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Halloween (2007)
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by Mel Valentin

"Or Michael Myers: The Wonder Years."
2 stars

What’s this about Halloween in August? Oh right, we’re actually talking about Rob Zombie’s ("The Devil's Rejects," "House of 1,000 Corpses") remake of John Carpenter’s "Halloween." Why now instead of October nearer the holiday it’s named after? Apparently, the "Saw" franchise has taken over October, essentially blacking out other genre films from being released anywhere near the next installment. That leaves Zombie’s remake more or less in limbo. Horror releases rarely work during the heavy, blockbuster season, and any earlier, and they run the risk of being ignored. Which more or less leaves the fall, Oscar-bait season (minus October, of course). Whatever the reason, Zombie’s prequel/remake/reboot of the thirty-year old "Halloween" franchise isn’t likely to succeed where so many other horror films have gone before. Bad timing is certainly part of the reason why, but more importantly, "Halloween" is a muddled, overwrought, backstory-heavy, exploitative mess.

Only ten, Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch), is already abusing and killing animals, a sure sign of the psychopath he’ll become as an adult. While his mother, Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie), treats Michael with affection, her abusive boyfriend, Ronnie White (William Forsythe), showers Michael with verbal abuse. Michael’s teenage sister, Judith (Hanna Hall), treats him with disdain. Older, bigger boys also bully him at school. After a particularly bad day that just happens to be Halloween, Michael follows one of his tormentors and beats him badly. From there, the oft-ignored, often-abused Michael seeks retribution on everyone except his mother and infant sister. Too young to be imprisoned, Michael is sent to a state psychiatric hospital under the care of Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell). Loomis’ attempts at treatment prove ineffective.

Flash forward fifteen years. The now adult Michael (played by Tyler Mane) is a hulking, silent brute who hides his face under a mask. Escaping during a transfer, Michael slashes and dices his way back his hometown, Haddonfield, Illinois, motivated by the irrational desire to meet his now teenage sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton). A typical teenager, Laurie lives with her adopted parents, Cynthia (Dee Wallace-Stone) and Mason (Pat Skipper) Strode, and spends her free time with her best friends, Lynda (Kristina Klebe) and Annie (Danielle Harris). To make some extra cash, Laurie baby-sits a neighbor’s preteen son, Tommy Doyal (Skyler Gisondo), as does Annie. Annie’s father, Lee (Brad Dourif), also happens to be Haddonfield’s sheriff. Michael, of course, won’t be denied, stealing blue overalls from a trucker, Big Joe Grizzley (Ken Foree), and recovering his favorite mask from the abandoned house he grew up in. And, oh yeah, the kitchen knife he uses as his principal weapon to dispatch his victims.

Hoping to put his personal stamp on the Halloween franchise, Zombie starts at the beginning, literally, expanding on the brief set-up scenes in Carpenter’s original into almost fifty minutes of backstory, all of it woefully, achingly clichéd. We see Michael as an occasionally sweet natured, often sullen and uncommunicative boy. Of course, there’s the matter of him torturing and killing animals and the abuse he suffers at home to consider, but that’s just Zombie trying to have it both ways: Michael’s a sociopath when we first meet him, but becomes a murderer thanks (or no thanks) to the abuse he suffers at home and at school, leaving us to split the difference when it comes to feeling anything for Michael when he finally turns on his tormentors. Any sympathy disappears once we flash forward to the adult Michael. He’s not only withdrawn and uncommunicative, hiding his face permanently behind a mask, but he responds violently to caretakers at the psychiatric hospital who treat him kindly. In other words, Michael Myers is a monster, a human monster, but a monster nonetheless.

Essentially, Zombie has taken away what makes Michael Myers a compelling cinematic villain: the mystery surrounding who and what he is. Certainly, Carpenter showed Michael as a boy, but only briefly. Michael never spoke as a child or an adult. As Carpenter’s film reintroduced an adult Michael and sent him into the world, he became an unstoppable, conscienceless killing machine. He was practically supernatural (but the actor playing him was nowhere near as tall as Tyler Mane is). The less moviegoers knew about Michael Myers’ purpose, nature, or abilities, the more terrifying he became in their imaginations. Having Dr. Loomis (played by Donald Pleasance in the original) step in on occasion to expound on Michael’s nature was a smart move, feeding various ideas to moviegoers hungry for an explanation as to who or what Michael really was, but without giving them a definitive answer. Here, though, Loomis serves little purpose, since we’ve spent almost fifty minutes watching Michael turn into a conscienceless killing machine.

