Plot: Director Rob Zombie takes a stab (pun intended) at reviving the “Halloween” franchise by showing where Michael Myers got his start as a serial killer.
Who’s it for: If you see all the other horror flicks, you might as well see this ultra-violent offering.
Expectations: If a horror film can actually be scary, I am happily to be terrified. The problem, of course, is that most rely on gore.
Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Loomis: Make-up isn’t used to show the aging of Dr. Loomis. Instead, it’s bad wigs. When McDowell spouts lines such as, “In a weird way, you’ve become my best friend,” to Michael … let’s just say I laughed at not with … which is kind of fun.
Daeg Faerch/Tyler Mane as Michael Myers: The young Michael is a psycho. Within 10 minutes we find out he is simply mentally unbalanced and that’s that. The older Michael grunts like Frankenstein, clearly ate his vegetables and just stands around in his mask during the day with no one noticing.
Rest of Cast: There’s a ginormous list of actors you’ll recognize but can’t name. My absolute favorite is Leslie Easterbrook (Sgt. Debbie Callahan from “Police Academy”). And of course, Zombie manages to find his wife a part in the film as Michael’s mom.
Talking: With obvious lines like, “Careful, a lot of nut cases come out tonight,” you would think the film wouldn’t take itself seriously. Unfortunately, the lines aren’t meant to be jokes.
Sights and sounds: Rob Zombie and I never had the same taste in music. This trend continues as he cycles through some basic ’70s songs like “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” And as far as “sights” go, the film clearly aims to disgust you more than scare you.
“Halloween” gives die-hard fans a glimpse as to where the jump suit and mask came from, but otherwise it fails. There’s an innocence about the original, like a scary campfire story. And we want our favorite killers (Jason, Freddy and Michael) to slash. But when you make Michael Myers a truly psychotic boy, it’s too disturbing. The first two-thirds of the film can’t even be described as a horror film, it’s just horrific. Finally, there’s some standard slasher tension, then Rob Zombie decides to beat all entertainment out of the film with a long, drawn out finale. When the score (from the original) is the best part of this retelling, perhaps it’s best we don’t celebrate “Halloween” this year.
Overall Grade: 2