ROB ZOMBIE'S HALLOWEEN (REVIEW)
Dir. Rob Zombie
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
When news hit out that there would be a reboot for the HALLOWEEN franchise, the boo’s and hisses could be heard through every social network around the world. How can anyone possibly look to equal or better the benchmark horror icon by John Carpenter?
Opinions soon changed however when Rob Zombie was attached to direct. The musician turned director had already created a cult classic with HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES and its sequel, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS had smashed through cinema’s with huge success and proved that Zombie had two career paths to maintain. So what was Zombie going to bring to the franchise?
Well, in true fashion to his previous works, there would be blood, gore and a deeper story of family bonding (or therefore lack of in this case). The original 1978 classic had relatively no gore but has remained one of the scariest horror films and stood tall as one of the originators of the now infamous slasher sub-genre. Zombie set to change this and kick-start Michael Myers into a 21st century monster and death scenes throughout the film feature neck slicing, caving heads in with a TV and rape scenes. To anyone who’s seen any of his previous films would think that Michael Myers was Otis’ brother.
This is far from the original yet somehow, by keeping the same story (albeit some extended scenes of Michael’s time in prison) and its core characters, Michael, Dr Sam Loomis (played brilliantly by Malcolm McDowell who is enough to even rival Donald Pleasance) and Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) ‘Halloween’ still shows signs of its former self.
Possibly the biggest criticism for this remake is while it brings the shock and gore firmly for today’s audiences, the film is hardly a new vision as opposed to a homage and with Zombie’s character building and essence for violence, still can’t mask over that the core film is a scene for scene remake of the original. The haunting score is still present but without the tension from Carpenter's version, it seems empty.
On a positive, ‘Halloween’ has managed to remain as a film in its own right unlike the barrage of remakes which still stand in the shadow of their predecessor including FRIDAY THE 13TH and TEXAS CHANSAW MASSACRE. Possibly due to the following and love for its director more than the film, but with number 2, Zombie sets the scene brilliantly with this.
(ed - and despite the films critics, the direction of the latest HALLOWEEN sequels since HALLOWEEN 2018 is more in tone to Zombie's violent massacre than in the subtle stalk and chase of the 1978 original.)