the shadows? (probably not.) Does gratuitous gore and language actually distract from the suspense? (yes.) Does the inclusion of well known rock-songs for more than 5 seconds at a time really kill the mood? (absolutely, and it also interferes with the classic soundtrack. This was also a problem in Halloween 2.) Are dizzying, quick, MTV jump cuts scarrier than long, steady shots? (see for yourself and decide.) In a way, Rob Zombie had an impossible task of making a sequel (even if it was called remake or retelling) when everyone already knew about Michael and what was going to happen, thereby removing almost all of the suspense. However, that doesn't excuse leaving out the opening title sequence with a simple black background, pulsating theme music, and the off center, poorly-carved Jack O Lantern giving a sense of foreboding. I am almost certain there was a fantastic, eerie version of the classic 5/8 theme played on an out-of-tune honky tonk piano that was played in a trailer for Halloween '07. It would have worked perfectly for such an opening sequence, but sadly, it was omitted for the actual movie.
Don't expect a lot from this movie (like being scared or entertained) but if you watch it to study what truly works in horror movies and what doesn't, it is worthwhile viewing. When it comes to horror, less is more, since nothing is more powerful than the viewer's imagination.
Remember that, Rob.
Mike Myers is a tormented kid, his mom is a stripper, his step dad is an alcoholic jerk, his big sister treats him bad, and he is picked on at school. But he kills small animals as well, leading him to go onto bigger things, like humans. He massacres his family, excluding his mom and his baby sister, he is taken to a mental institution and escapes 15 years later and is going after Laurie, his baby sister who is now grown up and is preparing her and her friends for a night of hell.
The acting on the teenage girl's parts was just horrendous, like extremely bad, I was actually hoping for them to get killed, how sad was that? Laurie was just a whiny little priss, not at all likable like Jamie's performance, same with the other two girls, they couldn't live up to the other performances. These girls were just annoying, not likable at all, while the other actresses at least had that going for them and made them likable vicitims. But it just seemed like they wanted their 15 minutes or some kind of big break, because it didn't even take them 10 minutes to take their tops off. On a movie on it's own, it's just too unoriginal and I'm disappointed in Rob because I thought he was really improving. Comparison to the original Halloween, perhaps Rob should have read the tag line THE ONE, THE ONLY, HALLOWEEN, because this was a huge slap to John Carpenter's face on his brilliant classic.
The character of Michael Myers in the original film came from a fairly well-to-do suburban family, yet inexplicably turned out a rotten, merciless killing machine. It is pretty essential to Michael's "Boogeyman" persona that he appear as something almost supernatural, and certainly nothing the audience could ever sympathize with. Yet Zombie drags a newly fashioned back-story out for half of the movie, trying to give reasons for why Myers does what he does, stomping all over the mystery that surrounded the original character and struck fear into all members of the audience. It is also a major part of the character of Dr. Loomis that Michael be the impossible case study, one that even the most accomplished psychologist couldn't comprehend. Instead, Zombie (in typical fashion of his God-awful career) makes Michael the product of a run-down, white trash environment. Any movie-goer would find it difficult to not laugh at the ridiculous caricatures Michael's family members portray, if they were not already bored to death by Zombie's fetish with white trash, and his predictability as a director.
Zombie saw it fit to remove almost all of the classic scenes that made the original so memorable and replace them with blood-strewn bodies of naked women at every turn. I'm not sure who exactly thinks "porn + gore = horror", but I'll tell you that there is a major difference between a creepy, mysterious mask-wearing man chasing after a scared babysitter and popping out from behind every corner and one bashing in someone's head with a baseball bat repeatedly to no one's amusement. It's fine if some people in the world enjoy goriness every once in awhile, it's not fine if Hollywood directors begin to confuse this with horror. Repeated sadistic killings are not what scares an audience, they're what sickens them. Mystery, suspense, and the creepy aura of the unknown are what make up a good horror film, and the original Halloween is THE classic example of this. Also, as a side-note but something that needs to be mentioned, who the hell talks like Laurie and her two friends in this film? These three girls, the blonde friend in particular, converse as if high schoolers find it extremely cool to drop the f-bomb every other word and sound as annoyingly immature as possible. The entirety of the dialogue written for their parts suggests no one involved in the making of this film has any idea what teenage girls talk like, so one of them decided to make it up and make them all look like total fools. I had already given up on the film by this point, but it seriously made me and everyone I came with kind of concerned that a film could get all of the way through the editing process and into theaters with such odd dialogue that would actually cause us to look at each other with quizzical faces.
