Why Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween’ Divided Audiences

It’s been almost a decade since Michael Myers last appeared on the cinema screen. Some time before that, it was rock star turned director Rob Zombie, who brought Shape back into the public eye and led a new generation of horror fans in search of the 1978 classic. by John Carpenter and its eight sequels. Of course, Zombie’s Halloween (2007), giving Michael Myers a foundation he never had or needed before, proved controversial. Although the film grossed over $80 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film in the series – a record that is certainly about to be beaten – there is consensus that additional appearances of Zombie, the brutality of Grindhouse and the brutality of the characters made the property without favor.

Zombie’s Halloween and its sequel Halloween II (2009) are still controversial films. And I understand. These are not easy movies to love, especially when compared to the perfection of John Carpenter and Debra Hill of the original. However, there’s something inside Zombie’s trailer park, an American classic that can’t be erased. Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II are films that are confusing and although you may not like them, they still leave an impression, and that is what many remakes of the era did.

Remakes are almost always controversial, but probably nothing more than horror remakes. Despite the fact, several remakes of the genre have become important films in the horror category – John Carpenter’s Thing (1982) and by David Cronenberg Fly (1986) is at the top of them all – horror fans are fiercely defending the original and classic films. Rob Zombie’s Halloween emerged in a horror cycle characterized by constant remakes, some of which were well-received, but many were deemed disposable by both critics and fans alike. Encouraged by the success of Chainsaw massacre in Texas (2003), titles such as Amityville Horror (2005), Wax house (2005), Black Christmas (2006) and The Wicker Man (2006) full of cinemas. And that is to say nothing about Asian horror remakes like The Grudge (2004), Black water (2005) and Pulse (2006), giving a sharp decline in quality from Rings (2002 year). However, some of these remakes, while not reaching the same heights as Cronenberg or Carpenter, offer an execution that lives up to the original property, sometimes exceeding it and adding to the conversation. Movies like Zack Snyder Dawn of the Dead (2004) and by Alexandre Aja The hills have eyes (2006) made people like Fog (2005) or Stepfather (2009) is worth sitting back, in the hope that some filmmakers can make the case that if the remake isn’t needed, it’s at least worth it. Many of these movies are horror movies where people in their 20s and 30s have weaned. Before streaming platforms gave us broad access to comeback catalogs, many millennial horror fans, myself included, experienced these remakes before they watched the originals, or at least watched them so close that they watched the originals that there was no time gap. seeds of nostalgia or reservations can grow.

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Perhaps it was this element of time that allowed Zombie’s Halloween film to make such an impression. When I watched the John Carpenter movie, although I was familiar with the premise and the characters Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, it was in preparation for the Zombie movie. Therefore, the changes he introduced do not so much trample on the legacy of the original but provide a point of comparison, creating a space where both films can exist and be respected simultaneously. This doesn’t mean Zombie’s Halloween beyond Carpenter’s quality. It’s not. But for a film that lacks Carpenter’s beautiful simplicity, Halloween ’07 has proven itself to be a raw, vulgar, and dirty fantasy drama that draws from the idea that, like the Nazareth song used by Zombie, “love hurts”.

One of the biggest changes to Halloween The myth that Zombie created is the explanation for the evil of Myers. While Carpenter’s film presents an empty picture of pure evil – later revised and explained in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) – Zombie gives him humanity, making him the result of circumstances rather than innate inhumanity. Young Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) grew up in poverty, raised by stinking men who owed more. Texas Chainsaw Massacre filmmaker Tobe Hooper rather than John Carpenter. With a mother forced to work too much at a strip club to support her family, a racist and abusive stepfather, an equally abusive sister and school bullies being bullied. possessed by a level of cruelty beyond their years, the boy Myers never had a chance. He will always become something. The mask simply gave him a form through which he could transform his feelings of loss, betrayal, and rage. Michael borrows from Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), a result of internal and external influences. As the film’s title tag states, “the darkest souls are not those who choose to exist in the hells of the abyss, but those who choose to emerge from the abyss and move silently within us.” .” Sure it’s a bit babble, but one thing Zombie holds up to throughout his two films.

