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Halloween (remake) – 7

Director – Rob Zombie

Cast – Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Daeg Faerch, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Danielle Harris, Kristina Klebe, Skyler Gisondo, Danny Trejo, Hanna Hall, Tom Towles, Bill Mosely

Release Year – 2007

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I remember being so very angry when this film first hit theaters back in 2007. We had been given remakes before this flick, but this was the first to be of a film I really enjoyed, a pinnacle of the infamous slasher sub-genre, and I was left fuming that such a classic would be remade by a man I did not fully respect. Nonetheless I would up seeing this effort back then and remembered liking it for the most part, and after viewing it for the first time since that day I can say that this remake is enjoyable enough to please fans of the original and those looking for brutal horror given by an awesome killer.

Much like the original film, Michael Myers, after suffering 17 years of incarceration in a mental hospital due to the murders he committed at age 10, breaks out of the institution and heads to the origin of the evil that he is…Haddonfield, Illinois. As his personal psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Loomis, theonly man who truly knows the evil that Michael is, vehemently tries to track him down and stop his bloody reign of terror, Michael finally reaches his target: his younger sister Laurie Strode – sparking an epic battle against evil unlike any the small town of Haddonfield has seen in 17 years.

Well, I can say that Rob Zombie did not completely screw this film out like he did with his redo of Halloween II. At the time that this film had debuted I was not sold on the guy despite the fact that I really did like The Devil’s Rejects. Zombie has always bothered me as a writer, and it is usually the writing that plagues his films. His writing was not so bad in this flick, but it is definitely where most of the faults lie.

The overall storyline is roughly the same, as you can tell by the plot summary, but there are many things added to this film that were not in the original. In a sense, this is almost like Rob Zombie’s own take of the Michael Myers story and not so much a remake of Carpenter’s classic. For starters, we are given a lot of information regarding the origin of Michael’s evil. In the original we are given very little regarding his origin and I absolutely loved that because it made Michael so very creepy. The mystery behind him aided everything that he did, and that fun element was lost in this film. We learn why Michael does what he does, and that really bothered me at first. Over time I have learned to look past it and see this pretty much as Zombie’s own version of the story, but he definitely missed out on giving Michael every creepy advantage there is by delving into his past. Aside from that the rest of the original elements and new scenes thrown into the film were enjoyable, and as expected Zombie wrote in plenty of awesome kills that were quite brutal in fashion, especially those involving Michael as a child. There were times when some of the scenes towards the end felt a bit long, which toyed with the pacing a bit in negative fashion, but overall Zombie’s writing was good enough to make for a fun storyline that kept me engaged thanks to the awesomeness that is Michael Myers and the horror he brings with him.

As usual, Zombie’s direction brought on good horror, and this time with a newly crowned genre actor sure to make waves in the future – that man is Tyler Mane. I was very much in shock at how utterly awesome Tyler Mane was as Michael Myers, which at the same time I felt was a darn shame given Mane would have received much more praise for his acting abilities if he came to us via a new and original character and not as a rehash of an iconic one. While Mane’s mannerisms and kill sequences were fantastic, I did not like the new physical appearance of Michael Myers. For one, part of Michael’s creepiness for me was he was an above average height man but short enough to blend into society, not a 6’9” behemoth like Tyler Mane. While we all see giant brooding killers as scary, I honestly felt that Michael should have stayed roughly the same height and leave the big broodiness for Jason Vorhees instead. Zombie’s execution of the horror was great, giving us numerous full-frontal kill sequences that took their time in developing and consisted of some pretty harsh material that this Unrated version was forced to leave out of the theatrical release. The gore is heavy and the kills are brutal, which along with Zombie’s dark rustic atmosphere made for a very dark and psychologically tormenting horror experience that turned out better than I had expected.

Overall, Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween is an enjoyable flick for those who give it the chance and not shoo it away for being a redo of one of horror’s pinnacle films, and a darn brutal one as well. There are faults that keep this far from the excellence of Carpenter’s classic, but in the end the kills were insane, the atmosphere positive, and Tyler Mane solidified himself as a man who deserves a slasher flick of his own.

Rating: 7/10

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