My one piece of advice to moviegoers everywhere is, instead of putting more of your hard-earned money into the pocket of a hack director like Zombie and fueling the fire of awful modern horror films and terrible remakes, stay at home, dim the lights, and watch the original classic to remind yourself of just what makes a horror movie tick, just how great movies of that genre once were, and just what it feels like to truly be scared - heck, that's exactly what I'm going to do to try and push this steaming pile out of my memory. It's bad when a horror movie comes out that's filled with lots of cheap gore, overused expletives, and pointless nudity, it's far worse when it's done as a remake of a classic. The only people this film will strike horror into the hearts of is fans of the original, and sadly this is not the type of horror they paid to see - they, like myself, will be absolutely horrified at just how bad the abomination of a remake that is Rob Zombie's Halloween truly is.
Even the cameos are wasted. Take the Spiderman movies for example. In each one, Bruce Campbell steals the scene he is in. This movie had countless cameos by some of the best in B movies and horror films. For the most part, none of them leave a mark.
At times this movie feels like a remake, at times a sequel, and at times a re-envisioning. Never does it feel like a good movie. definitely not worthy of the title.
The first ten minutes go by and I'm laughing quite a bit. I thought to myself, is this supposed to be a comedy? Am I in the wrong theater? I figure maybe Rob Zombie made it funny at first as an odd way to hook the audience.
Suffice to say, I'm still waiting to be scared. This movie had no atmosphere and did not scare me in the least. Sure, some of the killings were gross but none were scary. And where was the 1970's style horror atmosphere? I thought Rob Zombie loved 1970's style horror movie making (as do I). Halloween is 1970's horror served up on a silver platter.
This isn't a bad movie overall, very average if you ask me, but it is a less than stellar Halloween remake or re-imagining. It just doesn't work as a different take on Halloween. It's almost as if Rob Zombie took an old story he created about a kid with a totally messed up family life who becomes a serial killer and said, "Hey. I'll just make this kid Michael Myers." His "explanation" of Michael Myers, while very well acted especially by the little boy, just didn't ring true to me. The boy becomes a serial killer because of a bad family life? Cliché and uninspiring to say the least. The footage of him in the asylum was even worse. Awful and boring are words I would use to describe the asylum footage. And the writing and acting for the Dr. Loomis character was laughably poor. It got to the point where I laughed every time he was in a scene.
*** Spoiler*** And the ending. The endearing quality of the original 1978 film is the ending. The imagery of seeing Dr. Loomis looking out the window at the spot where The Shape should be is the most compelling and powerful portion of the film. I literally was so scared I couldn't even move when I saw the original the first time. Fantastic imagery and a fantastic ending to the movie.
Rob Zombie chose to include the silly "Laurie Strode is my sister" add-on angle from Halloween II but chose an ending that is neither clever nor endearing. It's your average bloody girl somehow is lucky enough to survive and kill the knocked out bad guy. Folks, that's not what the original Halloween is all about.
I guess I assumed wrongly that Rob Zombie understood what Halloween was about originally. Or, maybe, he didn't have complete creative control as claimed. Either way, what I saw was a decent horror movie but a very poor take on the original Halloween.
I will admit the very ending where Michael is attacking his sister is not too bad. But overall, this movie suffers from horrendous acting, the poorest of poor character development, and a severe lack of creativity. Rob, please go back to making angry industrial rock.
Do not throw your money away nor fool yourself into thinking this may be just another bad remake. Instead, rent a 'real' horror movie like "May", "Feast", or "The Host" -Matt (A huge horror fan) P.S. I would rather watch a poorly produced marathon of "Freddy's Nightmare's on the Chiller network than have to undergo another viewing of this film. Blah!
