Halloween Remake Review
Today i am going to analyze Rob Zombie's interpretation of his remake “Halloween.” While some if not many disliked the film, i felt it was a huge success. It's an unfair criticism to call the remake a failure simply because it “strays from the original version.” I will compare and contrast the remake to the original version to explain why the remake is respectfully unique. This film was as good if not better than the original version.
Michael Myers – There's no doubt that the original version of Halloween did a superb job in creating suspense and terror. However there was just one problem with the original Michael Myers – He lacked humanity. He starts off as a young boy killing a family member without warning. When he is unmasked, we only see a blank stare and that's the end of it. In the remake, we see a progression from a completely innocent young boy to a murderous sociopathic and inhumane killer. We delve deep into the life of young Michael Myers. We see he's just your average kid who loves Halloween or is he? We can sit down and analyze Michael over again to learn what created him a killer. For example, we see his inhumanity and cruel nature is expressed through his dark grotesque hand-made masks. Lets face the reality – no one is born evil. The remake portrays Michael as he should be: A boy seeking love and attention from his family. What i found most disturbing was how he finally reaches a breaking point and his evil nature consumes him. The rest is shrouded in mystery. Never again do we see the innocence from his childhood. Never again does he respond like a normal human being and that's scary.
Deborah Myers – Michael shares a close relationship with his mother. From the remake, we see she is a struggling mom carrying the burdens of responsibility. Judging by her step-husband, we see that she has made a terrible mistake in parenthood. We can never blame her nonetheless because she's learned her lesson. In the remake, we see Michael angered by taunting bullies who insult his mother. We see that she had to go to work at a strip club on Halloween leaving Michael all by himself. We see how drastically her impact is on Michael's life and his transformation into a killer. After he's done so, his mom expresses her guilt over his behavior. The remake enables us to truly think about how our actions influence other lives. Rob Zombie's message is that our actions contribute partially to a criminal's behavior. His mother's life is an example of that and that's where true horror lies.
Doctor Loomis – The original version depicts his character as an irresponsible doctor who accidentally lets Michael escape. We know very little about him from the original. In the remake, he has a more dynamic character. He's a mental health professional who recognizes Michael's destructive behavior and is deeply concerned. He understands that Michael's psyche is complex nevertheless he tries to somehow rehabilitate him. He cries out for awareness of Michael's nature but he is widely ignored. After all, its the police who are the heroes at the end not the doctor. He truly defends Michael Myers but ultimately, he decides to move on with his life in one scene.
Angel Myers – After Michael kills his older sister and step-father, he mysteriously spares his younger sister. After he breaks out to find her, she simply becomes an innocent victim in a family killing spree. She is widely ignorant of her family's past and thinks she is just another sub-urban teen.
While there are minor characters, they all have realistic human interactions with the major characters.
The Remake's plot flows rather smoothly. Each scene craftily and steadily builds up suspenseful horror but also includes various emotions. Both versions excel in gore and horror but the remake has one advantage over the original. While the original focuses on pure stalking and terror, it doesn't dramatize it as well as the remake does. In the original, we briefly see Michael kill his sister. The remake on the other hand shows a young Michael brutally murdering his family in cold blood. This is perhaps the most chilling scene of the whole movie. The remake spends more time surprising viewers as Michael breaks into homes out of nowhere. In the Remake, we see characters develop as they begin to realize their role in Michael's bloody rampage.
The original chooses to emphasize action more than script, allowing Michael Myers more screen-time. While i don't deny this is a great idea, the film shifts more into your typical slasher film. The remake spends a good chunk of the film developing the plot through the characters' choice of words. We see realistic reactions expressing grief, fear, sorrow, anger, hate, love, sympathy, and the like. The original version only shows the script taken from a casual social setting rather than a personal philosophical setting in the remake.
Props, Effects, Music, and Action:
Unlike the original version, the remake refines Michael's mask and clothes. It gives him a far darker look than the original. It invests more in dramatic and horrific entries with the music along with prolonged views of his eerie mask. His stature and appearance gives him a very monstrous look.The visual/audio effects during frightening scenes enhances the intensity and shock value of the film. As far as action goes, the remake adds some realism to Michael's “immortality.” In the original film, he survives some injuries that are physically impossible. In the final scene, we see Michael fall from a two story house and survives. While it should scare us, it doesn't. We all know this isn't possible so it comes off as too far fetched. The remake on the other hand, keeps it to a minimum. For example, Michael gets shot but still survives and this is scientifically more plausible. To solidify my case further, he is shot by the police as he finally falls dead to the ground. However is he really dead? The film concludes with that chilling question unanswered.
As far as other characters, their emotions dramatically reveal their personalities. For example at the dinner scene, we see domestic violence between Michael's mom and his step-father over a remark at her daughter.
What i didn't like about the remake:
The film stuck in some scenes in a confusing order such as the opening. I also thought some of the sex scenes were unnecessary. I suppose however this is simply a marketing strategy.
The remake has alot more substance than the original. There is a very human side to the remake that connects viewers to the horror. The remake leaves open ended questions caused by the shock of the characters' actions. It makes us wonder “Why all this?” Overall, i strongly urge any die hard Halloween fan to buy Rob Zombie's remake.