Evil has a destiny.
Year of Release: 2007
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 121 minutes (2:01)
Director: Rob Zombie
Malcolm McDowell ... Dr. Samuel Loomis
Brad Dourif ... Sheriff Lee Brackett
Tyler Mane ... Michael Myers
Daeg Faerch ... Michael Myers, age 10
Sheri Moon Zombie ... Deborah Myers
William Forsythe ... Ronnie White
Scout Taylor-Compton ... Laurie Strode
Danielle Harris ... Annie Brackett
Kristina Klebe ... Lynda
Dee Wallace ... Cynthia Strode
Danny Trejo ... Ismael Cruz
Richard Lynch ... Principal Chambers
Udo Kier ... Morgan Walker
Clint Howard ... Doctor Koplenson
Lew Temple ... Noel Kluggs
Tom Towles ... Larry Redgrave
Bill Moseley ... Zach 'Z-Man' Garrett
Leslie Easterbrook ... Patty Frost
Ken Foree ... Big Joe Grizzly
Sybil Danning ... Nurse Wynn
Micky Dolenz ... Derek Allen
Daniel Roebuck ... Lou Martini
Mel Fair ... Taylor Madison
Sid Haig ... Chester Chesterfield
Courtney Gains ... Jack Kendall (uncredited)
Rob Zombie reinvents the ultimate slasher classic, unleashing Michael Myers for a bloody roller coaster of a rampage like fans have never seen. Including a retelling of the original story that unfolds at a breakneck pace, as well as a chilling new introduction that finally reveals the secrets behind Myers' disturbing childhood, Halloween breathes new life into one of film history's most terrifying tales.
Halloween the redux, remindin' us that a mother's love is unconditional... least until you go apeshit an kill Sybil Danning with a cafeteria fork.
Speakin' of legendary boobs though, after five years of nonstop naggin' an throwin' graphic descriptions of his failures back in his face, I finally convinced Skunky Hernandez to shelve the annual Halloween Sage Maze in favor of somethin' a little less life-threatening. It's a pretty delicate process, separatin' a man from his dreams, but I waited for exactly the right moment (October 26th, 9:33pm, while he was countin' up the Grime Time receipts for the night) to broach the subject, an I gotta say, I was real impressed by the effectiveness of a well-reasoned, diplomatic pitch.
"Alright you sun-dried potato, I'm gonna talk an yer gonna listen: over the past five years three people've gone missin' in your 'maze', turned throwback, molested several women an Sadie Bonebreak, established a breedin' colony with escaped prisoners from the Soggy Valley Women's Correctional Institution, caged an attempted to eat a dozen local youngsters, an I'm pretty sure they know somethin' about that calf that was born the spittin' image of Billy Barty. Never mind the fact that last year our esteemed deputy sheriff went in there an came out two months later with a smell that could break up a meetin' of the American Cattlemen's Association an the ability to prophesize the future in riddle form---" I started sayin'.
"Outhouse walls covered weeth 'for good time call' nombres, how come you only ever try screw ME?" Skunky squalled after bein' startled out of his greed haze.
"All those numbers go to Richard Fawner, an besides I can get---" I tried explainin', temporarily sidetracked.
"You cain geet lost!" he growled.
"Look Skunky, I sent Duke Tankersley over as a missionary to broker a peace treaty, an provided we keep people outta the maze an present an offering of sacrificial nachos, The Wild Bunch has agreed to keep clear of the drive-in an to stop bathin' in the cow troughs," I explained.
"So THAT why water look like Valdez Harbor!" Skunky snarled.
"Right. And why we occasionally find coyote skin bikini briefs floatin' in 'em," I nodded.
"Okay runt, eef no maze, what? Why eenyone come? You workeen on pole routine or sometheen?" he demanded.
"Ever thought of tryin' somethin' that'll sway the community conversation away from The Record to the Opinion section of the paper?" I posited.
Skunky just squinted at me outta one eye like the landscaper from Pieces.
"Normal stuff, Skunky: trick or treating car to car, punkin carvin', apple bobs - Juanita even found a pettin' zoo you can lease cheap on the Facebook classifieds... although I think that may be one of those crazy animal hoarders tryna look sane for their annual social services review," I offered.
"Betrayed by own wife, has eet really come to thees?" he pouted.