I was really excited when I heard about this remake coming out! Did I like it? No! And here are the reasons:
1) It claims to be a remake, but it's a totally different story! 2) It ain't a whole new concept though, because the original Halloween plot is used (and in a pretty bad way).. 3) It's SO not scary.. It can hardly be called a horror movie! 4) The pr-story about Michaels childhood is SO cheese and naive (it could have been a good drama, but it's not, because of trashy dialogs and cheep storyline) 5) I got bored in the middle of the movie. 6) If you make a remake, you risk with everyone going to compare it with the original, and in this case the Carpenters movie is so much better!
So, it ain't a horror movie and it' ain't a drama! You can't even call it a thriller! Just a week film, Zombie made, 'cause we all know he loves horror classics (just as much as we all do)! House Of 1000 Corpses was really great (allthough it's much of TCM concept used in it), still it's amazingly fresh and creepy! Halloween was not! Sorry, Rob~ 3 out of 10!
In this remake, you don't know if your looking at scenes from the 70's, 80's or what, yet the guy who plays Donald Pleasant's character is carrying a very modern cell phone! Malcolm McDowell is a good actor and I am surprised that he went for this part, it was very weak and I feel sorry for him that he has had to add this to movies he has been involved with! On a side note, his character seem so self absorbed in the movie that honestly I am not surprised poor Michael Myers stopped talking, he was probably hoping the good doc would shut the hell up or eventually go away lol! I could see that maybe Rob Zombie was going for the more "real" Michael Myers, a screwed up kid and why he was that way. If left at that and nothing to do with Halloween, he could have had something really good IMHO, however the constant back and forth of making Michael Myers "real" as opposed to a remake of the old movie was just annoying and God awful! My advise, AVOID THIS MOVIE WITH A TEN FOOT BARGE POLE, as we say back in the old country lol! Or if you have to absolutely see this tragedy of a bastardization of a cult classic, don't even rent it, borrow it from some other poor sap that paid the rental fee!
This film sadly doesn't work. In fact, it stinks.
Rob Zombie either has no understanding at all of the Michael Myers character, or he just doesn't care. Perhaps he needed a hit after his first two films were well received by the critics, surprisingly, but did little business at the box office. Or perhaps he thought all of today's jilted youth would flock to it and somehow relate to the Myers character.
Let's revisit the original 1978 Halloween. The film presents us with a child who, for no apparent reason at all, stabs his sister to death. As Dr. Loomis tells us, there is no rhyme, no reason and no understanding behind his eyes. He seems like he is a normal kid with a nuclear family who just takes a large knife and slaughters his sister on Halloween night. It is simply evil that motivates him. This idea that an incarnation of evil could just snap is what made the film so FRIGHTENING. He spends the next fifteen years in an institution just waiting. He doesn't speak or move or show an intelligent signs of life or even a modicum or human understanding. He just waits for Halloween night and then guided by evil, he escapes.
IT, Michael Myers escapes Smith's Grove and heads to Haddonfield and goes after his only remaining family member. Why? Who knows. It is never really explained. But we are left with is pure and unadulterated evil, on a mission of death.
Dr. Sam Loomis was the only person who knew this. No one else believed him or took heed to his warnings. They just left Loomis and his pet patient alone. Loomis' world has become one that is spent making sure that Myers never leaves Smith's Grove. It drives him almost to the brink of insanity. He wants to make sure that Myers is never let out of the institute.
These themes are tantamount to what made Halloween such a brilliant piece of film making. I don't think another movie will ever capture the feeling of evil and doubt and fear quite like Halloween.
When you look at Zombie's white trash version, the first five minutes of the film are like a slap in the face and it makes you cringe.
Zombie literally slaps you in the face and decides to give us a reason as to why Myers is the way he is. And what do you think that is? He is from a white trash, trailer park family. The evil and disgusting step-father, the stripper mother and the whorish sister. The family speak like drunken sailors and go on about things that just don't resonate. And then of course you get Myers being bullied at school. So we have the personification of evil being evil because his step father is a jerk and kids beat him up. Are you kidding me?
