Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween (2007)

To remake or not to remake? That is the question put before the nanobots today as we consider Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 movie, Halloween . The netizens are hopelessly divided on this topic and either this movie is “an abomination before God” or “Rob Zombie rulez!” Everyone, however, has missed the most important question of all which is, “What do the nanobots think?” So, let’s find out!
  • Opening the movie with KISS’s “God of Thunder” on the soundtrack while 10 year old Michael Myers plays with his pet rats. = +6pts 
  • Meanwhile, downstairs in the kitchen, Michael’s mom and her boyfriend, Ronnie, are engaged in their breakfast domestic disturbance. We get the feeling this is pretty much how every day starts in the Myers’ household. = -8pts 
  • Ronnie’s aggravation this morning seems to be that, “all that baby does is cry and shit.” Yeah, numbnuts, it’s a baby. What do you want her to do, recite the Fibonacci sequence? = -6pts 
  • Michael’s older sister, Judith, enters the kitchen wearing shorts and a tubetop. In Illinois. In October. We call bullshit. = -4pts 
  • Ronnie comments on how hot Judith’s “dumper” is. We now know what it looks like when nanobots vomit. =- 7pts 
  • Did we say Michael was playing with his rats? We meant murdering them. = -5pts 
  • Michael says a pleasant “good morning” to his baby sister, Boo. Yep, you read that right. The only loving, caring act we’ve seen so far out of anyone in the Myers family is made by the kid who currently rates 5 out of 9 factors on the “Early Warning Signs of a Serial Killer” test. = -6pts 
  • Baby Boo has a homemade mobile made out of beer can pop tops, like we needed another reminder of the shitty parenting choices of the Myers’ household. = -4pts 
  • Later, at Haddonfield Elementary, Michael has a run-in with the school bully, who is a complete dick and, somehow, Michael is the one that ends up in the principal’s office. = -4pts 
  • Malcolm McDowell plays Dr. Loomis as some kind of child psychologist/rock star because that exists. = +5pts 
  • We are treated to the soundtrack music that John Carpenter wrote for the original Halloween. Thanks, movie, for reminding us of a different movie that this movie is trying to remake and separate itself from. = -9pts 
  • Michael stalks the school bully into the woods where he beats the bully to death with the large branch of a tree. We are not sad. = -6pts 
  •  Rob Zombie wants us to know that it takes a really long time to beat someone to death with a stick. = +7pts 
  • On Halloween night, Michael trick-or-treats by himself because his mom has to pole dance to Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” in the saddest montage ever. = -9pts 
  • Michael’s treats consist of candy corn and circus peanuts, the world’s loneliest candy. = -4pts. 
  • Judith’s boyfriend tries to scare Judith with an updated, redux version of the Michael Myers mask from the original Halloween, which this movie isn’t. = -11pts 
  • Ronnie passes out drunk in his Barcalounger watching the 1932 film White Zombie (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). = +6pts 
  •  Bored with eating bland candy and probably on a sugar high, Michael duct tapes Ronnie to his chair and slits his throat with a gigantic kitchen knife. Again, we are not sad. = -7pts 
  •  But Ronnie is dead! = +7pts 
  • Michael takes out Judith’s boyfriend in the kitchen with an aluminum baseball bat and for Judith, it’s back to the kitchen knife. Michael is obviously still honing his craft. = +3pts 
  • While being murdered, Judith listens to “Don’t Fear The Reaper” because all of the soundtrack songs in this film have to be the most obvious choices, ever. = -6pts 
  • If there was ever a picture that said, “Things aren’t going to be ok,” it’s this one. = +6pts
  • Danny Trejo plays a kind orderly at the sanitarium where Michael is incarcerated. Machete is polite. = +8pts 
  • A 15 year jump in the story makes Michael 27 years old, 7.5 feet tall and the strongest man on earth. Apparently, the sanitarium is brought to us by Gold’s Gym. = -5pts 
  • Lew Temple plays the most disrespectful, disgusting, Ronnie-like, racist orderly we’ve ever seen. How did this scab on the ass of humanity make it through this hospital’s interview process? = -12pts 
