out of Five
Running time: 105
Rob Zombie's Halloween reboot isn't bad as remakes go, but the prequel scenes are better than the remake scenes.
What's it all about?
Directed by Rob Zombie (The Devil's Rejects), Halloween is part remake, part prequel to John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic. In the first half, disturbed teenager Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) graduates from killing animals to slaughtering school bullies and then massacres his obnoxious stepfather (William Forsythe), his sister (Hannah Hall) and his sister's boyfriend, though he leaves his baby sister alive.
Myers spends the next 20 years in a sanatorium under the care of Professor Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), but eventually he escapes and goes on another killing spree, while trying to find his little sister. Meanwhile, teenager Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is totally unaware of what Halloween night will bring.
As remakes go, Zombie's Halloween isn't as terrible as you might think - at least he reigns in the blood-and-guts excesses of his previous movies, with several of the killings occurring offscreen. It's also nice to know that the film has Carpenter's blessing – at any rate, he was nice enough to let Zombie use the classic Halloween theme music.
The prequel scenes are more fun - Daeg Faerch is suitably chilling as the young Michael (particularly when demonstrating his penchant for masks) and McDowell is well cast as Loomis. The supporting cast in the second half is superb too, with lots of familiar horror faces contributing small cameos.
Unfortunately, the remake half of the film isn't quite as good and there's no explanation for why Michael suddenly becomes invincible and starts smashing through doors instead of opening them. The murder scenes aren't particularly original either and just seem like an excuse to feature topless girls screaming.
In short, this is worth seeing for curiosity value alone – it's well made and the performances are good but it's not as scary as the original film.