As it seems only appropriate to do so, I have finally gotten around to seeing Rob Zombie’s remake of the classic Carpenter film. I don’t hold the same hatred that most people do for remakes and reboots that most angry people on the internet do. If the movie is bad, I still have the original and it isn’t any worse just because a shitty remake exists. If, however, the remake is good then I have two different versions of a beloved property. So I’ll be looking at this both in relation to the original but also how it works as a standalone film.
In the two hour run time, the movie is basically broken into two separate movies. The first one focuses on a 10 year old Michael Myers. His family life is terrible with a deadbeat, abusive stepdad and a sister that is constantly making fun of him. Only his mother and baby sister seem to be alright. We also find out right away that Mikey has been killing animals and is definitely broken in some way. He runs into a school bully in the woods and beats him to death with a branch. When he ends up being unable to go out trick or treating because his mother needs to work and the rest of the family doesn’t care, he goes on a murder spree killing the dad, sister, and her boyfriend. This sends him to psychiatric care and the supervision of Dr. Loomis. While there he becomes more withdrawn and becomes obsessed with wearing masks to hide himself away. Eventually he breaks free and begins heading back home.
The other movie is pretty much the same storyline from the original Halloween. Laurie is a teenage girl with a normal family and normal friends. She babysits and does her homework and is generally a good kid. What she doesn’t realize is that she is actually the baby sister of famed local killer, Michael Myers. Dr. Loomis heads to town to try to warn the local police that Myers will most likely be heading back there because of Laurie. This information comes a bit too late for Michaels has already begun picking off teenagers and stalking Laurie. While Loomis shows up in time to try to help, Michael proves to be too powerful and is only eventually stopped when Laurie manages to shoot him in the head.
The main difference is obviously the much deeper focus on Michael Myers as a person rather than as this unstoppable force of evil that he is in the first few movies. He has lines and has a personality and we almost get an explanation for why he would be the way he is. This helps to humanize the character which might not really be the best thing. The first half of the movie sets up a chubby doofus of a kid that likes masks and is kind of fucked up to be one of the most iconic slashers of all time. It’s some serious Anakin Skywalker in the first prequel level stuff. It also makes it so that when Myers is an unstoppable force later in the movie you can’t help but be like “but you’re just some crazy dude. You got shot in the chest like 3 times with a .357 magnum. Naw, you dead, bro.” The movie itself seems conflicted on whether it wants to make Michael Myers more human since it focuses so heavily on that aspect of him or if it wants to make him even more of a monster since his appearance is much larger than normal and is almost Jason-like in how hugely powerful he is.
The other thing to look at with remakes is if there is anything different enough about it to actually warrant it existing. While the first half of the film is obviously a giant departure from the original, the back half is just about exactly the same. There is a little more rampaging on the part of Michael Myers and we get a brief moment of him seemingly wanting to connect with Laurie in some way when he hands her a picture of him holder her as a baby. Of course, how he even knows that Laurie is his sister is a complete mystery. The police chief was the only person who even knew who she really was and he hadn’t told anyone. Which also plays into the whole tension between the movie wanting him to be this supernatural force of nature and just some big crazy guy.
I think in all that this wasn’t a terrible movie. The acting and direction where good but it did seem entirely unnecessary. The first half makes an iconic villain and turns him into a sad kid and the last half is just the original movie with tons of the same shots and visuals. I’ll give it a 2.5 out of 5 for being watchably entertaining but it definitely isn’t going to be one I’d care about watching again.
Favorite thing in the movie: Rob Zombie had the good sense to sprinkle a little of Clint Howard’s Heavy Business on this movie.
Least favorite thing: Dammit Hollywood, nobody cares about what our favorite villains were like before they were awesome. Stop it.