Halloween Rob Zombie

Halloween Rob Zombie
We all saw this coming. The onslaught of horror remakes over the last five years meant it was only a matter of time before they’d get around to Michael Myers. I mean, they’ve already done Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead, with success, so why not Halloween?

Well, there are many good reasons why they shouldn’t of — John Carpenter’s original is a perfect specimen that will never lose its ranking as one of horror’s best — but why did Rob Zombie have to touch it? He’s spent this decade eschewing his boring musical endeavours to find his true calling as an edgy, envelope pushing writer/director. With Halloween, everything he achieved creatively with his first two features is diminished because this was a mistake.

The funny thing is it’s not his directing that hurts the film as much as the script, which he penned based on how he felt the story should unfold. Zombie’s an established auteur who shoots his films to make the skin crawl and the mouth drop without insulting the viewer’s intelligence by using predictable twists. However, Zombie has stripped Myers of his impenetrability with too much back-story, which feels complicated and messy here. We see Michael as a ten-year-old, committing the heinous crimes — Zombie really goes to town with the brutal scenes — and being committed to a prison where he receives therapy from Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell). From there it begins to take the original’s shape but it takes a while and frankly, we learn too much about Myers’s psyche. Plus, do we really want to hear him talk? Where’s the suspense in that?

Carpenter introduced the killer with an air of mystique — from the opening scene as a child to the legend built by Dr. Loomis’s storytelling, he was a monster known originally as "the Shape” because he was so chilling and enigmatic. Using the same idea, Zombie keeps Myers on the hunt for his long lost sister Laurie Strode but uses the film to explore Michael’s mentality too much. He said this was going to be a different film and for the first 45 minutes it is — but that’s where this film goes awry. It feels like any passionate fan could write an essay about the missteps Zombie has made, and so far he hasn’t justified his decision enough to make me believe this was worth making.

It feels like a vanity project that will not only fail in its purpose (much like Gus Van Sant’s Psycho) but worst of all, will no doubt open the floodgates for the resurrection of the rest of horror’s elite. Bring on Freddy and Jason, I guess. On second thought, please don’t. (Alliance Atlantis)