Customer Reviews: Halloween
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on December 11, 2007
The original Halloween is a classic and will in my book always receive a five star rating. Recently there has been a great deal of remakes that were flops and catered to the teeny bopper crowd such as, The Fog, The Omen, Dark Water, etc. However there has been only two remakes that I thought were diserving of our attenion, one being the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, and Halloween.

What I liked about the remake was it gave us something fresh to work with. In the original Halloween we never really knew why Michael was bad, in this remake, the first thirty minutes or so expore the childhood of Michael Myers. People say that the dialog concerning Michael's family was wrong. Trust me, I have seen broken homes and Mr. Zombie gives us exactly what you would expect from a trashy family.

Besides satisfying my curiosity of Michael's childhood, I found this to be similar in many cases to the original, but at the same time the material was quite fresh with new chills and scares. Zombie took a masterpiece and reminded us why it is called a masterpiece. He accomplished a great job capturing a 70's look and theme, and did a great musical score as well. This is possibly the best horror remake that I've ever seen.
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on September 20, 2007
Wow, there is alot of slander about this film flying all over the internet. This film was cursed from the start. A remake of a classic horror movie like Halloween is a daring and risky move! The man in the drivers seat...Rob Zombie. An interesting choice for a director but none the less the film was doomed right from the start. "Die hard fans" of the original (like myself) were astonished that Malek Akkad would dare and copy the original classic! But wait a second...the sequels have gotten very stale. Is this the appropriate direction? All in all Rob Zombie's version of Halloween is an entirely different film from the original. I think it was pretty smart to change the direction of the film some so one does make the same mistake that Gus Van Sant did with "Psycho". Now the question: Was the remake better than the original? The answer is - No way, not even close! However, this film compliments the original very well. I was surprised with the quality of the film as Rob Zombie is a fairly good director. The film was filled with foul language, nudity and alot of gore! As any good horror movie should be! The casting was well done. Apparently Rob Zombie used the entire cast from his previous movie in Halloween, but I have not seen either of his other two movies, so I don't care in the least. The girl playing Laurie was well cast. Finally Laurie was attractive! Malcolm McDowell as Loomis was brilliant and I loved him in the role. Still nowhere near as good as Donald Pleasence but again, who expected him to be? The back story written into the movie was well done. The little boy who played young Michael Myers managed to creep me out, so that says alot. Michael who is like 10 feet tall in this version is scary again. The ending can go either way for the fans. I happened to LOVE the ending myself, but I am clearly in the minority here! Before you pass judgement on this film, see it. The film BANKED in the theaters and the inevitible sequel is sure to follow. All in all a good film, not as good as the original, but nobody thought it would be.
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on May 19, 2015
This movie is really hard for me to rate. The first half of it, following young Micheals (beautifully played by Daeg Faerch) genesis into an unstoppable killing machine is a tour de force and one of the best things ever put on film genre wise. For this the movie would have deserved a 5 star rating. But after this genious excursion into true terror the movie became a poor copy of the (in my opinion not very frightning, or scary, or suspensful) John Carpenter film. So the second part would have deserved a 1 star rating, so I tried to find some middle ground here. I'm a big fan of Rob Zombie`s work (House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects) and in the first half of this film he showed us what he is capable of. Unfortunately he wasted an opportunity in creating something that the original film (again: in my opinion for no reason) is always labeled with: a true masterpiece of horror film making.
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on January 29, 2016
The original Halloween was not just a straight slasher movie. It was a slow burn stalker movie that had a really tense atmosphere. And when someone was attacked or killed, it was shocking, and didn't seem to be there just to up the movie's body count like many of the other films that cribbed this style of film. It is a movie where things just seemed to matter more.

This remake doesn't really do that. It's not a slow burn stalker film, it's more in line with traditional slashers, with it's brutal sustained violence, and death seemingly just for the sake of having things in the movie.

This also delves more into the Michael Myers character, who is established more as a character here. In the original, he was more of an unknowable threat, who was scary in the sense that he was pretty unpredictable. Here, his backstory is fleshed out quite a bit from the start. And while it does add a new layer to the character, I don't know if this type of character really needed one. Maybe I have a bit of bias, but I feel like I preferred him as more of a blank slate type character. Really added to the terror I think.

And speaking of bias, i am a big fan of John Carpenter's work, so I would predictably prefer the original over the remake. So I did try to look at this as it's own work, but I couldn't see it as anything other than a predictable paint by numbers slasher film. Frequently throughout the two hour run time I found myself bored.

Though I will say that this is a well executed movie. It's the film's biggest strength. And it's honestly a big reason why i would recommend this film in spite of it's flaws. It feels like it has an actual budget, and the overall film making it very well done. There's some haunting visuals, and some of the actual directing and pacing are really good.

