Movie Review: Halloween
By: Charlene Alissa Mullins
Your heart races. Your palms start to sweat. You hold your breath, watching attentively with one eye open as the events unfold in front of you. Then when the killing is over and the person being attacked is dead, you sigh in relief, because your heart can calm down — until it happens all over again. This is part of the fun in watching horror movies, and all the great horror movies like, “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and “Hostel” create this physiological reaction. However, the new “Halloween” fails miserably at this.
In the original “Halloween” (1978), director John Carpenter had our senses running rampant, but he left out the history of the seriously disturbed Michael Myers and all the blood and gore to go along with it. Now, a director known for having plenty of blood to spare, Rob Zombie, comes along to show why Myers is so troubled.The movie begins by constructing the seriously disturbed 10-year-old Michael Myer’s character (Daeg Faerch) and why he is so distraught. Zombie wanted the back story to explain why Michael wears the mask, giving the mask its own story, instead of Michael just finding some mask somewhere and deciding to wear it. However, he also leaves Michael’s motives ambiguous, as a true psychopath would. Maybe it was his stripper mother (Sheri Moon Zombie, the director’s wife who seems to play in all his movies) who caused him to go mad. Maybe it was his lazy, mother’s drunken boyfriend (William Forsythe). Maybe it was his baby sister. (In none of the nine installments of the franchise is it quite clear why he wants to kill his sister.) No one can be certain what caused Michael to snap, but one thing is for sure: No one can stop Michael, not even his shrink, Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell). All horror movies are the same. Include teenagers drinking alcohol and indulging in sex, add a little blood and a lot of gore and poof, you have a horror movie. Rob Zombie is known for his “blood expertise” in his horror features (“House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects.”) Combining elements of a prequel and a remake with the original concept “Halloween” delivers the blood and guts. However, he is missing one essential ingredient: SUSPENSE!
Even though Zombie includes most of the main ingredients of a successful horror movie, he over-indulges in blood, guts and sex, which detracts from the movie. Yes, nudity and sexual relations are part of the criteria for a horror movie. Take “Scream” and all the half-naked actresses just getting out of the shower or the hot tub right before they die. However, that doesn’t mean that all the female main characters have to die in practically the same way. For instance, all the characters in “Halloween” died shirtless. There are a lot of ways to kill someone and still include the quota on nudity scenes.
Every character in “Halloween” uses profanity and makes the dialogue unrealistic. Several movies include profanity and make their point. In fact, some dialogue is better with profanity and calls for it. However, high school girls don’t usually yell at strangers things like, “You want to jump our bones?”
Lastly, the thing that detracted from the movie and made it unbelievable was when 10-year old Michael put on the “Michael face” we all know so well. (It should be noted that none of the “Halloween” movies are realistic because he never dies, despite being smashed by a car or shot in the head). Though he was doing horrible gruesome things, a 4-foot little boy beneath a huge creepy mask is not scary. Before he put the Michael mask on, he used a clown mask that was not much better. However, Michael (Daeg Faerch) should have put some type of mask on sooner because his acting was lacking.
I first began to have physiological reactions when Michael’s sister, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) was introduced into the scene. Her terror and screaming were realistic and despite the knowledge that she lives in the sequels your heart won’t stop racing. She was the only actress worth paying attention to.
You won’t leave the theater with sweaty palms or watch with one eye open. In fact, you may forget to the watch the movie at all. There won’t even be a sigh of relief because the scary part is over. There will only be a sigh of relief at the end of the movie because it’s finally over.