"And for cripes sake let ME pick the movies this year; it's Halloween, nobody wants to watch Ruth Buzzi ham it up in My Mom's a Werewolf on the second scariest day of the year," I pressed.
"Fine! We do eet your way, but eef things go teets up... wait, saycon' scariest day?" he puzzled.
"Yeah, election day's way scarier. An don't worry about a thing - I got this, man, I got this by the ass," I assured him, though my reference sailed over his head like flyin' monkeys over Lollipop Guild headquarters.
Call me a stick-in-the-mud old man if ya want to, but beginnin' every November 1st in court really starts losin' its appeal around 45, an besides that it was only a matter of time before I got booked as an accessory to somethin' I wouldn't be able to talk my way out of. So I got Billy Hilliard an Tetnis to haul the "petting zoo" over from Halfway, Sadie an I borrowed a few punkins from Delbert Biddle's patch after all the lights in his A-frame finally went out (we called off the apple bob due to sanitary concerns involvin' the Wildlings an Skunky's cow troughs), an once everything was in place I pulled out the big public domain guns an set aside Carnival of Souls an Don't Look in the Basement in preparation for a proper outdoor Halloween experience.
Some of the patrons were a little bummed at first, particularly the teenagers who'd planned to make crop top circles all over the interior of the maze, but between my no-holds-barred double feature an all the activities keepin' the kids occupied, things were shapin' up to be Skunky's best Halloween yet... unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas.
Now you've prolly read about what happened in the paper, an I just wanna say that, in Juanita's defense, the pettin' zoo was a big hit until the zombie deer wandered onto the lot. An while we're at it let's just do-away with that description entirely, cause the deer in question was in no way shape or form of the undead persuasion, contrary to what the Chickawalka Talka might claim. And it was *not*, in fact, rotting from the inside out - if it had been we woulda realized things'd gone sideways a whole lot quicker, but since I hadn't gotten a copy of the pettin' zoo's inventory I'd just assumed the deer was part of the ensemble. The scienticians call it "Chronic Wasting Disease," an basically these deer get brain slugs that munch their grey matter til all their critical thinkin' skills evaporate an they turn into 24-hour news network enthusiasts.
He seemed fine at first; little drooly maybe, but after eight or nine beers that can happen to anybody. Unfortunately Rowdy Pankins thought it'd be funny to snap his scrotum with a rubber band gun, an next thing you know he's chargin' all over the lot makin' like Cujo tryna tunnel his way into people's cars with his face; punctured three radiators an left a scratch five foot long down the passenger side of Edgar Mastrude's Firebird, but nobody dared take a shot at 'im due to the close quarters.
Then things got *real* scary when the goofy bastard got up on his hind legs an tried jumpin' the counter into the concession stand, cause if he'd made it over that he'da had Juanita trapped in there with noplace to go. Thank cripes for Apollo -- I dunno where he'd been or what he'd been doin', but when he heard Juanita screamin' he came peelin' in from the direction of the catfish pond an took the deer's hind legs out from under 'im like a Karate Kid villain. I don't think he ever even saw the deer until he'd crashed into it, but he meant well, the big dummy.
Course when he realized what he'd done he took off like a shot toward the maze with the buck only a yard or two behind 'im, an once they'd left visual range everything went eerily quiet an I heard this horrible thud from up on the deck of the projection booth an I was just sure the loony sombitch'd stomped my dog's skull into some kinda ancient Chinese aphrodisiac.
Aside from the scattered sounds of bawling children the whole lot was dead silent for about a half-minute, until finally Apollo comes walkin' outta the maze blowin' sage brush mingled snot all over the bumper of Maime Tibbets' Torino with the cast of Quest for Fire in tow. Seems Skunky never delivered their nachos like he'd promised (because of course he didn't, the cheap S.O.B.), an they'd spotted Apollo runnin' for his life en route to collect their tribute an put an arrow through the buck's throat just moments before it overtook him an did the Bossa Nova all over his spinal column.
Even Duke was impressed, an I can't remember that happenin' since Buzz Aldrin punched out that tinfoil hatter who tried gettin' a signed confession for moon landin' fraud, an havin' apparently found a kindred spirit in one of the few guys on the planet who was hairier'n they were, the entire clan sauntered in at Duke's invitation an parked down below the projection booth to swap huntin' stories an recipes with 'im while their sasquatchian offspring ran loose with the regular kids an achieved a very important milestone in kid-dom: baby's first Reese's cup sugar high.
