Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Halloween All Over Again

John Carpenter’s original 1978 Halloween was essentially a horror film in Hitchockian clothing, a lip-biting, fist-clenching amusement park ride that was devoid of blood, guts, and back story, a small-scale spine-tingler that hit it big at the box office through mood, pacing, and directorial acumen. Rob Zombie, erstwhile rocker-turned-filmmaker, has been handed the reins for a remake (the ninth Halloween movie overall, and titled, uh-huh, Halloween)), ostensibly to fill in pop cult boogieman Mike Myers’ fictional history, and to bring on the blood and guts. Zombie’s prior two features (House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects) were both eye-winking gore fests, amusing enough as stylish pulp, with Zombie’s own brand of weirdness infecting the proceedings in a decidedly unnerving way. The first half of this remake is similarly infused, making the boy-into-psycho part of the tale quite effective, but the second half merely recycles the bumps and runs so familiar to the genre, and runs a potential intriguing Zombie-take right into the usual shallow ground.

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