2014’s 13 Days of Horror: Days 01 and 02 of BoOctober
Some say that Michael Myers was the leader in slasher films. He began what was to be known as the golden age… um excuse me, the bloody age of slasher that would blossom in the 80s become a joke in the 90s and a satirical ploy by the time the new century was rolling in. But if we look chronologically, we see that Leatherface actually began this age of slash, back in 1974, but we’ll focus on that franchise tomorrow. Today we will talk about the influential silent killer, the boy that turned into PURE EVIL and made the night of Halloween frightening for adults and horny teenagers, not just little tykes afraid of the boogeyman in their closet. Below are 10 comparisons and contrasts of John Carpenter’s indie film Halloween and Rob Zombie’s high-budgeted Halloween. And you will come to see that more money, doesn’t always mean the audience will get a better movie.
This review is written in the assumption that if you’re reading this, you’ve watched one or both films. So there’s always the possibilities of spoilers or one of my points not making much sense. And that would now be on you, my dear reader.
1.) The Musical Score – Reusing the same, chilling musical theme from the original in the remake, degrades the originally frightening music into something cheap and foolish. It doesn’t fit with Zombie’s new edge of abuse, especially when we hear it for the first time after his wife’s atrocious display of acting.
2.) The Faceless Mask – The origination of the mask in the remake is dumb as fuck, during the sisters sex scene, really? 1978’s version play perfectly well with then introducing the sheriff and Annie’s devil may-care attitude. It also removes the predator stalking the prey scene when Michael follows the girls in car. We also miss out on the perfect take of the cops missing the culprit, it only took me countless times of watching the original, but this last time, after the girls drive off after talking to the sheriff we see Michael turn right past the hardware store and keep following the girls. Not to mention the remake completely disregards Michael’s awesome driving skills. How could Zombie pass up on that?
3.) The Back-Story – Michael Myers was much more frightening when we didn’t know why he killed, why he was so deranged. Zombie’s Michael gives reason to his insanity (which was the only think I liked about the remake when I saw it for the first time in ’07), and instead of instilling fear, we just feel pity and concern for this poor boy and mother who are in the shittiest of circumstances. But every single action of Michael’s negates any feeling of contempt we had for him. Carpenter’s young Michael creates a looming fear of why he changed–he came from a nice, healthy family–what corrupted him to kill his older sister? Never knowing is half the fear that the original delivers.
4.) The Director’s Choice Style of Fear – Zombie is disgusting while Carpenter is classic. Rob tries to disgust us with terrifying perverted moments of rape and abuse while John elevated the fear by building things up slowly. Shadows in the dark are a much more tamed fear than that of the stomach turning ass holes who force themselves on helpless women. My stomach wretches at the latter while my pulse increase and palms sweat at the former. When we wish to be frightened by a film, most look for something hair-raising instead of anger inducing.
5.) The Killings in Haddonfield – One thing (possibly the only thing) that the remake does do better is killing off Bob and Lynda. I mean if you go to fuck in a murderer’s house, as your own personal love shack, you deserve to be strangled to death while butt ass naked. At least Zombie didn’t change the grade A script from the original in the updated scene. “Like what you see?” etc. etc.
6.) The Explanation of Laurie Strode – The mofo’s don’t even wait to tell us about Laurie’s adoption until the eventual, unfortunate sequel in 2009. Another reason why the original was able to deliver such fear was not knowing why he was murdering the “babysitters” of Haddonfield. And really do we need to see poor Laurie’s parents killed off? I mean it makes sense and all, but was it really all that needed?
7.) Annie – With all the gratuitous sex and bare bodies, why did Zombie not include a shirtless Annie during the laundry room scene? It’s one of the better scenes and its a bummer that it’s not included. —- Oh, well I mean, eventually we actually see Annie shirtless with Paul (who was actually never on screen from the original). I do have to give major props to snagging up Danielle Harris, who actually went up against the original Michael Myers in number 4 and 5 as Jamie Lloyd, who we eventually found out was Laurie Strode’s daughter.
8.) The Pumpkins – in the original, it’s a well known fact the the movie was filmed in April, therefore very difficult to come by in-season gourds. If you pay attention closely, they use only one or two jack-a-lanterns throughout the film, just in different locations. The remake had plenty of pumpkins, but one of my favorites was when a jack-a-lantern was thrust onto Paul’s hanging body, a nice touch for the film actually being on Halloween.
9.) The Shape’s Walk – Michael pretty much invented the slow walk, even though Leatherface came before him, that fucker ran and still had a difficult time catching up with his victim. But when Michael was on screen, he could walk slow as he wanted and still catch up with his sprinting big-breasted prey. Zombie at least paid lots of homages to the original—when Michael carries Laurie from the Doyle’s house he parallels the walk with Annie from the original. There are a few other fun parallels that Zombie doesn’t butcher (lol wordplay). Bob wearing the sheet as a ghost.
10.) The Ending – But then…the fuck is the ending so different for? From the wrong girl being displayed in front of the grave stone (because he kept Annie alive only to die in the sequel for some reason), to the entire climax being in that god-damn basement. What happened to the good old virgin stand off? Instead we have Zombie’s Michael just drop the knife and show Laurie the photo of him and a baby? I never really understood that, why kill all of her friends if you wanted her to be happy with you as a family again? Eventually Zombie recreates the iconic closet scene. But i do have to admit that I find Zombie’s ending more poetic than the original. Not that it’s better, because in the original we have him disappear after an entire round of bullets are unloaded into his chest, and that is frightening as fuck. Seeing both Laurie and Michael fall from the second floor together in the climax is similar yet just different enough to make it his own, you know after butchering the whole damn movie.
A few other side notes—-
Loomis fucking dies in this one, this infuriates me. Like the fuck man, don’t you know he carries the franchise at the constant protagonist? He’s in more movies than any of the other protagonists.
There is one moment of perfect symbolism that Zombie creates on his own–probably without even realizing what he’s done, because if the man could, he’d choke on his own self-serving suck job. When Michael takes Laurie back to what I assume is their old house, Laurie hides out in the ceiling rafters for a bit. After Michael get’s tired of playing hide and seek with his younger sister (lolol) he begins to bash in the ceiling scene, destroying the home he loved to murder his sister that he escaped the psychiatry for. It is and added scene which creates the perfect symbol of what Zombie did to the franchise he supposedly loved. Oh, sweet sweet irony.
When it comes down to it you have to wonder, was Zombie the real Boogeyman?