I recently saw Rob Zombie’s *remake* of Halloween. I went with an open mind so that I could relay the movie in an honest way. I was a very big fan of the original, as I’m sure most people are. It’s a classic. So why mess with a classic? What could Zombie bring to the story that was new?
The film was written, produced and directed by Rob Zombie, so the buck stops there! The first half basically tells us about Michael Myers childhood which plays out like an episode of Jerry Springer; stripper mother, uncaring sister and abusive step-father. Zombie seems to think this justifies Myers becoming a serial killer. It’s a complete cop out. We really don’t need to know Michael’s home-life as it adds nothing to the plot, except to massacre John Carpenter’s ‘Michael,’ by taking away all his mystery.
The child actor playing Michael (Daeg Faerch) does a good job playing a psychopath, but looks ridiculous, and the audience doesn’t feel any empathy for him. In one scene he brutally and sadistically murders his family, except for baby sister Laurie and mother (Sheri Moon Zombie), who is out pole-dancing at the time. (Sheri Zombie is Zombie’s wife, and her obvious reason for casting in the film, because it certainly isn’t her acting ability.) After the pointless troubled family history, Zombie abysmally fails to copy Carpenter’s original.
The murder scenes play out with no suspense, no jumps, and leaves you not caring about the characters, who are undeveloped. The film does this the entire way through, with Michael slicing and dicing his way through character after character, before we even get to know them, or care about them. Not one single character in this film made me care if they lived or died, because they were simply shown and then murdered. Even the numerous cameos are spoilt in the same way; for example, it’s a shame to see Dee Wallace Stone, a remarkable horror actress, lowering herself to appear in such trash.
Zombie has asked the audience to take this film as seperate from John Carpenter's Halloween; but this is impossible in the second half because most of it is a sped up version of Carpenter's; even stealing scenes and dialogue. Plus, if he didn't want comparrisons he shouldn't have made the film.
Michael returns home to Haddonfield and his sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton). When he meets her, he tries at first to befriend her, but for some reason thinks that having murdered her best-friends is a way to get back their sibling love!? The script is full of these gaping plot holes.
Zombie seems to understand nothing of the female species, or the High School generation. There is no way Lynda’s (Kristina Klebe) character (a cheerleader) would be dressed as a rock fan, and be dating a lank haired rocker. Zombie writes the women’s dialogue stunted and unbelievable, with the characters acting like whores, bimbos, or both. In fact, the entire film is so sexist it’s offensive.
The murders are carried out pretty much the same way throughout the film. Michael (Tyler Mane), now seven feet tall, with hair like Samara from ‘The Ring,’ simply kills the male characters swiftly and tortures the female ones, while they crawl across the floor either naked or half naked, for which there is no reason. Guess what? - There is not one scene of male nudity throughout; making it, in my opinion, an exploitation film to women and misogynistic.
After Laurie has discovered her friends are dead, we have a tedious ending which simply goes on for too long. We lose all interest in the chase between Michael and Laurie, and whether she lives or dies. Taylor-Compton doesn’t have half the talent of Jamie-Lee Curtis, and this is the major factor which caused the original to do so well, with Curtis’ outstanding acting. It is hard to find anything positive to say about this remake, because every scene could be mocked. Its saving grace (yes it does have one), is the use of John Carpenter’s original score, which still sends goose-bumps along the spine.
The mystery of the Myers character is taken and made laughable; this again in the original was a major point of fear, because we didn’t know why Michael killed, he was simply evil. In the original, the real action starts in the last half hour, slowly building the audiences paranoia until we can take it no more. This *remake* is a disaster; there is no other word to describe it. Zombie should leave movies well alone, he is simply no good at them.
This is scraping the barrel, cheap rubbish. Zombie has claimed to be a fan of the original classic, so why would he *remake* it? He has done it no favours; filling a film with cameos and overstuffing it with gore and nudity is effortless. Zombie claims that he wanted to re-invent the character of Myers; well he has done that and, while doing it, he has made the character laughable.
Please do not watch this film; it is an absolute insult, especially to women and John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ fans. The only blessing is that it makes the original look even more superb than ever, tense, foreboding and truly terrifying. Please boycott this ‘movie’, so that other classic film reputations are not ruined and so that *new writers* with original ideas have a chance in Hollywood.
Despite the film's opening weekend success, probably due to hype of the original and curiosity, producer, Bob Weinstein, stated that he doubts there will be another ‘Halloween’ film, saying, "I never say never, never ... but it would have to be something very, very different".