So basically Michael Myers goes from a character that represents complete evil and lack of humanity, to a tortured nutcase that snaps. When in the original, he was just E-VIL.
What is also terrible in the film is the writing and the dialogue of every character. Where Carpenter and Debra Hill shared the writing duties in the original, Zombie does it all here and his juvenile rantings of the female characters in here is just wrong and even his kindergarten like interpretation of Loomis is terrible. Malcolm McDowell is fine as the good doctor, but Zombie betrays him with psyche 101 babblings of what he thinks Loomis would say.
What makes it that much more frustrating is that Zombie says he loves films like Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And instead of emulating what made those so effective, he dumped all over the Halloween legacy. This might have been a decent horror film, but it is not a Halloween film. He doesn't understand Halloween, Myers, Loomis or any of Carpenter's brilliance. He hacks away at it for the Facebook generation and it is a nauseating experience.
This movie resembles more of a rock video than it does an iconic horror film. And that is sad. Even worse is kids who haven't seen the original might actually like this repulsive version.
This is the worst horror remake ever, and that includes Psycho.
DO NOT SEE THE HALLOWEEN REMAKE.
People say that this answers the question that had lurked in everyone's mind since the first 10 minutes of the original "Why is Michael the way he is." No it doesn't, at least not under the circumstances presented in the original. In that one, Michael has a nice and clean home with two well kept and fitting looking parents and a sister that seemed horny, but not a slut. In this one, the father is mysteriously dead and a filthy white trash piece of *beep* who has no respect for women, especially two very attractive ones, takes his place. The house is a decrepit place, the mother is a stripper, and it seems to be a white trash haven. Anyone can give a reason for Michael's rage in this way, just throw everything that was presented to the table in the original and put unoriginal stuff on it. The back-story itself is unoriginal and stupid.
The first 5 minutes already answer the question to Michael's rage, it's not drawing us in. Imagine the back-story starts with two clean and nice parents who are loving and in a nice home. That would be better because the audience will be engrossed with all these questions; "Whoa, what the hell, his life seems pretty nice. I wonder what will happen to make him evil." That is original and gets the audience interested right away because Myer's life seems perfect, but then an event happens and so on. In the remake, it looks like someone watched a documentary on serial killers and threw it in the movie. It's not original or new; it's used and boring. I wanted something that really surprises the audience about Michael and answers the question on his rage under the same circumstances as in the original, but in an unsuspecting and surprising manner.
All right, now for my biggest complaint in character development; Loomis. I remember in the original Loomis was a take charge type of guy who showed no mercy when he tried to find Michael. He never hesitated or gave up a chance to kill Michael because he knew he was pure evil. Loomis in this one calls Michael his best friend and is sympathetic to him. Then the next scene he is calling him pure evil and the anti-Christ. WTF. If Loomis thinks Michael is pure evil, why does he try to negotiate with him, hesitates to shoot him, and is remorseful towards him. The original had Loomis never resting till he found his evil patient. This one, he wastes time talking about his book and other crap. Especially in this one, Loomis should be more eager than ever since Michael kills 5 people as opposed to 1 as a child. People will say this Loomis is so much more caring and polite. Lets think for a second.; Loomis has spent 15 years of his life trying to get through Michael. He soon realizes Michael is pure evil and tries to get him transferred; People think he's an idiot and what happens? Myers escapes and they blame the whole thing on him. Would you be *beep* polite after all that and now you have a murderer on the loose and only you know how he works? I sure hell as wouldn't. Loomis in the original was more realistic, knew what he was dealing with, and took every chance he had to kill Myers before he kills anyone else.
Now let's look at the slasher himself; Michael Myers. They took a true and pure evil villain who tortured and murdered his whole family and made him into a sympathetic anti-hero who only wants to be with his sister Laurie. Michael never tries to kill Laurie in this one, at least not in general circumstances. Instead, he tries to be with her. Michael used to be a villain who stabbed and tried to strangle his sister, but now he's just a loving, but murderous, brother. The only times where he appears to want to kill her are times when he's reacting in anger, not evil. Michael used to be the villain everyone was rooting for to be killed: I still love the scene where Loomis shoots the hell out of Michael in the original. This one, Michael is not evil at all, just some misguided fool. I can't watch this feeling sorry for the villain.
