Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 & 2: text review

Mike Matei / September 7th, 2009


I have seen the new Halloween sequel. I feel somewhat compelled to talk about it because I’m clearly a horror movie fan and have done some Halloween-related videos in the past. I also never got around to giving my thoughts on the first one (the remake), so I might as well just get it all out. I don’t have time to do a video, it’s a thousand times easier just to write it and be done with it, so you’ll have to read this one. No special treatment, after all, it’s not even close to Halloween yet.


The August release date puts us all in an awkward time to discuss it. It’s too early to discuss Halloween, because it’s not fucking October yet! The real tragedy is that the film will most likely not even be showing anywhere on Halloween day. The studios must sure know how to make their money, but when it comes to being festive, they are idiots. The Saw films (6? Jeez!) have been released close to Halloween day for the past 6 consecutive years. Not like a movie that actually has the word “HALLOWEEN” in the title!! In my opinion, if it comes out on actual Halloween day, like I believe some of the Saw movies have, that’s a little too late. You have one day to see it and then it’s November. You want to know a good release date for a horror film, especially if it’s called “Halloween?” Release it October 1st.

Before I can talk about the remake & sequel, I might as well briefly discuss the series and it’s progression. Or “degression.” The first film (1978) was a classic. Enough said. The open ending could have just been left alone, but of course, a sequel was made “Halloween 2″(1981). I guess now should be call this “the original Halloween 2?” To begin with, I don’t think the original EVER needed a sequel. As a standalone movie, there was nothing necessary to add to the story, but the first sequel was so closely tied to the first movie, picking up directly where it left off, and still taking place within the same night, it feels like a satisfying closure to the story. They killed Michael Myers! KILLED HIM!

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982) gets bad rep all the time for one reason. Michael Myers isn’t in it. My personal opinion, is that it’s a decent horror flick. It has a weird, disturbing atmosphere of it’s own, but No Michael Myers! So obviously, it sucks. If they intended the whole series to be based on Michael Myers, I believe they could have called the series “MICHAEL MYERS” because there’s a million other things that could happen on “Halloween.” If they would have continued in that direction, Halloween 3 would not still be frowned upon as the oddball of the bunch.

Halloween 4 (1988) brought Michael Myers back and created the ongoing sequel status that it has now. Dr. Loomis is back too, after being blown to bits in Halloween 2. Now, he’s just as much of an immortal zombie as Michael Myers. Ridiculous. Everything down to the mask is cheaper in this one. Michael’s shoulders are raised like a football player and he actually STABS SOMEONE WITH A GUN! Through a wall too I might add. This time Michael’s killed by falling down a shaft. Much more deadly and spectacular than being incinerated! (sarcasm)

Halloween 5 (1989) is closely tied to 4, coming out a year later. It’s full of all the stereotypical slasher movie cliches and leaves you with another cliffhanger. But instead of wrapping it up, the series goes into slumber for another 6 years.

Next came the unnumbered sequel trilogy. “Halloween: the Curse of Michael Myers” (1995), “H20: Halloween 20 Years Later” (1998) and “Halloween: Resurrection” (2002). H2O was the last legit attempt to close the series. They brought back Jamie Lee Curtis. She cuts off Michael’s head. A satisfying ending. To me, it was over. When “Resurrection” came along, I laughed and never bothered. Around this time is when they started releasing these movies in August.

I thought it was an awful idea to remake Halloween. However, if there’s one person to do it, I was glad it was Rob Zombie, just because he’s a genuine lover of horror films. I’ve always been a fan of his music, but his movies are hit or miss for me, and unfortunately this one did not quite do it for me. The backstory was uninspired and told us nothing we needed to know. How did Michael Myers become a psychopath? He had a shitty family. That’s how.

The babysitter characters were not updated at all from their 1978 personalities. They say “totally” all the time, just like in the original movie. Isn’t the idea of making a remake, to update it for today? Even Laurie Strode was an airhead, full of unmotivated energy the whole time. In the original movie, she was the only character you care about it, but here she’s just as annoying as the rest. Malcom Mcdowell as Dr. Loomis was the only character I liked.

The violence was the star of the movie. It was nothing but brutal… excessive… angry… violence. There is a scene in a bathroom where Michael Myers grabs actior Ken Foree and slams him into a stall over and over and over and over and over and over… until he’s lying dead in a pool of blood. I was laughing my ass off, but I don’t believe it’s exactly supposed to be humorous. Rob Zombie stated that he wanted to bring Michael Myers back to his roots and make him scary again. I suppose that means to just amp up the gore! Make it more violent! It’s a one track mentality that loses everything that made the original so scary. To me, the best moments were when you can sense Michael Myers is around, lurking in the shadows somewhere. It’s not the kill but the thrill of the chase.

We finally come to the one that’s in the cinemas now. Again it’s very loud, very graphic, lots of screaming, lots of blood. Same usual shit. It must hold the record for the most stabbing in a horror film. I’m not sure how I feel about Dr. Loomis in this one. I kind of liked the angle they were going for him, but it was a bit too exaggerated. I understand he’s getting heat for profiting off of the murders, but why people felt he was responsible for the deaths was a bit unreasonable.

There are some moments I like about this. Zombie lets loose and goes on his own dream-like tangent. In particular, there is a black & white dream scene at a dinner table which looks fantastic and reminds me of a German expressionist silent film. Sheri Moon Zombie is very photogenic and this time Rob Zombie utilizes her in the way that works best, with very little dialogue. The rest is mediocre at best, but if you were to cut it down for all the great visual moments, it could be an awesome Rob Zombie music video.

That’s all. I don’t have much to say about this one.

I hated the ending. Michael Myers gets stabbed to death? Like… what? Hasn’t he been shot in the face already? The cliffhanger with Laurie Strode is reminiscent of the ending of Halloween 4, which never got followed up on properly, and I’m willing to bet, neither will this one. The next movie will NOT pick up with Laurie Strode as the killer. They will just bring Michael Myers back into the forefront of the story.

I’ve heard Rob Zombie will not be directing any more Halloween movies, but is going to be directing The Blob’s 2nd remake. Please, for the love of God, does this man have to be cursed to doing remakes for the rest of his life? The Devil’s Rejects was a masterpiece, let him go back to his own thing! What about Tyrannosaurus Rex? I’m more interested in what’s going on with that, rather than this endless string of remakes.