DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Halloween 2007 - review

"long haired greasy metal head... is the new Michael Myers!"

Halloween (18)

Dir. Rob Zombie

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

According to child development psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis: “the darkest souls are not those which choose to exist within the hell of the abyss, but those which choose to move silently among us.” This concept has perhaps never been as clearly and unsettlingly realised as in the original Halloween film by John Carpenter back in 1978.

Now we’ve a modern remake of that highly influential ‘daddy’ of pretty much every other slasher film to stalk the big screen, and this one is made by self-confessed horror aficionado Rob Zombie.

Director Zombie declared his love for the original Halloween and that he hated the 7 increasingly stupid sequels, his vision was ‘to make Halloween scary again’… Oh dear… After witnessing his efforts I have to report that he’s failed on the brief -  this is nasty, sure, but it's meat-headed and slack-jawed, basically low on scares.

There’s a big difference between tense creeping dread and explicit, obnoxious violence shown just to disgust. Unfortunately, nobody told Zombie and his Halloween lumbers from one graphic death scene to another with little pause for breath or any build-up of suspense. Whereas Carpenter's dark-souled killer had an eerie menace and proffered no insight into the reason for his homicidal rampaging. Zombie’s Michael Myers is nothing more than a long-haired nutcase who developed a taste for slaughter after an unhappy childhood. 

The other major difference between the two versions of the film is in a word - ‘titillation’, the modern redneck Halloween seemingly having a ‘compulsory topless clause’ written in for all it’s female characters. Even Zombie’s wife who plays the distraught mother of psychopathic Myers is a pole dancer – move along if looking for any sort of female empowerment.
The opening 40mins where we meet ten-year-old Michael Myers (a meaty performance by Daeg Faerch who is convincingly disturbed) is of some interest as it tries to flesh out the background as to why he becomes a monster. Unfortunately knowing that he tortured animals for fun and got nothing but abuse from his stepfather didn’t add to the mystique of the legendary killer, it just made me lament the world that is probably very much the experience of far too many youngsters.

Halloween 2007 is an interesting spin on the original but it's brutality-over-substance. If you’re looking for a really scary movie this Halloween I’d pick 30 Days of Night which is equally nasty but shows that you can mix frights with kills.

Out of 5 you have to go with a:

3 (Halloween goes grindhouse)...

Darkmatters ratings:

Action ööö – there be chopping n stabing n beating
Laughs ö – not really (I might have missed the dark humour)
Horror öööö – yep it's pretty nasty stuff
Babes öööö – ouch, titillation indeed

Overall ööö (remake worse than original shock...)

Darkmatters: H O M E
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