We all know the John Carpenter’s classic Halloween. There have been many movies made in the franchise which have been both good and outright terrible but the mythos of Michael Myers has lived on. However after the Halloween: Resurrection movie did…not so well, a new direction was called for and in came Rob Zombie. Yeah I know right? You may remember two of Zombie’s other works, House of 1000 Corpses and it’s sequel The Devil’s Rejects. We will get to those another time so let’s just talk Halloween.
The story of Zombie’s version of Halloween is not entirely different from what was already established by Carpenter. Michael kills when he is young, then he is institutionalized, then escapes, kills some more and voila. The only difference is that this version is a little more gritty and more dark. This is not a bad thing mind you but Zombie has tendency in all his movies to make everyone seem like raving hillbillies.
This is how we are introduced to Michael as he is in a rather dysfunctional family who has a father being a mega drunk douche that even hits on his own daughter and then the polar opposite in his mother who by the way works as a stripper. This somehow is all a catalyst to the killer Michael is to become. There are some elements which were somewhat intriguing in that he liked to wear masks when younger and even made masks for himself in the institution. All of this likely a way for him to protect himself. Once he escapes it’s slasher fest right till the end.
There seems to be three schools of thought when it comes to Halloween. Those who want a more rationalized Michael that can be explained, those who want a supernatural version and those who simply want him to be left unexplained. Zombie seem’s to take a middle ground between all these aspects. As mentioned we are to somehow think his childhood may have played a role but we are always left wondering if that is the simple answer. Later as the movie progresses though Micheal is put through the wringer so to speak by being stabbed, shot in the body twice and a glazing head shot. None of course kills him. So does this mean there is something supernatural to him as well? Maybe he is just really fucking lucky.
One of the biggest logical drawbacks to the movie is Michael himself. We are to believe a child who loved the candy so to speak ended up a 7ft tall muscular power house when he showed no inclinations for physical activity whatsoever. It may not seem like a big deal but with the more grounded / realistic approach that Zombie seem’s to be going for, it breaks any credibility he had going for him.
Though it may seem like I am griping a lot about the movie, Halloween is a fun viewing. The action is almost constant, Michael as a character is extremely imposing and the supporting cast of characters are all played quite well. Sheri Moon Zombie plays a sympathetic mother whose family is butchered but still has love for the child who committed those crimes. Malcolm McDowell plays a new twist on Dr Loomis who is a bit a prick and is more out for himself then helping Michael.
I think with how convoluted the Halloween franchise had become I was glad they opted to do a reboot. I am just not sure that this is the version I would want future sequels to but I also cannot help but think it was still very enjoyable to watch. Sometimes that is the thing when classics are remade and that is we are afraid of change. Zombie has proven he can make a good horror movie but I would like to see him try newer elements then rehash similar themes from his previous movies.