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HALLOWEEN (2007)
movie review by David Blackwell

109 minutes, rated R
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Starring Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Loomis), Tyler Mane (Michael Myers), Scout Taylor-Compton (Laurie Strode), Danielle Harris (Annie),
Written by Robn Zombie, based on the original written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Directed by Rob Zombie

STUDIO: MGM/ Dimension Films
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 8-31-2007

Michael Myers was the original boogeyman of my generation. He puts Freddy and Jason to shame. Director John Carpenter made a successful little independent horror movie called HALLOWEEN. It is one of the most effective horror movies ever made. It spawned seven sequels and now a remake of the first film. Rob Zombie started in music and turned to movies. Just like John Carpenter, HALLOWEEN is the third theatrical film for Rob Zombie. Where Carpebnter liked to keep Myers a mysterious evil and build the suspense, Zombie builds on the character of Michael Myers and turns HALLOWEEN into a grotesquely intense slasher flick.

I love John's take on Michael Myers, but Rob Zombie's take on one of the iconic horror characters makes me pause a few times. Is it going too far to demystify Michael Myers by learning what makes him tick? Is it too far by adding a stripper Mom and her deadbeat boyfriend? Zombie turns Myers into a serial killer with the same methodology of being picked on as a kid, killing animals, and being in a bad home environment. I always liked how Michael Myers was a force of evil you didn't know why he cracked and killed his sister (this time, he also kills the deadbeat boyfriend of his mom and his sister's boyfriend). Also Dr. Loomis is changed in the remake/ reimagining. I like Malcolm McDowell as Loomis, but I love Donald Pleasance as the original Dr. Loomis. Zombie turns Loomis on his head by making him being an author on the michael Myers case after being the child psychiatrist who is treating Michael at Smith's Grove. Another difference is that Loomis is like a father who thought he failed Michael in soem way. Donald Pleasance had a better take. He knew Michael was evil and never belonged out in the world again.

Zombie turns the mythology of the first film on it's head. The first half of the new take focuses on Michael as kid and his time at Smith's Grove. The second half is the part everyone knows as he stalks Laurie Strode (his baby sister played by Scout Taylor-Compton in the remake). However, Zombie keeps it somewhat recognizable while putting his own twists on the best scenes that made Carpenter's HALLOWEEN work so well. I do like Laurie in the remake better than Jamie Lee Curtis (take on Laurie). I just don't know what Zombie was thinking when he cast Tyler Mane as Michael Myers. Now Michael is like Frakenstein's monster or Howard Hawks' The Thing. He has the height and strength of a movie monster, but I never pictured Myers as some giant who can trash through doors and overcome people like some wrestler on crack.

I love the remake, but in some ways it doesn't match up to Crapenter's original. Zombie does play homage to the original by using the music and featuring two movies shown in both versions (The Thing From Another World and Forbidden Planet). Also the actress(Danielle Harris), who played Jamie Lloyd in HALLOWEEN 4 and 5,is back in the role of Laurie's friend Annie. Where Zombie's remake lacks in the same suspense, he make ups in the gore and intensity department. Since HALLOWEEN raked in $31 million in the first four days, I'm betting they're thinking of ways to make a sequel to the remake.

this review is (c)9-5-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com  and http://enterline-media.tripod.com