Movie Review: Halloween (2007)


Did I miss the memo outlining Hollywood needing to remake movies that didn’t need to be remade? Apparently so, because just a few weeks ago, Invasion of the Body Snatchers was remade for the third time with The Invasion. This weekend (not sure why it couldn’t wait for Halloween), the 1978 horror classic Halloween will be in theaters after receiving a face lift by none other than Rob Zombie.

For those of you that are living under a rock, here is the quick and dirty: Halloween is the story of Michael Myers, the epitome of evil. At the tender age of ten he gets institutionalized for first degree murder (apparently killing family members is frowned upon). After all hope of release is lost, he closes off to the world and begins brooding. Fast forward 15 years. He manages to escape his confines and begins actively seeking the only remaining link he has left to the real world — his baby sister Laurie. Anyone getting in the way of his family reunion better have a good life insurance policy.

There are a couple of differences between the original and this version, one of which really ruins the movie for me. First and not quite so damning, is the confusion I got from Zombie’s direction. He clearly wanted his rendition to go head to head with the latest blood-glorifying flicks like Saw III and Hostel: Part II. To get there he has to get naked girls, more blood and more killings into the mix (i.e., Michael kills his entire family instead of just his sister). On its own I don’t have problems with that (I love naked girls and gore). What I did have a problem with was the fact he reshot scenes from the original movie (i.e., Michael dressed as a ghost with glasses and the ominous stare he does while shadowing his sister). Either make the movie your own or don’t – you can’t have it both ways.

My biggest issue however, lies with the back story. Rob Zombie has gone through the trouble to develop the reasons behind the creation of the psychopath and I don’t like it. Michael is now socially inept – long straggly hair and an odd look make him easy pickings for school bullies. He hails from a seriously broken household – his mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) is a stripper, his stepfather(?) Ronnie (William Forsythe) is an abusive, unloving alcoholic and his sister Judith (Hanna Hall) is a worthless slut. He does what other high risk children do too — while away their time and escape the misery that is their life by torturing and killing animals. It basically seems like Zombie read Psychology Today and copied all the outlying reasons as to why crazy people kill. If anything, break the norm and have him come from a perfectly happy home. That would have really allowed for a deeper reflection into what was going on inside this child’s mind and would have made him all that much more frightening. As far as I am concerned, no matter what he did, humanizing Michael wasn’t going to make anyone feel sorry for him.

In my eyes, remaking Halloween was a Herculean task. The genuine movie is so entrenched in everyone’s psyche that is impossible to not have comparisons (of which the original always wins). Sure the curious will go to see it no matter what I say (they saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake too) but it doesn’t even come close to the true horror exemplified by John Carpenter’s pioneering work. See it for yourself – it’s nearly 30 years old and still scary as hell.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad

2

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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.


'Movie Review: Halloween (2007)' have 35 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 29, 2007 @ 12:32 am Crystal

    I completely agree. I’m tired of hollywood trying to remake old movies. They need to come up with some new ideas

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 29, 2007 @ 10:31 am The Reviewer

    How did you see this movie early? How do you see movies early?

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 29, 2007 @ 5:14 pm General Disdain

    How did you see this movie early? How do you see movies early?

    Same way critics like Ebert and Shalit do. We just have to go out of our way and ask nicely for the opportunity to see a screener or two. Sometimes it works in our favor . . .

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 30, 2007 @ 4:12 am Gear

    I’m not usually a fan of horror films, but I really enjoy the gritty, scummy way Zombie makes movies. It wasn’t a great film, but it definately entertained me and is one of the better horror films I’ve seen lately.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 30, 2007 @ 6:02 pm fraidofthedark

    Great review.

    The new movie sadly doesnt deserve the title “Halloween.”
    As a stand alone movie, yeh its good. As a remake of the original, don’t make me laugh.
    General Disdain did however miss an important element in the original movie which made Michael Myers scarier than a topless ninety year old lady in a thong. The way he moved.

    Rob Zombie has given us a serial killer in a mask who moved like a guy on PCP.

    Carpenter gave us Michael Myers, who stalked his prey slowly (and still caught them), appeared from no-where without a sound. Killed his prey in one movement, then studied his kill with the curiosity of a confused child.

