Sunday, June 1, 2008

Halloween (2007)

I'm aware that I'm a bit biased when it comes to Rob Zombie movies, due to my obsession with them. That said, I thought this movie was awesome.

Obviously, the original Halloween is a classic. But the remake really adds some components that really enhance the storyline. The "new" Halloween takes a deeper look at Michael's childhood and family in order to better explain how he came to be a sadistic murderer.

I mean, honestly, the whole prequel thing makes the whole movie. I loved the original Halloween...I really did. But there were so many unanswered questions. Why was Michael the way he was? How could he kick the shit out of everyone when he was so small? Why was he so obssessed with Laurie?

Amazingly, the sequel/remake explains all of these points. Michael was pretty much born psychotic. The original movie showed a white middle-class home gone wrong. This movie shows a trailer trash home led by a burnt-out stripper mom, and an alcoholic deadbeat dad. There's verbal and physical abuse, child negligence, and a general negative atmosphere. Although Sherri Moon was quickly stereotyped as a "Baby"-type character, she's broken from that mold. The performances from William Forsythe and Sherri were convincing and fitting.
The updated version of the movie shows Michael not as a normal child who loses it overnight, but a kid with obvious psychological problems who slowly descents into madness. He begins with killing hamsters, then cats and dogs, and eventually humans. The scenes in the mental hospital show an evolution of a truly psychotic individual, not just a weirdo that doesn't talk for most of his life.
I know that some people don't like that Rob Zombie uses a lot of the same actors/actresses in his films. I have no problem with this. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino employ similar practices and I don't find that this takes away from the story at all. Plus, I always love when my man Danny Trejo shows up in flicks.
Fifteen years later when Michael gets out, I have to be almost embarssingly honest. This sequence makes a hell of a lot more sense than the just walking out and driving a car. And frankly, I think the fact that he's a big guy makes it a hell of a lot more believeable. I mean, the 70s Michael looks like 5'7" could he kick such shit out of everyone? I'm taller than that!
Now Scout Taylor-Compton is no Jamie Lee, but I think she plays a convincing role. I like the story behind the reason that Michael is looking for her. There was never really an explanation in the first one. Tyler Mane as Michael Myers is scary and intimidating, and I give him a thumbs up. I liked the recreations of some of the older scenes, as updates rather than improvements, I think they fit well. The only portion of this movie that fell flat was the last fifteen minutes which dragged on and on with the screaming and chasing.
Frankly, I loved this movie. I wouldn't called it a "remake" of the original Halloween. It has the same general storyline, but much of it is very different from the original. I would call it more of an "update", or even a sequel. I loved the actors, the Zombie-esque grittiness, and the additional background to the original story.
Grade: A (comparing it to the original would be blasphemy, but this was a great movie)