Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Halloween (2007)

"These eyes will deceive you, they will destroy you. They will take from you, your innocence, your pride and eventually your soul. These eyes do not see what you and I see. Behind these eyes one finds only blackness, the absence of light, these are the eyes of a psychopath"

When it comes down to horror remakes, most scrape the bottom of the barrel. Most, like in the cases of Prom Night, April Fool’s Day and Day of the Dead barely even follow the original storyline, if at all. Halloween doesn’t do any of that. In fact, it’s the complete opposite! Rob Zombie had directed only 2 films by 2007 (House of 1000 Corpses in 2003 and The Devil’s Rejects in 2005) but he was an established horror director by that time. Even though he had stated earlier that he hated when movies were remade, he went ahead and wrote and directed a remake of Halloween. At first I was very much against this, as many horror fans agreed, Halloween was and still is a classic. The original 1978 John Carpenter directed film is what began the slasher era. It’s perfect as is, why remake what’s perfect? Didn’t anyone learn anything from the 1998 version of Psycho? Apparently not. But, Rob Zombie came in and put together a fantastic film!

Halloween does something the original film did not, it delves into Michael Myers’ childhood and origin. In the original film we see the child (from his P.O.V.) kill his sister at 6 years of age. Then the films jumps forward 15 years to him as an adult and the film begins. This film takes a good solid 30-40 minutes to establish who Michael is, who his family is and how everyone including his mother (played by Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie) knew something was wrong, but ignored the warning signs. In this film, young Michael (Faerch) kills not only his sister, but her lover and his stepfather. But he saves the baby (later to become our heroine Laurie). After the murders, his mother breaks down and Michael is sent to an institute where Dr. Loomis (McDowell) to the best of his ability tries to help Michael, sadly he is unable and 15 years later, after not speaking for years, Michael escapes the institute and finds his way home to Laurie (Taylor-Compton) who is now a high school student and has no idea of her family background.

The movie is not without it’s flaws. Some poor judgment in casting comes along with Kristina Klebe who played Laurie’s friend Lynda. In my opinion the weakest of the three girls, rounded out by Danielle Harris a veteran of the Halloween series (having been the main actress in both Halloween 4 and Halloween 5). Her acting is stale and annoying at most times. I think the worst casting is that of the children, most particularly Sklyer Gisondo (Tommy Doyal) and Jenny Gregg Stewart (Lindsey Wallace). Lets talk about Stewart first, she is terrible. Overacting throughout the entire film, annoying as shit and just a flat out terrible actress. Gisondo, not much better, not too much overacting, but just flat acting. I understand these are children, but why should they be judged any differently?

There are noticeable horror greats, as Zombie tends to keep it that way in his films, most notably: Brad Dourif who plays the sheriff also voiced Chucky the killer doll in all 5 Child’s Play films, we have Ken Foree who plays Joe Grizzly, appeared in the original Dawn of the Dead and many other horror films, we also have Bill Moseley, who only appears in the theatrical cut, who appeared in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 and the other 2 films Zombie directed. Many others appeared in the film as well, the most interesting was that of Micky Dolenz (a former member of the 1960s rock band The Monkees).

Overall, Zombie did a fantastic job with the film. I love the back story of Michael Myers, I think without that it would have just been another stupid remake. The back story very clearly gave new life to this film, it made the character darker and scarier and because of that made the movie more enjoyable.