    Where Rob Zombie makes me lock the doors before I go to bed, Carpenter makes turn on all the lights, keep one eye open and still have nightmares.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 31, 2007 @ 12:20 am George

    I’m a fan of the original and was wary of what Rob Zombie was going to do with this but I must admit….This is a REALLY good film and it stands on it’s own no problem. The original is cool but if you think about it, it’s really just a bunch of cheap tricks. I always hated the original Dr. Loomis. Malcom McDowel does a much better job with this character and the young Jason is done really well in this film. Exceptional visuals and editing. Highly recommended!

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 31, 2007 @ 12:24 pm Dan

    I just recently viewed this movie last night and would have to agree with the review it has received. while i would say it was a total waist of Zombies time i would have to agree he really didn’t hit the nail on the head. I was disappointed it was more of a remake rather then a re-telling. I probably would have enjoyed it had it been more about the lead up to the families murders as well as his incarceration in the mental hospital.
    The whole story of his family was rather weird to me as well because i was always under the premise that after the murders took place that both Myer’s mother And father run up to him and ask what he has done? The girl replaying Jamie Lee Curtis’s role cant hold a stick to her, but hey those are big shoes to fill. and to be honest some of the murder scenes aren’t in Myers fashion. but to be honest i would have been more happy if Rob had tried to put more of his style of slasher flick into this, instead it felt as if he did hold back at some points. One thing i did like was how massive physically huge they make Michael in this movies. He’s ripped! all and all I wouldn’t be waiting in line to see it a second time but it was worth seeing at least once.

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 31, 2007 @ 8:22 pm Monica

    What I can’t figure out is how George up there says he’s a fan of the original film yet calls “Michael” “Jason” in his post.

    Maybe that’s why he likes this version of the film…..

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 2, 2007 @ 12:33 am Word Hugger

    I liked the movie. I think they had too many repeating “crawling away” victims that took up what seemed like half of the movie, but other than that, it was pretty good.

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 3, 2007 @ 4:53 pm mike

    While the movie wasn’t exactly bad, it certainly does not live up to the name Halloween.

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 8, 2007 @ 9:11 am James

    I guess I’m one of the few people who actually liked this movie. This version answered all the questions the original never bothered to.
    Rob Zombie took a big gamble and it paid off.

  12. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 2, 2007 @ 8:51 am Noddegamra

    Agh! I can’t believe they remade this!!!! Halloween is one of my favourite films, it is pure excellence! The scary bits of the film are the stalking and ironically “what you don’t see”.

    It plays on the mind, the fact no one knows why he kills just doesn’t add up, but FOR A GOOD REASON. His mentalitly isn’t written down in a Mr Men book and handed to you, it’s something the viewer(s) try to add up afterwards which in turn adds to the interest of the movie.

    I don’t CARE how Rob Zombie thinks the film should be told. IT WASN’T HIS ORIGINAL IDEA. Come up with your won crappy story Rob, rather than destroying a masterpiece.

    Certain films should be untouched, a bit like how we have “listed buildings”. Halloween should have been left alone forever and appreciated as it always has been.

  13. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 25, 2007 @ 11:47 pm TOMY AND VINNY and SAVANNAH

    We saw this movie, and to tell ya the truth it shouldn’t ever have been made again. it was the most crappy,made up stinky movie that should’of never been compared to the original.it was not even close to the real thing.we were dissapointed big time to see this crappy film.rob should’of brought back the old actors and shouldn’t of tried to copy the first movie. they did a horrible job and it wasn’t even as scary as the original. it was a big waste of a great film. they ruined HALLOWEEN forever. thanks allot.

  14. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 28, 2007 @ 5:09 am fraidofthedark

    George

    Your reply to mu post (in my view) misses one crucial point.

    What is now a bunch of cheap tricks, was back then very clever cinematography which didnt depend on a an abundance of special effects.

    Special effects remove the need for us to think, they tell us everything. THATS where this movie fails.

  15. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 5, 2007 @ 12:15 pm Smith

    Love your ratings system!

    Yes it is about time they stopped doing these. Nothing worse than dragging a good name down. They could at least release it with a different name!

  16. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 6, 2007 @ 7:36 am Topper

    Nice Movie Ever. I was seen before 10 days..

