Movie Review: Halloween (2007)
Knowing full well that the movie was going to be an abomination, I forced myself to go see Rob Zombies...ermm..."re-imagining"...of John Carpenter's masterpiece, Halloween. First off, I should preface by saying the original is in my top five films of all time. That said, Zombie's version is no film. It is a movie.
The first act of the movie is an absolute trainwreck. In it, we get to witness Michael Myer's rough childhood, which leads to him being a vicious (and 7 foot tall!) killer. We start off with a young Michael murdering a rat and his step-father (who's a real dick, man!) spouting off the most tepid bits of dialogue you've ever heard. Zombie is still under the impression that watching people in poor, white trash homes is scary. And we realize once and for all that Mrs. Zombie (who plays Michael's mother) cannot act. The first twenty minutes of the film were met with laughter from the audience at the screening I went to. Not a good sign for a film that should be played straight. Eventually the young (and really un-threatening looking) Michael kills not only his sister Judith and her boyfriend, but also the a-hole step-father.
After this twenty minutes of crap, we get another twenty minutes of crap. Only now, Michael is put in Smith's Grove Sanitarium. It's here that he is actually be-friended by Danny Trejo and Malcom McDowell's Dr. Sam Loomis. It's very hard for me to see Loomis played by anyone other than Donald Pleasence (rest in peace), so I may be biased, but McDowell is atrocious. There is actually a scene in which Michael asks Loomis (a Brit) why he "talks so funny"! Just what I always wanted to see! In Carpenter's film (which is damn nigh perfect) Michael is a faceless, super-human killer. So much so, that the credits just list him as "The Shape". In Zombie's version, he's a stupid little kid wearing a KISS t-shirt that grows up to be a giant. Zombie actually tries to get us to sympathize with the character. I just don't understand.
The last bit of the film, which seems rushed, is without tension. It is, however, a total departure from the first part of the film (in which Zombie might have been winking at the audience a little) as it is played with brutality. It's all Michael killing the teenagers with extreme prejudice. Where as this is the majority of the original film (and filmed with great atmosphere and tension), it is about 40 minutes of Zombie's version. Here zombie changes the geography of the original and kills the PJ Soles character in the Myers house! Oh! Good thinking, Rob, that really warrants a remake. The best stuff here is lifted directly from the orginal (Paul's murder, etc.).
I guess the worst part of the whole thing is that it's devoid of the nuances that make the original great. Carpenter knew how to shoot a movie, Zombie does not. It's that simple, really. There are some things that are interesting in the film, like that Tommy Doyle is watching The Thing From Another World on TV (which he does in the original) and the inclusion of the songs "Don't Fear the Reaper" and "Mr. Sandman", which were both in the original. And, of course, Zombie includes a bunch of genre mainstays like Ken Foree, Bill Moseley, and Sid Haig (basically the entire Firefly family from Zombie's previous films are in the cast here).
The good points? There are a couple of pretty interesting kills that will hold your interest for a few minutes at a time, but these are offset by everything else in this shit-fest. I guess that the absolute best thing about this travesty is the chick that plays Annie is none other than Danielle Harris (she was the little girl that starred in Halloween 4 and 5). She's really hot now. Trust me. That and Carpenter's original score is still, for the most part, in tact.
Let's be honest though, this thing was damned out the gate. I can't think of a more ill-advised (genre) film to remake. And, sadly enough, Zombie didn't fail me.
- Jordan M.