There’s not much you can do to rile up the horror community like a remake. Until now. You remake a film that is both beloved and, for the most part, without flaws. The original Halloween is a great piece of work. Moody, tense, scary, with a swish of fun. Did that movie need to be remade? No. But if someone was going to remake it, Rob Zombie is a pretty fucking good choice.
You may remember in my prediction for the Top Ten Summer Movies, which turned out to be pretty spot on, money wise and quality wise, in my opinion, that I put Halloween at number 4, thinking it would be a surprise hit. Well, money wise Halloween slashed the Labor Day record and kicked some ass. I’m going to count it as a win. Quality wise? Cue the review.
This story begins with a flash back to the past as we see a fairly convincingly played young Michael Myers grow up in the type of house well known for making serial killers. While this is the easiest explanation for evil, it could be seen as a cop out, but for the most part it’s ok. There are some interesting music selections, as Zombie is often known to do, which I thought worked. Not everyone will agree. We get some hot Sheri Moon Zombie who takes a step back in acting. She’s never been great, but she’s been better. Cue the slash up and fast forward to the sanitarium.
We get some Dr. Loomis who is nowhere near as cool as the original Loomis, but Malcom McDowell is a nice addition to the cast that includes every actor from Rob Zombie’s stable, from Danny Trejo to Ken Foree. The sanitarium stuff is pretty good. We get a Michael that has clearly had something happen in his head, and I believe the whole ‘mask’ thing comes off really well. Putting the mask on and taking it off is a really big deal, which is cool. Cue the brutal escape and flash forward to his home town.
Now, people are saying this feels rushed, but I tend to disagree. It moves fast, much like the way it probably would in real life. It doesn’t drag, but it doesn’t rush through in 20 minutes. The new Michael Myers if fast, strong, and brutal. He cuts through obstacles and smashes through walls. The violence is brutal. Zombie has a flare for making things seem a bit more real. A bit more uncomfortable. His best examples are in The Devil’s Rejects but he keeps up the skill level here. I found this part pretty enjoyable, despite my general foul mood the night of the screening.
In conclusion, this is a ‘reimagining.’ It’s different. It really is. I’ve got an original Halloween poster hanging directly over my computer. I love that movie. I also liked this one. I’m excited to see it again in a better mood, but for me, there was a lot to enjoy. Boobies, blood, and violence. And surprisingly, character development and competent direction. Zombie’s writing still relies too much on cursing, which is saying something coming from me, a guy who shames sailors. But unless you’re watching Deadwood you won’t hear a group of people say “Fuck” more than in a Rob Zombie film and I’d like him to move away from that.
Overall, as a fan of the original, I enjoyed this remake and think a lot of you will too. I still, overall, enjoy the original better, but each has their strenghts and weaknesses.
The Upside: Myers gets a believable if not cliched background, the action is hard, violent, and fast, and the look of the film is spot on! Another Zombie strength is getting the best out of his cinematographers.
The Down Side: This remake didn’t need to happen, period. There was some repetitive shots, whether it was done on purpose or not, that didn’t work for me.
On the Side: Tyler Mane and Malcom McDowell are both signed on for one and two additional movies, respectively. Rob Zombie is moving on to El Superbeasto. Hottie Sheri Moon Zombie had featured clothing from her own line Total Skull in the movie. ( Can it be any more skull!!!???)