I just wish that the actual material inside the film was better. Then I would have really liked the movie. And i would be somewhat curious to see a cut of this film that does take out some of the backstory. It'd make the film a leaner and tighter experience I think. Plus I do just prefer Michael Myers as being a bit more of an unknown quantity as far as his own motivations are concerned.

But if you do want to watch a horror film, this is one to consider. I wasn't entirely sold on it, but I do recognize that other people might really like it. So it's one of those movies that if you think it looks interesting, then by all means check it out.
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on October 29, 2015
Turned it off after the first five minutes. Just so tired of hearing "F' bombs every 5 minutes. I don't remember the original Halloween movie being so vulgar. I'm not a goody-two-shoes, and a well-placed expletive for emphasis doesn't usually offend me, but the overuse of filthy language really takes away from a good story. Just my opinion.
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on December 17, 2007
Remaking a classic horror film is almost never a good idea. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,Dawn of the Dead (Widescreen Unrated Director's Cut) and The Hitcher (Widescreen Edition) are examples of recent remakes that are inferior shadows of their original selves. And so it came with great disappointment when it was announced that John Carpenter's Halloween (Divimax 25th Anniversary Edition) was going to be remade and Rob Zombie would direct. Known mostly for his music with White Zombie and a successful solo career, he's branched out into making films, including The Devil's Rejects (Unrated Widescreen Edition), a down `n' dirty homage to outlaw cinema of the 1970s. Why would a self-professed horror film buff like Zombie even try to remake a revered classic like Halloween? Hubris? Fanboy wish fulfillment? Or, did he figure that this film was going to be made one way or another and rather than let some hack do a crappy job; he could at least bring his stylistic touches and point-of-view to the table.

Zombie's remake works because he takes the Halloween mythos and expands it in all kinds of fascinating ways. He makes some really intriguing choices like not making Michael supernaturally strong but rather a big guy who is naturally tough and strong. Zombie also opts for gritty realism like he did with The Devil's Rejects and it is a smart choice that works. Whether you love or hate his take on the material, you have to admit that it doesn't resemble Carpenter's film in any way. It is easily the best Halloween film since Part III, although that isn't really saying much when you consider the quality of the subsequent sequels.

The first disc features an audio commentary by writer/director Rob Zombie. He points out the various locations they shot in while also drawing our attention to where he took footage out and why. Zombie spends a lot of time talking about the challenges he faced on certain scenes. He also points out the new footage in this cut and why he put it back. The filmmaker delivers another solid commentary that is well worth a listen if you're a fan of this film.

The second disc starts of with 17 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Zombie. Unlike some auteurs, he is refreshingly ruthless with his footage and so we have a lot of scenes that were cut, including more of the strip club where Michael's mom works. There's also more of Loomis talking to a young Michael. Michael also attends a parole hearing that features a character played Tom Towles. Adrienne Barbeau even shows up briefly in a scene with Loomis. Zombie does a good job explaining why these scenes were cut.

Also included is an "Alternate Ending" with optional commentary by Zombie. This one is more sympathetic to Michael but wasn't satisfying enough for the director and he went with the other ending which is much more visceral.

"Bloopers" features footage of McDowell cracking up with Sheri Moon Zombie take after take. It turns out that the veteran actor is a real goofball and looks like he's having a blast making his fellow actors laugh.

"The Many Masks of Michael Myers" takes a look at how they constructed the iconic Michael Myers mask. They created several versions, including clean ones and then gradually grungy ones to symbolize the passage of time. We also see how the put together the various ones that Michael makes in the sanitarium.

"Re-Imagining Halloween" is a three-part look at various aspects of the making of the film. Zombie wanted to shoot it in the style of 21 Grams and The Constant Gardener. He wanted the three acts to have their own distinctive looks: the first part was all hand-held cameras, the second was very static, and the third act used lots of steadicam work. The film's production design is examined. They take a look at the various sets and briefly talk about the specific look Zombie was after. The makeup effects are also featured. This involved a lot of work as Michael kills a lot of people. Zombie wanted them to look realistic and we see how some of the kills were done.

"Meet the Cast." Zombie says that the casting process is the most exciting part of the filmmaking process for him because it is the first time the film feels real. He talks about why he cast the actors that he did and, in turn, they talk about their approach to the characters and a bit about working on the film.

"Casting Sessions" is a collection of excerpts of audition footage of the cast members. It gives us a chance to see what convinced Zombie to hire them.

"Scout Taylor-Compton Screen Test" features more footage of this young actress testing for the role of Laurie Strode. It is easy to see why she was cast as she nails the role.

