| September 14, 2007

At least Rob Zombie is consistent. With his third horror film, the re-imagining of the classic Halloween joins his other two films as decrepit wastes of time. With his MTV editing style and love for explicit violence, he succeeds in following the many clichés laid before him and does very little to resurrect a franchise that should have been left for dead to begin with.
With this entry, the ninth film in the series, Zombie created a new angle to open the story with. We see Michael Myers as a child in a paint-by-numbers “bad environment.” He is picked on at school, his wheelchair bound father calls him bad names and he spends his time locked in his room killing animals for no real reason. This could have been an excellent angle to take with a franchise like this when each previous entry is merely a copy and paste of previous ones, showing only new ways to kill Michael Myers and more innocents to slay. Zombie hammers his audience with over-the-top situations that suggest “this is why Michael Myers is crazy.” From the first time we lay eyes on young Michael, he has a mask on. This is never really justifiably explained, other than the fact he is crazy (which has already been established in previous films).
All your “psycho” stereotypes are present, and Zombie fails in developing his star character’s youth. We get to see a young Michael brutally kill his father, sister and sister’s boyfriend, and it all seems forced. This is probably an unfair comparison, but the Bond franchise was seriously sagging, so they recreated it from the ground up, giving us a gritty Bourne-esque Bond that rejuvenated the franchise. While Halloween is trite compared to Bond, if Zombie really wanted to do anything other than make a shitty sequel to join the list of seven others, he would have done something different with this film. Alas, he does not.
So Michael grows up in a psych ward, and is counseled by Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell). He spends 17 years there, growing into a seven-foot giant of a man, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the WWF wrestler Kane, who is one big dude. This is quite odd since both of his parents are about 5’8″. Michael spends much of his time in the ward making masks, which he is actually pretty good at. He’s better at killing people, though.
Of course, Michael breaks out, kills everyone and proceeds to try and track down his kid sister, killing everyone he meets along the way. How does he find out where his sister lives? For someone who hasn’t spoken in 15 years, that is amazing. Maybe he had Internet access in the ward.
Even after he has been locked up all this time, Michael manages to drag his victims to secret caves or holes in the ground and light them with professionally cut pumpkins and perfectly placed candles. Of course, many horror films definitely need the suspension of disbelief button to enjoy them, but this is a special case: as Michael gets stabbed in the neck with a butcher knife, shot about 10 times in the back, head, and chest, falls off a two story house onto the ground, none of which do any good to kill him. How do you spell lame? Oh yeah: R-O-B-Z-O-M-B-I-E. The story plays out in a predictable fashion, and you never really know why Michael wants to meet up with his sister, but more than likely it is just to kill her.
The acting, overall, is terrible. The young actor playing Michael looks creepy enough, but can’t act very well, sort of like James Spader. The only bright spots in the acting department are two young kids, probably no older than seven or eight, who get trapped in one of the houses Michael is in. The action pieces go on for far too long, never really creating enough suspense to be scary. The violence is plentiful, but again never used to scare the audience. Case in point, Michael takes a small knife and stabs a man to the wall, lifting him off the ground. The man is like 200 pounds, and the small butter knife somehow holds him. It should not be comical to the point of a parody. The film feels longer than its running time, mainly because the slow first half was devoted to trying to develop Michael’s younger self. The dialogue sucks. How can Zombie write quality music and be totally inept at writing passable dialogue for a horror flick? It makes no sense. They reused a classic line from the first Halloween in such a inane way the entire audience laughed.
Halloween is an absolutely horrendous movie that no one should want to see unless you are a Halloween nut job who hasn’t learned a thing with the last seven shitty sequels. It isn’t scary, contains bad acting with nearly every horror cliché, and does nothing new to ‘”re-imagine” this story.
Grade: D-

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