Directed by: Rob Zombie
Produced by: Malek Akkad, Rob Zombie, Andy Gould
Written by: Rob Zombie
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie,
Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor-Compton, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris,
and William Forsythe
Released: August 2007
It’s difficult to review a movie remake without constantly comparing it to the original. Unfortunately, that holds true for Rob Zombie’s 2007 reimagining of Halloween. With the same lines of dialogue, clips from the musical score of the 1978 film, same methods of kill, and even imitated shots – it is very evident throughout the entire movie that director Rob Zombie is definitely a fan of the original John Carpenter film from 1978. In the hands of someone less twisted, this version of Halloween could have just been a simple carbon copy remake. Zombie delved into young Michael Myer’s life and revealed a psychotic and troubled young boy capable of unspeakable evil, from starting fights and injuring other children at school to horribly mutilating and killing small animals. Young Michael’s home life is a disaster; a stripper mom that works evenings and the source of his ridicule at school with other kids; his mom’s live-in boyfriend who is a vulgar, dirty, and violent piece of shit; and his older teenage sister who dishes out more clam than Captain Highliner. The only source of joy in young Michael’s life appears to be his baby sister Laurie, who is adopted by the Strode family once Michael is incarcerated for murdering the rest of his family and their mother blows her brains out in dirty shame. The childhood backstory is essentially the last of anything new being added to the franchise.
Casting for the major roles in the movie is hit and miss for me. I really like Malcolm McDowell as an actor but hands down Donald Pleasance had a far more powerful and resonant performance as Dr. Samuel Loomis in the original film; Scout Taylor-Compton, although really good in her own right, is definitely no Jamie Lee Curtis; Tyler Mane is a hulking behemoth of a man and certainly ups the ante on making Michael a terrifying monster, but Danielle Harris danced circles around Nancy Loomis in her performance of Sheriff’s daughter Annie Brackett. A fun little easter egg that I enjoyed with this movie, was Zombie’s choice to load up several cameos in bit parts from some horror movie staples including Dee Wallace as Mrs. Strode, Sid Haig as a cantankerous cemetery groundskeeper, Bill Mosely as a jerky hospital staffer, Sybil Danning as a doomed nurse, Ken Foree as a rig driver who’s an unfortunate victim of wrong place at the wrong time, and Brad Dourif as Sheriff Brackett.
I still hold a special place in my heart for the original Halloween. Zombie’s interpretation is certainly a good, violent, bloody, and angry horror film but it lacks the eerie, the sinister, and the suspense that made John Carpenter’s film so monumental.
2.5 out of 5 Dismembered Thumbs Up!