Thursday, April 23

For What It's Worth: Halloween (2007)

Presenting films all Horror fans have seen...yet I've totally neglected to until now!

Directed by Rob Zombie
121 Minutes (unrated director's cut) / Weinstein Company DVD / Anamorphic 2.35:1 Widescreen

This film is exactly how I feel about Zombie's body of music, beginning with White Zombie's first work of prominence La Sexorcisto and equating it to House of 1,000 Corpses. Each respectively share a certain goofy, lo-fi charm and I periodically find myself going back and experiencing both. Astro Creep 2000 is much like The Devil's Rejects being substantial leap forward in refinement of style. Though I tend to visit both less since tedium sets in if I watch (or hear) them too much. This brings us to Zombie's solo artist debut with Hellbilly Deluxe and his remake of Halloween. You can already guess what I'm going to say...

Yes, I didn't care much for keeping abreast of the making of this remake. Genre news resources and forums were ablaze with speculation and reaction, but I didn't much care. To be perfectly honest, I've seen the first two in the original series multiple times, pieces of the others, and some never.

I can't imagine even the one with Busta Rhymes being worse than this.

Carpenter's classic is an exercise in voids. We simply don't know Micheal's motivations nor do we get any kind of extensive sense of Loomis' background with Michael. The original is coyly simplistic and that's what makes it so redefining. Setting the horror in such a rural, wholesome, and most importantly "everyday" setting that still strikes an unnerving chord with millions.

Everything is far overdone with this remake and that's without comparing to the classic. It's an atypical modern slasher long on style, wallowing in the glory of graphic violence, and short on brains. I have no idea where to begin. Zombie's film spells the history out as if the viewer is a utter moron that requires his hand held through the entire process. It's also screamingly obvious the young Myers was going to have at least some form of mental trauma from his childhood. The boy's mother is a stripper, his dad an abusive drunk, his sister a whore, and on top of that he likes to torture animals and is bullied by his classmates. No shit Sherlock! It's so surprising he turned into a psycho maniac...the film painted such an idyllic picture!

I personally find Zombie's pandering to your coworkers (you know) offensive to the Horror community. We complain like rabid dogs over the fact so many genre flicks nowadays tell their stories with the finesse of a sucker punch to the gut. You'd think Zombie would take this into consideration and perhaps understand this well before making his first feature. No, we're at the end of a shotgun blast of horseshit hick exposition rammed down our throats at lightening speed. Zombie merely cliff notes what he chooses from the original and shows with amazing clarity he doesn't understand the genre in the slightest. Just make it wantonly horrific and say "fuck" ahelluva lot, right?

McDowell's Loomis can walk off a cliff for all I care. The character here is a bleeding heart therapist, even after Michael has proven himself to be a empty death machine in front of his very eyes. That's right, say "Micheal, STOP!" several times and then shoot with all of the aim of a blind man. Gimmie a break, Pleasance just shoots the bastard square. Zombie also forgets the tension between local authorites and Loomis in the original made the character that much more interesting to the audience. Sure, we get a little of this from Sheriff Chucky in this remake, but soon it's buddy-buddy keystone cops bullshit.

This film's Laurie Strode is just as faceless as the pretty chicks she hangs out with. Who even is the actress? I have no idea and I don't care to find out. Go hide while Michael tears down the house trying to find you. Yeah, that ending rocked! On a final note, I never thought it would be so "uncool" to pick out all the "nod" actors cast in minor roles. It draws devout Horror fans out of the film with stupefying regularity.

Not much hope for "H2" here...

Film: 1.5/10
DVD Picture and Sound not rated


Johnny 666 said...

I beleive there are several different cuts of this film out there, and I don't think I have seen this one, but from what I can gather, it's the worst. I only watched the theatrical cut, and found it to be a mess. Like two films jammed into one, lacking much coherence.

I reckon H2 looks even worse...

Jordan in Texas said...

I sat through this travesty in the theater. My review of it, which is on my blog, was very similar to yours.

H2 also looks like bleeding balls.

Unknown said...

I'm a big fan of Rob Zombie and his first two movies--I liked your comparison to White Zombies's first two albums...I never thought of it that way. That being said, I hated this movie. I have only seen the theatrical version, but I was so disappointed. I have a copy of the work-print version that someone gave to me, but have yet to check it out.

I Like Horror Movies said...

Dead on Jay, I cant stand any of the characters in the film, and the gritty visual stylization that worked so well for DR is just distracting and disorienting in this one. Once the forced prequel-esque introduction is over, Zombie does EXACTLY what he always complains about in remakes and offers what might as well be a shot for shot remake of the original collapsed into 45m. I rarely go as far as to say I hate a film, but I hate Halloween 2007.

Jayson Kennedy said...

Some additional things I pondered today while at work (internet was down, argh!):

Why did the staff give Myers paintbrushes in his cell after he demonstrated the deadly use of a fork? Why did they allow him to decorate his cell so damn much?

Where's the institutional atmosphere with other doctors and staff?

Why is Zombie so fixated on Myers as unsympathetic "pure evil"? Rob continually hammers this point home for little reason over-and-over...

How did the mute, haggard Myers travel one hundred miles on foot to Haddonfield from the hospital so quicky?

How did Ken Foree's trucker character hold on to his knife so long, despite Myers bashing his arm with such force that it bends the stall's wall? What about all the freakin' noise?

And so on...haha...

Amanda said...

i have to agree with your thoughts on the remake of Halloween. I found it just lacked that something that made the original a classic. Rob Zombie messed it up and I really dont see why there was any remake in the first place. Every classic horror movie you look at these days is being remade. I am so sick of these pin heads in Hollywood churning out stories and characters we have already seen! Come up with something new!!!! you dare tread upon the staircase?

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