Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rob Zombie's Halloween: Or John Carpenter's Halloween; Special Trailer Trash Edition.


WARNING THIS POST CONTAINS ANGST.

I didn't really have any gripes concerning Rob Zombie until I finally saw his remake of Halloween...but oh did that change quickly. While it certainly focuses much more on Michael Myers than the original did- I think it relies far too much on that damn Michael Myers, and reveals too much of what makes Michael Myers especially creepy. More importantly- the overall creepy seasonal feeling of Halloween pours out of the original, while in RZ's you would barely know that it was Halloween at all. There is a moment in the original when Dr. Loomis is walking the streets trying to find out where Michael went, and we see the remanents of toliet paper strewn in the trees, and the wind blowing it in this eerie manner. It's exactly the atmosphere of the end of a Halloween night. Where as a kid you felt that maybe you were out a little too late- and were worried about running into that gang of pumpkin smashers. There is that moment of the night when things stop being about fun and candy and start getting scary- and Halloween captures that. All I got out of RZ's was trash trash and more trash. Oh and Michael was flicking some candy corn there for a while...neat.

Let's begin with what we are suppose to know about Michael Myers. He killed his sister, he likes clowns maybe, he steals headstones, and idolizes William Shatner. By only knowing those things, Michael Myers is an enigma that is terrifying on his own. We don't need bullshit reasons why Michael Myers is the way he is. So he had a crappy childhood... wha wha- I'm going to kill my pet rat because my Mom's trashy boyfriend called me gay. I don't buy it. If he is supposedly "pure evil" as Dr. Loomis would say then I feel like he doesn't or even shouldn't have a reason to be so. If you're evil you're evil. You don't wake up one day and feel mad about things then go beating up bullies with sticks.

On the same sort of topic- can we please stop casting Sheri Moon Zombie in important roles. I figured she was pretty OK as Baby Firefly- delightfully creepy and childish- but then I realized watching this, that that whiny high pitched voice thing she does is just natural! She's not playing a character, that's how she acts! I honestly thought I was just watching Baby Firefly and Sheriff Wydell's life 15 years into the future. The swearing every 3 seconds thing gets annoying real fast.

Moving on from there why why why does Michael have to kill Laurie's parents?! Is this the big dramatic change that Rob Zombie was going for so that he could justify remaking this film? Not only are you spilling the beans on Laurie's history a little too soon, it's just completely unnecessary.

And my final gripe is Laurie. Why in God's name would you ever cast this girl as the lead in your movie? She looks like she's 12, acts like she's 7, wears ugly glasses- and goes from making inappropriate remarks involving bagels and her mom- to being a sweet innocent girl and worried about shouting things to strangers. I did not buy that A. parents would let her babysit their children and that B she is suppose to be our virginal heroine. Honestly where did she learn to babysit? Let's scare the kid as much as I can and be a sarcastic arsehole to him the entire time....because oh right believing in the Boogeyman is an unrealistic thing for a kid to believe in.

I was looking forward to seeing this because I did take something away from RZ's previous films. This movie spent way too much time with Michael's history and then quickly regurgitated the original movie remixed with crappy acting and stupidity. I just don't understand why everything in RZ's world has to be so trashy. Why can't Michael Myers just decide he wants to kill people? Isn't that scarier and more fitting to the definition of unexplainable and pure evil? My advice to Mr. Rob is; stop casting your friends in every single movie you do- and go back to originality and stay very clear of patterns. Nobody cares that you're shocking. By now most of us have seen Martyrs and I'm afraid no amount of swearing, rape scenes, or rat brutality is going to shake us.


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8 comments:

Bobby Bless said...

first: at least he filled his movie with some great tunes.
second: just wait until you see H2..

Andre said...

Ugh...I'm not looking forward to that.

Matt said...

Glad you hated it. I know you said you've gotten positive things out of Zombie's other work (I, myself, have not) but it has to be said that this is an abomination. I beat it up pretty bad, along with H2, on my site too.

Basically, he took one of the scariest films ever made and remade it with cliche upon cliche upon cliche. Dialogue is god-awful and his pop-psychology analysis of Myers' roots take any of the magic away from the character. I could go on for hours, but I'll spare you. If this one wasn't infuriating enough, as Bobby said, "just wait until you see H2"

Jay Amabile said...

I can't argue with a lot of what you wrote, but I do commend him for not doing another typical studio rehash...or "reimagining"...he gave it his own spin and that's cool. He's entitled to it, but unfortunately his H2 was dismal. Bobby Bless is right.

Andre said...

Thanks guys! Although I really don't want to see H2 I suppose I must....I'm sure that post will be even angstier if that's a word.

Matt- Looking back I guess I've really only gotten positive things out of House of 1000 Corpses the one that most people hate the most! But now after seeing this I think that was only because it was my first experience with Rob Zombie and the first time his style is sort of shocking I guess, but now it's just blah blah blah we are trashy and swear all the time and after seeing Halloween, I just don't appreciate his other films as much.

brett g @ oh-the-horror.com said...

Agree 100% with this assessment. It's like Zombie made a checklist of everything that made the original great and set out to completely fuck it up.

Myers is an enigma with no apparent purpose or motive? Let's give him the cliche broken home background.

Loomis is essentially a cipher for Myers's evil and lets us know why we should be afraid of him? Nah, let's turn him into this asshole capitalist.

The original celebrates all the touchtones of the holiday and is steeped in Halloween imagery? Let's throw some leaves on the ground and put up some token decorations. The fact is that H1KC (which I also enjoyed to an extent) did a better job of capturing a Halloween atmosphere.

LJRich said...

I hated the movie, too, for largely the same reasons. But, there's one thing I want to state.

Rob Zombie wasn't the first one to focus too much attention on Michael, or to give too much insight into what made him so creepy. The first one to do that was Daniel Farrands who wrote Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (AKA: Halloween 666).

That was the movie that started all the background fantasizing where Michael was the member of a Satanic cult that gave him people to kill and wanted him to kill small babies.

Arguably the most ridiculous in the franchise until Resurrection completely blew it out of the water on the "turd" scale.

Zombie paid far too much attention to the white trash aspect of his characters, but that is Rob's M.O. Featured in everything he's ever written for screen.

Unknown said...

'Kay so granted, you didn't appreciate it, but I liked that they went into his back story because, even without the sociopathy stuff, and that's what it is, he's a sociopath not "eveil", as, to me at least, sociopathy has nothing to do with being "good" or "evil" it's a problem with functioning of essential parts of your brain. The element of going into his back story, though, that I liked most, is it explained his connection to Laurie, which in the original series, you had to wait through a whole second film to find out. I love how it develops his sociopathic and psychotic nature to the point when he stops talking and begins being obsessed with masks, his decent into insanity if you will. One thing I don't understand about both movies, is if Laurie was a Myers to begin with, then why, well knowing that, would her father have sent her to drop the key at the "old Myers house"?