Halloween (2007) (R)

Horror 109 August 31, 2007
By Nathan Lee
Rob Zombie's Halloween isn't quite a remake of John Carpenter's 1978 slasher masterpiece. The first hour, which vividly and viciously imagines the dirt-bag childhood of an abject little psychopath named Michael Myers (the exquisitely wormy Daeg Faerch), might be considered a prequel. Yet even when it kicks in on familiar turf—Michael's escape (slash) from the loony bin (strangle) and hunt (slaughter) for his sister, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) — Zombie is up to something all his own. Horrific as it is, Halloween isn't so much a horror film as a biopic, and a superb one at that. The life and times of a fictional monster may not be as respectable a subject as a historical monster like, say, Idi Amin or Truman Capote, but Zombie's portrait is every bit as reverent, scrupulous and deeply felt as any Oscar-grubbing horror show. Note the strange circumspection, the discipline of tone, the utter lack of snark, the absolute denial of gore-for-gore's sake. (Yes, Eli Roth, there is such a thing as "torture porn" — and you're a dumb, dirty perv.) Can you feel the love? If anything, Zombie indulges too much sympathy for the devil; his Halloween deepens Carpenter's vision without rooting out its fear.
Rob Zombie Daeg Faerch, Danielle Harris, Malcolm McDowell, Danny Trejo, Sheri Moon, Dee Wallace-Stone, Scout Taylor-Compton, William Forsythe, Tyler Mane, Hanna Hall John Carpenter, Debra Hill, Rob Zombie Malek Akkad, Andy Gould, Rob Zombie MGM

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