Rethinking Rob Zombie's "Halloween" movies

It's been almost a decade since Michael Myers made his presence known on movie screens. The previous time, it was the rock star who became the director Rob Zombie who brought The Shape back into public consciousness and led a new generation of horror film fans looking for the 1978 John Carpenter classic and the eight sequels that followed. Of course, Zombie Halloween (2007), which gave Michael Myers a background he had never had or never had before, turned out to be controversial. Although the film has grossed more than $ 80 million worldwide that made it the highest grossing film in the series – a disc that is going to be defeated – there was consensus that the show additional to Zombie, the brutality of Grindhouse and rude characters no favors to the property.

Since then, Zombi Halloween it was paired with the other remakes of the 2000s. Halloween and his following Halloween II (2009) are still controversial films guaranteed to make people take their horror credentials or in favor of it, or, as it happens more often on social media, against it. And I understood. These films are not easy to love, especially in the face of the perfection that is the original of John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Still, there's something in the grungy, Zombie trailer park that takes an American classic that's impossible to do without. Rob Zombie & # 39; s Halloween is Halloween II I'm filthy under the nails of your fingernails and, even if you might not like it, it gets under your skin, leaves a footprint, and that's more than they've been able to do many of the remakes of the era.

The remakes often prove to be controversial, but perhaps none more than the remakes of the horror. Despite some of the remakes of the genre have become vital films in the horror catalog – John Carpenter & # 39; s The thing (1982) and David Cronenberg The flight (1986) the main among them – fans of horror are fiercely protective in the original films and in the canon. Rob Zombie & # 39; s Halloween he arrived during a cycle in horror that was populated by continuous remakes, some with a solid reception, but many that both critics and fans found disposable. Encouraged by the success of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), titles like The horror of Amittyville (2005), wax house (2005), Black Christmas (2006), e The Wicker Man (2006), full cineplex. And this to say nothing of the remake of Asian horror The resentment (2004), Dark water (2005), e pulse (2006), which offered a strong contraction of quality by L & # 39; ring (2002). Yet, a number of these remakes, while not reaching the heights of Cronenberg or Carpenter, offered an execution at the height of the original property, sometimes outdated and added to the conversation. Films like those of Zack Snyder Dawn of the dead (2004) and Alexandre Aja The hills Have Eyes (2006) did things like that The fog (2005) o Stepfather (2009) that it is worth to face, in the hope that some filmmaker would be able to show that if a remake was not necessary, it would have been at least useful. Many of these films were horror movies those who were twenty years old were weaned. Before the streaming platforms gave us so much access to the back catalogs, many millennial horror fans, including myself, lived through these remakes before seeing the originals, or at least they saw them so close to see the originals that there was no temporal interval for which the seed of nostalgia or reserve could grow.

Perhaps, this temporal factor allowed Zombie Halloween film to make such an impression. When I saw John Carpenter's film, despite being familiar with the premise and the characters Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, he was in preparation for the Zombie movie. So, the changes it has offered have not been so much trampling on the original legacy, but offering a benchmark, carving out a space where both films could exist and be simultaneously respected. This does not mean that Rob Zombie & # 39; s Halloween exceeds the quality of Carpenter & # 39; s. It is not so. But as a film without the beautiful simplicity of Carpenter & # 39; s, Halloween & # 39; 07 has asserted itself as an inelegant, raw and dirty psycho-fantasy dug into the idea that, as the song of Nazareth used by Zombi says, "love hurts".

One of the biggest changes to the Halloween The myths created by Zombie were an explanation of Michael's evil. While Carpenter's film proposed to be a blank canvas of pure wickedness – he later resumed and provided the explanation itself Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), Zombie gives him humanity, makes it a result of circumstances rather than a supernatural inhumanity. The young Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) grows in extreme situations, raised by dirty mouth puffs that owe more to The massacre of the Texas chain saw the filmmaker Tobe Hooper who is not John Carpenter. A mother forced to work too much in a strip club to support her family, a homophobic and violent stepfather, an equally abusive sister and school bullies possessed by a kind of cruelty beyond their years, the guy Myers never had one chance. He was about to always be something. The mask simply gave him a shape through which to channel his sense of loss, betrayal and anger. Michael is, to borrow from Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), a result of internal and external influences. As the film's title card says, "the darkest souls are not those who choose to exist in the hell of the abyss, but those who choose to free themselves from the abyss and move silently among us . " It is psycho-babble to be sure, but one that Zombie keeps the truth throughout the film by creating a coherence between both of his Halloween film that tracks.