It was a goddamned strange evenin', but I owed 'em one for savin' Apollo from grisly zombambi death so I lent 'em my burn barrel to roast their venison on an... I guess I wasn't thinkin' clearly at the time, cause I dunno whether mad deer disease can be transmitted to people or not, but it was a good way to score some easy points an make sure I didn't end up bein' rotated over a spit fire in the wilds of Chickawalka County myself.
Of course, the real horror didn't come until I got home an remembered where I was in the Halloween saga, an while it's technically an improvement over everything since Part 4, remakes of classic cinema stick in my craw like jagged turkey bones. I'll tell ya somethin' though - I won't stand for any Rob Zombie slander in my house, cause even though there wasn't no cause to remake Halloween (like, any, at all), Rob knows his Horror, so you can just wipe that crapola off on the mat before you come in here, alright? Alright. Now you might be thinkin' there's nothin' new to learn from this flick bein's it's a remake an all, but surprise! Rob's taken the time to explain a mystery nobody asked surroundin' Michael Myers, an so we get an origin story AND about 70% of the original flick squeezed into one movie like Divine into a pair of size 7 shoes. So there's plenty of new stuff here for all you students of American Sociology - particularly if you're interested in parts of the country where shame an self awareness have gone extinct; observe. First, Illinois has a special statute on the books which allows you to bypass mandatory waiting periods on firearm purchases in the event of a Michael Myers outbreak. Second, if you call your straight-edged friend immediately after no-strings attached sex in an abandoned serial killer's house for reassurance that you're not a slut, you might be a slut. Not that there's anything wrong with bein' a slut, an I'll go to the mat right now an tell you that some of my favorite people in high school were sluts. An third, as long as Rob Zombie walks this Earth, no character actor shall ever go hungry.
The movie begins on Halloween in a section of Haddonfield so trashy even the Proud Boys won't recruit there, with one house in particular bein' so nasty that it's gonna be condemned if it doesn't get a penicillin shot soon. Inside we got Sheri Moon tryna cook breakfast while William Forsythe sexually harasses 'er under-aged daughter (Judith) an destroys the family's entire collection of Arctic Circle holiday glasses due to elevated levels of economic anxiety. Meanwhile, Sheri's son Michael is upstairs skinnin' his pet rat in the bathroom sink before school as a way of copin' with the future fry cooks of America who make a habit of questionin' his sexual orientation an showin' off newspaper ads involvin' his mama, who hasta take 'er clothes off for money to keep Will drunk/slow enough to avoid personal injury. This is pretty much what happens when the bully gets ahold of Mike in the bathroom that mornin', only Principal Richard Lynch ends up bustin' in on 'em an draggin' Mike to detention for launchin' a volley of F-bombs at 'im, an so now Sheri hasta corral 'er hooters right in the middle of 'er floor routine an come down to the school to listen to Richard throw around terms like "emotional hardship" to explain why Mike's got a backpack fulla Polaroids of mutilated house pets. Course as soon as Richard introduces Sheri to psychiatrist Malcolm McDowell, Mike sneaks out an decides to get revenge on the bully before he starts treatment an can still pull off an insanity plea, an pretty much beats the sociopath into bullyabaisse with a tree branch. A few hours pass an it's time to go trick or treatin', only Judith's more interested in turnin' tricks upstairs with 'er scuzzy boyfriend than takin' Mike out for treats. This makes Mike so depressed that he attempts to OD on candy corn an when that don't work he duct tapes Will to the sofa while he's blackout drunk an ends his promisin' career as a welfare queen by turnin' his neck into Niagara Falls. Then he heads into the kitchen an Jose Canseco's Judith's boyfriend with a Rawlings 28" aluminum bat til the place looks like the bathroom at Berenstain Beers after a bad batch of Bloody Marys, before grabbin' the guy's William Shatner mask an stabbin' his sister til she looks like she lost a fight with a rototiller.
