Well it’s that time of year again! Leaves are falling off the tress (not here in Florida though), the mornings are getting chilly and pumpkin spice is literally everywhere (I actually like it). It’s also the perfect time to watch scary movies, so why not go with one that’s named for the holiday, Halloween! This is a classic among classics for horror movies and…oh. It’s the remake. Damn.
While I’m definitely not the first, and most certainly not the last time someone is going to crap on Rob Zombies 2007 take on the horror masterpiece, Halloween. Now these are my personal views about the movie if you happen to really enjoy Rob Zombies remake, then all the power to you. In doing this, I plan to go over four specific reasons why I personally don’t like the remake. This includes the movie being TOO much of a remake, everybody is an asshole, the mystery is gone, and Rob Zombie was the director. Let’s be honest too, nobody cares about spoilers for this at this point.
Well It Worked Before…: There are times when the Halloween remake is a shot-for-shot remake of the original. Now this is a problem common with remakes in general, so I won’t give this one too much flack for it, but it’s still an issue. It just boils down to when so many iconic moments and lines from the original film are reused, it becomes redundant, such as the deaths of Lynda and Bob in the original movie. You may remember this as the time when Michael pins Bob to the wall with his knife and stares at the corpse and when Michael wore a sheet as a ghost and strangled Lynda while she was on the phone with Laurie.
The only good lines Dr. Loomis has in the remake are lifted directly from the original film. Here are a few examples. The first line is at 1:42.
And the second is here
Essentially what I’m saying here is that if you’re going to do a remake, don’t just make it a highlight reel of your favorite moments from the original. Sure, it’s perfect to have homages and to show your appreciation for the original, but at a certain point, it’s crossing the line of just being too similar to the original. When it comes to that point, it’s pointless to watch it because I’ve already seen the original, what’s the point of watching the same movie again for me?
Everybody Is An Asshole: There is a cardinal rule for the potential victims/survivors in a horror movie as far as I’m concerned. There needs to be a mix of people you want to live and people you want to die. In a good horror movie, tension builds as characters you like and want to survive are in peril of suffering a horrible and probably brutal demise. Then there are the people who you don’t like, a different sort of tension, call it giddiness builds as you excitedly wait to see the person you don’t like fail to survive and suffer said horrible and brutal demise. Problems arise when you have too much of either. If you have too many goody-two-shoes who don’t deserve to die, it starts becoming emotionally exhausting to watch it. One the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t like anyone in the movie, then it just becomes a meaningless slaughter fest where the lives at stake amount to diddly squat. Halloween (2007) falls into this category. Michael’s family in the movie- Assholes. They are 100% abusive and terrible with no redeeming qualities. Dr. Loomis- Asshole. Uses Michael as a career opportunity and writes multiple books. Laurie Strode- Asshole. Not so much an asshole as much as a one-dimensional character that is just too unlikeable and incompetent to really give a damn about. Sheriff Bracket- Asshole. Completely ignores Loomis about the deranged psychopath that is confirmed loose. The only person in the movie that was likable was Danny Trejo, and his death was the only one that has any impact. Basically, everybody else who died is take it or leave it because you just don’t care about them living. No one is likable so the fact they die doesn’t do anything emotionally for the audience and it just becomes a boring body count. Now that doesn’t mean the original had amazing characters, it’s just that you felt that these people didn’t deserve to die.
Out of the Shadows: In the original film, Michael Meyers was definitely identified as the killer in the story. However, in the credits, the man playing Meyers is credited as “The Shape”. In several documentaries, John Carpenter, the director, and even the script refer to Meyers as the “The Shape” because the name Michael Meyers was just a placeholder. He was “The Shape” because he was meant to just be this mysterious figure that has randomly gone on a murderous rampage and it could happen to someone you know or even you. It was scary because of the lack of background you had on Meyers meant he was totally unpredictable and even more dangerous and even possibly supernatural. The subsequent sequels lifted this mystery behind the character, thus lowering Michael’s scare factor, in my opinion, opting to go for direct explanations about why he’s murdering, his relationship to the main heroines in most of the films and any possible supernatural forces that are keeping him alive. This remake drops the supernatural aspect, fortunately, but unfortunately decided to go into the psyche of Michael to understand why he kills, which was arguably the only thing left to the mystery of the character. We don’t need to know why he’s doing it, we just need to know it’s happening. At least the first 20 minutes of the movie are dedicated to outlining Michael’s origin in excruciating detail to the point where it’s no longer interesting to see him become a killer as it’s shoved down your throat how bad his life was and how obvious it was that Michael was going to grow up to be a deranged serial killer.
The Zombie Apocalypse: I’m not going to knock Rob Zombie for trying something new with the Halloween franchise. Doing the whole psychosis angle for Michael is certainly an interesting route, it’s just different to what I define as what Michael Meyers was supposed to represent. People have their own views on characters. On the other hand, I will absolutely knock Rob Zombie on how he directed it because oh my god why does there seem to be a 7.0 earthquake whenever Michael kills someone? Seriously, whenever Michael kills someone, the camera goes into freak out mode and shakes like crazy. You could make the argument that this is some representation of the rage behind Michael, but it happens EVERY SINGLE TIME. Like OK, it happens when he kills his sister, sure, that’s appropriate. Whenever he escapes the hospital, again appropriate. Now how is it appropriate whenever he kills some random asshole in the bathroom or promiscuous teens? It’s way overdone and stupid. It’s also annoying. I just want to see someone gets stabbed in a slasher movie, doing that shaky thing specifically prevents audiences from fully enjoying that.
So yeah it’s safe to say I didn’t really enjoy the Halloween remake or its sequel for that matter. There were just a lot of elements in this movie that didn’t work together for me which is a shame because I really like the Halloween movies (even the third one), and it’s just a shame that this remake didn’t do anything to reinvigorate the franchise in any meaningful way other than making a ton of money. I hear another reboot of sorts is in the works now, so I do look forward to seeing how that turns out and leaving this one as just an attempt to revive the franchise that didn’t pan out well in the end.