Friday, October 23, 2015

HALLOWEEN (2007)

Halloween Movie Review

This remake (of sorts) of the John Carpenter classic takes us more into the childhood of killer Michael Myers--we see that he comes from a broken white trash family and is bullied in school, leading to him snapping and killing his stepfather and sister on Halloween night (after previously killing a bully at school). We then get to see young Michael in therapy with Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange) before we flash-forward to a grown Michael (he grew from an undersized child to a giant of a man in these years) going on a murderous spree in his asylum before escaping to return to Haddonfield.

Michael vs Pumpkinhead?

Before continuing let me state for the record that the original Halloween is one of my favorite horror films. As hard as it may be, when I watch this film I attempt to separate myself from the original and enjoy the 2007 version, directed by Rob Zombie, for what it is. That said, my number one issue with this film is the prequel portion. In the over half dozen films to feature Michael Myers before 2007 it was established that Michael Myers was "pure evil", and as the series went on, he becomes practically superhuman--even ignoring this, the explanation that he was "evil" was more than enough to make him not only a believable killer, but a horror icon. With all this said, there is one perfectly acceptable conclusion--WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW WHY MICHAEL MYERS IS EVIL!!! Showing Myers as a child, and using such stereotypical excuses as to why he is evil absolutely shatters the illusion that makes the character so effective! I cannot state enough how much I HATE that Zombie did this; however, once we finally get to the point of Myers as an adult, the rest of the film is actually pretty good. Myers is a ruthless killer, and there is no shortage of blood, gore, and slayings. My second major issue with this film is Loomis. I understand that it would have been hard to pull off a Halloween film without this character, but seeing anybody other than Donald Pleasence play Loomis to hard to swallow (much like seeing anybody other than Robert Englund play Freddy Krueger), and this is certainly saying nothing bad about McDowell, who I consider myself a fan of, but something is just unsettling about seeing Dr. Loomis look like this...

Lost Allman Brother?

Now, as promised, I will get past the comparisons to the older films--we knew when it was announced that Rob Zombie was going to direct this film there would be a certain amount of sleaze, so that was not unexpected. The acting in the film is pretty good for the most part, especially Brad Dourif as the sheriff, and, being a Zombie film, there are some interesting cameos (Sid Haig, Ken Foree, and even Micky Dolenz show up). The one issue I have with the characters in the latter part of the film is the portrayal of Laurie Strode, the hero of the film. From the moment she first appears in the film she is unlikable. I don't blame this on the actress (Scout Taylor-Compton) but rather how the character was written. Another drawback is the sheer amount of profanity used by practically every character in the film. There is a subtle difference in using excessive profanity to build the character (see Goodfellas) and using it so much it makes the character seem dumbed down--that's what we get here, as the profanity is so gratuitous one wonders if Zombie channeled his inner ten year old trying to impress his schoolmates with the new word he learned. Not all is lost with this film however--once Michael gets to Haddonfield the movie takes off and never slows down as bodies pile up left and right. There are many nods to the original film splashed in here and there as well. There are some truly terrifying scenes, and really, these are all things you expect from a horror film. The end would seem to imply this Zombie remake was a one and done shot, but we know that not to be the case. I realize this review contains a lot of negativity, but truthfully, as a stand alone film I do enjoy this film--however, try as I may, I cannot help but compare it to the Carpenter classic, and that is a comparison Zombie's film will never find itself on the winning side of.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

Halloween Trailer

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