Contrary to what Zombie has said in interviews, his Michael Myers is just as indestructible as other serial killers in the slasher sub-genre. Myers gets stabbed at least once (given the placement of the knife, he should collapse from blood loss only minutes later) and shot at least five times (including four from a .357 Magnum that should have, at minimum, left large holes in his back and chest), but still manages to shrug off them off and continue his pursuit of his long lost sister with a seemingly superhuman ability to heal from what should be mortal wounds. In short, Myers fits the clichés of the slasher sub-genre to a T. It’s disappointing, of course, as is Zombie’s sloppy storytelling that leaves important questions (e.g., how Michael can identify his sister years later, how he finds out where she lives, or why he slips into houses quietly one moment or come crashing through the front door the next) unanswered.

To make an already weak remake worse, Zombie crams character development for Laurie, her family, and her friends into a few, underwritten scenes before Michael Myers shows up to wreak havoc. Instead, Zombie expects moviegoers to connect Laurie and her friends across two different versions and thirty years. Laurie is still virginal, unsure among boys her own age. One of her friends sleeps around and the other one wants nothing more than to ditch her babysitting gig so she can hang out with her boyfriend. Picking up where the original began and countless others followed, Zombie follows the sex=death formula. Have sex and you die. Almost have sex and, at minimum, you’ll get a severe beating for giving in to your libido. It’s not exactly a progressive take on sex or gender, but Zombie’s desire to pay homage to the original apparently got the better of him. He also pays homage by setting the first half of Halloween in the late seventies (no actual date is given) and, apparently, the second half in the early to mid-1990s.

