Director: Rob Zombie
Last year on Halloween, I reviewed the original movie. So this year I figured it was fitting to watch this one. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'll probably get some shit for this review, and I might lose my credibility as a horror fan...but I don't care.
I saw a couple of the original movies when I was a kid, and I can honestly tell you that Michael Myers never scared me. I was scared shitless of Jason Voorhees; I was creeped out by Freddy; and some of my childhood nightmares featured good 'ol Ghostface. But Michael? Not once. My whole life, I've found the character boring and stupid. The only feelings I had for Michael were hatred, and I scoffed at the mention of his name. But not anymore. I really love Rob Zombie's version of Michael, and I have a new appreciation of the character; though it's more of an appreciation for a new character. A lot of people have a lot of different issues with this reboot, but I share none of them. In my opinion, this is a 100% improvement upon the original movie. I actually like this one!
I think the biggest problem most people have with the remake is that it made Michael a sympathetic character, and they feel that made him less terrifying. But I completely disagree. Personally, I love sympathetic killers. In the original movie, we were told that Michael was crazy; in this one, we got to see it. A good chunk at the beginning of the movie was dedicated to telling the story of Michael's childhood. It began much like real-life serial killers, and we can kind of understand what drove him to become so crazy. His stepfather was a dickhead. His sister was a bitch-whore. He loved his mother, and she loved him; but she was a stripper, and this caused Michael to get ridiculed in school. He was bullied at school and home alike, and it was quite sad. I felt bad for him, really. So I wasn't surprised when he killed his stepfather, older sister, and his sister's boyfriend while his mother was at work one night. For a child, the murders were very gruesome. He slit his stepfather's throat, stabbed his sister seventeen times, and bashed her boyfriend's head in with a baseball bat. He also killed one of his school bullies, by beating him to death with a tree branch. See, he was fucking vicious, even as a child.
Cut to fifteen years later, and Michael was a giant hulk of a man who wore creepy hand-made masks. He was getting ready to be transported to prison finally, but he killed all the guards and escaped. Of course, he made his way back home to find the little sister that he left alive. In the original movie, we didn't even know that Laurie was his sister. In this one, they mention something about it, but it's still a little bit vague until the end. He didn't want to hurt her at all. He just wanted to find her, because she was one of the only two people he actually cared about. But of course, Laurie, having been adopted as a baby, knew nothing of this. So when this giant man killed her friends and came after her, she was terrified. Honestly, I would be too. One part that really showed Michael as a sympathetic character was when he finally got Laurie to himself. He sat down, almost like he was waiting to be punished, as he showed her a picture of him holding her when she was a baby. She didn't understand, though, and stabbed him in the neck with his own knife. It was an extremely sad moment, and I almost teared up a little bit. After that, it did seem like he was trying to harm her, though I'm not sure I believe it. Maybe she did piss him off; maybe he changed his mind and wanted to kill her. But I think he was afraid that he was going to lose the last of his family. I think he just desperately wanted to show her who she was and stitch what little family he had back together.
People think that making him a sympathetic character, and making most of the other characters assholes, was a problem. But not every other character was an asshole. Laurie and her friends were just kids, so they were the ones we were really supposed to be rooting for. People also feel that it makes him less frightening, because the killer is the one we can sympathize with and relate to. Did you not notice that he was fucking seven feet tall? And he was played by Tyler Mane, a former professional wrestler. So that's not a trick of the camera; he actually is that big. Personally, I don't care how much was abused as a child; I don't care if he's sad. If I see a seven foot tall giant coming toward me with a knife, I'm shitting myself and blubbering like a fool in a corner. Not only is he huge, but he's stronger than any normal man should be. And he's angry, and fucking vicious as hell. People say the original Michael was scarier, and I'm wondering if we're watching the same movie. In no way, shape, or form is this Michael less terrifying than the old Michael. In my opinion, he is better in every way. Finally, I can think of Michael Myers and feel something other than anger at how stupid he is. Sure, I can relate to this Michael, but the difference is that I'm five feet tall, out of shape, and I could never hurt anyone. He's huge, and he could rip me in half with one hand tied behind his back. I don't care how much I can relate to his story; I don't care if we have a couple of things in common, or I feel bad for him. It's his size and strength that make him terrifying, and it's his history that makes me like him. The old Michael had none of that going for him. I love that it sufficiently explained Michael. It explained his home life and what drove him to become a killer; and it explained small things, like how he got the mask. The mask, too, is another thing I believe was better in this movie.
Even if you don't care for this new Michael, you've got to admit that young Michael was creepy as hell. Daeg Faerch did an absolutely amazing job, in my opinion. I think I'd put him in the top five of creepy kids. He was very good at acting like a crazy little nutjob, and the murder scenes were very disturbing. It's unsettling to think of a child doing such grisly things.
I do understand what everyone's saying, though. A lot of people grew up with Michael Myers, so in their eyes, no remake could ever compare. I get it. I feel the same way about Friday the 13th. But I didn't grow up with Michael like I did Jason, so I don't have that emotional attachment to him, and I can recognize that this was an improvement. So, go ahead. Stone me if you wish. Call me bad names, whatever makes you feel better. But I definitely prefer this remake to the original Halloween.