The 2007 horror flick Halloween is prequel and remake of the original slasher movie Halloween released in 1978. Some of its stars include Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Samuel Loomis, Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode, Tyler Mane as Michael Myers, Danielle Harris as Annie Brackett, Kristina Klebe as Lynda Van Der Klok, and Brad Dourif as Sheriff Lee Brackett. The producers are Malek Akkad (Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later), Andy Gould (The Devil’s Rejects), and Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses). The director is Rob Zombie.
Unlike the original Halloween, this movie takes a look at Michael Myers’s childhood and how he became the serial murderer that we all know and love. Michael is constantly abused by his mother’s boyfriend Ronnie and his older sister Judith. While his mother Deborah is talking to the principal about his recent behavior, the boy sneaks away and beats to death the bully who had been harassing him. Later on at home, Judith is supposed to take the 10-year-old Michael trick-or-treating but, instead, goes upstairs to have sex with her boyfriend. After a while, the young boy slits Ronnie’s throat as he sleeps in front of the television. Judith’s boyfriend Steve comes down and Michael beats him to death with an aluminum baseball bat. Then he goes upstairs and stabs his sister 17 times until she is dead. The new serial killer enters his baby sister’s room but, instead of killing her, he kisses her. His mother shows up as he is holding his little sister on the porch. The police arrive and, 11 months later, Michael is committed to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium under the care of Dr. Samuel Loomis. At first, the boy cooperates with Loomis, saying he has no memory of the murders. Later on, however, he stops speaking and becomes obsessed with making masks. After he kills a nurse, Deborah commits suicide, unable to handle what has happened to her son. Fifteen years pass as Dr. Loomis becomes increasingly frustrated with Michael’s unwillingness to speak to anyone. He finally decides it’s time to move on and leave Michael. That night, the giant murderer breaks out of the sanitarium and tracks down Laurie Strode and her friends. As before, Laurie is babysitting Tommy Doyle and, later, Lyndsey Wallace. Loomis hears about the breakout and rushes to Haddonfield, Michael’s hometown, to stop him from finding Laurie, who is later revealed to be Michael’s younger sister.
One fascinating addition, as stated earlier, was the background of Michael’s childhood. He lives with his teenage sister Judith, his baby sister Laurie, mother Deborah, and Deborah’s good-for-nothing boyfriend Ronnie White, who is a hopeless layabout. Of all the people in his household, no one seems to participate more in his psychological breakdown than Ronnie. He is always harassing Michael and giving him a hard time. The scene that appears to most accurately portray his abuse is towards the beginning of the film when the Myers are having breakfast. Ronnie is teasing the boy about his perceived homosexual behavior. Meanwhile, he and Deborah are also having an altercation which causes little Laurie to cry. He claims he can’t go out and find a job because he is hurt but Deborah doesn’t believe it. As a result, Ronnie pushes everything from the kitchen table on the floor, making a loud noise which scares the baby.
Despite adding the backstory to Michael’s past and, thus, eliminating some of the suspense, Rob Zombie actually brought back many of the scenes and lines from the original and retold it well, much to my surprise. Remakes these days are fortunate if they even match up to the shadow of their originals, but this one is actually quite good. The scene where Laurie and Tommy are walking to the Myers house to drop off the key is still there as is the scene where Michael stalks Laurie, Annie, and Lynda as they walk home from school. Also, the line that Lynda speaks just before getting strangled, “See anything you like?”, is in the remake from the original.
Zombie changes only a few minor things, like Annie’s boyfriend Paul. In the original, Paul is never seen on camera but in this movie, not only does he appear on camera but he also has sex with Annie. Also when the two are having sex, Annie warns him not to rip her blouse as it is expensive and calls him an idiot. The same line was spoken by Lynda to Bob in John Carpenter’s Halloween. In addition, Lynda and her boyfriend Bob have sex in the Wallace house in 1978, but now do it in the Myers house.
In regards to young up-and-coming actress Scout Taylor-Compton’s portrayal of Laurie Strode as opposed to Jamie Lee Curtis, the comparison is not valid. Many say that Scout’s portrayal isn’t even close to Jamie’s but, with all due respect, they played almost completely different versions of the same character. Jamie’s Laurie Strode is shy, introverted, somewhat timid, and, as stated by her friend Annie, is a true Girl Scout. Scout’s Laurie Strode is not really that shy at all. In fact, she seems to be quite outgoing and, in a way, more of a bad girl than Jamie. The only thing they really have in common in terms of personal traits is that neither has a boyfriend but secretly wants one.
To wrap, Rob Zombie’s Halloween isn’t the classic John Carpenter’s Halloween was, but is surprisingly entertaining and a worthy remake!