Finally, there is a theatrical trailer.
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on August 26, 2009
Being a huge fan of the original Halloween and not exactly "liking" Rob Zombie, but respecting that he is attempting to be somewhat creative, I decided to give this movie a try. There were so many things wrong with it I can't even decide where to start. May as well go with the cast: The "new Laurie" was so annoying to watch my sister and I instantly elbowed each other when we saw this in the theater. The teenagers in the original Halloween were what teenagers are supposed to be: not 'tweens that screech and twist their faces and bob their heads with every line of dialogue. Also, her screaming was enough to make me crazy by the end of the movie. I'll move on to the young Michael Myers: he looked like an overweight and not so cute Dakota Fanning. His acting was also so bad that it was distracting. The bedhead hair in the eyes got old after about 2 minutes. Not scary, just annoying. The only saving grace in the cast was Tyler Mane - very scary and tall. And almost mysterious.... Almost.
Next, I'll address the whole premise of this "remake": Why is it that Rob Zombie has to white trash everything up? I totally agree with other reviewers that the whole POINT and the whole thing about Michael that is SCARY is that we have no idea what made him lose it. Mystery is something that escapes Rob Zombie and that he will never be able to duplicate from the original Halloween. Stick with the Saw over-the-top-gore-screaming-violence Rob, because true fear and mystery is not something you are skilled in presenting on screen.
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on July 9, 2016
Well," loved it" are not exactly the words I would use when describing my feelings about this film.However, I gave it a five because it was very good. Of course, my favorite is the original Halloween.This movie is brutal and gory with full front nudity. Some parts are brutally gory and rather savage. However, what else would you expect from Rob Zombie? The take on Michael Myers childhood would fit the development of the full blown violent psychosis he lived with. At least the part about the small animal torture that he practiced and the bullying that he endured. As far as his family structure and the other families in this film; they were all twisted in some way, so I consider the representation just a tongue and cheek satire on the American family, and the American teen. Rob Zombie wanted to do his take on "Halloween" and did a darn good job on it. He was able to put on film what he envisioned as his style of an old favorite.

However, this movie is definitely not for little kids. It would give them nightmares and the contents can be viewed as inappropriate.
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on April 5, 2008
Ridley Scott's American Gangster about real life bad guy and drug lord, Frank Lucas, in American Gangster receives two Oscar noms. Forrest Whitaker won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. Who says you can't do a biopic film of a fictional character? Rob Zombie does just that in this biography, not remake, of horror icon Michael Myers. I would also guess that more Americans have probably heard of the fictional, Michael Myers, than Amin, or Lucas.

Zombie's Halloween goes into detail of Michael as a child, while there is still something of a child left, and the hell on earth that exists in many households. Michael Myers will become the manifestation of evil in society. Halloween was reminiscent of David Cronenberg's The Brood and how the mother's anger physically manifested itself as she spawned deformed children to seek out what angered her. Unlike the mother in The Brood Michael doesn't lash out at society but becomes the evil in society and eventually will no longer be human. True evil cannot be stopped with a gun or a knife and neither can Michael Myers.

My point is Zombie's film can be looked at as poetic and a message for non violence (you think I'm crazy). Michael Myers is a metaphor for the evil in our society, specifically the evil that hides in the suburbs behind closed doors. Myers uses a mask to hide this evil as suburbs could mask this with white picket fence as a happy front. If you can't use violence to stop this evil as we do in our society then you have to go to the roots, the family and family values. Similarly the book Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time which uses education to fight terror where it starts and not bombs.

There are two moments in the film where, Michael Myers, the boy fights that evil. The first, after Michael has murdered his family and is locked away in an institution he has an emotional breakdown with Dr. Loomis at Christmas time. Michael for an instant realizes the situation and is terrified this reminded me of Regan in The Exorcist (25th Anniversary Special Edition) as the demon left her. Flash to the next scene and Michael is gone and the evil has taken him. The second moment after Michael has kidnapped Laurie he once again becomes human for a moment, drops his knife, and shows his face to his sister, once Laurie stabs him and he puts the mask back on Michael is now dead and there is only evil.

Zombie has a stellar cast of horror veterans that there are too many to list. Zombie does not use this as a gimmick or to wink at horror fans the film is taken seriously from beginning to end and their are solid performances all around. Rob Zombie seems to get better with each film as does his wife Sheri Moon Zombie who gave a solid performance as Michael's mother. The photograph that is shown at the end was very effective and tragic.

On Amazon it says the theatrical version is presented in Full Screen only but Disc I contains both Full Screen and Wide Screen versions. - Feature commentary by Writer/Director Rob Zombie as well.

