2017

April 11, 2017
 

Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween.’ A 10 Year Retrospective

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Written by: Lee Skavydis
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(AOTN) The Halloween movie series had arrived at a difficult place back in 2002 when Dimension released Halloween: Resurrection, starring rapper Busta Rhymes and incorporating the then new Big Brother style concept into it’s narrative. It’s conclusion was standard. We had all seen it before in previous installments and any fresh ideas were seriously lacking. It became eventually obvious that the Halloween franchise may be in trouble after already going down several different routes in the past.

Hollywood had just got the ball rolling when it began to churn out reboot after reboot of some much cherished films including the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Approximately four years went by, and fast forward to 2006, a remake of 1978’s Halloween was set in motion and confirmed to be directed by industrial metal singer Rob Zombie. At that point he was known for his original theatrical works of House of 1000 Corpses and it’s sequel, The Devil’s Rejects. Although Corpses was met with mixed criticism, Rejects fared much better with audiences, but fans were very skeptical that Zombie had the talent to respect the original Halloween enough by creating something new and would have a pleasant impact.

 

‘The Devil’s Rejects’ fared much better than Rob Zombie’s previous effort, ‘House Of 1000 Corpses.’

Regardless, it was going to go ahead no matter what anybody thought and everybody had to just hold their breath and wait! Rob did the decent thing and called John Carpenter, director of the original movie, to confirm his intention of remaking one of his most notable and masterful works which was met with a rather nonchalant attitude by the man that also knew what it was like to reproduce a production when he remade The Thing back in 1982. Basically, Carpenter didn’t care and simply wished him good luck.

Zombie met heavy concerns with attempted reassurance by reporting that he would incorporate more realism into his vision of Halloween and also create mostly new material that had not been seen before. In other words, 2007’s Halloween would simply not be a shot by shot remake as the abysmal and pointless remakes of Psycho and The Omen came to be.

Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Psycho was a pointless exercise.

Halloween was finally released on August 31st, 2007. As promised, it delivered much more new material. However, Zombie’s approach of thoroughly exploring the character of Michael Myers did not go down too well, with fans insisting that Myers is a force of evil that should be left down to one’s own interpretation as to what and why the way he was. 07’s Halloween heavily indicated that the reason why Michael killed his family and stalked his second sister years later was simply because he was raised by a dysfunctional family.

As what Halloween 5 did for the movie slasher that was once proclaimed to be not human, Myers was given a human soul and appeared to be somebody akin to a lonely man looking for that somebody special to give him some love. While the first half of the picture is mainly new, the second half quickly became dull and uninspired once Michael broke out of the hospital and killed those closest to his sister in an attempt to get to her. Scenes from the original film are imitated but much more carelessly. It all eventually leads to an equally unimaginative ending that delivered an underlying sense that Rob’s small fountain of ideas had well run dry. It was as if he had a vision for creating an original movie that would run about an hour in length. In the second half, he simply borrowed what we had already become familiar with.

2007’s ‘Halloween’ explored the Michael Myers character. An unpopular move with fans.

 

Still, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, at least back then, was entertaining on a superficial level and wasn’t totally devoid of a couple of replays if one had not much else to do.

Now here in 2017, after watching the movie once more after a rather lengthy amount of time, how is it?

Well, it is still much the same. What has become more noticeable is how second rate the dialogue really is. As if that wasn’t enough, the timing of delivery is often off. Although Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis probably delivers the film’s best performance, he is guilty of forcibly putting too much into it at times. Sheri Moon Zombie’s acting here is surprisingly heart wrenching as Michael’s mother who struggles to come to terms with losing everything after one blood splattered night. Scout Compton is largely forgettable as Laurie Strode.

She just does not hold a candle to the virginal, sweet and innocent portrayal originated by Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis’ portrayal of Laurie Strode was much more likeable.

The decision to cast Daeg Faerch as young Michael was decent but would have been even better if he was told to play Michael much more mysteriously instead of a kid with a lot of built up anger that eventually and predictably leaked out on those around him.Really, 07’s Halloween does not largely differ to how it was first seen 10 years ago. Except that it’s flaws show through more copiously. The good thing is that it is somewhat timeless.

Daeg Fearch as young Michael was a presence ominous enough.

With a new Halloween picture in pre-production and slated to be released next year in 2018, perhaps it will regain some of the elements that were missing in the Rob Zombie version and his sequel. John Carpenter is onboard as executive producer and seems to have regained his enthusiasm once again for the pale white mask wearing killer he created 39 years ago.

Now in the middle of an 8 year hiatus, this has been the longest ever time that Michael Myers has not returned to Haddonfield. There is no doubt that his presence is longed for by many devotees.

We just hope that whatever effort is put into it, that it is a little bit more than what was put into creating that mixed effort that was made 10 years ago.



About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis

I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.





 
 

 
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Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween.’ A 10 Year Retrospective

The Halloween movie series had arrived at a difficult place back in 2002 when Dimension released Halloween: Resurrection, starring rapper Busta Rhymes and incorporating the then new Big Brother style concept into it's narrative...
by Lee Skavydis
 

 




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