Michael is a less terrifying figure, once we see so much of his childhood, and are given concrete explanations that explain why it is so how is it? Maybe. But this need to explain the evil seems apt in a decade defined by the search for answers on why people commit acts of atrocities they do. September 11th and the War on Terror that followed shaped our films of horror. How could they not? Although the events that explain who Michael is and why he does what's going on in the 90s, is the feeling that Zombie, either consciously or as a result of the world in which he made his film, is posing our need for answers in the subtext, linking modern horrors to the past in a directly traceable way, though obscured. For Zombie, Horror is generational and familiar, and this is something that raises his bloody head in his films before this as well – House of 1000 corpses (2003) and his sequel The Devil & # 39; s Rejects (2005).

Once Halloween reaches the second act and moves to the present day, revisiting much of the mechanics of Carpenter's original storyline through Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton), the film still remains fixed on Michael. He is not a black man, but a fully formed man driven by primary impulses. Michael from Carpenter summoned the purpose without ever letting us enter his intentions. But Michael Myers of Zombie (Tyler Mane) remains a lost kid trying to find his way back to a home, a loving family connection that never existed. Loomis and Laurie are both paths to what they are looking for, the loving figure of the father and the kind-hearted sister, but neither has the capacity to form around the family he needs as he tries to control his narration and others fear her intrusion into her life of normalcy.

Both of Zombie Halloween movies owe more to Halloween II (1981) compared to the original, with the plot of Laurie who is Michael's sister who comes to the forefront in a more powerful way. But beyond Michael's story, and the inclusion of his brother's subframe, Halloween & # 39; 07 remains largely loyal to Carpenter's, without ever refraining from an aesthetic that is pure Rob Zombie. The sequel of the film Halloween II (2009) was greeted with even more outrage, despite Zombi has moved away even further from Carpenter and ventured into his personal interpretation of the great American tragedy of babysitter through the hallucinatory metaphor of a white horse. It's in Zombie Halloween II that the director is at his best and sure as a director. Michael Myers takes a step back from Laurie Strode and the trauma he suffered. Taylor-Compton's girlfriend, the atmosphere next door, is torn away and replaced with something damaged and genuinely human in its fragility. It is a performance, one of the best and most surprising outputs from the horror in that decade, which rejects the previous notions of the final girl and their invulnerability.

While Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie was tough, confident and in control even in fear of fear, Taylor-Compton's Laurie is taken in a downward spiral, and not simply because it seems to belong to a Nine Inch Nails video. Laurie becomes a tragic figure, the one that echoes her brother Michael, while the film tries to explore if such a confluence of internal and external factors can once again create the wound and the anger that created Michael Myers. Zombie creates a dark fairy tale in which a character's family desire has devastating consequences, particularly for the foster family Laurie has found. While Annie Brackett and her father Sheriff Brackett have had little consequence outside the 1978 film, here, interpreted by horror legends Danielle Harris and Brad Dourif, they become a possible means for Laurie to escape some damage or at least share it. But Michael, and Laurie herself, snatch the skid over the course of the film, until their bottled emotions, both on the surface and in the subconscious, explode and leave nothing but devastation, and the destroyed remains of families in their wake.

While many horror remakes in the 21stst The century feeling like a shadow of the original, Zombie managed to create two films that feel fully formed, even if the public does not agree that they enjoy the form they took. Halloween "07 is a remake with its own voice and Halloween II & # 39; 09 is one of the most original films released by the slasher's sub-genre, and ended on a much more interesting note than any of the sequels that had come before. The psychological aspects of the horror, the trauma of the final girl and the thematic lines through the franchises that have become so important in the modern horror of success today in films like Go out, A calm placeand also the newest of David Gordon Green Halloween, were evident in Zombie's films, which was rare for slasher movies. As a fan of horror, we are constantly looking for the new, and Rob Zombie has given us something new with his Halloween movies. Risky, divisive and elevated only by the standards that Zombie wanted to reach, Halloween is Halloween II they are letters of love to the broken figures of horror and destroyed minds. They hurt, they heal and, in the end, they are exercises that are worth giving new voices to old stories.


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