Disc II
Alternate Ending - Deleted Scenes with optional Directory's commentary - Bloopers- The Many Masks of Michael Myers - Re Imagining Halloween - Meet the cast - Casting Sessions - Laurie Strode Scree Test - Theatrical Trailer.

I have seen both the unrated and theatrical versions and theatrical version is the one to go with by a mile. The unrated just throws in to many over the top incidents that really aren't needed.
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on December 16, 2007
I liked it. I really did. I enjoyed it as a film. As an individual film, seperate from the rest. Sure, it wasn't perfect. It felt a little uneven in the middle. In other words, it seemed like each half of the film were really just shortened individual films that were put together to make a whole new one. Because of that, the remake phase was a tiny bit fast-paced for me. However, overall, I enjoyed it a great deal. There is a reason why, however, that is deeper than the film itself.

What Rob presented was a great film, that had a story that wasn't perfect. Therein lies the genius of it. It felt real. It didn't feel like a movie. While many will find that to make it a cluttered mess, it didn't for me. An example would be the way he presented Michael's victims. We didn't get to know them that well before he killed them. But when some serial killer kills a group of people, and it is announced on the news, what do you think the chances are that you know those people? You don't. And yet, it is still horrifying. In other words, you don't have to know the victims to understand how terrifying the crime is.

In a movie, you follow these people around, the camera being your eye as you stalk them invisibly. You really get to know the people. Here, by not following them, it presents that realism quite well. You don't know who these people are, but whether you know them or not, Michael Myers is still presented as a terrifying being. Speaking of ol' Mikey...

I thought Tyler and Daeg's performances were amazing. I loved how even though you could sympathize with him in his early life, it didn't change how bizzare, and truly evil he was. Right in the opening scenes, we see him petting a rat, and then we see moments later cleaning a bloody scalpel or something. Then, he tells his mother that his rat died. You know what he did. It's not that hard to figure out. What's great about this is that it shows that even though he had this terrible life, he didn't just snap over night. He's been going crazy for some time. The scene with the bully in the woods was powerful, at least for me. His eventual escape was equally amazing. How he took out those guards truly showed his power, and menace. I especially liked when he killed Ismael Cruz, because that was the indicator that the young boy that went into Smiths Grove was not the monster that walked out. To quote the original Doctor Loomis, "That part of him died years ago." Michael Myers in this film, as a character, was just as scary as he was in the original. The best Myers since Castle IMO.

Which brings me to another point that I really liked. I think that of all the actors who could have played Loomis, Rob really picked the right one, which was surely a difficult task. Sure, many suggested Anthony Hopkins, but (and I hate to say this) having played similar characters several times, he may have had a spirited performance, but he would have taken you out of the real world, and remind you that it was only a movie. Rob could have cast an actor that wasn't that well known, but then the performance would have been lacking, and have the same effect. With someone like McDowell, he has that face that is just obscure enough that you can buy him as a real person, yet he is also a great enough actor that he can still pull an amazing performance.

The rest of the cast was great as well. I really liked Harris as Annie, and Laurie was cast pretty well in my opinion. She acted like a real teenage girl. I would know, there's one next door, and then there's my younger sister. As for greeting each other with "Hey, Bitches" I think that was actually rather spot on. Real girls aren't like cartoon girls, or 7th Heaven characters, who go wide-eyed the moment someone uses a curse word.

Like I said, the film isn't perfect, but it was definately better than most, if not all of the sequels. As for how it measures up against the original, well, in terms of sheer quality, no, it wasn't better. But better isn't what they set out to do in the first place. I think this is the problem with most remakes. Many people who bash them believe that the initial concept is to make a better version. What Rob set out to do was make a Halloween that was just as good as the original, to make Michael Myers scary again, and at that he passed in flying colors. Sure, the original had good things that this film didn't have, but this film had good things that the original didn't have. They're different films, so you can't really judge them together. It's not a shot-for-shot remake, and it isn't a rehash either, so there's not much room to really compare everything. The only area where you can compare them is in the level of quality, and at that, they're at about the same level for me.

Will this film have a legacy like the original? No, probably not. The original Halloween made a legacy because it was a fresh concept, and the first true slasher. Yes, it could be said that the original Black Christmas is the father of Halloween (funny, huh?), but Halloween is the father of slasher films. Without it, there would be no Friday the 13th, no Prowler, no Nightmare on Elm Street, no Cropsy (The Burning), none of these characters and franchises would have been brought to life without the original Halloween. Now that the slasher genre has grown so much, this new Halloween can't really do the same thing that the original did. However, as is evident in the upcoming Friday the 13th, it does seem as though it may inspire one new trend: remakes that actually try hard to be good movies, rather than cash-ins.
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