Remakes are very hit or miss in the film industry. Merely seeing trailers for a remake is eye-roll-inducing, and they are usually, at best, just as good as the original material. Rarely is a remake better, and even more rarely does it fully eclipse the but Rob Zombie’s Halloween is absolutely the exception to the rule!
At once a remake and a retelling of John Carpenter’s classic, this Halloween takes us back to where it all began: Michael Myers’ childhood in Haddonfield, Illinois. At the film’s opening, we meet a 10-year-old Michael (Daeg Faerch), his single mother, Deborah(Sheri Moon Zombie), his teenage sister, Judith (Hanna R. Hall), and his baby sister, Angel. Very early on we establish the dynamics of the family: Michael loves and is fiercely protective of his mother, who works as an exotic dancer to support the family, and Angel, whom he’s loved since before she was even born. He and his sister Judith are like oil and water and Michael’s antisocial personality disorder (more commonly known as sociopathy), coupled with her own self-centeredness, only fuels her apathy for him.
Though Michael has been torturing small animals for a while, he graduates to children after a classmate viciously publicizes his mother’s profession in order to humiliate him. He quickly moves on to adults from there, landing him a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Though he appears cooperative at first, Michael soon becomes obsessed with papier-mache masks, retreating behind them completely and cutting off all communication with his doctor, nurses, and even his own mother. Deborah’s son does not get better with time, attention, or treatment, and when he escapes from the institution several years later, the violence and rage of the man behind the mask becomes a plague for the only family that he has left.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween is great in so many ways, from story, to casting, to cinematography, but the best part of this remake has to be laying down a story and coming to a resolution in only one movie, rather than having to sit through hours of a seemingly endless franchise; there is nothing that’s ever been put on film that’s still scary after three hours. This film was detailed, frightening, and concise to boot!
I give this one 4 stars.