Plot: What’s it about?
As a child, Michael Myers grew up in a dysfunctional household, to put things mildly. His mother (Sheri Moon Zombie) loves him, but doesn’t have much time to spend with her son. She works nights as an exotic dancer, a profession which causes Michael pain when his classmates discover what she does. Michael’s stepfather is harsh and violent toward him, while his older sister puts on a nice facade, but wants little to do with him. As time passes, Michael pulls more and more into himself, a progression which reaches a climax when he kills his sister, her boyfriend, and his stepfather in one night. He was then turned over to Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), who spent countless time with him, trying to find a way inside his mind. Now Michael has grown up and hasn’t even spoken in years, but the evil still burns inside him. When he escapes the mental hospital he called home since childhood, what will he unleash upon the world outside?
John Carpenter’s Halloween is my personal favorite horror movie of all time, so when I heard a remake was being produced, I was skeptical, to say the least. As it turned out, I was right to be skeptical. Rob Zombie’s new spin on Michael Myers starts off well and had me interested to see which directions it would take. The dynamics of the Myers’ home are well crafted, as are the colorful, memorable characters within the household. But as soon as Halloween shifts gears from an almost character study to a traditional slasher, the movie falls apart. Zombie’s direction falters at almost every turn once that shift takes place, unable to maintain tension and create any kind of effective atmosphere. As I said, I was into the movie at first and there was immense potential, but when the movie needs to deliver the goods, the killer instinct is gone. Even so, it is a passable movie and for the first half or so, is worthwhile, so a rental is recommended to genre fans.
Video: How does it look?
Halloween is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a great looking transfer, especially given how dark and dreary the visual design is. The print is in pristine condition, with all the inherent grain intact, which means no DNR mess is left behind. This gives us a film like image, with great detail and depth. I wasn’t floored by the subtle detail visible, but this looks leaps and bounds more detailed than the DVD releases. The dark visuals hold up well thanks to stark and accurate contrast, while colors perform well, but remain within the muted spectrum the film dictates. So while not a home run, this is a solid triple and I think fans should be more than satisfied here.
Audio: How does it sound?
A Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option is implemented here, which provides an aggressive and memorable soundtrack. This one is loud and in your face, with a lot of raw power and heavy surround presence. When Myers throws a punch, you almost feel it connect, that is how deep and powerful this track is at times. This is pretty consistent too, so most scenes have deep bass and ample kick, which really helps add to the brutal tone of the picture. The only downside is that the other elements are so powerful, they sometimes drown out the vocals to an extent. But the dialogue is still audible, just a touch low in some scenes. This release also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This two disc collection is stacked with extras, without question. Rob Zombie provides an informative director’s commentary and also offers his comments on some deleted scenes and an alternate end sequence. You can also view these extras without Zombie’s comments, should you choose that route. You can also check out a twenty minute look behind the scenes, a blooper reel, half an hour of casting tapes, a Scout Taylor-Compton screen test, and the film’s theatrical trailer. The second disc houses just one supplement, but it is a four and a half hour documentary on the production, so its quite substantial. This is an in depth as you can ask and then some, so fans will have a ball with this inclusion.