Next thing it's 11 months later an Mike's in the nut hut after bein' convicted of a whole lotta stabbity in the firstity, an even though Sheri comes to visit 'im every week an kindly janitor Danny Trejo tries keepin' his spirits up, before long he develops a debilitatin' case of introversion an spends all his time makin' emo Mardi Gras masks an refusin' to talk to Malcolm unless it's to fire a Jack Warden-esque profanity-laced rant at 'im. This goes on awhile until one day Malcolm leaves Mike alone with nurse Sybil Danning an he stabs 'er to death with a salad fork for callin' 'im ugly... or possibly because years of torment stemmin' from his mama's strippin' has caused 'im to become triggered by any woman who can spring their ma'ama lama ding dongs outta their blouses like jacks-in-the-box, I'm not sure exactly. This is the last straw for Sheri, cause you can murder her abusive deadbeat boyfriend an you can slaughter her disobedient skanky daughter, but killing the former drive-in rip-away bra queen is simply unforgivable, an Sheri finally gives up an splatters 'er grey matter all over the wall while she's watchin' an 8mm reel of Mike's 9th birthday party.
Then we move 15 years into the future where Mike's grown into a grunge version of Lurch from The Addams Family an Malcolm's decided to retire on account of Mike givin' 'im the silent treatment for the last decade, so he can go tourin' with his NY Times Bestseller about his experiences watchin' a chronically depressed adolescent with B.O. become a chronically depressed man with B.O. This would prolly be the end of the story if not for a coupla Phi Theta Crappas from the Tarantino Institute of Criminal Corrections who decide to rape the new inmate in Mike's cell of all places, during which one of 'em starts screwin' around with Mike's papier mache Zulu Warrior mask collection an that gets Mike so hacked off that he has no choice but to bounce their skulls off the wall like Silly Putty an then smash Danny Trejo's brain in with a TV set on his way out the door. As you can imagine, Director Clint Howard an Warden Udo Kier are in a bit of a tizzy when they discover their primary source of federal grant money has absconded with the hospital's day pass ledger, so they call Malcolm up at 4 in the AM to get 'im back on retainer even though several hours have passed an Mike's already hoofed it over to a truck stop an killed Ken Foree for turnin' the bathroom into an unlicensed gas chamber.
Elsewhere, baby Laurie (who up to this point was best known for screamin' in the background while William Forsythe redefined what it meant to be white trash), having overcome 'er genetic handicap and been adopted by Dee Wallace, is droppin' a key off at the Myers house on 'er way to school so the same kinda lunatic who bought Jeffrey Dahmer's kitchen china at auction can do a walkthrough. Then Laurie meets up with Danielle Harris an Lynda (who's one of like... three people in this movie who ain't famous) an the three of 'em head home from school while Mike watches 'em an breathes like Darth Vader from behind a tree. A few hours pass, an once it's good an dark out Lynda takes Shaggy from Scooby Doo over to the Myers House to root around on the floor an find out if it's possible to contract Hepatitis through sheer atmospheric immersion, only when Shaggy heads downstairs to grab some plain wrap libations Mike tacks 'im to the wall like a sheet of cheap wood paneling an then permanently kinks Lynda's windpipe. Meantime Malcolm hasta drive all the way to Indiana to avoid the 3-day waiting period for firearm purchases an buys a .357 from the lead Monkee while Laurie an Danielle head to their respective babysittin' gigs (Danielle's at the Wallace's house, an Laurie's at the Doyle place), only Mike shows up at Laurie's pad about 20 seconds after she leaves an twists Dee's neck into a Twizzler for runnin' out on E.T. when he needed 'er the most. Course Danielle ain't about to be chained to some grody little mucus monster on Halloween, so she dumps 'er load (Lindsey) with Laurie so she can go back to the Wallace place an smoosh adorable little butt divots into the sofa cushions with 'er boyfriend (Paul).
Unfortunately Danielle's such a fox that Mike totally forgets about his all-consuming goal of turnin' Laurie into Beef Strodenoff an he ends up followin' her instead of Laurie an pierces Paul through the pancreas with his kitchen knife an slices Danielle into Oscar Meyer materials. She's a tough cookie though, an she manages to keep 'er insides inside until Laurie finds 'er bleedin' all over 'er employers' ornamental rug an calls the cops, only before she can tell 'em there's a chalk-faced point guard with a Star Trek obsession on the loose, Mike grabs 'er an starts usin' 'er for a stud finder until she's able to get away an hobble back to 'er wards. While all that's goin' on, Malcolm's gone down to the police station an hooked up with Sheriff Brad Dourif so Brad can hypnotically swell his eyeballs up to the size of saucers an tell Malcolm his deep, dark secret about findin' Sheri Moon's baby at the scene of 'er suicide an droppin' 'er off at a hospital ER two towns over, only to see the kid adopted by Dee Wallace an 'er husband back in Haddonfield. Then a coupla cops show up to rescue Laurie, an Mike makes pork chops out of 'em an carries Laurie down the street to the Myers House just as Malcolm an Brad arrive at the Wallaces' to comfort Danielle an reassure 'er that she'll live to scream another day. Meanwhile, Laurie wakes up in the Myers' basement where Mike offers 'er the picture Sheri gave 'im of the two of them as kids just before he went full edgelord, only she dunno Mike's 'er brother an so for all she knows it's the picture that came with Mike's wallet, an she sympathizes with his plight by grabbin' his knife an jammin' it into his clavicle. Mike is P.O.'d, an by the time he's able to corner 'er in an old swimmin' pool that looks to've been converted into a hobo porta-john he's really had it with 'er attitude, but I think I prolly oughta shut my gob since we're gettin' pretty close to the end an Malcolm's about to show up for one last therapy session.
