What are some reviews of the Halloween remake?

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Answered by: Emily A. Brightman, An Expert in the Movie Reviews Category
Acclaimed rocker/filmmaker Rob Zombie has once again released a whole new world of terror on innocent movie goers with his remake of John Carpenter's classic 1978 thriller Halloween. Zombie's ambitious retelling of the first installment of the expansive Halloween movie franchise is both fascinating and disturbing, revealing an entirely new chapter in the Michael Myers saga that was left suspiciously unanswered in Carpenter's original film, while giving new life to the much loved classic thriller.

Set in the infamous Haddonfield, the first half hour of the film takes place on Halloween day seventeen years before the famed murder spree, and serves as an account of the unsavory home life of young Michael Myers, whose stripper mother Deborah Myers (played by Zombie's wife Sherri Moon Zombie) seemingly does her best to support young Michael, older sister Judith and baby sister Laurie as well as Deborah's own verbally abusive deadbeat boyfriend. The "white trash" quality of the family is apparent and somewhat reminiscent of the family in Zombie's earlier film House of 1,000 Corpses, which fans of Zombie will appreciate wholeheartedly.

The first of the movie's murders is that of a school bully who torments Michael endlessly, bludgeoned to death with a thick tree branch when Michael catches him alone walking home from school. Young Michael does this with a disturbing ferocity that sets the tone for the rest of the gory film. The blood continues to flow as Michael returns home that night and offs his mother's boyfriend as well as his older sister Judith and her boyfriend in equally gruesome fashion, this time with a sharpened kitchen knife.

The only one spared is baby Laurie, who shows up later in the film as a crucial character. Myers is then taken away and incarcerated in a mental ward under the care of Dr. Samuel Loomis (played by the talented and hysterical Malcolm McDowell). Seventeen years later, a grown up and still very dangerous Michael escapes from the institution and returns to his hometown to hunt down his long lost baby sister Laurie Strode (played by Scout Taylor-Compton) and to begin his night of merciless bloodshed.

The same senseless carnage of the killings is evident, but with a gruesome Zombie twist; the viewer watches in graphic detail as knives penetrate and ropes asphyxiate as Michael virtually mows down anyone who stands in the way of him getting to Laurie. There is even a surprise cameo from Brad Dourif (of Child's Play fame) as Sheriff Brackett, in charge of the police team that tries to hunt Michael down and stop the madness. Body parts fly left and right as Michael hacks and slashes his way to his baby sister, culminating in an intense heart-pounding conclusion as Laurie realizes why everyone around her is dying and why the killer is after her.

The pure savagery with which adult Michael (played by terrifying giant Tyler Mane) carries out his killings is the greatest asset of the movie, and Rob Zombie has a knack for creating a truly ghastly monster out of a beloved horror icon. Some of the reviews of the Halloween remake have chalked this up to excessive use of gore and violence to establish Myers as a humanoid beast, but the fact remains that Zombie gives innovative new depth to the character that has haunted so many viewers for decades.

Reviews of the Halloween remake are many, some bashing the film as an embarrassment to the horror genre and other praising Zombie as the next horror movie king. The truth of the matter is that, personal opinions aside, every movie that is remade - horror or not - is an expression of that director's personal interpretation of the film, and should be criticized as such. Many fans of Zombie were disappointed with this latest venture, but the film stands on its own as a brilliant retelling of a favorite horror story that had long since been neglected by pop culture.

Zombie's greatest accomplishment with this film is explaining to fans precisely WHY Laurie Strode was Myers' target throughout the movie; in Carpenter's film, Myers' killings seemed random and senseless, but with Zombie's theory that Laurie was the baby sister of Michael fits perfectly into the classic storyline. Zombie's flair for the artistically violence makes this movie a real gem for fans of Zombie and the Halloween franchise, and a virtual nightmare for anyone who is afraid of what might be hiding out in the dark late at night.

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