  • The director of this facility is Udo Kier. Ok, that explains a few things. = +4pts 
  • Michael has excelled at arts and crafts and the masks he makes out of paper mache cover the walls of his room/cell. Every single one of them is pure nightmare fuel. = +9pts
  • Michael kills Lew Temple and another orderly with his bare hands during the night shift while they are raping a female inmate in Michael’s cell. For the third time, we are not saddened by Michael’s murderous ways. = -7pts 
  • But Lew Temple is dead! = +7pts 
  • Michael, like a shark sensing blood in the water, goes on a killing spree to escape the hospital. He attacks Danny Trejo. Machete don’t win. = -6pts 
  • But we finally feel sad about a murder! = +6pts 
  • Michael comes across a truck stop and kills a trucker (Ken Foree!) for his clothes. It’s sort of like the “Bad to the Bone” scene at the beginning of Terminator 2, except a lot more stabby. = +6pts 
  • Michael returns to his abandoned boyhood home and finds his old Michael Myers mask along with John Carpenter’s Halloween theme music hidden underneath the floorboards. He should have stuck with his orange pumpkin mask. I mean, look at that thing! = -11pts
  • Sid Haig! = +9pts 
  • Suddenly, there is a title card that says “Trick or Treat.” Did we just start another movie? And is it a silent one? = -11pts 
  • Two teens go to the old, dilapidated Myers “party house” to get laid even though the dude has a totally rad van with Icarus painted on the side and a cooler of beer in the back. = -4pts 
  • Girl-teen turns on the radio after they do it and “Don’t Fear the Reaper” comes on. Ooooohhh, someone’s getting stabbed. = -5pts 
  • While Laurie Strode babysits some kids, they watch Vincent Price in House on Haunted Hill because these kids have better taste than anyone else in this movie. = +10pts 
  • Teen couple #2 are getting it on to Alice Cooper’s “Only Women Bleed.” Oh, yeah, these guys are totally getting stabbed. = -8pts 
  • Sheriff Exposition explains to Dr. Loomis that Michael Myers’ baby sister, baby Boo, is now named Laurie and was adopted by the Strode family, a fact which both we and Michael knew, like, an hour ago. = -12pts 
  • Not one single person is out on Halloween night in Laurie’s neighborhood. She and the kids can scream and scream and not one person is going to be around to help. Haddonfield – If you lived here, you could be killing by now! = -10pts 
  • Scout Taylor-Compton’s acting as Laurie Strode in this film is top notch. She’s terrified, but she’s a fighter and will do anything to live. We love to see a strong female character who doesn’t just fall down and die. = +12pts 
  • Too bad this town is completely deserted and there’s no one to help her. = -4pts 
  • Running through the backyard at the old Myers’ place, Laurie falls into an empty swimming pool. Sorry, there’s no way the Myers family had an in-ground swimming pool, unless it was filled with old car parts or tires. = -7pts 
  • Dr. Loomis talks to Michael for 1.5 seconds before he starts shooting proving, once again, that he’s the world’s worst child psychologist/rock star. = -5pts 
  • As sirens finally arrive, Laurie shoots Michael in the face to end this sad, sad tale forever. Oh, there’s a sequel? Um, ok then. Sure, whatever. = -25pts
Total score = -134pts
Available on Amazon Prime

What we have here are all the signature elements that make a Rob Zombie movie a Rob Zombie movie: great visuals, realistic violence, and a cast that really enjoys the genre and plays it 100% straight. This movie falls down, however, in overall storytelling and in its lack of likeable characters. In adding a backstory for Michael, which John Carpenter’s version did not have, Zombie left us feeling sorry for him, and given that none of the other characters are in any way sympathetic, the movie's heart feels like it's in the wrong place. In the end, rooting for a spree killer and hoping that he takes everyone else out spectacularly leaves us feeling wrong.

In summary, Mr. Zombie had this to say about the movie, “For good or bad, it’s a totally different experience.”


Score Technicians: Stacey Hanlon and John Ormond

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