Writing and Reviews – Denise Pasutti
The Gist: A troubled 10-year-old boy goes on a killing spree on Halloween. He is sent to a mental institution for the criminally insane and escapes 15 years later, returning to his hometown of Haddonfield where he continues killing, taking out babysitters and anyone who gets in his way.
Babysitter & Killers: Scout Taylor-Compton (Laurie Strode), Malcolm McDowell (Dr. Samuel Loomis), Tyler Mane (Michael Myers), Daeg Faerch (Michael Myers at 10), Sheri Moon Zombie (Deborah Myers), Danielle Harris (Annie Brackett), Kristina Klebe (Lynda Van Der Klok), Danny Trejo (Ismael Cruz), William Forsythe (Ronnie White),Brad Dourif (Sheriff Lee Brackett). Directed by Rob Zombie
My Take: This was a totally different take on the Halloween movie franchise. I know it’s not a sequel, prequel or remake but a re-imagining of the original Halloween movie by John Carpenter. Young Michael Myers is living in kid hell with his stripper Mother (Sheri Moon Zombie), her abusive and low life boyfriend Ronnie, his slutty sister Judith and his innocent baby sister. The movie opens on the white trash family home at breakfast on Halloween morning. The unstable home life is clearly and loudly demonstrated with Mom and Ronnie yelling at each other, the baby screaming and Judith walking around in hardly anything as Ronnie makes inappropriate comments about the teen girl. Michael meanwhile is washing blood off his hands from his pet rat that he killed. The abuse continues as Michael has to tolerate Ronnie’s threats of violence and belittling. Things don’t get any better for the boy as he gets into a fight with the school bully and sent to the principal’s office. His Mother shows up and begins swearing at the principal and Dr. Loomis who quickly points out that Michael is a budding psychopath after finding a dead cat and pictures of the cat being killed, that were in Michael’s backpack. His Mother is totally oblivious to her son’s disturbing behaviour and defends him every chance she can. Michael quickly devolves from there by killing the bully in the woods, taping Ronnie to a chair and slitting his throat, bludgeoning his sister’s boyfriend to death and stabbing Judith 17 times. A busy day for the boy. The audience gets to see lots of blood, some boobs and Sheri Moon Zombie dancing half-naked (of course, this a Rob Zombie movie). A couple years after the massacre, his Mother can’t handle the knowledge that her baby boy killed 5 people (including a nurse at the hospital) and commits suicide. Baby sister Myers is left an orphan and Michael loses any trace of humanity he may have had left.
Cut to 15 years later. Michael is locked in a mental institution for the criminally insane. He doesn’t speak anymore and is still under the care of Dr. Loomis. The night before Halloween Michael makes his escape after Dr. Loomis tells him he will no longer be his doctor and is about to be moved to another facility. He proceeds to go on another killing spree as he leaves the hospital. Danny Trejo makes an appearance as a guard who befriends young Michael because he feels sorry for him but that friendship doesn’t save him from Michael’s wrath. We are then introduced to Laurie Strode, a brainy but hot girl who will be spending the night babysitting while her promiscuous friends, Annie and Lynda become fodder for Michael. There is much blood and more boobs as Michael kills his way back to Laurie, who is actually his baby sister. While Laurie fights back and tries to escape the psychopath, she finds out that she is the sister of this monster. Like the original, Dr. Loomis shows up and saves the girl but the wounded killer disappears after seemingly dying. But wait, it’s not over as Michael comes back, again, and Laurie must now save herself.
Critique Much: I liked how this flick started before Michael killed anyone, explaining his psychopathic tendencies with a screwed up home life and how he was disturbed before the killings started. I also liked that there was a clear explanation for his obsession with Laurie. I preferred the Laurie character in the original more because she was portrayed as a strong female lead. This is a Rob Zombie film so there was plenty of gritty violence, blood and nudity and fuck is said at least a dozen times in the first 10 minutes (I’m not offended by the swearing but is it really necessary to say fuck that much). This is one thing that I think the original did right, not having over the top gore and depravity.
Yah or Nah: I don’t think there were a lot of people who liked this because it was such a deviation from the original. Regardless of my criticisms above, I did like the way that Zombie explored the roots of Myers’ evil. This is a Yah for the story line and the high production value. Not really for anyone with an aversion to blood and violence. If you are easily offended by these things, I suggest watching the original. I also want to note that Halloween II by Zombie should be avoided. It was a terrible movie and great disappointment.