That said, it sounds like "Halloween" doesn’t have much going for it. Story wise, it doesn’t (and that’s not even discussing all the plot holes Zombie fails to address), but on the plus side, Zombie shows talent when it comes to directing suspenseful stalk-and-chase sequences (minus extreme close-ups and shaky cam), especially once Michael Myers find the object of his twisted desire, his sister. Plus gore, lots and lots of gore, although impact shots were obviously held back from the theatrical cut, most likely to get an “R” rating from the MPAA. Of course, that means "Halloween" fans will be able to purchase an “unrated” cut on DVD three months after "Halloween" ends its run in movie theaters. That’s neither good nor bad, but it’s not much to hang a nearly two-hour film on. Ultimately, we end barely care about characters we know next to nothing, and care next to nothing, about.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15531&reviewer=402
originally posted: 08/31/07 04:25:31
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell TRASHY awful a insult 2 the great original 1 stars
8/07/14 David Hollingsworth total misfire and sleaze fest 1 stars
4/05/12 SEAN DUTRA excellent. keeps the sory but does it differently. shocking, not scary. 5 stars
12/13/11 Dr.Lao Takes away all the mystery that made the original so effective 2 stars
5/29/11 art THIS IS THE BESt HALLOWEEN,BAR-NONE! 5 stars
9/10/10 art HALLOWEEN SCHMALLOWEEN!,all those "HOLIDAY THEMED" "SLASHER flick's ARE ALL the SAME! 1 stars
9/02/10 Charles Tatum Not terrible, I liked Zombie's directorial style 4 stars
8/28/10 art THIS ROB ZOMBIE VERISON make's you FORGET the 1978 ORIGINAL! 5 stars
8/23/10 Joseph This film is nowhere near the original, but that doesn't mean that it"s bad 3 stars
7/03/10 art THE SAME to YOU sarah!, THIS IS ROB ZOMBIE's MASTERPIECE! 4 stars
6/21/10 Sarah Fuck off Art you cunt. 5 stars
1/05/10 art WHY BOTHER TO REMAKE the most OVERRATED THRILLER movie of all time! 1 stars
12/03/09 Jerome original sucked zombies is better. hey old people carpenter sucks ass this movie rocksbitch 5 stars
11/05/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Has a lot of good ideas and a lot of bad ones. 3 stars
11/03/09 art MARCUS NISPEL know's how to make an adequate remake{FRIDAY THE 13TH}! 1 stars
10/12/09 Brenda Disgraseful attempt at the original from somebody who claimed to love "Halloween" original 1 stars
9/05/09 Black Leather Rain Beautiful and soulful reimagining with a more realistic feel and more decisive brutality 5 stars
9/04/09 art AWFUL REMAKE, FULL OF HAM"S! 1 stars
4/16/09 Raul Valdez Jr great movie only hated by fanboys and wannabe critics or gore shy crybabys 5 stars
2/15/09 Raul Valdez Jr if you dont like this movie you have no taste for horror 5 stars
2/09/09 Todddi disgrace to the original 1 stars
1/12/09 Raul Valdez Jr people need to stfua bout this movie it rocks 5 stars
12/26/08 Raul Valdez Jr i loved it and none of you haters could have done better 5 stars
11/28/08 noolin I wish there were a rating lower than 1 star. 1 stars
11/15/08 Beau why doesnt anyone like this one? i think its better than the others X10 4 stars
10/20/08 Monster A Go-Go Valiant attempt, but completely missed the mark-bad homelife turns boy into GIANT killer 1 stars
10/17/08 AshleyRockO Rob Zombie's well made remake is better than any horror film out there. 5 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner Rob Zombie is awesome!! 5 stars
8/21/08 haters hate great movie 5 stars
7/27/08 mr.mike Another unneccesary remake , albeit with some great cameos and McDowell 3 stars
7/21/08 the dork knight Rob is a bad director. I know, right? News flash!! 1 stars
7/21/08 Jon The original was Laurie strode's film. the remake is Myers' film. 3 stars
7/01/08 art "FANTASTIC" 1 stars
6/05/08 Jenn An insult to the original. I walked out of the theater. 1 stars
4/28/08 steve Great, sombre, gritty, mikes back 5 stars
3/24/08 blarginbadigalnohif Rob turned a classic suspence film into a blood bath gore fest 2 stars
3/10/08 Jayme Isaacs I Liked The Halloween Remake 5 stars
2/29/08 Tammy Kennedy Rob Zombie leads you think about why the kiler did the things he did 4 stars
2/11/08 Robert White trash version of Halloween, horribly acted, way over the top, an unneccessary flop 1 stars
2/07/08 art this remake is an IMPROVEMENT over the first one 4 stars
2/03/08 Deezy Rob Zombie is a sick genius. I love the delve into the psyche of Myers. ILL! 5 stars
1/22/08 gcc Liked how Michael was more defined as a character,A good tribute to the original 4 stars
1/09/08 Santos Great movie. This movie is fantastic. Scary, smart, and entertaining! 5 stars
1/03/08 David Pollastrini Rob's best yet! 5 stars
12/28/07 venassa OWNED!!! did u see laurie beat the shit out of myers but no more sequal Original=Better 3 stars
