By Brett Mullins
Directed by Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie’s reimagining of Halloween is a grisly, brutal tale of love, death, and depravity. Zombie employs a style of storytelling that allows for the freedom to fully develop characters and still retain the nostalgic feeling with the audience.
Michael is a troubled child who constantly gets picked on at school and has an unimaginably bad home life. He eventually snaps and is incarcerated for a series of vicious slayings. Fifteen years later, Michael has escaped and is on his way to seek revenge.
Considering that many scenes in this film are a shot for shot remake of the 1978 original, Zombie’s Halloween features far more character depth. The first hour of the film, for instance, is largely concerned in detailing how Michael becomes this crazed killer. This allows the audience to understand and to some degree connect with the character; that is, until this tie is purposefully severed later in the film. It is safe to say that this entry is more concerned with Michael and his motives than that of any previous Halloween film.
While the plot has been well thought out, it is not without its inconsistencies. Problems arise near the film’s conclusion of how the cops arrived at particular places and why they aren’t there in other scenes. Some of the later characters, such as Laurie, are a bit uneven at times and are not always easy to relate to. With that being said, this film features several nods to the original that function both as to evoke nostalgia and to misdirect the audience. It’s not always clear which is which.
The acting is excellent all around. In particular, Daeg Faerch, who portrays the young Michael Myers, and Scout Taylor-Compton, who portrays Laurie Strode, deliver spot on performances given their roles. Faerch is able to turn from an average ten year old boy to a sinister monster in a seeming instant. It was also nice to see the familiar face of Danny Trejo who is key in establishing and severing Michael’s connection with the audience. Trejo is such a likable actor that his presence alone virtually guarantees the success of this technique.
Zombie’s Halloween is quite a different take on the original story that combines the tension of the ‘70s with the brutality of today’s horror genre.