Sunday, October 27, 2013
Halloween: A Rob Zombie Film (2007)
Director: Rob Zombie
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon, Tyler Mane, Scout-Taylor Compton, Brad Dourif, Danielle Harris, Danny Trejo, William Forsythe
Seriously though, on a scale from one to ten...seven-five?
More like...zero plus 11.
~Bob and Linda
Ah...onto one of cinema's greatest controversies. Rob Zombie doing his take on Halloween. Like George Lucas, he also gets absurd insensitive immature internet terms like "raped" and "abortion" thrown his way. Many a Halloween fan was taken aback upon seeing this film back in 2007. I remember it clearly. I went on opening night to Grauman's Chinese Theater. I left the film (which got a loud ovation) shocked and upset at what I had seen. My favorite film had been remade by someone who didn't grasp at all what made the film work for almost 30 years. I was truly angered and wanted nothing to do with it. And to make matters worse, it was garnering acclaim and making big money. I wasn't alone in despising it, but the internet fanboy comfort is nowhere near a majority.
The thing with Rob Zombie's Halloween, is that I and many others went in expecting John Carpenter's Halloween. Its hard to do with remakes/reboots/reimaginings, but when you see them, you really must put what you've come to learn and leave it at the door. Especially when an actual auteur is brought in. Unlike remakes such as Texas Chainsaw or Friday the 13th, Zombie is a director with who has his own unique, style craft and vision. Those movies equate pretty much to a plug and play director, so things can pretty much vibe and fall into what you may expect with a remake.
One thing I really dig about Zombie's decision in this film is an indeterminate sense of time and space. Rob Zombie's Haddonfield, IL could be taking place in the 70s, early 80s, 90s or it could be present day. There's nothing to date this film and I think it will play greatly to its strength in years to come. I know not every film can do this, but with all of Rob's oeuvre, this is very much the case. Granted, everything does have a 70s grindhouse feel to it, that's moreso in the style of character and filming technique than it is actually taking place in that decade.
This movie features a lot of fun people popping up and is one of the better acted films in entire series. First, we get Danielle Harris back as Annie! That's a pretty awesome nod to the original series and also some good penance for her not getting to do Halloween 6. Malcolm McDowell is the perfect choice for Dr. Loomis that was a very big "Oh yeahhhhh!" when he was cast. People are gonna dog me, but I thought Sheri Moon was really convincing in this movie. I really bought her as the oblivious trashy mom that has a hard time seeing anything awful within her own family. A woman really trying in life, but too ditzy to realize she's never going to make it happen. Scout Taylor-Compton works pretty good here too. She's not Jamie Lee, but here's the thing again...this is a different Laurie. This set and events are the same, but we have a different life being breathed into it.
All righty hater fanboys...come on out...lets use highly derogatory exaggerative terms and sling them at this movie. I never thought back in 2007 that I would one day be writing a positive piece on this film, but alas...i did what you refuse to do...give it a chance and take it as its own thing :)
Next Time: We come to the last film in the retrospective that also happens to be maybe the most misunderstood as well.