  17. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 6, 2007 @ 8:14 am ANN

    Its always the same, The remakes are never as good as the original.

  18. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 6, 2007 @ 8:28 am Gospel

    I havent seeen it yet, but it will have to be really good to beat the original

  19. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 6, 2007 @ 1:22 pm Atomic Popcorn

    Complete trash in my eyes. Waste of a couple of free tickets.

  20. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 7, 2007 @ 7:38 pm PPV

    Do you think with the recent writers guild strikes and discourse this problem will get better or worse?

  21. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 7, 2007 @ 8:24 pm General Disdain

    Its always the same, The remakes are never as good as the original.

    Once in a blue moon a remake surpasses the original. The 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers was better than the original.

    Do you think with the recent writers guild strikes and discourse this problem will get better or worse?

    Can it get worse?

  22. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 12, 2007 @ 3:47 am Sirius Lee

    IMHO, a film should be a minimum number of decades old before it is remade. If possible, the generation that watched the original should already be in old folks homes before the remake is done and shown in theaters. Like in this case, the original Halloween is still fresh in many people’s minds, so much so that any attempt to remake it will fail to capture the mystique of the original.

  23. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 13, 2007 @ 11:35 pm Mvan19

    I wasn’t too impressed with this movie, the old Haloween was way better. To me, it looked like this film tried to hard; nobody i watched it with enjoyed it either.

  24. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 22, 2007 @ 9:19 am Free Forum

    I love this film, I read this review and have been to see it, great, loved it thanks :)

  25. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 29, 2007 @ 7:08 pm joedel

    I found this movie pretty OK. But I guess we all have different opinions.

  26. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 18, 2007 @ 3:36 am Tammy

    I really liked the original film. I think the remaking of old films is really about revisionism.

    I’ve noticed that the remakes tend to propagandize certain social issues. It’s like they want to put a commercial into the middle of a film but they don;t have the ballz to do it.

  27. The Critical Movie Critics

    December 27, 2007 @ 1:25 pm Shantanu

    Finally got to see it! Spot on…the back story is rather weak.

    Re: Naked girls and more gore… I disagree, I think now-a-days the audience needs it; standards have changed since the last one was released.

  28. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 4, 2008 @ 5:03 am body shapes

    I managed to watch this the other day. I haven’t seen too many of the Halloween films before and I must say that I didn’t mind this. Maybe I just haven’t seen enough of these!

  29. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 16, 2008 @ 3:13 pm Nicky Hair

    It is an average remake, but if you really want to see a horror movie I would have to suggest 1) The Exorcist 2) Blair Witch Project. Those are two very good movies and not for the faint hearted.

  30. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 21, 2008 @ 6:17 am David Hughes

    A great horror movie. I watched this with my friend a few weeks ago and after the movie he couldnt sleep alone in his room, rofl and thats what a good horror movie does : ).

  31. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 24, 2008 @ 9:40 am tshirts

    What a useless movie. If it didn’t really say anything about why people become these kinds of killers, then the movie is pretty useless to society. I agree with you – this movie didn’t need to be remade. In fact, it didn’t even need to be made in the first place. I would rather watch a movie with Paris Hilton than a pointless movie like this. Honestly, at least with Paris you’re going to get to laugh where here you’re going to waste hours of your life with nothing.

  32. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 2, 2010 @ 3:29 am donovan

    After watching this movie all I can say is that if you liked the original Halloween, stay away from this one. The movie is filled with boring clichés. I can see that there was some attempt to make a character driven film, but the focus was on the wrong characters and felt forced and clumsy. One of the really positive elements of the original was a strong female character and this film felt like an exploitation flick. A stinker, in my opinion.

  33. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 21, 2010 @ 3:13 am Freed

    I entirely agree with everything that is written here. If you are a Halloween fan, you won’t be disappointed. This actually builds a lot of background to the movie and actually explains some of the WHY with Mike Myers’s motives. I also recommend.

  34. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 6, 2011 @ 7:48 pm Paul

    Michael Myers never dies. And I don’t know why they keep making this remakes. I’m kinda tired of watching and endless evil. I guess I’ll watch out of curiosity but until now, I still haven’t seen this part.

  35. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 25, 2011 @ 7:32 am Paul

    Is he immortal? There’s been a lot of remakes already, doesn’t he even age?

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