Thursday, September 1, 2011

40 Days of Night(mares) Day 10: Horror Movie Everyone Loves But You Don't

The original Halloween is a masterpiece of movie making and horror. It is the template by which all other future "slasher" films would be judged. So, when I heard they were rebooting the franchise, I was worried it would be ruined. But then, they announced Rob Zombie would be helming it, and I felt somewhat better about it, knowing he is a big horror fan. I've never been a huge fan of his films, finding them as disproportionately lacking in any kind of story as they are disproportionately filled with gore. While I have no problem with excess gore, I do have a problem if there's nothing else to draw me in.
But, I thought, given such wonderful source material, he might be able to rise above the gore and tell a good story. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Maybe, if this were an original movie and John Carpenter hadn't provided such a lasting blueprint, I would feel differently, but since it is a remake, it has to be measured against its progenitor.
So, what's so wrong with it? It's not the gore factor, although the lack of gore didn't hurt the original any. It's not the acting of Malcolm McDowell and it's not the personage of Tyler Mane as Michael Myers, as he's about the only thing I did like about it. His sheer size and power embody the role well. Here's what it is... (my apologies to those of you who have heard this rant before)

(deep breath)

Making Michael Myers a physically and mentally abused child steals away one of the things that made him so scary in the first place. In the original, there was no rhyme or reason for his attacks, even as a little kid. And given that he was mute after that, it emphasized the nature of his evil. He is death incarnate, choosing his victims at random, except for his end goal, his sister. That's it. That's my biggest beef. Making him a poor white trash kid raised on violence and sociopathy makes him weaker. It absolves him in some ways of the deaths at his hand. It's just not as scary as the silent, meaningless mayhem of the original, where it seems like it's more his curiosity about death that drives him. It just doesn't hold a candle to Carpenter's work and is a poor homage to the same.

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