Halloween ★½

Film #3 of Hoop-tober 3

Remember the classic opening scene of John Carpenters Halloween? It's quiet, tense, cleanly shot in effective POV and it introduces Michael Myers, boy psychopath. It's 5 minutes long and it perfectly sets the tone of the movie to come. Rob Zombie's Halloween opens with references to fucking, tits, ass, blowjobs, abortions and a gastric cum irrigation. It's 5 minutes long and it perfectly sets the tone of the movie to come.

The opening hour actually turns out to be exceptionally boring. What Carpenter established in 5 minutes Zombie decides to flesh out over 40 minutes of monotonous asylum footage in a failed attempt to give motive and understanding to the madness within Myers. Taking away part of his mystery, however, actually damages my view of him as a relentless killing machine—I don't want to know that the T-1000 came from a broken home. Ultimately we get no additional insight into Myers here; he's still just a psychopath, only now we know he's a Kiss fan who's pretty good with papier-mâché. I think he currently plays guitar for Slipknot.

After 55 minutes (10 minutes in the original) the prologue is over and Laurie Strode is introduced, literally finger-fucking a bagel and joking to her parents about her teacher abusing her. The movie follows a slightly more traditional path from this point on, albeit instead of character development we get about 4 minutes of girls saying the word 'slut' repeatedly and instead of expertly directed scenes of build-up & suspense we get remarkably impatient scenes of Michael Myers literally crashing through doors and walls like a tank, forgetting that he's often at his scariest when he's simply walking up a flight of stairs slowly or standing in a door frame.

As I noted in my review, Carpenter's original avoided a smorgasbord of murder opportunities in favour of delaying the payoff and building tension for as long as possible. Zombie instead revels in looking for every opportunity to present a cheap kill. How did Myers get his mask? Baseball bat to the skull. How did he get his boilersuit? Stabby stab stab in a garage. How did he escape from the asylum? A bloodbath during a routine rape. Any and all gaps that were previously established in short, single shots (the mechanics body by the roadside, the Halloween store window) are needlessly filled with bloated scenes of uninteresting and scare-less violence. Wave goodbye to subtlety and restraint.

One of the best moments in the original—a 15-20 minute sequence weaving between Laurie on the phone to her friend and Myers spying from a distance, edging closer and closer as the children get glimpses of the boogieman—is replaced here with a 1 minute sex scene before Myers quickly grabs and stabs. The following sequence in the original in which Myers pretends to be the victims boyfriend dressed as a ghost, is bizarrely placed up front in the second half of Zombie's movie. Michael's killing spree begins with him putting a sheet and sunglasses on. It no longer comes off as creepy, nor as comic relief after an hour of dread, just a silly misplaced throwback that takes a fraction of the time to try to establish character, atmosphere or tension. There is none.

Add in 3 or 4 shots of topless girls dragging their dying bodies across the screen, begging for mercy, and you have Rob Zombies Halloween. Bad fanfic.

Glen H liked this review