Five years after the Halloween franchise seemed to have been put to rest with Halloween: Resurrection, Rob Zombie comes on board to re-envision the boy behind the bogeyman that is Michael Myers in the 2007 reboot/remake of Halloween. Was it good, or would it have been better if Michael Myers was never resurrected… again. Let’s break it down.
Movie: Halloween (2007)
Plot: A young boy goes off the deep end in a stereotypical fashion as a product of his environment, killing most of his family. When he grows up, he decides he wants to visit the baby sister that he kept safe from his wrath, leaving a pile of bodies in his wake.
Killer: Michael Myers, of course. At least Rob Zombie kept the bogeyman’s name the same.
Critique: Rob Zombie’s Halloween runs into the conflict that so many reboots/remakes/re-whatevers find themselves in: making a good film by its own merit while appeasing fans of the original. It’s a tough gauntlet for a film, with few hitting on either of those goals and even fewer hitting on both. So Rob Zombie can at least rest easy knowing that he succeeded in making a decent horror film. As far as it being a good film in the Halloween franchise, well, that’s another matter.
What is interesting in the Halloween reboot is how Michael Myers is portrayed in the psychological theory of nurture versus nature. In the original Halloween, Michael Myers kills his sister without any warning. We don’t know what his life was like or how he was treated, but the feeling the film gives is that he had a normal, happy childhood until he decided to kill his older sister and then waited for years to escape a mental institution to hunt his younger sister. Rob Zombie gives Michael Myers a reason: he came from a broken family with a stripper for a mother and a dead-beat mother’s boyfriend, was bullied in school, and who knows what else. He was nurtured to go bad. It’s just not as scary when there is a reason.
At the same time, the Halloween reboot gives Michael Myers a speck of humanity so that we can feel sorry for him. He may kill most of his family, causing his mother to then commit suicide, but Michael still has a soft spot for his baby sister, Laurie. When he breaks out of the mental hospital, it isn’t to hunt her down. It is to find her, the only person he cares about. When Laurie stabs Michael at his most vulnerable, who knows what it unleashes? I guess we’ll see in Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2.
Scene of Awesomeness/Ridiculousness: The glasses ghost homage is the perfect depiction of what this film is: a retelling using the same physical elements, but just not enough to make it special.
Body Count: 23 (and multiple animals)
1 rat vaguely stabbed
1 beating to death with a tree branch
2 throats slit
1 head bashed in with an aluminum bat
1 fork to the neck
1 off-camera gun suicide
1 beaten to death with a chain
1 head bashed into a wall
1 jugular ripped out by hand
2 vague, bloody deaths off-camera
1 crushed by a TV set
1 neck snapped (guessing)
1 skull crushed by hand
3 pairs of breasts
Actors/Actresses of Note: The Halloween reboot may lack in franchise appeal, but the film sure doesn’t lack in the casting department. Besides the usual Rob Zombie film suspects like Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, and Sid Haig, the film also features Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, William Forsythe, Richard Lynch, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Clint Howard, Sybil Danning, and even Danielle Harris returning to the franchise, albeit as a much different character.
Quote: “That is not appropriate babysitter behavior!” – Tommy Doyle