12/25/07 cody a disappionting movie to a classic, l expected more, good things was danielle harris acting 2 stars
11/14/07 Alice I don't like rod zombie movies but loved this one, and I am a Halloween fan! 4 stars
10/27/07 Ashisogi_Jizou Riddle me this Mr. Zombie, what was wrong with the original? 2 stars
10/23/07 William Goss A thuddingly obvious and thoroughly pointless take on the tale of Michael Myers. 1 stars
10/12/07 Ronald Newbold There will be a few that have taken the right combo of pharmacuticals that will like this 1 stars
10/09/07 mike horrible movie. i was so bored with it that i actually wanted the credits to roll 1 stars
10/03/07 Flesh-GTA After Zombie's pervious films I was dissapointed why did they decide to do a pg-13 version? 3 stars
9/26/07 HardmiXx I never was a huge fan of these types of films, but I was suprizingly way into this one. 4 stars
9/24/07 Roo shows the original for the masterpiece it is 2 stars
9/23/07 O G Halloween Very disturbed by this trash...this $#it should be burned...an insult to the original.... 1 stars
9/21/07 steve this movie sucked so BAD I wished I had a remote to fast forward to the stupid ending 1 stars
9/18/07 Ben Larson An exciting experience 4 stars
9/15/07 Guido Only an idiot would call this remake crappy 5 stars
9/14/07 Chris Whoa, projectile vomited while watching this it sucked so bad, never did that before. 1 stars
9/13/07 cathy Didn't want to have a reason to feel sorry for Michael. Liked it when he was just pure evil 1 stars
9/12/07 Jason Warner A painfully disjointed, un-scary and ultimately uninteresting remake. 1 stars
9/10/07 Joseph (sephit) not a bad take on this horror icon, but could have been a lil more suspenseful 3 stars
9/10/07 CLL Every crappy horror movie cliche is in effect here. What a giant waste of time. Awful movie 1 stars
9/10/07 Shannon RZ intends to butcher another classic, Nightmare on ELm St. 1 stars
9/09/07 JOHN KANSON I think it's time Mike vs. Freddy vs. Jason, No more solo acts M vs. F vs.J. on F.13TH 3 stars
9/09/07 Dark Enchantress great movie, zombie did a great job! 5 stars
9/09/07 Josh When you yawn and check your phone to see what time it is during the movie that isn't good 1 stars
9/09/07 John Great movie. I've already forgotten the original. 5 stars
9/09/07 KLM WOW, 100 percent! I loved it as good or better than the classic! A MUST SEEEEEE! 5 stars
9/08/07 Rich HORRIBLE. Anyone that actually enjoyed this needs to have their head examined. 1 stars
9/08/07 Bob Sucked, I dont understand the positive reviews for this garbage, they must also like JasonX 1 stars
9/08/07 Dave First half was so good, second half was so bad. 2 stars
9/08/07 K. Sear Way better than expected and what others make it out to be. 4 stars
9/08/07 BN Great movie! Cannot believe that some people think that this is better than the original 4 stars
9/07/07 none great 5 stars
9/07/07 T.C LOVED IT!! 5 stars
9/07/07 Beery Those who like this movie don't know what a real horror movie is. 1 stars
9/07/07 John How do you make one of the worst movies ever remaking one of the best ever, Congrats RobZ 1 stars
9/06/07 Mongo I hear Zombie is going to remake the Wizard of Oz next.. and Dorothy is a crack Whore... 1 stars
9/05/07 Carlos R. Guzman Anwar is maybe 15 & knows nuttin' of tru horror.Some cool stuff, but Zombie missed the mark 2 stars
9/05/07 Anwar this movie is so much better than the original, anyone who says different is a douche 4 stars
9/05/07 Mike Awful, Zombie is a bad director, if you want to see halloween go rent the original. 1 stars
9/05/07 Matt Rob, find a new profession...PLEASE!!! 1 stars
9/05/07 RKM But Who the hell needed a farking backstory?? 1 stars
9/05/07 Ole Man Bourbon The backstory was really good, but the meat of the movie was a bit weak 4 stars
9/05/07 brad the bad not the O.G. but it was better than everyone in between... 4 stars
9/05/07 deuce I absolutely hated the ending. 4 stars
9/04/07 Tiffany Losco Scary, but Im a wimp. 4 stars
9/04/07 Brian Mckay Meh. Better than last 2 RZ or Halloween flicks, for whatever that's worth. 2 stars
9/04/07 whosurdaddy Thanks Mr. Zombie for finally giving M.Meyers his motive to kill! Awesome flick! 5 stars
9/04/07 Leary gurl It was very good and scary at some points 4 stars
9/04/07 jessica haven I am a BIG halloween FAN.that ass wipe zombie screwed my movie,get over the hillbilly shit! 1 stars
9/04/07 Josh I Hope Rob Zombie makes this one a Hit just like Carpenter did with the Original Halloween 5 stars
9/03/07 Richie For Those who said Zombie sux you are sadly mistaken. This movie PWNED GO SEE IT NOW!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/03/07 redruM Wow, Zombie finds new lines to cross. Kid killing kid, kid begging for life! 5 stars