Alrighty, so let's just get this out of the way straight away: Halloween should never, ever, have been remade. The original still holds up 41 years after the fact, it made piles and piles of money back in 1978, and was what most people consider the first Slasher flick. Other folks say it was Black Christmas or Twitch of the Death Nerve, while some even go all the way back to Psycho, but I think Halloween really established all the rules and laid the foundation for what a Slasher movie should be (Friday the 13th perfected the formula two years later, despite being an inferior film). So essentially this movie shouldn't exist and I should be reviewing the 2018 continuation starring Jamie Lee Curtis right now. That said, I really don't have the abject hate and resentment for it that I have for the Chainsaw remake, because if nothing else the original Halloween was fairly slick in its presentation and production values, while Chainsaw's grittiness was never going to translate to a remake. The real problem with the remake of Halloween is that it should have been two movies, and in fact Rob Zombie lobbied for two movies but was turned down by the rapist-in-chief at Dimension in a decision I will never, ever understand, given that Dimension had enough faith in the marquee value of the franchise to green light one film (not long after the huge success of The Devil's Rejects), but having two, which would have made them twice the cash, was apparently a bridge too far. Let's also keep in mind that they ended up making a sequel to it two years later anyway. So the flick has this weird paradox goin' on where it's simultaneously too long and too short, and feels rushed despite being two hours in length. The first half, while questionable for inclusion in general, feels well paced and cohesive, but the second half tries to cram the events of the original Halloween, in their entirety, into a little over an hour and it just feels disjointed and forced, as though Zombie was trying to hit all the key moments from the original with the editor standing over his shoulder tapping their watch. The movie was always going to be contentious no matter how they went about making it, but no matter what you thought of it, I think most people can agree that it would have turned out *better* as two movies, despite the fact that many fans intensely dislike the attempt to explain why Michael Myers does the things he does. That part didn't really *bother* me, however it was wholly unnecessary as people have been content with the simple explanation that, as Donald Pleasence explained 41 years ago: "I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil." That's it, he's evil, we don't need to know why, and it's definitely a flick where the original story benefited from that simplicity.
Anyway, now that I've pissed off everyone on both sides of the Rob Zombie debate for being fair and level-headed, let's shovel the guts outta this punkin and find out whether its seeds are viable. As I mentioned earlier, the plot bumps up against the movie's time restraints and causes a lot of incoherence during the latter part of the flick, and while I find the white trash upbringing story entertaining and enjoyable, I still think trying to explain Michael Myers' origin is a fool's errand. I also think it's no coincidence that the "Thorn" trilogy (parts 4 - 6) is where the series went down hill twenty years earlier, because it too tried to answer a question no one asked. Beyond that, the second half is fairly faithful to the original source material insofar as Zombie was able to squeeze in all the memorable and plot relevant sequences, but even that could have been fleshed out a bit better had the climax not been so drawn out. In short, this movie needed to be two movies, there's just no two ways about it. The acting on the other hand is fantastic, as it always is in Rob Zombie's films. Some people may scoff and complain about nepotism and the frequent casting of "his friends," but I think the fact that his "friends" happen to include a hell of a lot of genre legends says more about his excellent taste than anything else. Just waiting to see who's going to turn up in his movies has been, and is, one of the highlights for me. Because regardless of how you feel about his finished products, his casting always pays respect to our genre favorites and I for one enjoy seeing them return to the screen, even if they're only in bit parts. The standout performances would have to go to William Forsythe as the ill-tempered sleazebag boyfriend, Scout Taylor-Compton as the fresh meat, Danielle Harris as the kinky bestie who survives to scream another day, and the always reliable Brad Dourif who really makes the most out of a part that didn't amount to much, but which was greatly expanded in the sequel. Malcolm McDowell does a good job despite unfortunate tweaks to the Loomis character, but nobody can ever take the place of Donald Pleasence.
