Wednesday, August 14, 2013

MR Halloween (2007)

Movie: Halloween 
Directed by Rob Zombie
Release date 2007
Genre Slasher/Horror film
Country USA

Here's the 2007 Halloween remake The Weinstein Company produced.

Unlike most 80s pop icons of the horror genre, such as Friday the 13th, this modern remake wasn't produced by Michael Bay's production company Anchor Bay. Some would call it a good thing, others a bad thing.

Dimension Films was able to get the original producer of the series Malek Akkad on board.

It was decided that musician-turned-film director Rob Zombie would direct it. Since his band White Zombie broke in 1998, he actually made a decent career in the film industry for himself in the horror genre. With House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects.

Having him board was a smart move on the studios' part, as Zombie would be acting as producer/writer/director/music supervisor.

With John Carpenter's blessing, who apparently told Zombie to make the film his own.

This Halloween (2007) acts both as a prequel of sorts and a remake of the original.

The story takes place in the fictional Haddonfield, Illinois.

This reimagining of the John Carpenter classic begins with Michael Myers as young boy once more (Daeg Faerch).

Michael was born in what appears to be one of the worst possible examples of a "family". His abusive "father" maltreats him and his mother (Sheri Moon Zombie). His lewd sister hates him. And the only people Michael actually likes are his mom and his baby sister.

And at school it's not that better.

One day after being picked on by the school bullies, Michael finally snaps.

On the night of Halloween, Michael kills his stepdad, his sister and her boyfriend.

Michael is then sent to Smith's Grove Sanitarium after being sentenced for first degree murder of his family - and his sister Judith Myers only 10 years old.

Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) takes Michael's case and spends the following years studying him. Little Michael grows up.

15 years go by. When suddenly Michael (Tyler Mane) escapes and returns to Haddenfield.

Michael is now searching for his baby sister, Angel Myers now Laurie Strode. Literally the only person he ever cared about.

On Halloween night, Michael came home...

Unlike what some detractors would say, I find the 2007 iteration of Halloween pretty decent in its interpretation.

The changes are obvious but also have their use in the bigger picture.

The first part acts like kind of a prequel. Rob Zombie wanted his relaunch to focus on Michael as a character instead of his previous self, usually just referred as "The Shape". It also has its own share of problems such as introducing Laurie Strode too late into the film, Laurie was a much more likeable figure in the original.

In pure Rob Zombie style, for those familiar with his family, there's a much more oppressive atmosphere in the first half of the film. But it's a good change, it makes the film closer to his own aesthetic.

It takes the Michael Myers boogeyman character into a completely new direction. Sure it drowns background character in clichés, but these simplifications are used to make him more of a real life psychopath serial killer than a mysterious being of pure evil.

It gives motive for Michael's killing. And we end up strangely rooting to see Michael get rid of this annoying family of white-trash stereotypes. The original Michael Myers had no apparent motivation or goals and was scary for his random actions within a good family.

This almost turns this new Michael into a victim of his environment.

But then the film take a U-turn in the second half and becomes an 80s slasher despite John Carpenter's original being so unique.

Rob Zombie ends up remaking the original film in the second part, the film almost becoming an entirely different product. It doesn't keep Rob Zombie's original atmosphere and starts remaking several scenes from the original. Like a sub-par Halloween modern remake, it could have almost been directed by an entirely different director in my eyes.

The teens all act like generic characters from a bad Friday the 13th film. Lots of nudity, dumb teenagers, etc.

It's okay I guess, but it could have beem much better. The problems are not due to Rob Zombie directing. I truly believe he could have made a much better, more unique and more original remake...
On the horror front, the film has a lot of nice scares, (nudity,) plenty of gore and some creative bits here and there.

The film contains also several cameos from various figures of the genre. A truck driver is played by Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), Brad Dourif (Chucky) plays Sheriff Brackett, a grown-up Danielle Harris (Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4 and Halloween 5) is back. There's even Danny Trejo, playing a guard in Smith's Grove!

Tyler Mane does a great Michael Myers. With his huge impressive stature, he plays the most aggressive and agile Michael to date.

Explaining who Michael Myers is was a nice idea. And since it's a reboot of the series, you can accept this completely different interpretation of the character.

The theme of "failure" to others seems to be the key here. Both Michael's family regarding his upbring and Loomis in his relationship with Michael. In the end, Michael is the one to let his sister Laurie go... which only results in him getting shot down by the police. Not sure what kind of message Rob Zombie was trying to get here. "Too little, too late", I guess.

The score was composed by Tyler Bates who got the chance to make his own interpretation of John Carpenter's original Halloween theme. The theme is played through the entire film, I didn't like much the more aggressive first variation of it at the beginning of the film, but the later cues are much more fitting and creepy. The film even featured "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" from Halloween I and "Mr. Sandman" from Halloween II!

Overall, it's actually a decent movie, despite its many shortcomings.

Halloween 2007 attempts to give Michael Myers some backstory. Making him more of a realistic psychopath, but turning his entire entourage into caricatures.

Despite a lot of ridiculous dialogues, there were some realistic creepy moments. The family dinner scene is a perfect example. You could feel for Michael while his baby sister was crying, despite his awful dumb redneck parents and older sister.

It's quite representative of the entire movie as a whole. There's a lot of stupidity around and Michael's merely a victim this time.

I kind of like how by strange alignments of random events, Laurie-now adopted happens to have to work as a baby sitter at the same home Micheal killed his family two decades earlier and it just happens to be the same night Michael returned home after escaping the previous day by coincidence. Because, why not!?

Anyways, the film received a huge success despite some initial bad reception.

It was then followed with a second Rob Zombie Halloween film, despite Zombie claiming he wouldn't make another one. The sequel Halloween II was released in 2009.

I give it:
2 / 3 Necronomicons!

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