John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Samuel Loomis
Brad Dourif as Sheriff Lee
Brackett Tyler Mane as Michael Myers
Daeg Faerch as Michael Myers, age 10
Sheri Moon Zombie as Deborah Myers
Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode
Dee Wallace as Cynthia Strode
Halloween, the original from 1978, is one of my all-time favorite horror movies. When I found out that there was a possible remake brewing it was difficult to maintain my composure. Why?? How could anyone take a genre classic, possibly the best horror movie of all time, and make a mockery of it for a few easy box office bucks? It’s sacrilege!
The project was on, then off, then on again…and then the word came out that Rob Zombie (House of 1000 corpses, The Devil’s Rejects) would write and direct the Halloween 2007remake. Intriguing to be sure – Zombie’s work is intense, bloody and scary, but Halloween? To say I was skeptical is a gross understatement. I’ll tell you one thing though; I don’t think anyone other than Rob Zombie could have taken the helm without causing riots in the streets…led by yours truly. Zombie has an interesting take on horror, so he’s got that going for him (which is nice).
I now proclaim, for all to see, that somehow Rob Zombie pulled off a work of horror movie genius.
“Genius” is a pretty strong word, but think about it. If one were to take a beloved horror classic and change it around, die-hard fans wouldn’t accept it. He didn’t. If one were to retell the same story in the same way with different actors and different effects, then the remake would be pointless and meaningless. He didn’t. If one were to tell a completely different story and ride the coattails of a famous title and a few little plot elements then this would be yet another example of lame exploitation of a profitable franchise. He didn’t.
What Rob Zombie did with Halloween 2007 is tell the story from a different and so-far unaddressed point of view; the perspective of Michael Myers himself.
The original Halloween was, effectively, a story about Laurie Strode, with Dr. Loomis acting in a supporting role. Michael was merely the villain, the terrible “Shape” that threatened her life and sanity. The back-story was addressed as far as it needed to be; Michael snapped and killed his sister as a child, went to an asylum for 15 years, returned to kill the previously unknown-about other sister Laurie. The rest of the movie is Laurie’s show.
In Halloween 2007 we see what happened about a week before Michael snapped. We see the terrible childhood that spawned a psychopath, we see Michael’s first months in the asylum, his growing into adulthood as the embodiment of evil itself.
Where did he get the knife? It’s in there. Why does he wear a mask? It’s in there. Where did he get THAT mask? IT IS IN THERE.
And the gore! Halloween 2007 is gory, intense, and extremely scary. Laurie is still part of the show, and she is still being terrorized…and is she ever terrorized. The acting is incredible (Sheri Moon Zombie, much to my surprise, is compelling as Michael’s stripper mom), the sets are perfectly familiar (with the exception of Michael’s now white-trash beginnings) and the themes are consistent with what we know, yet are seen from a different perspective.
It is clear to me that Rob Zombie loves and respects the original Halloween. Great care was taken to honor the original, and the entire story was handled with the loving hands of a psychotic horror freak.
I have always liked Rob Zombie’s work, but it seemed to be a bit random. His stories are twisted and inconsistent, his scenes transition from believable to impossible to strange to “where did that come from?” In fact I have accused Zombie of being under the influence of “herbal assistance” while writing House of 1000 Corpses in particular.
Halloween 2007 shows us all just what Rob Zombie is capable of when a fantastic story that he cares about is involved. Combine a highly passionate, creative and talented Horror Freak (with lots of budget money) with the best tale of horror ever told, and Halloween 2007 is the result.
In spite of my early resistance, I am a Zombie believer.