Here's who matters and why (except a few people you might already know, like, oh I dunno: Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Sheri Moon Zombie, Richard Lynch, Udo Kier, Clint Howard, Danny Trejo, Tom Towles, Bill Moseley, Danielle Harris, Dee Wallace, Courtney Gains, Ken Foree, Sybil Danning, Sid Haig, and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees): Tyler Mane (X-Men, Halloween II 2009, Abnormal Attraction, Victor Crowley, Devil May Call, 247 Degrees Fahrenheit, The Devil's Rejects, The Scorpion King, How to Make a Monster), Daeg Faerch (Run! Bitch Run!, Hancock, Dark Mirror), William Forsythe (Virtuosity, Sharkman, Larva, Hammerhead, The Devil's Rejects, Southern Gothic, Hack!, iMurders, Dear Mr. Gacy, The Rig, Inkubus, Infected, Tom Holland's Twisted Tales), Lew Temple (The Devil's Rejects, Between the Darkness, 31, Zombex, House of Forbidden Secrets, Silent Night Zombie Night, Someone's Knocking at the Door, House 2008, No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker, Trailer Park of Terror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, The Visitation, Leslie Easterbrook (The Devil's Rejects, Beast Mode, Abnormal Attraction, Mirror Image, Charlotte, Patent Media's Sugar Skull Girls, Lavalantula, Compound Fraction, House of the Witchdoctor, Sorority Party Massacre, Monsterpiece Theatre Volume 1, Rift, The Afflicted, House 2008, A Dead Calling, Dismembered), Steve Boyles (Batman & Robin), Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween II 2009, The Lurker, Edge of Insanity, Cynthia, Feral, Ghost House, 247 Degrees Fahrenheit, April Fools Day 2008, Wicked Little Things).
Additionally: Skyler Gisondo (The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2), Kristina Klebe (Hellboy 2019, Proxy, Slay Belles, Don't Kill It, Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival, Dementia, Tales of Halloween, Nymph, The Kiss of a Killer, Chillerama, Bread Crumbs, Zone of the Dead), Adam Weisman (Hatchet, The Toolbox Murders 2004), Nick Mennell (Friday the 13th 2009), Pat Skipper (Ed Gein, Independence Day, Hellraiser 4, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane! 1991, Predator 2, Deathstone), Daryl Sabara (The Green Inferno, After the Dark), Richmond Arquette (Zodiac, Rift, Mexican Devil, The Tripper, Scream 3, Se7en), Paul Kampf (Pulse 2), Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination, 3 From Hell, Dead Night, Phantasm 5, 31, At the Devil's Door, The Lords of Salem, John Dies at the End, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, Halloween II 2009, Trail of the Screaming Forehead, The Devil's Rejects, The Low Budget Time Machine, Dark Walker, Bubba Ho-Tep, Terror Eyes, Cavegirl), Mel Fair (Showdown at Area 51), Nikki Taylor Melton (Satanic Panic, Fallen Souls, The Rockville Slayer), Andreana Weiner (Red Dragon), Jeremy Maxwell (Dead Scared), Barbara Harris (Jaws 4), John DeMita (Leprechaun 3, Without Warning 1994, Child of Darkness Child of Light), Daaman J. Krall (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 2005, Jaws 4), Ezra Buzzington (Nightmare Cinema, The Chair 2016, Trash Fire, The Last House, Dug Up, Lost Lake, Darkening Sky, Someone's Knocking at the Door, Mirrors, The Haunting of Morsten Manor, The Hills Have Eyes 2006), Richard Fancy (The Lords of Salem, Psycho Beach Party, Primal Force, The Lawnmower Man 2, Species, Roswell, Spellbinder), Gary Grossman (Leprechaun 4), Olja Hrustic (Mayhem, Millennium Crisis, Grindhouse), Kazu Nagahama (Gamera 3, Ringu 2), Amanda Tepe (Pulse 2006).
