‘Halloween (2007)’ Unrated Director’s Cut Blu-ray Review
Remaking classic films in general is a daunting task for the writing and production team as they have a lot to live up to the original. One wrong move and it could cause the original fan base to go bonkers. It leaves the production team too really only two option, remake the film as the original or take elements adding your own interpretation. Over the last few years the buzz around Hollywood has been about the remakes of all genre films, but the Horror genre has turned into remake central. From horrible remakes like ‘Black Christmas’ and ‘House of Wax’ to the good ones like ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘Dawn of the Dead’, the playing field is all over the place.
Hollywood decided that they wanted to take a stab at remaking one of the best horror films to date, Halloween’ with Rob Zombie behind the helm. John Carpenter and Deborah Hill were the masterminds behind the original ‘Halloween’ and it is still to this day one of the greatest masterpieces in the horror genre. The original ‘Halloween’ possesses the simplest horror structure on the face of this planet, but the atmosphere is what makes this film a well rounded effort.
Rob Zombie takes the ‘Halloween’ remake in a complete different direction. What we have here is the first half of the film is a new tale about the young Michael Myers as we have never seen him before. The second half turns into a frame by frame retelling of the original ‘Halloween’. I will get this out of the way right now, I enjoyed the film a lot, but I can see where fans and critics blasted away on this version of ‘Halloween’. I went in with an open mind. One of the biggest beefs was that this remake took away the mystique of ‘The Shape’ by giving us the first half of the film on Michael’s background. I just don’t see a problem with this since by now, 30 years later we already know everything about Michael Myers there is to know through 8 films. I don’t see this film as a reboot of the ‘Halloween’ franchise from what we were told from interviews.
The film starts out with a younger Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) being raised in a much screwed up family where the dysfunctional is tame. His mom (Sheri Moon Zombie) is a stripper, father (William Forsythe) is an abusive alcoholic, and his sister (Hanna Hall) just cares about spreading her legs. With all this madness/chaos in his home, it just drives this kid to hate the world and his family at the same time. The only people that he has respect for, are his mom and his baby sister Laurie, whom he calls ‘Boo’ as a nickname. What is even more disturbing is the dead animals that he has slaughtered as a kid and then the beat down he gives to the school yard bully. Then on Halloween night, the switch clicks and he decides its time to take out the ones in his family that have done nothing but cause him problems.
Then we move to Michael being locked up in a mental institution, not remembering what he did and why he is there. At this point we are introduced to Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who is Michael’s psychologist for many years. At one point when Michael doesn’t seem to be getting better and moving in deeper to depression and his own diabolical world. Fast forward to a mere 15 years later. An older Michael (Tyler Mane) is still being consulted by Dr. Loomis, but as Loomis sees that he isn’t getting any better, he just gives up on him. Michael decides to escape the asylum on Halloween, to return to his roots. We meet another family which we are introduced too, the Strodes. We meet Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) and at this point things start to piece together frame by frame of John Carpenter’s classic. I will leave the story at that for the viewer to experience.
There are many issues with this film that make it one complex piece which are some of the reasons it is so criticized. The problem here with the ‘Halloween’ remake is that this completely feels like 2 movies in 1. I can understand the direction that Rob Zombie was going with here based off of the first half. If this was going to be a reboot of the franchise, why didn’t Zombie just finish off the story of the first half of the film and made this into a trilogy? The first half of the film had enough material when it switched directions at the 50 minute mark, which they could have easily of added another 40+ minutes of Michael in the asylum and a bit more with his family at the beginning. Using this as almost like an origin story would have been the smartest move. Zombie could have gone on to remake the original and the sequel ‘Halloween II’ as separate pieces. It would have tied his entire story arc very well.
The issues that I found with the film were that Taylor Mane as Michael Myers wasn’t a right fit. Mane is 6’10” and almost 300 lbs. Not only is he massive in size, but he is an ungodly like beast which Michael Myers of past wasn’t. Not really too sure what the thought was behind casting such a large behemoth of a
man in this role. I liked the backstory at the beginning, but why did Zombie have to make this family be so screwed up compared to what John Carpenter’s seemed like normal people from the little bit we saw them on screen. I think the backstory could have also worked with a normal family, just that the kid wasgoing in a twisted direction that the parents didn’t realize till it was way too late. Rob Zombie loves to have these twisted messed up family type characters as we saw in his previous two films. Though I will commend Zombie like Tarrantino, likes to use reoccurring talent in his films that he feels comfy with.
The print is presented in a 1080p/VC-1 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. ‘Halloween’ on Blu-ray very good and has a rather clean print with none of the grain present in the DVD version of the film. The dark scenes look very good with deep blacks and with low lighting in most of the scenes that would fail in other films. Colors are rather vibrant as yellows, blues, and reds just jump off the screen as they are some of the primary colors used in the film. Details are sharp due to having such a clean print.
The audio is presented in a English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix, which does a well from a dialog and soundfield perspective. The surrounds work very well with the sound effects that are used from the score. Dialogue comes through the center channel very clear and crisp. This is a very immersive sound mix with bass also being properly spaced out.
- Unrated Director’s Cut with Rob Zombie
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
- Alternate Ending with Alternate Commentary
- The Many Masks of Michael Myers
- Re-Imaging Halloween
- Meet The Cast
- Casting Sessions
- Scout Taylor-Compton Screen Test
- Theatrical Trailer
- Blu-ray LIVE
- Michael Lives: The Making of Halloween, a 4 1/2 Hour Documentary by Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie tries to expand the tale of ‘Halloween’ which works in some respects and doesn’t in others. This version of ‘Halloween’ isn’t just about the atmosphere created by the original, this is more about brutality and trying to expand the story a little bit too much more in the wrong direction with the first half. At the end of the day, I will not lie and say that I did enjoy Rob Zombie’s re-envisioning of ‘Halloween’. There is a lot of good in this film not to enjoy as a horror fan. There will be a lot of longtime ‘Halloween’ fans that will hate this film. The Blu-ray version of the film has excellent picture and audio quality which arrives just in time for Halloween.
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