Retro Review: Halloween (2007)

In every genre of film, a large chunk of fans are always disappointed when a movie they love is remade, however I feel like a lot of times fans judge remakes to harshly. One horror remake that I definitely think is judged too harshly is Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake of Halloween.

I actually LOVE the 2010 Nightmare on Elm Street remake, and only just like the Halloween remake, but I understand why the NoES remake is disliked, but the hate for Zombie’s Halloween just confuses me.

Don’t get me wrong, Rob Zombie’s version of the film doesn’t even come close to touching the original, but if you take another look at it you’d probably find that it’s not as horrible as it’s made out to be.

It seems that the number one complaint about this version of the film is with the backstory that Zombie gave to Michael. I’ve heard it said that they didn’t like that Zombie tried to humanize Michael Myers, and make you feel sympathetic towards him, and fans missed seeing Mike as just a monster. People feel that it spent too much time on his back story, and didn’t like that it gave him face and reason. Even John Carpenter feels this way, and that the backstory took away mystery and fear you felt that his original character gave you. While I think that Carpenter’s complaints are completely valid since they are about how someone changed something he made, and I can see where those who agree with him are coming from since they also didn’t want to see the character change, I don’t understand the severity of the criticism since the changes seem miniscule to me. I mean the character of Michael Myers was definitely changed less than the remade Freddy Krueger was, yet the hate for both of them seems to be equal. Michael’s backstory in Zombie’s Halloween is actually why I like it. To me the story of how Michael became the horrible murderer he is known to be was interesting, and in no way made me feel any different about the character than I did before. If Halloween was supposed to be a fun slasher movie where the killer was supposed to be going after random people, and possibly be a supernatural being I’d be more inclined to understand the hate, but ,to me at least, that’s not what the original was. Halloween is more of a dark, and serious horror movie than a light hearted slasher flick. I never thought of Michael Myers as a monster, just as a killer. I guess that’s why I actually understand why people dislike Freddy in the NoES remake, because he’s not really human anymore, and the original franchise were fun and full of witty lines, while the remake took those things away, and was I guess seen as taking itself too seriously. Personally, I think seeing Michael Myers in a light where you know 100% that he is a human just like you, makes the movie even more scary.

With all of that being said, I do think that the backstory wasn’t necessary for Michael Myers’ story in general, BUT for the remake it might have been. Without the addition of the backstory there really wouldn’t have been a reason for the remake to exist because the rest of the movie is pretty similar to the original, plot wise, although, I do feel that the remake is much darker. Other remakes of classics like the aforementioned Nightmare On Elm Street, and Friday the 13th had plots that varied from the source material. Even if something isn’t a remake of something else, but just has very similar details to another story people often question why it was even made when there is something like it already out in the world, so why and how do people simultaneously turn away from new things and changes so much?

Like I said, Rob Zombie’s Halloween may not be the best Halloween movie, but isn’t it better than some of the sequels that seemed to go awry? Our very own Rayzor, doesn’t think so (just check out his ranking of the Halloween films here) but both myself and my mom, who’s favorite horror villain is Michael Myers do. If you don’t think that the movie as a whole, or even the story is better than some of the sequels, ok fine, everyone has their preferences, but you’ve got to admit that at least Michael’s look in Zombie’s films is. If you’re questioning that you can just hop right on over to this article posted by Bloody Disgusting’s John Squires last year for the proof. Another thing that I really like about the film is Scout Taylor Compton’s portrayal as Laurie Strode. It’s also really cool to me that Danielle Harris was brought back into the Halloween universe in this film.

So, basically, what I’m trying to remind everyone, once again, is that just because you dislike something doesn’t mean it is of bad quality. Rob Zombie’s Halloween is definitely one of those things that many people dislike, but isn’t actually bad, it just wasn’t their cup of tea due to the way he made Michael feel more human, and less monster. However, Halloween is always a satisfying watch for me because I love loVE LOVE realism in my horror, and after all, all monsters are human out here in the real world.

About MJ Sawan 69 Articles
Graduate from Oregon State University, with a Bachelor's of Science in Liberal Studies, a self made degree plan, that focused on media, writing, film, and women, gender and sexuality studies, aptly titled "Writing for and about film with a feminist perspective". I inherited my love of halloween and horror movies from my mom. My favorite horror movie is Scream, which is highly ironic considering I was deathly afraid of Ghostface, who I had very vivid nightmares about that I still remember perfectly, as a child. Some of my other favorites are Hereditary, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Beetlejuice, The Shining, The Conjuring, and much more! Even though I’ve pretty much been a life long fan of horror I still have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the classics, ergo my Millennial Morgan Plays Catch Up reviews, which I plan to bring back soon. My passion project for the site is our digital zine, called Fright Like A Girl that's all about women in horror, made by women who love horror! In my free time, besides writing for the site, and working on my dream of becoming an actress and film maker, I enjoy making youtube videos (MJ Sawan on youtube), playing video games, going to conventions like Texas Frightmare, and Horror Hound, and cosplaying! I've cosplayed as Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare On Elm Street, Ripley from Aliens, and more. You can follow me on twitter, @frightlikeagirl, where I tweet A LOT about movies of all types, and the people in them.