Written by Josh Brewer, September 9, 2016, at 11:15 p.m. Tweet to: @theJWBrewer
Title: Rob Zombie’s Halloween
Director: Rob Zombie
Writer: Rob Zombie
Release Date: August 31, 2007
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie, Tyler Mane, Danielle Harris, Brad Dourif, Daeg Faerch
Rob Zombie’s Halloween Cliff’s Notes
Rob Zombie gives us forty minutes of Michael Myers’ shitty childhood. And then Michael takes out the trash and kills a bunch of random folks to no great effect.
I’m not a fan of re-imaginings. That’s essentially studio speak for, “We really just want to cash in on something that we think we can make trendy,” which is why I typically ignore most of them. Sure, every-once-in-awhile we get something worth looking at, but most of the time, these puppies are shooting blanks. All of that being said, I’m generally a fan of Rob Zombie’s work- really dug Devil’s Rejects and enjoyed House of 1000 Corpses. So I walked into this puppy doing my best to stay neutral. The result?
Actually, pretty neutral. The first half of Rob Zombie’s Halloween takes the Halloween franchise in a different direction, developing the character of Michael Myers further and giving a hint of color to his family as well. And while I personally don’t care for the white-trash shading that get’s thrown all over this puppy, I have to say that the first half of this flick is successful in that it’s doing something different.
Furthermore, the cast that dominates the early part of this flick is given enough to do, and enough to connect with, that I’m kinda pulling for them. It helps that Zombie is at home here, which gives this section of the film a kind of energy and style that I really dug.
Alas, once the second half of Rob Zombie’s Halloween kicks in, it’s all down hill. The only cast member that remains is McDowell’s Dr. Loomis. Everyone else is replaced with smaller effectual characters – Dourif’s Sheriff Brackett is my fave – or annoying “teens” like Taylor-Compton’s take on Laurie Strode.
Where the first half of this flick sported some stronger character moments, once this puppy jumped into franchise mode, everything was dropped for a too-fast retelling of the original. The rest of the film really suffers as a result. I didn’t give two shits about anyone here, so why would I care if they died? Likewise, the violence was so well done compared to the rest of the second half that I was hoping more folks would bite it.
McDowell is perfectly cast and really brings a new energy to his role. Loomis is one of my favorite parts of the Halloween franchise, and it’s nice to see his character continued with such care. Taylor-Compton is an okay Laurie Strode, but the script is working against her the entire time.
Same can be said for Harris, who does everything she can to overcome the mess that she’s left with. Mane rocks as the Adult Michael while Faerch does well with his child-version of the soon-to-be silent killer.
Zombie is a bit hit-or-miss here. His early work is good and he creates a solid, if depressing, world for this characters to inhabit.
Alas, once we hit the present, the flick loses steam and ends up as a poor take-off of John Carpenter’s work. Zombie still manages a few solid scares, but the entire thing is a step down once the horror hits.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween feels like a flick that got cut up in the editing room and the script really suffers for it. After a solid first half, the second gets rid of all of the character work and development to turn into a rushed re-telling of Halloween. The dialogue falls apart and the sequence of events gets a little muddy. Even the structure of the flick, something that was more solid in his earlier efforts, seems to fail him here.
Mr. Myers is pissed off in this flick, but Zombie manages to take a note out of some other genre-favs handbooks. The violence and brutality are on display while the gore is a little more toned down. That’s not saying this is a dry flick, there’s plenty of red stuff, but there’s a little bit or restraint here which goes a long way.
Mr. Myers is pissed off in this flick, but Zombie manages to take a note out of some other genre-favs handbooks. The violence and brutality are on display while the gore is a little more toned down. That’s not saying this is a dry flick; there’s plenty of red stuff. But there’s also a little bit or restraint here which goes a long way.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween has a number of flaws, but the thing that pulled me out more than anything else was the need to cut away from the action to hit some other, random, plot point. This flick needs to be tighter. Oh, also: remake. Blergh.
Not that Halloween-y. Sure, we’ve got a pissed off Michael killing folks, but the first half of Rob Zombie’s Halloween aims in a different direction. Once the more traditional section of the flick starts, it gets a little closer to the rest of the franchise. Of course, it’s the low rent version, so that doesn’t help either.
The solid first half can’t keep the rest of this puppy from falling apart. While not as bad as a few of the other entries in the series, Rob Zombie’s Halloween is another instance of a remake that didn’t need to be made in the first place.