Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 24% (Critics) / 64% (Audience)
Directed By: Rob Zombie
Written By: Rob Zombie
Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell and Tyler Mane
Synopsis: Rocker-turned-director Rob Zombie tries his hand at expanding on the John Carpenter property about a homicidal killer who returns to his hometown on Halloween to find and kill his last remaining relative.
Not much to be perfectly honest…I did think that the first murder scene was really well done but things went downhill really fast after that.
I will give kudos to Zombie for using the familiar movie theme. And I guess for the more pervy fans of the HALLOWEEN movie series it was a “treat” to see a grown up Danielle Harris’ exposed chi-chi’s:
Where to start? The clumsy “origin” of Michael Myers that Zombie boiled down to being raised by white trash (mom’s a stripper, step-dad is a drunken bum, sister is a whore); the serial killer cliché of Michael killing small animals; the totally pointless therapy scenes between Michael and Loomis that seemed like a 3rd graders idea of psychoanalysis; Malcolm McDowell’s cheesy acting; the bland victims who were devoid of any personality; the chick playing Laurie Stroud isn’t fit to carry Jamie Lee Curtis’ jockstrap; the rushed second half of the film that played out as a by the numbers copy of Carpenters film up until the weak ending.
Zombie sets out to explain Michael Myers murderous nature and spends the first half of the film making a serial killer docudrama complete with therapy sessions and early warning signs of monstrous behavior…basically he tries to inject a shot realism to this familiar horror icon. While the execution was horrible I commend Zombie for trying to turn the concept on its ear but then he completely does a 180 and takes Myers from a pudgy, little kid to a 7 foot tall, hulking monster (that loony bin must have a hell of a weight room!) with seemingly preternatural strength and psychic abilities (how else to explain how he recognized his little sister all gown up with nothing to go on but an old picture of her as an infant) and uncanny detective skills that would leave Jim Rockford green with envy.
And the last thing you’d expect from a movie with this schizo is for it to be boring but Zombie somehow managed to do just that which is a cardinal sin in slasher flicks. Add to that hackiness of Zombie’s writing and this film just left me cold.
And the differences between Carpenter’s subtlety and Zombie’s heavy-handedness is best demonstrated by the way Michael murdered his sister in Zombie’s film and how Carpenter did it in the original.
Was the Shatner mask necessary at that point in the film? Must every aspect of the character be explained to death? the idea of a perfectly normal kid from a perfectly normal family just turning homicidal is far more frightening than anything that Zombie gave us.
Final Verdict: Man, this movie disappointed the living hell out of me. Instead of taking an opportunity to expand on the concept of inherent evil all Zombie did was descend into pure hackery and an over reliance on brutality to mask his own ineptitude as a director. D-