Of course when the cast is as talented as this one you've gotta expect folks to dip their toes into the mainstream now and then, bein's those're the gigs you need to make the mortgage payment, so if you're wondering what the cast used to do in the days before appearing in a Rob Zombie movie got 'em blacklisted, here ya go: William Forsythe (Cockeye in Once Upon a Time in America, Evelle in Raising Arizona, Flattop in Dick Tracy, Al Capone on The Untouchables, Franchise in Things to do in Denver When You're Dead, Ernest Paxton in The Rock), Lew Temple (Cal in Waitress, Ned in Unstoppable), Leslie Easterbrook (Callahan in the Police Academy series, Rhonda Lee on Laverne & Shirley), Scout Taylor-Compton (Lita Ford in The Runaways), Skyler Gisondo (Eric Bemis on Santa Clarita Diet, Bryan Pearson on The Bill Engvall Show), Hanna Hall ( Cecilia Lisbon in The Virgin Suicides), Daryl Sabara (voiced Rex on Generator Rex), Daniel Roebuck (Biggs in The Fugitive, Arnold Walker on The Man in the High Castle, Cliff Lewis on Matlock), Richard Fancy (Lippman on Seinfeld), Amanda Tepe (Colleen McHenry on General Hospital).
The special effects, you could argue, are the one area where a modern remake might be able to improve upon the original, but I really don't think that's true given that the original didn't show hardly any gore as a stylistic choice, and left much of the violence concealed in the shadows. The kills are very traditional, which is generally the smart approach when you want your movie to be taken seriously as opposed to being viewed in the manner of a Friday the 13th sequel, but what the film may lack in originality it makes up for in brutality. Zombie's remake is a textbook example of the "gritty reboot," and as such you won't see the silliness inherent in many of the cheesy Slasher flicks of the '80s, as the modern approach to Horror consists primarily of upping the ante from a film's past iterations. This is kind of at odds with the tone of the original movie, but it's more or less mandatory these days. Ultimately it's up to the viewer to decide which method is better, but anyone who goes in expecting the kind of restraint shown by the '78 version is in for a rude awakening. I would also be remiss not to mention that the CGI usage in the movie is very minimal, and that's not only important to note for fans of the original, but also a decision that earns extra points for the movie's rating. The shooting locations, it must be said, are very consistent with those of the original movie, due in no small part to *being* the same locations in some instances. Both movies were filmed in Pasadena, and in one scene Michael is actually standing in front of the house that originally belonged to Jamie Lee Curtis' character in the first film, so they definitely get a few bonus points for that. That said, the cinematography and atmosphere of the '78 version combine to create the archetype of exactly what Halloween should look and feel like on film. So while the new locations are all very good (particularly the Myers house during Michael's childhood years and the mental institution), I don't think any film will ever be able to recapture the spirit of Halloween quite like the '78 version did.
As for the soundtrack, it seems to me that they were in an ugly catch 22, because it wouldn't be a Halloween movie without Carpenter's original score, but at the same time Carpenter's score is was nearly 30 years old (in 2007) and just doesn't quite feel right against the backdrop of modern cinematography. They were really faithful to the original music too, using several different pieces with minimal updating, and while it's always nostalgic and fun to hear those tunes in a new Halloween installment, they kinda clash with the new gritty version of the story. Don't get me wrong, the music isn't bad in any way shape or form - it's great - it just doesn't quite fit the way the new tracks composed by Tyler Bates (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame) do. So it kinda feels like they were in a no-win situation, and I think they made the right choice by including the original music because let's face it - people would have rioted if they didn't, but it all just feels a little strange. Bonus points for licensing Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" though, cause it's little touches like that that really kick-start those feelings of nostalgia. Overall, Halloween is technically sound, with the damning exception of the story and the decision to try combining everything into one movie. That choice not only damages the movie's technical score, but also the viewer's personal enjoyment of the flick because the moment the second half starts one gets the feeling that the story is not so much unfolding as trying to catch up to where it needs to be to fit into the allotted running time. Still, it's going up against the Thorn Trilogy, Josh Hartnett, and Busta Rhymes, and as such, I would place Zombie's remake at #7 of 11 in the series (I actually think the sequel to this is a *little* better due to the improved focus and balanced pacing). As for whether you should see it, I think the only thing to do there is ask yourself if you can look past the fact that it shouldn't exist. If you can, then you should absolutely see it; if not, don't.