Sunday, September 02, 2007

rob zombie's halloween

I saw the reinterpretation of Halloween (the original is one of my FAVORITE and one of the creepiest and most suspenseful movies ever) last night, and thus I've been reading reviews all day and I agree with a lot of the pros and the cons mentioned. It's not a great movie and it wasn't that scary, but there were a few good startles that made me jump out of my seat a little. The original creeps me out because Michael Myers is slow and quiet and boogyman-like, hence the power of Jamie Lee Curtis' "Was that the boogyman?" line. Here Michael for some unknown reason is a giant beast with long hair. Somehow he went from really short kid to super tall and built like a brick shithouse (when all he was lifting in the Sanitarium was paper mache... wtf?) So, there's a lot of stuff that really isn't logical, which sucks because Rob Zombie has said in interviews that he was trying to fix the flawed logic in the original (ironic, because his is even more flawed!). The camerawork and the look of the film is decent. There's a slow motion sequence with only sirens/alarms for audio that works really well. Probably one of the more intense scenes in the film, but it's not a "scary" one. Some of the acting is horrible, but that's to be expected in most horror films. Malcolm McDowell was sadly atrocious... which is hard to admit because he's fan-freaking-tastic in Heroes on TV and was stellar in A Clockwork Orange. Donald Pleasance had some big shoes to fill, and Malcolm just can't do it. I miss Donald speaking quietly and almost out of breath in the original because you could tell that Michael unnerved him so. A bunch of us watched the leaked original cut (work print) last night after seeing the film in the theater, and the two versions were vastly different. Many whole scenes were replaced. I've never seen such a difference between a director's cut and a theatrical release... which was pretty cool, actually... to see two VERY different takes on the whole thing. I didn't stay through the ending of the leaked version, but from what I read online it was more like the original. According to what I read today, a lot of people hated the remake for two main reasons: too much time spent on the backstory, and not enough time spent on developing the victims' characters in the latter half of the film, which was like a condensed version of the original. Since the latter half is so rushed and Michael is like a steroid-pumped badass now, there's no suspense. We already know what's gonna happen because we've seen the original and he's not the Shape in the shadows slowly creeping up on you anymore. He's Jason from Friday the 13th now, who's super strong and can pop out of nowhere. Boo!
I didn't hate it. I thought it looked and sounded great and I'll disagree with most of the reviews I read today... Zombie's wife did a fantastic job with the material she was presented with. I felt the most sympathy for her character, actually... more so than any of the victims or Michael himself (as a child). Now if only he could have manipulated the audience to care for the Laurie Strode character and her friends, we'd have a great horror film instead of a mediocre one.

If you like the original, I'd say still go see it in the theater. It's a much different experience from watching a DVD...especially when the loud system in the theater helps to create startles and it's always more fun to be in a crowd of people who are also jumping out of their seats. Just don't expect a masterpiece. It's a popcorn movie.

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