The movie itself is used and boring; the stuff used from the original is rushed and a cheap knockoff in this one. The murders are rushed and someone gets killed every 2 seconds. My favorite kill in the first one was when Michael strangled to girl with the phone line because it looked so painful when she was gasping for air. This one, he just grabs and her and 2 seconds later she's dead. The murders and stabbing sounds are fake looking and sounding and the gore is way too exaggerated. One person gets stabbed one and then there are oceans of blood.
This movie was not scary in any shape or form and it ruined the image of Myers. No longer is he pure evil, but a misguided and sympathetic fool who just wants love. By the end of the movie, I had to watch the original to chafe the bad taste in my stomach from this one.
But the problem that arises while doing this with "Halloween" is that it comes into conflict with the concept of Michael being purely evil. Although I can understand what Zombie was trying to do by exploring Michael's background, it contradicts the whole point of the original. By providing a reason and displaying a human character on screen, you give the character a soul - and despite what Zombie may claim, this does NOT make Michael scarier. It makes him an average movie serial killer: a guy with a messed up life as a kid who snaps one day and goes on a killing rampage.
Is it scary? No. Gory? Yes. Realistic? At first. And if it were a movie about a serial killer, it would work. But it's not. This is a movie about a monster, a soulless creature; a boogeyman, as per the original film. Monsters aren't scary when we know they're flesh and blood.
Carpenter had a way of framing the action in the original movie. Michael stalks Laurie in her hometown, but we never see any real flesh behind the mask, we never really see him moving around like a normal human being. But we do here. He stands in the middle of an open road, in front of three teenage girls walking home from school, and they all see him. He stands there for a few moments, then trudges away off-screen. We actually see him walk away, instead of just appearing and disappearing as he did in the original film. Which method is scarier? The answer is clear.
Zombie spends 40 minutes or so building up Michael's character before he escapes from the ward. We see him killing animals as a child (and torturing them, too), a stupid subplot with his mom as a stripper and a typical school bully, and a promiscuous sister. The sexual talk is frank and disgusting - the mom's boyfriend (husband?) is talking about how cute her daughter's butt is, and at this point in the film we're not sure whether he might even be the father. It's just shock for shock value. Zombie has a tendency of this - blunt violence and blunt dialogue combined - and in a film like this, it seems cheap and fake and unnecessary. The heavy emphasis placed on the swearing - and I mean this literally (as in, the actors place a noticeable emphasis on the profanity they use) is almost unintentionally funny. Zombie cast his wife in the role of Michael's mother, and she can't act at all.
Donald Pleasence got stuck with the most unfortunate lines from the original film, but we were willing to forgive bad dialogue because of how well-made the film was otherwise. Here, Malcolm McDowell gets the worst of two worlds: he gets to handle an under-characterization with bad, bad, BAD dialogue AND a generally weak film to boot. The sequences with McDowell's version of Loomis are all completely clichéd - Zombie clearly writes his dialogue based on other films' dialogue. The "intimate" scenes at the mental ward between Loomis and Michael are awful. McDowell struggles with typicalities of the genre, such as the Dr. Who Wasted His Own Life By Devoting It To Someone Else's (he explains to Michael that his wife left him and he has no friends because of how involved he became with the case - and the dialogue itself is straight from any cop-vs.-killer flick). The recent film "Zodiac" had a similar theme of men losing their personal lives due to obsession over a murderer, but it was handled better. The whole Loomis character should have been dropped from the remake if all Zombie wanted to do with him was use him as a deus ex machina, by the way.
Overall, this feels like a redneck version of "Halloween," which is going to offend some people, but I can't think of any better way to describe it. It's trashy, vulgar, and silly - and hey, that's fine, if that's Rob Zombie's motif and he wants to make movies pandering towards that sort of audience. I have nothing against it, and I think it may work with some films - I can imagine him making a good re-do of "Natural Born Killers" (although I hope it never, never happens!).
