Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Halloween (2007, Rob Zombie)
How do you remake one of the most iconic, classic horror films of all time? First of all, you shouldn't. But if you insist, I guess you should get someone like Rob Zombie. Someone who's whole career has been somewhat based upon horror, from his early days fronting the band White Zombie to his role as filmmaker, which began a few years ago with House of 1000 Corpses.
You all know the story of Halloween so I won't get too into it. Kid kills his sister, gets put in a psych ward under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis, 15 years later he escapes and goes after his other sister. All of those elements remain here except Zombie has put more focus on the origin of Halloween's killer, Michael Myers. In this version, Michael kills not only his sister, but also his sister's boyfriend, his mother's abusive alcoholic boyfriend (played by the great William Forsythe) and a bully at school. Michael still gets locked up and put under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis (Caligula himself, Malcolm McDowell), escapes 15 years later and goes after his younger sister (Scout Taylor Compton). Though unlike the original, we are unsure of what his intent is when he finds her.
I definitely had mixed emotions when I heard there would be a Halloween remake. Everyone knows remakes suck and the amount of remakes coming out nowadays is dizzying. When I heard Rob Zombie was doing it, my pessimism turned into a mix of curiosity and excitement. Overall, Zombie did a good job re-telling the classic story, keeping a lot of the trademarks of the original (the mask and the music) and adding his own elements to it as well. My biggest problem with the film is that it took the scariest thing about the original, which was the mysteriousness of Michael Myers and tried explaining it. The original series took five sequels before explaining who or what Michael really was. Michael is supposed to be pure evil, not some disturbed kid who lives in a fucked up family with a stripper mom and abusive father figure. At the same time though, I commend Zombie for adding a different twist to the film and not just retreading the same ground covered before. One other thing I liked about the film (actually all of Zombie's films) is the cast. Zombie stays true to his roots with plenty of genre actors (Bill Moseley, Sherri Moon Zombie, Udo Kier, Clint Howard, Brad Dourif, Ken Foree, Sid Haig, etc) as well as some bigger names (Malcolm McDowell).