Saturday, October 31, 2009

30 Days of Fright - 30: Halloween (2007)

And so on the last day of this year’s reviews we come full circle and find ourselves back where we started, with Halloween, though this time it’s the 2007 version.

Unlike the original, this version of Halloween starts off following young Michael Myers as he goes about his business of developing serious psychopathic tendencies. Young Mikey’s home life is shite so he likes to hurt small animals (you can see the obvious pop-psychology link there) but quickly moves up to killing one of the kids at school. After a particularly rough evening at home, coincidentally Halloween, Michael kills his sister, her boyfriend, and her mother’s boyfriend. Mike soon finds himself banged up in a secure hospital where he’s being treated by Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell).

Fifteen years pass and the once co-operative Michael has retreated from reality and become obsessed with making masks. Loomis has given up on the case and decided that there’s an easier living to be made from writing books and lecturing about Michael as opposed to treating him. Michael’s mother had also taken the easy way out and killed herself leaving her only remaining child, still a baby, behind to fend for herself.

Michael, now grown, busts out of the clink one night and heads home to kick off a major killing spree, with Loomis hot on his tail (probably feeling guilty about raking in the cash on the back of young Mike), and the local sheriff helping out too. Once home, Michael focuses his attentions on a young girl, Laurie Strode, who is roughly the same age as his little sister would be…

Is Mike Myers gonna hav' ta choke a bitch?

Rob Zombie took the directing job for the remake of Halloween and did an outstanding job. The 2007 Halloween is a far superior film to its predecessor, offering at least some explanation for Myers behaviour and a nice twist in the little sister angle as well as modernising the story with care, not trampling over the original but just making it, well, good.

There are some nicely unsettling scenes, especially the killing of the kid near the beginning, and there is more than one nice homage to the original, the gravity defying scene where the guy is pinned to the wall with a knife is there, but with humour and this time you can laugh along instead of going “that can’t happen”, and Blue Oyster Cults “Don’t Fear The Reaper” gets a spin too.

The performances in this version are great, the young Michael is an evil little bastard and McDowell as Loomis is just right in that he's not quite balanced himself, which makes for a decent screen psychiatrist. The show is stolen however by Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie - her performance puts Jamie Lee Curtis to shame as she managed to make the character likable and someone you don't want to see hurt, as opposed to Curtis who you wish would get killed quickly just so you wouldn't have to put up with anymore of her bullshit.

It’s hard to find fault at all with this Halloween, the only gripe I can think of is that in order to fully appreciate this version you need to suffer through the original.

Two Thumbs Firmly Up for Rob Zombie’s Halloween


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