Young Michael Myers is having a life changing Halloween.
When it came out in 1978, Halloween ushered in a new era of terror and changed the horror genre forever. John Carpenter’s use of score, lighting and tension created a film unlike any other. Michael Myer’s mask became a film icon and costume prop classic. It made Jamie Lee Curtis the queen of scream and the eerie theme enough to send chills down anyone’s spine. Metal singer and director Rob Zombie’s remake of the ’78 classic takes the original and adds a few more layers to the origin of Myers.
Michael and two school bullies are confronted by the principal in the boys bathroom.
The film begins in 1990 at the childhood home of a young Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) in Haddonfield, Illinois. The home is a broken one with Myers, his stripper mom, her alcoholic boyfriend, abusive older sister and innocent baby sister. After beating a school bully to death, Myers brutally murders his mom’s boyfriend, sister and her boyfriend as well. The 10-year old Myers is committed to an insane asylum under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis. As he remains in the asylum, Myers slips further into insanity, ultimately not speaking for over 15 years. From there, the film enters into the original plot of Myers escape from the asylum and rampage through Haddonfield on Halloween night, with Laurie Strode and her teenage friends the targets of Michael’s wrath.
Michael stares down at his latest victim inside the mental institution.
Halloween is most definitely a remake, but with a distinct Rob Zombie twist. Whereas tension and suspense were trademarks of the Carpenter original, gore and sheer brutality are the mark of Zombie’s film. The director’s penchant for unrelenting violence and misery are on full display here. Rounding out the Zombie staples are his traditional castings of his wife, Sheri Moon Zombie as Michael’s mother, and Sid Haig and Ken Foree in minor roles. There’s also plenty of sex in the film, and it tends to involve the teenage victims of Myers. A slasher movie trope, Zombie utilizes sex as a precursor to death as a nod to the horror classics of the 80’s. The violence is a bit too much however, not in it’s intensity but more as a replacement for sheer tension. The film is simply not as scary as the original.
Laurie Strode and Tommy in front of the abandoned Myers home.
Zombie’s new take on the story of Myers and the original film is certainly of his own, but not necessarily as well done as they could have been. The prequel story has merit, but no real substance. There’s an attempt to get the viewer to understand what made Michael into a mass murderer, and even elicit sympathy. However, whether it’s the creep-factor of the actor playing the young Michael or the broken home story trope, the prequel elements aren’t as effective. The updated cast shines in the second half remake side of the film, with Malcolm McDowell and Scout-Taylor Compton doing solid service to the characters of Laurie Strode and Dr. Sam Loomis. Compton’s role is much smaller as Laurie than in the original, but Loomis’ presence is substantial and brings an outside perspective on the effects of Myers’ madness. The new Myers is also a terrifying presence, with the clean white mask and suit being replaced by a grimier, more primal version.
Laurie and her parents seated on their front porch on Halloween.
Closeup of Michael showing his mask, pumpkin, and black high top chucks.
Four characters in this film wear chucks. Young Michael Myers, played by Daeg Faerch, wears black high top chucks during all of his prominent scenes featuring his first murders in the beginning of the film. It is chilling to see blood spattered chucks on a young kid, We also see them on Tommy, the young boy who is Laurie Strode’s friend, and on one of the bullies who attacks Michael in the boys bathroom. In the second half of the film we see Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) wearing black low cuts throughout her scenes as the overly curious teenaged girl chased by Michael Myers.
After another killing, the camera focuses on Michael’s blood spattered chucks.
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