However, when you're remaking an iconic, legendary, incredibly influential horror film - don't cheapen it by "reimagining" it with horror movie clichés and shock-value material. The very worst aspect of this remake is that it simply isn't scary at all - it's a typical slasher flick, a homicidal-man-on-a-rampage flick, which ironically is exactly what Zombie said he wanted to avoid.
The first film was eerie, spooky, and unnerving because Michael's motivations were cloudy and we weren't sure whether Laurie was right or wrong when she said he was the boogeyman. We only knew one thing: he wasn't entirely human.
But ever since that original movie, the filmmakers have attempted to keep expanding upon Michael's history: the second film developed a motivation for his killings (Laurie was his sister), the fourth offered more clues at his background, and now we come full circle with a complete remake of the original film.
Michael's true demonic core - the natural horror element of the series - is stripped bare and all that is left is a disturbed, abnormally tall redneck with greasy hair who hasn't showered in years wearing a silly mask going around killing people because he had an abusive family life as a child. Some things are better left unexplored.
Everyone already knows the tale of Michael Myers, the psychopath from Haddonfield, IL, who murdered his sister only to be committed to an institution he would later escape from with the intent of more killings back home years later. While that is the basis for Zombie's film, it is not a remake but more of a retelling, a reinvention of the same character.
Here we are offered young Michael and the household he grows up in that forms his life. Michael's mother (Sheri Moon Zombie) is a stripper, saddled with a new husband (William Forsythe) who is disabled and a ne'er do well more interested in yelling at the kids than in offering any sort of role model. Michael's sister is a trashy sleep with anyone teen who dresses provocatively and does little else. All of this is not lost on Michael who spends his time killing his pets and taking photos of them. What we are being offered is a textbook glimpse as to why a youngster becomes a serial killer. The nice middle class family shown in the original is tossed aside for this new group. And in this first portion of the film, the problems Zombie has are apparent.
Zombie has filled three films now with the same characters. Sure, they may have different names and different small time characteristics, but the fact remains that he focuses on the dysfunctional family and their housecleaning inabilities. Yes, it seems that all families in Zombie's world can't clean to save themselves. Not only that but they all have the same dingy look to their living quarters as well as references to pop culture. The house Michael grows up in could be a home that the Firefly family would feel comfortable in. It all looks the same and that detracts greatly from the viewing experience, unless of course you'd never seen another Rob Zombie film.
Comparisons to the original film are inevitable and this will most likely be the downfall of the film in the long run. Michael goes overboard with his murderous rampage as a child in this film unlike the original. Where no blood was seen in that film, it flows freely now. Perhaps this is due to the changing times, but it adds nothing to the scares of the film or the character. It does make him a more brutal killer, leaving him one without a touch of sympathy. But the mindless killer from the original is replaced by someone we feel absolutely nothing for now.
Once finished with the whole back story of young Michael, his family and the kindly Dr. Loomis (Michael McDowell) who takes care of him at the institution, we move forward 15 years to when Michael escapes and heads back home. The body count increases once more as he kills everyone he comes into contact with their, including a worker who had befriended him. Once out, the story becomes more familiar, almost a duplicate of the original shot from different angles, with different actors and focusing less on the character of Laurie Strode, the central character in John Carpenter's version.
Laurie and her friends are nothing more than meat to be slaughtered by Michael in this one. There is no development of character, no reason for us to think of them as more than teens in peril that we have seen in hundreds of other slasher flicks. While we cared about the original teens, this time around they seem less human and placed in our way for two reasons: to be killed by Michael and to offer more exposed flesh than the first.
By the film's end we are offered the traditional sliced and diced teens, gratuitous nudity and enough blood to make a special effects company weep for joy at the size of their bill. But we have gained nothing in the iconography that is Michael Myers. While we are given more background on him, we care less about him than we ever did.
Worst of all is the fact that Rob Zombie, a director that showed such great potential before, seems to be telling us after only three films that this is all he has to offer. Stories told from the same world, a world that blasts apart the whole "Father Knows Best" world we would all like it to be. In his world, there is no caring parent. And when they are caring, they are twisted in some revolting way.
