1/2 (out of 5)
August 31, 2007
Scout Taylor-Compton as LAURIE STRODE
Malcolm McDowell as DR. SAMUEL LOOMIS
Tyler Mane as MICHAEL MYERS
Studio: Dimension Films
Directed by: Rob Zombie
BY KEVIN CARR
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Halloween is coming early this year, courtesy of Rob Zombie and the Weinsteins. However, instead of paying homage to John Carpenter’s classic film from 1978, Zombie and company give us the proverbial razor blade in the apple with another crappy horror remake.
A movie like this new “Halloween” makes me want to hop in a time machine and go back to the early 2000s so I can shoot Michael Bay.
Have I lost or offended you yet? Well, stick with me on this one. I have a point.
It was Bay who started the ball rolling on these dreadful remakes. He spearheaded the “reimagining” of “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” After the 2002 remake became a hit, studios started gobbling up as many titles as they could get their chubby little fingers on. “Halloween” is just the latest in a long line of substandard money grabs.
Remember back in 1998 when they tried to remake “Psycho”? I was a disaster. That should have killed this trend, but thanks to Bay and now Zombie, there is more where this came from.
The problem with remaking films like “Psycho” and “Halloween” is that the original films were pretty much perfect. There was nothing more to do with them. Unlike other classic films like “Dracula,” you couldn’t put a new spin on these movies without trampling their memory.
I will give Zombie credit, though. He does try to approach “Halloween” from a slightly different angle. He tries to get inside Michael Myers’ head, discovering what made him snap and go on a killing rampage. The only problem with this is that by over-examining Michael, he makes the character mundane.
What made the whole persona of Michael Myers so compelling in the original was that he was a perfect little boy that came from a perfect suburban family. He wasn’t ugly. He wasn’t a monster on the outside. That’s what was so chilling about seeing his face – both as a child and as an adult.
Zombie’s version of Michael Myers is a sloppy, white trash Columbine wannabe. Not only is the family completely out of place in the ‘burbs, but they are so stereotypical, it made my head hurt. Ultimately, Zombie bores the audience by trying to shoehorn them into Michael’s head over half of the film. It is all too apparent that Zombie was desperately trying to give his main squeeze, Sheri Moon, a shot at so-called serious acting as Michael’s trashy stripper mother.
It’s clear from the flash and overworked cinematography of this film that Zombie has a strong handle on the music video style. However, all that flash and style evaporates with no substance. The script is embarrassingly bad, featuring dialogue that feels like it was written by a twelve year old.
But where the film really fails is in the actual scaring of the audience. Zombie seems to think that the image of Michael in the mask is enough to make people shudder. And when that doesn’t work, he pumps jets of blood onto the screen. Unfortunately, after thirty years of slasher films, we need more than just a little corn syrup and food coloring to make us squeamish.
There’s no suspense, but rather long, drawn-out sequences of boredom as we wait for the painfully telegraphed murders. When will Hollywood ever learn that gore and gristle will never be a substitute for good, old-fashioned suspense?
When all is said and done, “Halloween” is an absolute dud.