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Directed by Rob Zombie.
Written by Rob Zombie.  Based on the 1978 film by John Carpenter.
Starring Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane and Daeg Faerch.
Release Year:  2007
Review Date:  9/10/07


Take this seriously, whether you want to believe it or not--the update of "Halloween", directed by your friend and mine, Rob Zombie, isn't just not's pretty good!

You know the deal--this crazy kid named Michael Myers (played as a 10-year-old by Daeg Faerch, who even looks totally insane) kills nearly all of his family as a child, and is sent off to an institution where he is cared for by Dr. Loomis (in the original, Donald Pleasance; here, Malcolm McDowell) until age 25.  Naturally, evil can't stay caged up indoors forever, so after breaking out of the asylum he attempts to hunt down his little sister Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton).  Many, many people have to die before our good doctor tries to take out the Myers guy by himself.  Even I know that cops can't kill psychopaths...only PSYCHOLOGISTS WITH .357 MAGNUMS can.

If I saw the original "Halloween" uncut, I don't remember that; as such, getting a blood-soaked R-rated version of this original was brand new to me, and I thought that the horror was well done here.  The only distinct issue I have with Zombie's remake of "Halloween" is its length; it runs, and runs, and runs.  There's at least half a dozen too many killings, and the ending feels like it last forever.  However, the majority of "Halloween" is quite good, well performed, genuinely spooky (this is aided by the return of John Carpenter's original score) and at times, just plain nasty.  Tyler Mane (he of wrestling and Sabretooth-from-"X-Men" fame) does a good job of playing the big stiff as an adult, especially in sequences where Myers has been shot, maimed, stabbed or otherwise wounded but is still able to keep the killing going!  Taylor-Compton is adequate as the woman stalked; there are a lot of other actors in this remake that you'll swear you've seen somewhere before, but they are just unfamiliar enough to not become a distraction.

I have not watched much good horror this year, so Zombie's remake gives the genre a shot in the arm when they needed it most.  Now, the only question is:  how many remake sequels will we have to watch??

Rating:  $9.50 Show


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09