I haven't given up on Zombie yet though. Having recently signed a two picture deal with the Weinstein's, perhaps he will show us he has more tricks up his sleeve than he let on. But if he returns to the carny soiled world he's offered in three films to date, then it looks as though he's a one note director. Let's hope he offers us more. It's in there somewhere.
Meyers's character development is very interesting. We first see him as a subdued boy who (allegedly) kills small animals to feel superior, then follow him as he progresses into a repressed, zombie-like murderer who kills everybody he comes across. When comparing the 1978 Meyers with the 2007 Meyers, the latter version is much more frightening (though, Tyler Mane deserves much credit for that). Carpenter's Meyers is a robot; Zombie's Meyers is a monster.
Zombie's ensemble of supporting actors is one of the film's strongest aspects. Most of the Devil's Rejects cast returns, all portraying much different characters. Danny Trejo and William Forsythe give particularly memorable performances.
In light of today's Hostel/Saw horror violence, Halloween is rather tame. While it certainly surpasses Carpenter's version in both content and intensity, Zombie practices some restraint in how much violence is shown, leaving much of the horror to sound effects and imagination.
I honestly don't understand why people are so hard on this movie. The ending drags on for a bit, but otherwise it's a pretty solid film. Remakes have become regular ventures. You can either resist them and be unhappy with half of the movies released, or welcome them and hope for a good ride every now and then. Halloween is a great popcorn flick! Just sit back and enjoy yourself.
As I begin with this pixelated comment/review, please give us a moment of silence to mourn the loss of intelligence in this world.
If you are indeed a true Halloween or even Friday the 13th fan, you may enjoy this film, it goes beyond regular slashing and screaming and blood and guts everywhere, it goes beyond stupidity.
Rob Zombie, obviously has not had the best of luck with the film industry, but this may be the film he needed to kick-start his directing career.
Pleasantly mixing Slasher, Horror, a bit of gore and an in-depth look at Michael, I can appreciate this movie, and be proud to say that I enjoyed it.
As funnygy had stated, Halloween (2007) could, and will never replace the original Halloween, but it is indeed a wonderful, enjoyable remake.
The thing I enjoyed most, is it actually gives you a small yet slightly disturbing glimpse into the mind of Michael.
My thoughts exactly, I highly recommend it IF you are a true Halloween fan.
If you dislike this movie, it's your choice..but do not insult something that is simply different, or more in-depth.
This has nothing to do with prudishness, squeamishness, or easily offended sensibilities. It has to do with poor scripting, bad (read "no") character development, predictability, gratuitous gore and ultimately, just plain meaninglessness. Even the most abstract, non-narrative, experimental genres of film have a point that can be ascertained, albeit with some difficulty in some cases. But "Halloween" has no point. In the end, it is merely a series of unmotivated, contrived, gruesome vignettes that, cumulatively, add up to nothing. The film uses every cliché known to bad cinema: Doors that don't open, guns that don't fire, victims who fall and crawl when they can ill-afford to do so, under lit scenes that attempt to falsely create a sense of impending mayhem, some horrific, vile and pandering dialogue and the monster who just won't die. Mr. Zombie uses them all. It's hard to escape the notion that there is nothing intended or achieved beyond fundamental shock value.
Billed as a 'retelling' of John Carpenter's original, a somewhat, if only marginally better version, this edition of "Halloween" supposedly provides an explanation of the causes of Michael Myers' homicidal psychosis, to wit, his excessively foul-mouthed and dysfunctional parents, who, as characters are as creek-shallow as the rest of the cast. The only one I felt sorry for was Malcolm McDowellthe actor--not Dr. Loomis, his character. How he, the quintessential, ultra-violent Alex de Large of Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" and the multi-faceted Mick Travises of Lindsay Anderson's "If" and "O Lucky Man" and the H. G. Wells of "Time After Time," got roped into such an awful piece of cinema is a mystery.
