Halloween: Dave’s Review

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Dave’s Score:  3/10

If you had told me that Rob Zombie, master of the macabre in his music videos was going to make a Halloween movie that made the Care Bears look scary, I wouldn’t have believed you.  Unfortunately, while there is plenty of gore and boobs, there is a very distinct lack of horror.

October of 1978, John Carpenter did something that has yet to be duplicated.  He made a slasher movie, but he did more.  Many (including our own Barry) believe that it was Carpenter making a Hitchcock film, and I would have a hard time arguing with them.  He created the obligatory mass murderer with no reason to kill than because he can, and infused the idea of the slasher flick with actual tension through minimalism.  There was very little blood and no more than one or two exposed breasts.  This forced a more intricate and intimate movie.  Just how simple the score is and how well it works in conjunction with the minimalism.  Obviously, this feeling was lost in the crappy sequels, but just what would Rob Zombie bring to the table for this remake?

The first problem with Halloween is the same issue I had with Hannibal Rising.  Trying to expose why the monster is the monster effectively renders that monster useless.  I really don’t even think there’s necessarily a problem with his redneck trailer trash upbringing and the absuive boyfriends of her mom treating poor little “Michelle” like crap.  I don’t even have an issue with the bullies picking on him.  The issue is that all of these things give poor little Michael an excuse for the monster he becomes.  Do you know what follows when you understand a character?  You begin to sympathize with the character.  Here’s the problem with that, though.  MICHAEL MYERS IS A FREAKING PSYCHOTIC KILLER WHO SHOULD SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF YOU!!!

I’m sorry for that little rant.  It’s just a bit left over from me having to throw my head back multiple times and say “Oh, for F***’s sake!”  As a result of you knowing why Myers is the way he is, he ceases to be a monster you’re scared of.  You just see him as a psycho who got screwed in life and decided to take it out on the world.  You might even be able to root against him if you actually cared about any of his numerous victims.  I really don’t know who to blame here.  I feel a little bad because Scout Taylor-Compton is going to get the bulk of the blame because she was pretty much a stand-in as Laurie Strode.  The way she was made up in the movie, she looked like Lindsay Lohan wasn’t available.  Outside of her, it appears all that was necessary to score one of the female teen roles was a willingness to take at least your top off.

Zombie knows how to shoot a movie.  There simply isn’t any denying that.  He recreates some of the shots from the original film in an uncanny way.  The problem is that it just make me remember the superior original film.  I think the third time Laurie grabs the .357 I finally had to ask the screen if she was actually going to pull the trigger or continue to just waste my time.  For what could have been a great remake, Zombie seems to have fallen into the same horror cliches that made the genre a joke fifteen years ago.  When you have the audience groaning at just how stupid the movie is getting, there’s a problem.

Enough with the garbage.  There are actually a couple of highlights in the film that bear mentioning and are the reason why Halloween scored as high as it did.  Sherri Moon Zombie was absolutely stellar as Michael’s stripper mom.  She conveyed the torture of losing almost her entire family and the torment of finally facing what her son becomes beautifully.  Tyler Mane was actually a great Michael Myers.  I love the fact that Zombie cast Mane because of what a hulking beast he is.  That subtle touch really adds to the menace that Michael needs.  Finally, we have Malcolm McDowell.  The man inhabits his role of Dr. Loomis.  The problem is that he’s so good that it becomes very evident very quickly that the rest of the cast is out of their league when he’s on the screen.

Part of me wants to firmly place Haloween in the lower bowels of 2007 and the other part of me wants to just block out the experience.  Part of the problem of remaking movies is that you have to improve on the original.  This version didn’t even come close.  To those who say that you shouldn’t compare a remake to the source material, please kindly stop talking about movies.  It’s called a remake for a reason.  Please don’t waste your time and money on watching this movie.  If you want to see a truly scary movie, I hear that they’re making a CGI Care Bears movie.

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