HOLLYWOOD—With Halloween right around the corner, I thought we’d do something different this year than focus our discussion on some of the best or most frightening horror flicks of all time. For 2016, I thought it would be neat to put a spotlight on remakes in the horror genre. The remake mania started in the early 2000s and was nearly relentless until the fad died down because the remakes were not up to par with the original.
So let’s kick this debate off by talking about one of the greatest horror flicks of all-time: “Halloween.” Yes, the 1978 classic directed by John Carpenter has been argued by many as shaping the horror genre as we know it. What is it about this flick that continues to scare audiences till this day? Simplicity. Yes, it’s a word so many of us have heard time and time again, and simplicity is not easy to do, but Carpenter keeps the story simple, that’s the point.
We don’t have a trillion characters, we have a villain in Michael Myers who is an equal adversary to our heroine Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the scares are unexpected and that music, wow, it’s the essence of pure horror if you ask me. Yeah, try watching the classic without the music and you’ll think it’s a totally different movie. What else works? The movie is tame on the level of violence, there is blood, but it’s not over-the-top, and the ending: purely sensational. Oh, and if I haven’t mentioned the face of ‘Michael Myers.’ That might be the creepiest mask from a villain in a horror movie to date people, and guess what it’s based off of a mask from William Shatner from his “Star Trek” days!
Now, fast-forward to 2007 and we get the first remake of the 80s horror icons with Rob Zombie’s take on “Halloween.” I have made the argument out of all the remakes in the horror genre this is perhaps the only flick I can argue is a solid re-interpretation of John Carpenter’s classic. It has its flaws, but Zombie finds a way to try to make the flick his own. We have a strong opening that gives us a bit of a slice behind Michael’s childhood and his murderous ways. The water gets murky with that transitional period with Michael Myers inside the sanitarium and his escape back to Haddonfield.
While I was not a fan of most of the characters in the movie except for Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Samuel Loomis, I can appreciate Zombie’s attempt to redevelop characters with his unique spin. Tyler Mane is perfect casting as Michael Myers; he screams evil and definitely has the body type for the character. There are a decent number of scares, but the ending falls slightly flat in my opinion.
So if you’re thinking about watching a frightful flick that is considered a classic, nothing beats John Carpenter’s 1978 classic “Halloween” over Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake “Halloween.” While Carpenter’s classic outweighs Zombie’s take, the 2007 version will still deliver thrills for those looking for a few good scares.