The movie Halloween has seen so many sequels, remakes, and reincarnations since its inception in 1978 that you’d think it’d mean this was a quality franchise. For better or for worse, I haven’t seen a single one of them until I saw Rob Zombie’s new Halloween remake at an early screening last night. Whatever the merit of previous Halloween movies, this one was sorely lacking.
The focus of the new Halloween is an emotionless and featureless psychopath (Michael Myers) who goes around killing anyone he runs across. There’s very little suspense and what there is takes place in short bursts during the last 15 minutes of the movie. The killer has no intriguing philosophical reasons for wanting to see so many people dead. He has no signature killing method (unless you call stabbing his victims when he happens to find a knife his signature). There are no investigators trying to track him down, discover his identity, or even get to his next victim before he does. Basically, there’s nothing at all to think about while you watch the movie.
The little bit of credit I can give Rob Zombie’s Halloween in terms of plot is that he spends the first 15 to 20 minutes of the movie demonstrating the twisted family and psychological dysfunction that has created such a deranged killer. The child-version of Michael Myers demonstrates believable acting and his family background is disturbingly realistic enough that you can’t imagine anything good coming out of it. But that’s the most I can say. When Michael Myers becomes an adult in the first third of the movie, he never says another word, nor does he have any emotional or psychological characteristics whatsoever. He’s simply a dirty, hulking killer with an ugly mask.
And that sums up Halloween. If you want to watch blood pouring out of people or heads getting smashed in for no reason at all, then this is your movie. But that’s all there is to it. There is nothing original, no suspense, no fleshed-out character conflicts, or anything else to redeem such a movie.
The acting in Halloween is sometimes good, sometimes not-so-good, but never horrible enough to make the movie enjoyably cheesy. The effects and camera work are basically the same. The one area in which the movie might shine is the very believable and authentic dialogue that takes place in about the first half of the movie, especially the teenage characters. I could pretty well imagine those characters in those situations saying those words, and it’s better done than a lot of other movies which portray teenagers. Unfortunately, it’s all for naught among the completely unredeemable qualities of the movie as a whole.
You may not want to take my opinion for it because slasher films are definitely not my favorite genre. But from any standards I can imagine, Halloween is utterly pointless and unenjoyable. It definitely deserves a thumb’s down.