First of all, I’m not about to compare this to the original Halloween movie and say I liked one better than the other. There’s a good reason for this… although the story is basically the same in both films, John Carpenter is a minimalist-style director with action-driven plots while Rob Zombie gives attention to detail and his films are very character-driven. So in my mind, to try to compare the two is like apples and oranges.
Now with that out of the way, here’s what I thought about Rob Zombie’s version of Halloween:
From the first frame onward, we can tell that Mr. Zombie is extremely passionate about the 70s horror genre. But rather than spending just a few minutes watching through the eyes of a clown mask, we really get to know Michael and his family before and after his first murders. I absolutely loved this. Then again, I’m a sucker for character-driven horror. I like getting up close and personal with the villains.
With the exception of the token "tip of the hat" kill (aka pinning a 175+ pound man to a wall with a butcher’s knife), the juicy scenes were both brutal and believable. The characters did not remain spotless throughout their ordeal, and the overall feel of the film was pretty convincing…
However, there was one little thing that nagged at me throughout the latter half of the movie. Throughout most of the film the "present" action seemed to be taking place some years past. The music playing on radios, the style of modern conveniences, not a computer in sight or even the mention of them... and then right around the aforementioned pin-the-bloke-to-the-wall scene, a girl in a house with no electricity yanks out a cell phone.
This drove me bonkers, and not just because several people in the audience around me were also using their phones. But I think it says something about the film if that’s my only complaint.
All and all, it’s a worthy remake of a classic. You can tell that a lot of love went into this film, and that alone makes it worth the price of admission.
Film information: Halloween