Ahh..."re-imaginings"...sometimes trash, sometimes treasure, right children?
Right out of the gate, kiddies, I want to make clear that I DID like this movie...it offers a lot on it's own merit. I think Rob Zombie's re-writing and direction was very well done, the performances were phenomenal, and overall the flick is a very effective study of psychosis and the tragedy of poverty, apathy, and mental illness in our society.
But to have the title of "Halloween"...
This "re-imagining" was obviously done with a love of the original, and again I hasten to say I didn'tidoes not come close to the magic found in Carpenter's masterpiece. MY primary issue with it, what I believe robs this film of that stark element of dread, is the humanization of Michael Myers; whereas it makes the backstory more compelling and and dramatic, it steals from the character the menacing fear that he carried in the original film.
That fear is inevitably replaced with a kind of grudging sympathy. Regardless of his brutality or the fact that he's now about nine feet tall and weighs about a thousand pounds, we can't help but feel sorry for the poor child we get to know and share heartache with in the first half-hour or so of the film. Those of us who have seen it, admit it; are there any of us out here that didn't think his first two killings were justified? Did we not, albeit in a fantastic sense of horror-film viewing, feel that those first two victims got what they deserved?
After that, it was easy to swallow his fall into psychosis and at least partially not hold him to blame for what he did.
The cinematography and acting is superb; Scout Taylor-Compton is excellent in her starring role, Malcolm McDowall was an inspired choice to take up the mantle of Dr. Loomis, and Tyler Mane is an intimidating screen presence, with or without the signature Mask. Add in Danny Trejo in a wonderfully sympathetic performance (which only adds to the sadness we ultimately feel for Michael, although it seems to try to make us hate him), William Forsythe in a grimy and easily hated part, and the wonderful Dee Wallace in a small but convincing role, and you have all that is needed for a great horror film...
...and we get a very good one, but not if you were like I was, and hoping (perhaps naively so) for the same level of horror and fear we got in 1978.
Well worth the watch; you won't feel you've wasted your time on it, but don't be expecting the hair on the back of your neck to be doing the two-step as you sit in dread for the grim, masked spectre of Myers...instead, expect to feel disgusted with the illustrated failings of family, society, and the mental-health system.
A very good movie on all counts...but, at least to THIS horror aficianado, just not "Halloween".