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Halloween (2007)The original "Halloween" is one of my favorite movies of all time. It… More The original "Halloween" is one of my favorite movies of all time. It was the first horror movie that I witnessed, and the impact that was provided, left a lasting impression on me. I've been a fan or the genre ever since. Unlike the majority of it's peers, John Carpenter's film is still creepy and suspenseful. Sure, it's not as horrifying as it was when I was 7, but it stands the test of time. "Halloween" is one of the few horror movies that didn't really require a remake. While fans were losing interest in a long line of poorly conceived sequels, there was still a lot of money to be made off of the Michael Myers saga. That, and I can see why introducing "Halloween" to a new generation would be an attractive idea. In 2007, the franchise was handed over to Rob Zombie. Zombie's debut, "House of a Thousand Corpses" was a complete and utter disaster, but he showed promise with his follow-up, "The Devil's Rejects". While the latter was hopelessly unoriginal and featured shaky storytelling, it was at least competent. Unlike a lot of remakes, Zombie deserves credit for at least attempting to make "Halloween" his own. Well, that's at least half true. The movie can easily be divided into two chapters: an origin story followed up with the familiar return to Haddonfield. The prequel chapters represent Zombie's vision of "Halloween". It is fairly well executed. In particular, the performance of Daeg Faerch as a young Michael, is very impressive. Malcolm McDowell's portrayal of the iconic Dr. Loomis is also superb. While the initial segments of the movie are the film's strongest, there are still plenty of weaknesses. A lot of Rob Zombie's failures are glaring due to his shortcomings as a storyteller. Throughout his vision of Halloween, he has the tendency to miscast Michael Myers as a protagonist. This is aggravating to the nature of the film. During the origin phases, the body count is populated by victims that are far too deserving of their fates. Michael feasts on abusive alcoholics, bullies, and rapists. This makes the character seem less callous, and irresponsibly forces him into the role of an anti-hero. In my opinion, the desired effect is amplified when the characters haven't "earned" their eventual encounters with the slasher. The audience should fear Michael because he has no reasonable motivations. After all, he's a monster. Saddling the iconic "Shape" with a backstory easily lifted from a serial killer paint-by-numbers kit is weak, and ultimately unnecessary. The obligation to feel sorry for the character is alienating. One would figure that a horror aficionado like Zombie claims to be, would have these details figured out. The second portion of the film is where Zombie begins borrowing heavily from John Carpenter's film. What unfolds nearly follows the original picture's chain of events to a 'T'. That said, the victims are executed with a harsh cruelty, that is no doubt, unprecedented for the franchise. I appreciate the heightened intensity. While the hostile nature of the direction keep the proceedings entertaining, the predictability and familiarity of what unfolds alleviates the necessary anxiety. For his faults, Zombie does have the ability to make his movies look slick. His version of "The Shape" is aesthetically astute. The choice to use a former professional wrestler was wise. Seeing Michael tower over much weaker opponents makes the murders even more devastating. Zombie also uses clever direction to show Michael stalking his victims through windows and popping out of shadows. All in all, I think that Zombie's version of Myers was a great success. In the end, 2007's Halloween is an entertaining movie. It's certainly heads and tails above any other sequel in the franchise's long history. That's probably not saying much though. I guess it also goes without saying, that the new Halloween falls miserably short of the original's greatness. Zombie's film succeeds with style, but falls short on substance.
26 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes