In a new feature on HorrorCultFilms, we will examine the horror films that has split opinion among horror fans, in which we will take the case to the court room and we’ll give a case for and then against, until finally giving out the verdict from our jury.
We start with the perfect film, which is of course Rob Zombie’s attempt at re-making John Carpenter’s horror masterpiece….HALLOWEEN
THE CASE FOR:
We start with the key fact your honour, why not? John Carpenter way back in 1978 delivered a horror masterpiece but in an age where remakes are aplenty and with the pedigree of director Rob Zombie who beforehand delivered such films like The House Of 1OOO Corpses, why couldn’t we have a new take on the story of Michael Myers?
Giving such an iconic character like Michael Myers a back story, gave the viewer an understanding of why he has a thirst to kill, so surely that gives an understanding to the character?
The original Myers was a blank expression of a bogeyman, but with Zombie he turned the character on its head by showing the viewer of why a troubled child with such a bad upcoming can become such a vicious and notorious serial killer.
Through all the running time, its clear to every Halloween fan that Rob Zombie’s love for the original Halloween is there and he truly respects the franchise and the care he puts into each frame can only be applauded.
Zombie reportedly when he was approached to direct the remake, he asked could he spilt the film into two, with the first showing Myers when he was younger and his awful childhood and the second film would have shown his evolution into becoming a Bogeyman. With his idea supposedly rejected, Halloween became a film of two parts which again you can only applaud Zombie for wanting to tell his tale in such a short running time.
After the abomination of Halloween: Resurrection, the film actually made Michael Myers scary again. Just look at the scene where Myers kills Laurie Strode’s foster parents, its fantastic!
The scene where a young Michael Myers puts on the Adult Michael Myers mask and chases after Judith while the infamous Halloween Theme plays, is a fantastic set-piece and one of the greatest of the entire franchise,!
The film introduces Laurie as Michael’s sister without the need of a sequel, so the viewer already has the motive for the final girl in the final battle.
Your honour we have had remakes of such iconic horror classics like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm St to disastrous results, so can you honestly give a Guilty Verdict to a remake that is well received to even the most hardened Halloween fanatic?
The film was made for $15m and took a fantastic $80m worldwide, which shows that there was a fantastic appetite for this remake!
Zombie dared to ask the question the franchise never wanted to answer “Who IS Michael Myers”
Myers’s first kill of the school bully is one of the best deaths in any film. Brutal, engaging and horrific, you really believe that this lad will grow up to wear the William Shatner mask!
We’ll end our case by stating that the original Halloween franchise, actually killed off the character of Jamie Lloyd to the hatred of fans everywhere. Rob Zombie brought back the actress Danielle Harris in a different role, much to the delight of every anticipating Halloween fan at the time and for that….the case is over!!!
THE CASE AGAINST:
Thank you, your honour! We start with the obvious, why remake Halloween? Its one of the most perfect of Horror films, with such a simplicity to its storyline, that most horror fans even if they haven’t seen the movie are aware of it, so did it really need re-telling?
The scariest thing about Michael Myers or shall we call him The Shape in which he was more well known for in the original Halloween film, was that he never had a backstory. Yes as a child, we saw him kill his sister Judith but that was it. All we had was a guy who escapes from his Mental Institution and heads home, targets some babysitters and gets a bit knife happy. With the remake, we have a good hour of Myers as child, in a horrible home life, surrounded by horrible vulgar people, so when he finally picks up that baseball bat, we actually start to root for him. Is that what we want for the ultimate bogeyman?
We don’t understand why Zombie went down this route? Surely it would have been more scarier if a normal, happy and loving family just happened to have a son who “was a little bit naughty!”. Does Rob Zombie suggest that you can only be a serial killer if your family are a bunch of disgusting low life’s?
Just to feel even more sorry for Michael, he moves from one unhappy place to another as everyone at the Institution apart from Danny Trejo who Myers still kills, treats him terribly and what do they feed him in there? He goes from a young boy, to a strapping 6ft monster!!!
We’ll give Rob Zombie some credit as the first hour, moves away from the template of Halloween, but as soon as Myers escapes and heads of to Haddonfield, all we get is an inferior scene by scene remake, that becomes rather pointless!
Laurie Strode played by Jamie Lee Curtis was and still is the ultimate final girl. The blue-print of most slasher films after! The Laurie Strode of this version played by Scout Taylor Compton is an ugly creation. A character who fingers her bagel in front of her mother and talks trash with her friends. Do we really care for her when Myers appears? Do we feel as if we want her to survive? Not quite!
This success lead to the inevitable sequel which is an abomination to the franchise!
Listening to both arguments, there is a strong case for each verdict, but we can only pick one. To summarise, the Rob Zombie remake of Carpenter’s classic is probably one of the most divisive entries in the franchise.
There is no middle ground for fans who either love or hate this more grungy attempt of the iconic bogeyman, but we have simple facts which bring us to the only verdict we can have.
The major point, is having been critically mauled on its original release, since then we have had remakes of both Jason and Freddy that have caused even more anger among that fanbase. Is Rob Zombie’s trip to Haddonfield as bad as them? Of course its not, Zombie clearly demonstrates a love for the franchise even though he does get many things wrong which a few of them do get corrected by the superior director’s cut of the film.
It also manages to bring back the menace of Myers, that was clearly damaged by the horrendous Resurrection entry and on that note the fact that this remake does not have Busta Ryhmes doing his Kung Fu moves and uttering the stupid line of “Trick Or Treat….Mutha…..” tips us, just barely to make the verdict of