GORE GORE GORE – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
I’m back after a brief hiatus, and don’t worry, I haven’t finished with the Friday the 13th series reviews. It’s just that in honor of Halloween I decided that I was going to review the classic, and also one of the series that is frowned upon by most viewers. I put the choice up to the Oratory on a poll and they voted for Rob Zombie’s Halloween Remake. Out of the choices I gave them this wasn’t the worst thankfully. I’m gonna do this review a little differently than I do the others, because much of the material will be covered in my review of the classic that I’ll be posting tomorrow so I didn’t want to cover everything this movie does that the other also did. Instead I’m gonna focus on the differences, the ones that I liked and the ones that I didn’t like. So let’s jump in head first into what I did like before what I didn’t like.
What I Did Like:
This movie does have a lot of positives, if I’m being fair. Rob Zombie is a competent director and gets all the details you need right as far as gore, jump scares and atmosphere. When Zombie is working on his own material I find him to be a very good horror director.
I loved the casting of Malcolm McDowell. I’m a huge fan of his and he brought something different to the Dr Loomis character. He isn’t as clear cut good as Donald Pleasance was. He had faults, and he did some shady things like trying to profit off of the Meyers case.
I also liked the casting of Tyler Mayne He’s a giant man and he made Michael Meyers more imposing than he was even in the original. I liked that take. I could easily see people being afraid of this guy.
I also liked the casting of the girls. Scout Taylor-Compton and Danielle Harris particularly. I thought Scout performed very well in her role as limited as it was and I liked the throwback to the original series with Harris who played Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4 and 5.
On a quick side note Brad Douriff is awesome in everything he does and that was no different here.
As far as the plot difference that I liked I really did enjoy the asylum scenes with Loomis and the young Michael Meyers. It showed Michaels disconnection from reality and his inner evil real well. It expanded on what was only covered in dialog in the original movie but not in a way that detracted from the story. I also liked that established that even if you’re nice to Michael, he’s evil and he will take you out, as he did with Danny Trejo. His escape sequence was absolutely brutal and I loved it. This sequence actually added to the movie, and if the movie had started with his sister’s murder and moved on to here, I would have given this movie a stellar review. It didn’t do that however…
What I Didn’t Like:
His white trash redneck childhood is what runs this movie. What made Michael Meyers so effectively scary in the original movie (and it is a genuinely scary movie) is that you don’t know why Michael does what he does. You just know he’s evil. The fact that any escaped mental patient might be capable of that is what made the movie work so well. Sometimes less is more and when you try to humanize Michael Meyers you took away everything that made him scary in the first place. If this were an original movie, this part would have been fine I suspect, but it’s not original. It’s a remake of a classic slasher, it’s a remake of THE classic slasher and it ruins a critical part of the mystique of the series. I hated his abusive step-father, I hated the mean kids, I hated the stripper with a heart of gold Mom (Please stop casting your wife Rob, she’s hot but she can’t act to save her life). Everything about this section was unnecessary.
The other major gripe I have with this movie is the brevity of the third act, the first two sections of the movie took so long that it seemed like the third part, with the actual main characters was rushed. The movie made it seemed like the Killer was the main character and that completely misses the point of a good slasher movie. This movie was paced all wrong from start to finish. If the redneck childhood was removed and this section expanded the movie would have been a lot better.
Another quick side note, I hated the addition of the Old Lady, he took that from Halloween 6 and ANYTHING from that movie should never be used. (I will get to that… eventually.) She should have been left out along with the stupid childhood part.
So there you have it. It’s a short and sweet review but it’s really all I can say without getting too heavily into the plot. The movie looked amazing; from a technical standpoint Rob Zombie really got it done. The problem is for as big as a fan of horror as Rob Zombie says he is, he really doesn’t understand what made Halloween so scary in the first place. Rob Zombie I think does have what it takes to be a good horror director, but he needs to stick to his own material or original material written for him. He has a niche that he can fill. Leave the classic horror movies to people who understand them.