9/03/07 kevin Muraca I enjoyed this. i cringed evertime some1 got beat, and enjoyed the backstory 4 stars
9/03/07 David You can't top perfection any more than you can change the laws of physics! 3 stars
9/03/07 Rockford I'd rather see Zombie do a remake of Sleepless in Seattle. Now that would be scary! 1 stars
9/03/07 Robjohn. Rob Zombie doesn't make movies for the pretentious stuffy film snobs and that angers people 4 stars
9/03/07 Trey I have to admit, I was skepitcal but dude pulled it off! Didn't think he could! Kudos 4 stars
9/02/07 DW A blind, retarded, masturbating monkey could make a better film 1 stars
9/02/07 CiDeuce This movie stands alone in the Halloween saga. One of the best horrors I have ever seen! 5 stars
9/02/07 kevin thought it was great how he showed how michael grew up and hwta sent him into a tale spin o 4 stars
9/02/07 Chris This is the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. The Original still has the title. 2 stars
9/02/07 jazz Poop on a stick...this crappy remake and its fan. 1 stars
9/02/07 Zakk Better than the original!! Stop living in the past! 5 stars
9/02/07 brian it was good. keep comparing to the original. its not the original!!! closed minded pricks 4 stars
9/02/07 gemini The young Micheal gave a grusome foundation for the "Shape" to climax, stalk, and slaughter 4 stars
9/02/07 Susan Great movie!!! I am a big fan of the original, but loved Zombie's version!! 5 stars
9/02/07 Chris Emotional, brutal, relentless. A whole new way to enjoy the Myers saga! 5 stars
9/02/07 slackwoo lousy script. empty characters. pretend its just a bad dream. 1 stars
9/02/07 PJ Brilliant depiction of how many of society's serial killers are formed. 5 stars
9/02/07 randy zombie did michael myers a favor by killing him off there wont be any more bad sequels 4 stars
9/02/07 Cheadle hypnotizing, as usual. who knew Taraji Henson had that body? pretty hard to match the classic original, but pretty good 4 stars
9/02/07 Curtis ZOMG!!!! Great Movie, anyone giving this lower than 3 stars needs to be slapped! 5 stars
9/02/07 me Zombie's a cockbag, and his clusterfuck of a movie is shit. 1 stars
9/02/07 Darkknight Humanising a psycho Meyers then making him indestructible was ridiculous, Zombie blew it. 1 stars
9/01/07 Jake Im diggin it....I liked how zombie keep'd the endings similar but put his own twist on it 5 stars
9/01/07 Thomas The actresses were so annoying I couldnt wait for the part where they were killed! 2 stars
9/01/07 Dylan This movie was too long and too brutal! Zombie sucks! 1 stars
9/01/07 Leslie Doesn't compare to Carpenter's, but I did love the 3 part split. 4 stars
9/01/07 mike tait amazing scout taylor compton(played laurie strode) did such a great job 5 stars
9/01/07 Shannon It was not worth the price I paid for the ticket. Would have liked better if I had rented. 3 stars
9/01/07 Nick great movie going to see it again in a couple of days definatly worth the wait! 5 stars
9/01/07 Gary If this was the first taste I had of Halloween I would think GREAT, but it wasn't. 4 stars
9/01/07 Pit Bull On Crack Zombie's version of Halloween was GREAT!!! 5 stars
9/01/07 Nikki HORRIBLE<HORRIBLE<HORRIBLE!! Total insult to Carpenter and not better than the original 1 stars
9/01/07 Reyna Loved it- didnt sleep at all last night! 5 stars
9/01/07 Bflickchick Thankfully I had free tickets 1 stars
9/01/07 Steven As much as I love the old one, I think too many people are comparing them 4 stars
9/01/07 leo i loved it. not as scary as the first but great 5 stars
9/01/07 Tim This movie sucks 100% worse remake of all time 1 stars
9/01/07 Dave Donald Pleasence is rolling in his grave! Terrible! 1 stars
9/01/07 Darla I loved it! (and I love the original too). Great remake 4 stars
9/01/07 Erick Hollywood fucked up a great horror film 1 stars
9/01/07 Sully WORST. FUCKING. MOVIE. EVER. can't say it any better.... 1 stars
9/01/07 matt campbell great movie truley zombie brought myers back to life followed the original good not great 5 stars
8/31/07 Nick WORST. FUCKING. MOVIE. EVER. Zombie should be murdered for what he has done. 1 stars
8/31/07 will average at best, little suspense, no mystery here 3 stars
8/31/07 Rube Most of it was actually good, but the ending dragged on a little bit 4 stars
8/31/07 Caiphn Not even gory, this was just flat. 2 stars
8/31/07 Rick very disjointed and suprisingly unscary. 3 stars
8/31/07 Tom Surprise! wow that was way better than I anticipated 5 stars
8/31/07 RKM Why? Why? I'll stick with the original. It's the best horror film ever! 1 stars
8/31/07 jonesy hopefully no more remakes after this disaster!!! 1 stars
8/30/07 Tami Incredible! I actually like this version better than the original 5 stars
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  31-Aug-2007 (R)
  DVD: 18-Dec-2007



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