Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2: Remake, re-imagining, or bastardization?

Posted on 25 August 2009 by Quaid

If you’ve followed our site at all, you know how crazily mixed-up my feelings are about Rob Zombie’s upcoming Halloween 2.  On one hand, I’m a huge fan of the original and hold it up as the Holy Grail of slasher films.  On the other, I can (on rare occasion) enjoy the madness of a Rob Zombie hack-fest.  

m_163_h2_1shtPlus it’s hard for me to hate any movie that has Michael Myers stalking scantily clad teenagers.

I think the real soul-tearing conundrum of this whole mess really stems from the fact that I’m not sure how to categorize Zombie’s Halloween films.

The first one seems to be a fairly straightforward remake.  It hits almost every plot point of the original and (though the ending deviates somewhat) stays pretty true to the story.  

As a remake, then, I simply didn’t like Zombie’s movie.  Everything he did from the original was done less effectively.  The characters were paper thin, and the plot moved so fast it was hard to give a shit.

But wait!  What about the first half of the film–that half which deals with Michael Myers as a young’n?  It’s totally invented and totally a Zombie original, and maybe that’s why I enjoyed it more.  Only problem, though, is that I think learning Michael’s origin story–in graphic detail–kills the second half of the film.

So in the end, I categorize Rob’s first Halloween endeavor as a failed remake.  While he wanted it to be its own thing, it never stops being a remake of Carpenter’s classic, and it pales in comparison.

Case closed, end of story.  That is, until the sequel was announced.

Zombie made no bones about the fact that this was “his movie,” completely severed from John Carpenter’s film.  He said that the movie didn’t take place in a hospital; he was going a completely different direction with the film.  In short, this was 100% his.

When we got more news about the movie, I started to really understand exactly what the man meant.  Visions of Michael’s mother and a young version of himself?  Dr. Loomis on a book tour denying the idea of Michael being alive?  Michael without the mask, stuck in some dream sequence/acid trip and flipping over cars?

Halloween2MyersThis was in no way Halloween at all–except for the fact that your killer happened to be named Michael Myers.  I was outraged that they had pissed all over my favorite slasher film icon (again, and in a more dramatic way), and I was enraged that the movie looked so over-the-top and Satanic.

I had decided to hate the movie.  

This is when Shep pulled me aside and gave me a Halloween intervention.  

“You’ve got to let the movie be its own thing,” he said.  ”It might not really be Halloween, but it could still be cool.”

I took this advice, and when the last unreleased trailer came out, I approached it with an open mind.  And I got excited again.  This was not what I wanted, but it looked like it could be something I could still enjoy the hell out of.

And that’s when the question really hit me hard.  Is this a remake?  Or a Re-Imagining?  I’m sure that it will be a bastardization of Carpenter’s original…

…but it might still be fun, right?

The remake/re-envisioning mill goes round and round, so I guess at this stage I should just accept that those words have little meaning.  This is a Rob Zombie slasher flick that steals gratuitously from the Halloween mythos and shares a name.  

It’s a standalone sequel to a bad remake.  It’s a bunch of executives’ grasp at making shitloads of money by banking on the name of a proven horror icon.

…but it might still be fun, right?

I guess we’ll find out friday.



Categorized | Commentary, Featured

4 Comments For This Post

  1. ParryOtter Says:

    I feel like a re-boot and a re-imagining can really be the same thing. Both times a director places his own story and vision over top of canon. The result always seems to be a new movie (in looks, plot, and tone) with some of the same back-story and a few “hardy har” references to keep us fat and happy.

    I liked Zombie’s Halloween, but I’m sure that’s because I was never invested in the Halloween series. Had I grown up on them, I’m sure it would be different. Even now, I feel a little…well…easy when I watch movies like this, which is why I generally abstain.

    Sometimes a bastardization is good enough to be worthwhile and sometimes it’s like watching porn with wands and robes just because you’re “into Harry Potter.”

  2. Rachel Says:

    But calling it “your own” should not involve Michael Myers. It’ll never be your own, Zombie! Come up with your own killer to be the focal point of a shitty movie. I’m with you Quaid. Michael Myers may as well be Jesus Christ when it comes to slasher films. And who wants to see Zombie shit on Jesus? (Again)

  3. Jester Says:

    I wasted money to see this movie at the theaters and basically put, I was horrified by Rob Zombie’s vision of Michael. I have said before in other posts, Rob Zombie took an icon and completely trashed it. I hate that Rob Zombie has to make Michael Myers the product of a crappy childhood filled with stereotypical white trash. The original was creepy due to the fact that Michael’s family was not poor, had BOTH mom and dad living at home and displayed no other violent behavior or patterns until that one Halloween night. He became, as the original Loomis explained, pure Evil. No explanation, no poor little abused and ignored boy, and definately no stereotypical reasoning behind the madness. Rob Zombie then transformed Michael into a “momma’s boy” in much the same way Jason of Friday the 13th has been portrayed. Bottom line, get over your own childhood demons Rob and leave the icons to the true artists.

  4. Kredyt Says:

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

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