Rob Zombie's Halloween
Evil Has A Destiny
Sheri Moon Zombie
Running Time: 109 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18
Country: United States
As anyone whos seen my skull display full of Showtimes Masters of Horror series knows, I’m a horror fan. Im also somewhat fond of Rob ZombieI count House of 1,000 Corpses as one of my favorites, and though I didnt take to The Devils Rejects in the same way, I appreciated what he was trying to do. I was both worried and a little excited at the prospect of Zombie meets the John Carpenter classic Halloween. Then I saw the first twenty or so minutes and my hopes were dashed. So I waited, and I watched it againI realize now that I only made it as far as I did the first time due to the company I was with, and that now, watching it with no fun distractions, its even worse than I thought.
Our favorite silent killer, Michael Myers, started off as a kid (Daeg Faerch) with an abusive family and some problems with school bullies. This pre-adolescent angst leads to the brutal slaughter of his stepfather, sister, and her unlucky boyfriend on, of course, Halloween, with his mother and baby sister Laurie the only family members left alive. As one would expect, Michaels mother (Sheri Moon Zombie) commits suicide, and for years, his only real and consistent connection to the outside world is his psychologist, Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), at the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. One particularly violent Halloween fifteen years later, he escapes from the sanitarium, only to return to his hometown of Haddonfield in search of Laurie and to get his kill on.
Zombie’s re-imagining tries to reinvent the Michael Myers character, giving him the prerequisite abused past. Somehow, his murders are now justified because, Hey, that kid was a bully, or, Hey, his stepfather was mean. Zombies Michael even talks a little. Now, Im all for creative liberty, and I admire, sort of, that Zombie took on this project out of homage and love for a classic. That being saidwhy was this white-trash, blood porn version necessary? As a writer and director, Zombie has proven capable of crafting his own brand of classic, but by re-inventing the entire character of Michael Myers, he has sapped him of what made him so terrifying to begin with. We werent scared because an abused little boy snapped and started killing people, we were scared because there WAS no reason. Myers worked because he was relentless, silent, and killed with no motivation other than destruction. I thought maybe Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) would class things up a bit, but no, the movie simply dragged on. It really just made me miss Donald Pleasence and what he brought to the role in the original. Some things are done wellthe visual effects and gore are terrific, and Zombies trademark grainy, gritty film technique adds what could have been a frightening and disconcerting touch. Unfortunately, theres too much shock for shocks sake, and I much prefer my Michael Myers when hes not saddled with issues.
It's Got: Good effects, nice grit, unnecessary back story
It Needs: For Rob Zombie to go back in time and re-imagine his re-imagining, Michael to shut up
DVD Extras Audio Commentary (Rob Zombie, writer/director; Deleted Scenes; Alternate Ending; Bloopers; The Many Masks of Michael Myers (explores the mask); Re-Imagining Halloween (covers all aspects of production); Meet the Cast; Casting Sessions; Scout Taylor-Compton Screen Test; Trailers
Alternatives:Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Halloween, Halloween II
Zombie has shown he knows how to do his own horror right, but he should have left the classic alone; the movie ultimately fails due to the fact that it tries to justify Michael Myers by making him nothing more than a sad little boy who grew up bad.