Finishing up our Halloween trilogy in time for Halloween, today is the Rob Zombie Halloween.
Unlike all the other movies in the franchise, this one represents the first (and to date, only) straight up attempt at a full series reboot. We meet Michael Myers in his shitty upbringing, and go all the way through his escape and stalking of Laurie Strode. All through the lens of Rob Zombie, who adds his own take and twist to everything in the movie while still managing to stick to the original in many ways.
I don’t want to sound like a film critic, but the beginning of this movie definitely feels… relevant. It’s a lot of alarm bells relating to early warnings we often miss, with society failing both Michael Myers and everyone around him straight from the beginning. We’ve got an awful home situation, with a barely there mother, an atrocious step-father or mother’s boyfriend, and a bent sister. He’s bullied at school, and the school doesn’t really care to rectify the situation or look out for him in any way. Loomis reaches out early on, but he’s ignored. And then all hell breaks loose.
That’s quite apt given how often we do miss signs, and how often people are forgotten. It’s kind of surprising for a horror movie to be so on point.
All in all, the movie is pretty damn good. The acting is great: Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Star Trek: Generations, and so on and so forth) is a wonderful Loomis, bringing his own take to the character while retaining the core of the character. Brad Dourif (Lord of the Rings, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) is a wonderful sheriff, and William Forsythe (Boardwalk Empire, Raising Arizona, John Doe, and so on and so forth) is spot on as an abusive, drunken prick of a man. I list their credits because Zombie managed to pull in quite a few names, with extensive backgrounds, to give some real bones to the acting.
There’s a good bit of gore, but surprisingly — not to the level as the most recent sequel. There’s also a Rob Zombie esque amount of nudity and near nudity, including a disturbing strip tease scene interlaced with Michael truly breaking as a human being.
But all that said, neither the violence nor the gore feel over the top, and the amount of nudity is more eye-rolling than shocking. This might be one of the best horror series reboots ever done, and it shouldn’t be missed by fans of the series or slashers in general.
Now for the report card:
Running Time: Just over two hours for the unrated cut, which is what I watched.
Acting: As good as it gets.
Effects: They didn’t use a lot, other than fake blood and such, and it was good.
Violence: Michael Myers is loose, and he’s angry and violent.
Gun Use: Minimal, and not over the top for the genre. We just have to assume Loomis sucks at aiming.
Creepy? Not really.
Monster Type? Human. Society, too.
Funny? When it wants to be.
Nudity: A lot of topless female nudity and some brief full frontal nudity. Some butts.
Pacing: Very good.