Is Michael a less intimidating character when we see so much of his childhood and are given concrete explanations explaining why he is? Probably. But this need to explain evil feels relevant in a decade defined by the search for answers to why people commit the atrocities they do. September 11, 2001 and the subsequent War on Terror shaped our horror films. How can they not? Although the events that explain who Michael is and why he does what he do take place in the 90s, there is a sense that Zombies, whether consciously or as a result of the world in which he filmed , is posing to our need for implicit answers, tying modern horrors to the past in a way that is directly traceable, albeit obscured. For Zombie, horror is generational and familial, and that’s also what made its bloody head in his previous films – The house of 1000 corpses (2003) and its sequel The Devil’s Rejects (2005).

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As Halloween approaches season two and transitions into modern times, revisiting much of the plot structure of Carpenter’s original through Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton), the film continues to focus on Michael. He is not an impostor, but a complete man driven by primal urges. The carpenter Michael evokes purpose while never letting us do his will. But Zombie’s Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) is still a lost boy trying to find his way back to his nest, a loving family connection that never existed. Loomis and Laurie are both paths towards what he seeks – the loving father figure and kind sister – but neither is capable of forming around him the family he needs, when one seeks control over his story and the other fears his intrusion into her normal life.

Both of Zombies Halloween movie owes more Halloween II (1981) than the original, with Laurie as Michael’s sister coming to the forefront in a stronger way. But aside from Michael’s backstory and the inclusion of a sibling subplot, Halloween ’07 remains largely loyal to Carpenter’s, while never restraining the aesthetic of being pure Rob Zombie. The sequel to the movie Halloween II (2009) was even more scorned, although Zombie backed away from Carpenter even further and ventured into his own experiment with the great American babysitting tragedy using the psychedelic metaphor of a white horse. It’s in Zombie’s Halloween II that the director is the most enjoyable and reassuring person as a filmmaker. Michael Myers sits behind Laurie Strode and the injuries she suffered. The Taylor-Compton girl next door vibe from the first movie is stripped and replaced with something perverted and truly human in its fragility. It’s a performance, one of the best and most surprising horror of that decade, that disproves previous notions about the last girl and her ability to be immortal.

While Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie is tough, brave, and controlling even in fear, Taylor-Compton’s Laurie is caught in a downward spiral, and not just because she looks like her. It’s in the video Nine Inch Nails. Laurie becomes a tragic character, one who resembles her brother Michael, as the film seeks to explore whether the same combination of internal and external factors can once again create a conflict. hurt and anger created Michael Myers or not. Zombie creates a dark fairy tale where a character’s wish for a family has devastating divisions, especially towards the adoptive family Laurie has found. While Annie Brackett and her father, Sheriff Brackett, had no consequences beyond the 1978 film, here, portrayed by horror legends Danielle Harris and Brad Dourif, they become a vehicle feasible for Laurie to escape some damage, or at least share it. But Michael, and Laurie herself, tear through that outlet throughout the film, until their hardened emotions, both superficial and subconscious, explode and leave nothing but destruction and what’s left of them. The rest of the family is broken when they wake up.

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While a lot of horror remakes in the 21st century resemble a shadow of the original, Zombie managed to create two films that feel complete, even if audiences disagree on whether they’ll like it. their shape or not. Halloween ’07 is a remake with its own voice and Halloween II ’09 was one of the most original films to come out of the killer sub-series, and ended up being far more interesting than any previous sequel. The psychological aspects of horror, the pain of the last girl, and themes across the series have become so important in today’s modern horror blockbusters in films like Get out, A quiet place and even the latest by David Gordon Green Halloween, which is evident in Zombie movies, which is uncommon for killer movies. As horror fans we are constantly looking for the new and Rob Zombie has brought us something new with Halloween film. Risky, divisive and only elevated to the standards that Zombie aspires to, Halloween and Halloween II are love letters to horror characters and broken souls. They hurt, they leave scars, but in the end, they’re all worthwhile exercises in giving new voices to old stories.

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