Rob Zombie’s Halloween re-imagining begins with a quote from the fictional Dr. Samuel Loomis and quickly juxtaposes this educated insight against little Mikey Myers’ trailer trash upbringing, as his slutty sister and equally trampy mother fight with his mum’s abusive rude, lewd and crude boyfriend all the while frightening his baby sister, who he affectionately terms Boo.
We soon discover that Michael has been harming animals to while away the hours and his favourite pastime is uncovered just before he murders a school bully. That same Halloween night in Haddonfield Illinois, Michael offs his mom’s boyfriend, his sister and his sister’s greasy boyfriend before he is apprehended and committed under the care of Sam Loomis who spends the next 15 years trying desperately to help the young man.
Michael escapes almost 16 years after he massacred his family and heads home in search of his baby Boo. He discovers that she has been adopted and named Laurie and sets about offing everyone attached to her (as well as those who get in his way) in an attempt to stop the rage he feels within. Or at least that’s my interpretation of this completely open to interpretation version of a classic horror film.
Zombie’s re-imaging, remake, redux, (whatever you want to call it ) starts off well enough but plays out like a late night episode of popular Brit teen soap Hollyoaks in that characters we all know and love flash flesh and drop f-bombs just because they can. It’s almost like they’re trying to justify the 18 rating. Overuse of expletives and sex aside, for everything the film gets wrong, it adds a positive.
It is very dark, violent, and gory and is quite scary in places. Tyler Mane is very imposing as adult Michael and he is similarly well played in his pre-teen years by Daeg Faerch who makes him an ugly, tortured soul. In all, he is portrayed as a sympathetic villain who may have been a poor pawn in the nature versus nurture debate. Similarly likeable are Scout Taylor – Compton as Laurie and Danielle Harris as Annie (yay she’s back). I was severely disappointed with Malcolm McDowell’s Loomis however and the majority of the supporting cast (although Zombie had the best of intentions) come in looking like stunt casting due to heavy editing. Sybil Danning, Danny Trejo, Leslie Easterbrook, Tom Towles and Bill Moseley come off best here. Hannah Hall and Krystyna Klebe are very annoying.
A number of questionable editing choices halt tension and scares but other choices make the film better than it may have been in the original work print.
In all, Halloween is a grower, I wasn’t too hot for it after my initial viewing, but I liked it better the second time.