Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween’ (2007) Movie Review
Article by FisterRoboto of lefthandhorror.com
Written & Directed Rob Zombie (1978 Halloween written & directed by John Carpenter)
Starring: Daeg Faerch, Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, and Tyler Mane
After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution (where he was committed as a 10-year-old) and he immediately returns to Haddonfield, where he wants to find his baby sister, Laurie. Anyone who crosses his path is in mortal danger.
Before I even get started, let me tell you this: I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s and I grew up in a very Haddonfield-esque Illinois town. The original is near and dear to me, easily claiming my number one spot of beloved horror movies. People have strong feelings about Zombie’s remake. If you’re in that demo of RZ hating anti-fans, let me ask you this: what did the worst damage to the franchise? Rob Zombie’s fleshed out retelling or the shittily escalating sequels that cannibalized the very core of the film? Zombie creates an openly sinister and realistic back story to the mysterious and fresh-faced 1978 Myers. The Shape was a singularly obsessed machine and his motivation was overpowering. Zombie delves into young Michael’s home life, giving us a clear and glaring view into this kid’s inner demons. This Myers (Faerch/Mane) is exposed, but still carries much of the deeply rooted evil as its predecessor. One of the best things about the original was not knowing what made young Michael snap, Zombie shows that knowing can also be chilling.
“The darkest souls are not those which choose to live within the hell of the abyss, but those who choose to break free from the abyss and move silently among us.”
-Dr. Samuel Loomis
I love the opening scene of the Myers home with Kiss’ God of Thunder breaking the silence. I’m definitely a sucker for my childhood. Myers’ home life is shit. His mother (Sherri Moon Zombie) is a stripper, his step-dad, (William Forsythe) is an out of work scumbag; an ideal setting for a disturbed ten-year old that’s already killing small animals. Michael is bullied at school, and teased because of his mother’s unfortunate career choice. Zombie provides all the volatile components to frame the monster that has always lurked in this character. Oddly disturbing is the fact that we know what’s behind the mask during Michael’s first murders. In the original we get a mere moment to see his face as he’s sitting on the front porch after killing his sister. Zombie leaves some key scenes out, but adds just enough of his own to mind the gap.
Danny Trejo pleading for his death really bothered me. “I was good to you, Mikey!”
Carpenter told Zombie to make this film his own and I think he does a great job of it. He sticks to the core, doing shot for shot scenes at some times before letting the story wander off into Zombie’s unique vision of horror. This movie didn’t have to be remade, nothing can be added to or taken from the original, but for Halloween, it was the equivalent of letting Whedon do The Avengers. Rob is as legit as they come in his extraordinary love of horror. He has an easily identifiable look to all to his films that harken back to a Carpenter/Hooper vibe. His music is the same and you typically love it or hate it. My advice is to enjoy the film for what it is. Zombie has a flair for creating disgusting characters; the literal dregs of society. His vulgar characterizations are more than some people can take, and I understand that, however, these characters are creating the intended response.
Overall, I love this version and don’t feel like I’ve been raped of my childhood because someone had the audacity to take it on. The towering Tyler Mane was an awesome choice for the new Myers. I love the filming methods Zombie chose for all three acts. The first is bright and colorful, captured with shaky, gritty handheld cameras, the second act is composed of wide and sterile static shots, literally drained of color and warmth, and the third is a combination of the two. Like it or hate it, Zombie took his earnest approach seriously – his love for the movie is obvious throughout. That’s not something we’re used to getting since Hollywood churns out lifeless films year after year. Enjoy it for what it is.
I Own The UNRATED Director’s Cut Of This One.
I Actually Really Enjoyed It, Despite What Many Others Said About It.
It’s A Cool Flick, Mr. Fister.
You Give It A Nice Little Tribute.
Good On Ya!
Love it! H2 though…ugh.
H2 Had THE Worst Ending They Could Have Possibly Come Up With. 😦
How The Hell Does He Survive Eternally And Then All Of A Sudden Gets Shot-Up By The Cops And He Drops F-in Dead?!?!?!?!
Just Plain Ole Terrible.
What makes this great is the backstory, the perfect storm that births a serial killer. The thing about this version is RZ made the story about Michael – in the original, the story was about Laurie. Someone was going to do this remake, like you, I’m glad that an actual true fan of the original made it.
Amen to that!
I didn’t mind that it was a remake, I just minded all the psychologicalness of it. I guess if I want a slasher movie, I want a slasher movie not a look at the psychology behind the murderous behaviour.
Have to admit that Rob Zombie is good at making Horror films -He is good because he is a true lifelong fan of the genre!