In this weeks episode of the Halloween Rewatch, Cory and Nathan find time for a remake, reboot or even a reimagining as they discuss Rob Zombie’s “Halloween.”
On Halloween in Haddonfield, Illinois, having already exhibited signs of psychopathic tendencies, ten-year-old Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) murders a school bully (Daryl Sabara), his older sister Judith (Hanna R. Hall), her boyfriend Steve (Adam Weisman), and his mother’s boyfriend Ronnie (William Forsythe). Only his baby sister, Angel Myers, is spared. After one of the longest trials in the state’s history, Michael is found guilty of first-degree murder and sent to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium under the care of child psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell).
Michael initially cooperates with Loomis, claiming no memory of the killings, and his mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie), visits him regularly. Over the following year, Michael becomes fixated on papier-mâché masks and withdraws from everyone around him, even his mother. When Michael kills a nurse as Deborah is leaving from one of her visits, she is unable to handle the situation and commits suicide.
For the next fifteen years, Michael (Tyler Mane) continues making masks and not speaking to anyone. Loomis, having continued to treat Michael over the years, decides to move on and closes Michael’s case. Later, Michael escapes from Smith’s Grove, killing the sanitarium employees in the process. He kills a truck driver for his clothes, and makes his way back to Haddonfield. On Halloween, Michael arrives at his now-abandoned childhood home, where he recovers the kitchen knife and Halloween mask he stored under the floorboards the night he killed his sister.
Meanwhile, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) and her friends Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris) and Lynda Van Der Klok (Kristina Klebe) prepare for Halloween. Throughout the day, Laurie witnesses Michael watching her from a distance. Later that night, Laurie goes over to babysit Tommy Doyle (Skyler Gisondo). Meanwhile, Lynda meets up with her boyfriend Bob Simms (Nick Mennell) at Michael’s abandoned home. Michael appears, murders them, and then heads to the Strode home, where he murders Laurie’s parents, Mason (Pat Skipper) and Cynthia (Dee Wallace). Dr. Loomis, having been alerted of Michael’s escape, arrives in Haddonfield looking for Michael. After obtaining a handgun, Loomis attempts to warn Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Brad Dourif) that Michael has returned to Haddonfield. Loomis and Brackett head to the Strode home, with Brackett explaining along the way that Laurie is really Michael’s baby sister, having been adopted by the Strodes following their mother’s suicide.
Meanwhile, Annie convinces Laurie to babysit Lindsey Wallace (Jenny Gregg Stewart) so that she can meet with her boyfriend Paul (Max Van Ville). Annie and Paul return to the Wallace home and have sex; Michael kills Paul and attacks Annie. Bringing Lindsey home, Laurie finds Annie on the floor, badly hurt but still alive, and calls the police. Michael attacks Laurie and chases her back to the Doyle home. Loomis and Brackett hear the 911 call over the radio and head toward the Wallace residence.
Michael kidnaps Laurie and takes her back to their old home. He tries to show Laurie that she is his sister, presenting a picture of them with their mother. Unable to understand, Laurie stabs Michael before escaping the house; Michael chases her, but Loomis arrives and shoots him. Recovering, Michael recaptures Laurie before she can leave and heads back to the house. Loomis again intervenes, but Michael subdues him. Laurie takes Loomis’ gun and runs upstairs, but Michael corners her on a balcony and charges her head-on, knocking both of them over the railing. Laurie finds herself on top of an unconscious Michael. Aiming Loomis’ gun at his face, she fires just as Michael awakens.
Does this hold a candle to the original? Not really. However, it stands above many of the horror remakes of Norties. Rob Zombie’s style is clearly on display throughout. This means hyper violence and constant vulgarity. If that’s your thing, you’ll love it. We found it quite tiresome, and it leaves you wandering if the easy answers ere drawn when trying to deliver a satisfying reason for why Michael became the way he is. The acting and directing are clearly there and very well done, but more often than not, it’s pushed too far. Mildest of recommends.
What’s Up Next?:
Rob Zombie is back, once again, to deliver his unrestrained sequel “Halloween II”. We hope you’ll join us for the discussion.
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