10 Days of Halloween: Halloween (2007)

30 Oct

While I have enjoyed this 10 day trek through the psyche of Michael Myers, despite slogging through the miserable third and fifth installments, but I am glad it is finally coming to an end. My final review is Rob Zombie’s Halloween reboot, which fell far short of the greatness of the original. Zombie wrote and directed the film, and while it was a noble attempt to explain the inner workings of the brain of Michael Myers, he tried way too hard to make it gritty.

Halloween starts out looking at Michael’s childhood, but instead of being six, like in the original, he is a middle school child living with a Mom who is a loving stripper, his abusive father, and deadbeat sister. His fascination with killing animals eventually shifts to people, when he kills a bully, and while high off the power that he feels he kills his father and sister so that his mother can be free. He is locked up in a sanitarium and Dr. Loomis (Malcom McDowell) attempts to unlock the mysteries of his psychopathy. After 15 years of failed attempts, Dr. Loomis gives up and that night Michael breaks out of the sanitarium and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield to stalk his sister, Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton), and kill anyone who gets in his way. It is up to Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) to track down Michael and end his murderous rampage.

Rob Zombie took on an incredible task of making a more sophisticated and disturbing Myers and while it was gripping at points, especially when McDowell and Dourif were on the screen, he failed to realize that the simplicity and mystery of the psyche is what made Michael disturbing in the first film. Plus, he started off at the very beginning trying to establish that this was a “gritty” film. There was more profanity in the first five minutes than the rest of the series combined and he made very clear that he wasn’t going to pull any punches. But, he didn’t mask it (no pun intended) very well, and it seemed very forced.

The acting was pretty good, except Taylor-Compton, who fell far short of the iconic performance by Jamie Lee Curtis. She didn’t make the audience care about her and wasn’t very convincing as being scared. All the screams seemed very timed instead of spontaneous. Malcom McDowell, and I tread on egg shells when I say this, played a better Dr. Loomis than Donald Pleasance, in my humble opinion. He was less cartoonish, even if he didn’t have the classic lines that Pleasance was given in the original.

 

Man, I really miss working with Stanley Kubrick.

 

 

Halloween also suffered from pacing problems. While it moved fairly well up until he left the sanitarium, once Michael got out, the killing dragged on way too long to the point where I lost interest….twice. This was actually the second time I watched it. The first time, I turned it off halfway through to do something more interesting, and returned later and this time, I started watching last night, grew bored with it and decided to drag myself through the rest of it this morning.

While, overall I thought it was a decent attempt at making a gritty reboot, it had too many flaws and felt too forced to make me say that it was “good”. Pac has Halloween II to review tomorrow and I hear that it is far worse than this one, so I wince to think about what his viewing experience will be. I will probably watch it one day, right before Zombie releases Halloween III next year. I hope you enjoyed reading them and if I had to recommend films from this series to view, I would say to watch: Halloween, Halloween II (1981), and Halloween H20. Happy Halloween!!

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