Thematically and cinematically, "Halloween" is virtually identical to Mr. Zombie's two previous films, "House Of 1000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects." In fact, except for the titles, the three films are nearly indistinguishable from one another as they all suffer from being stuck in the same stylistic rut. While Mr. Zombie does push the envelope of bad taste, there's no evidence that he pushes his own development as a filmmaker, and shows no directorial growth in his progression of films. What he overlooks in his bloodlust is the idea that showing less can be more effective than showing more, as in the "Psycho" shower scene when the knife is never seen striking the victim. Leaving nothing to the viewer's imagination and, instead, hammering home the obvious, can be the undoing of a film, which sums up the problem with "Halloween." Slasher films may well be the cinematic equivalents of bottom-feeders, but it doesn't necessarily follow that they have to be abhorrently distasteful and bad, or that they can't strive to achieve some measure of redeeming value.
Where Rob Zombie will go from here seems painfully apparent. Having painted himself into a corner from which it may be hard to escape, he may be his own next victim.
I'm also not a big fan of the original. I thought the pace was a bit slow, BUT none the less the original Halloween was a film with a smart concept. IE. to show what evil would be like if it was simply a force of nature.
It was a unique interpretation of what evil could be like. This was not some killer with a motive to his crimes. This was not something that could be explained or reasoned with, it was just evil, and that was it.
It was such a simple, yet interesting idea. So many films try to explain away inhuman acts, and Halloween just said screw it and didn't explain a thing. For that alone I understand why it is held so highly, even if I couldn't get into it.
Anyways, If you have seen Halloween the original, then you've seen this. This isn't a recreation of Halloween. All this is, is a two bit back story stapled onto the Halloween we already have. Myers is given a back story, which obviously isn't needed because why doe Myers even need a motive? Once the back story is done(I admit it is a long back story, but only cause it's dragged out) the original Halloween starts. Entire scenes are shamefully recreated. Lines from the original are used instead of new dialog. Really, the only 'new' things this film brings to the table is blood(which isn't needed, despite my gore fest), nudity, the two note back story, and a rape scene, which fits in with Halloween about as well as a flying pig in Friday the 13th.
Other then that, every scene from the original is simply reused, and poorly.
The scenes that Rob does add come off as jokes. There is an actual scene, not kidding, that plays Love Hurts to make us feel sorry for Myers. There Myers is, crying his eyes out, and about to kill his whole family, and the song Love Hurts is blaring over the film. I have never seen such a cheap scam to get a tear from the viewer.
The list goes on and on for flaws in this film, but I'll just stop it there. Happy Halloween, oh, I mean Christmas. Man, even the release date was screwed up.
I rated this film a 4 not because it had much value, but that I simply could not bring myself to give it the rating it truly deserves - a zero. The film starts off in decent fashion, giving us insight into the mind of the childhood Michael Myers, yet the film fails to explain why exactly this background is even relevant. All I know is that the little kid cast as Michael in the film looked like he did more drugs than Sheri Moon, who played his mother. That's a lot of drugs. The only scenes he didn't looked completely stoned in were scenes in which he inexplicably appeared to gain 75 pounds in his face. An odd phenomenon, and one of the few pseudo-interesting things happening in this movie.
Aside from the blubber-faced stoner kid, we are treated to a girl cast as the heroine who literally begs the audience to hate her. The person who actually did the casting for this film must have had serious drug/alcohol issues to cast the little punk Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie in this film. Not only does she display the single most annoying voice in the history of horror cinema, her character is one that I actually WANTED to see get beaten repeatedly with a blunt instrument. Her acting "skills" aside, her dress, her appearance, her character lines...all simply cried out "Please Michael, kill me for the pleasure of the audience". Unfortunately, like so many things in this movie, that wish is not delivered as Laurie survives through the entirety of this travesty of a film.
Terrible cast aside, let's look at key scenes that were omitted. The classic laundry room scene, the equally compelling scene where Tommy sees the "Boogey Man" carrying his victim around the neighboring house as he stares out the window....these classic scenes are totally gone. Scenes from the original that Rob did remake in the film are pointless, almost pathetic in their attempts to top the original scenes. And the fact that the film establishes Laurie is Michaels sister from the get-go is a terrible idea that completely erases the creepy "randomness" of Michaels attacks.
In closing, if you want to see a classic horror film, see the original Halloween. If you want to see a classic horror film get completely raped and pillaged, see Rob Zombies Halloween.