Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Halloween (2007)

I am heavily against remakes as a rule, I think it is only fair to say from the start. For every The Thing there is a Wicker Man. With this in mind I will try to remain subjective in this short review.
Mmmm Bop!!Halloween works as a mediocre  slasher film. Just. However as a remake of a brilliant psychological thriller (yes I do class the original Halloween as this) it fails, miserably.
Now Rob Zombie is generally good at visualisation. House of 1000 corpses was a treat to watch but vapid in every other sense. Halloween even fails in this.
Young Michael
The biggest flaw is the character of Michael (or rather “the girly one from Hanson”)   who we spend far to much time getting acquainted with. We see his upbringing in a dysfunctional family. His mother is a stripper, his father (stepfather?) a drunken cripple, big sister a slut (technical term) and little sister a baby. We see him being teased and bullied. We see his belittling at the hands of a man that is entirely worthless. Then we see his withdrawal into his shell, a life taken back by to protect him from its ravages. In fact by the time we do launch into the story proper this big hulking WWE wannabee is the most agreeable character by far.

Look Rob, it's called style! Once Michael escapes due to what seem to be contractor cockups (who’d have thought it!) He heads straight for Haddonfield and his little sister Laurie and her friends (all two of them). Laurie is annoying to the maximum and to be honest I wanted to see her slain just to SHUT  HER UP. Rather then the delicately played Laurie as depicted by the brilliant Jamie Lee Curtis here we see a woman that seems to be an inch from lunacy. In one scene it is implied by her friend that she is boyfriend less through no  choice of her own (rather then by being selective) and would gladly jump into bed with a borderline retard (movies words not mine). That's OK though maybe her friends are more impressive? Well in a word, no. Her two friends (blond slut and brunette slut with Policeman dad) are carbon copy slaughter victims. Both die topless and virtually en-flagrante. To be fair this isn’t a million miles from the originals plot but for some reason they seemed so much more, well realistic.
Now being a slasher I wont comment to harshly on the annoying ability of Michael to be just where he needs to be and his odd ability to know exactly where Laurie lives and what she looks like despite her change of surname and his lack of social skills. However there are several horror conventions Zombie seems to have forgotten. Some were set by Halloween itself.
Does my head look big in this?
Don't spunk the costume out too early. We see “the mask” way too soon and its existence makes no narrative sense. Its retrieval later in the film is also bizarre. Why and how did young Hanson get it there in the first place? Young Hanson wearing the costume is childish in the extreme. He looked far more sinister as a clown.
Far more effective
Look shadows!! Lighting. In the original Halloween Michael was simply “The shape” in this he is the “Well lit person that we know to be Michael as we have seen him grow up and even know what he looks like under the mask which is normal but was kept a secret for the purposes of something called suspense in the far superior original film”. In Halloween we see shots of Michaels face simply looming from the dark. In this film we see the poor WWE reject squinting under the harsh lighting. The shot here is Laurie inside the wall of an abandoned house at the dead of night…well…exactly.
Michael is too damn noisy, he grunts and growls and moans like an animal for a lot of this film. Again he is “The Shape” not “the noisy bastard.”
Jeebus it's bright in here!
I really have decided I hate this nonsense. Why remake something and be inferior to the original. If you showed these side by side you would think Halloween was the original it is so cinematically superior. I think this is why Carpenter will always be a genius with some crap output and Zombie will always be a hack with some luck.
End Note: I have just IMDB’d the actor that played Michael. Who'd have thought it but he is an ex WCW wrestler so my description was spot on!
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