Rob Zombie | 2007 | 109 min | US
Rob Zombie is clearly a tremendous fan of the horror and exploitation films of the seventies. He has lovingly recreated the visceral style of them in each of his previous films, to varying success, but Halloween pushes it even further. This makes for some remarkable looking homage scenes, even including still-shots in the early part of the film. Unfortunately, Zombie also recycles the worst aspects of those exploitation films, imbuing Halloween with massive doses of misogyny. One can expect a boob or two watching this kind of film, but throwing in superfluous rape and stripping scenes? I would rather not.
Halloween also suffers from lengthy bouts of Extreme Dialogue. Large swatches of the script are nothing but people shouting variations on FUCK. And that is some fucking boring shit. Worse still, Sheri Moon Zombie continues to be a presence on screen. I know you love her, Rob, but she is a horrible actor. She needs to stop acting. Please let her naturally fade away.
The strongest part of the film by far is the first portion in which we see Michael Myers as a young boy enduring a terrible home life and constant harassment at school. The young actor, Daeg Faerch, does a great job at being creepy and distant. I imagine being in a room with that boy is unsettling. This attempt to ground the new Halloween with a realistic back story is an interesting approach, but it is done away with when we zoom ahead to the present day escape and kill spree. I will give credit to the portrayal of violence for actually coming off as panicked and wild as the subject demands. Very few attempts at horror manage to pull that off. However, the latter half transformation of Michael from damaged child psychopath to evil superhuman is inexplicable and ridiculous. When the horror of the first half of the film depends upon grounding Michael Myers as a realistic character, why switch gears to typical slasher fodder for the climax? I do not think it works and only causes the horror to lose steam.
There are some great looking scenes and a terrific set up to this ninth Halloween film. It is much better than I had expected in several respects, but it falls apart by the end and is still unnecessary by pretty well any account.
Bonus Feature: THE KID IS NOW A SUPERNATURAL GIANT, I GUESS!