3 StarsThis reinterpretation breathes new life into one of the most popular characters in film history. Michael Myers, the infamous bogeyman slasher made famous in John Carpenter’s seminal 1978 horror film Halloween, is fully examined by reboot director Rob Zombie. While I have found Zombie’s previous work to be self-indulgent and amateurish, this new look at the franchise is reinvigorating. Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) describes young Michael Myers homicidal impulses, as a perfect alignment of interior and exterior factors gone violently wrong. Thus creating a perfect psychopath that knows no boundaries and feels no emotion.
Rob Zombie does for the Halloween series what Nolan did to the Batman film legacy. He has taken the material straight on with dead seriousness and delivered a film with plausible characters driven not by plot contrivances, but cause and effect. Zombie’s interpretation of the Carpenter original is broken down into three stages. The first 30 minutes chronicle the mental and physical abuse endured by Michael in the dysfunctional and highly chaotic Meyers household. That is followed by a lengthy segment inside the prison mental ward and the burgeoning relationship between state appointed psychiatrist Loomis and the aging Michael, now in his early twenties, but hiding behind handmade face masks. The second hour is the basic Halloween story that started it off in 1978, Michael stalks distant relative Lori Strode on Halloween night.
But as good as the film is, and as dutiful as Zombie has been in preserving the Myers legacy in Halloween there’s something joyless about the enterprise. At nearly two hours the picture is a good 15 minutes too long, which hinders it particularly in the just adequate finale. All together though this is the closest to the original any sequel has come in producing a sense of suspense and dread.
Director: Rob Zombie
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie