Fans of John Carpenter's iconic "Halloween" will not be disappointed in Rob Zombie's remake of the film, unless they go to see it in a theater that allows underage kids into R-rated movies.
Zombie closely follows the storyline of the original 1978 film to keep horror geeks from grumbling but added storyline not seen in the original about the background of infamous fictional murderer Michael Myers.
The plot is divided into three acts: the first follows the dysfunctional home life of 10-year-old Myers (Daeg Faerch); the second shows the audience his time in the mental institution and the third views Myers' gruesome return to Haddonfield, Ill.
In the first movie, viewers never saw the events leading to the birth of Myers' evil.
The Zombie version gives Myers a voice and shows his troubled family with no father figure except the deadbeat, drunken boyfriend of his stripper mother. Zombie's remake also shows Myers' younger sister Laurie (known as Boo to him) as a baby.
Carpenter's version didn't give background about how Myers' obsession began with mangling small animals. It also logged Michael's first kill as his sister Judith.
Myers kills three others the day he kills his sister in Zombie's film and Judith is not the first.
The second act in the new version shows important background about Myers' descent into silence at the mental hospital as well as the development of his relationship with Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm MacDowell).
While Carpenter's film focused on Laurie Strode - Myers' baby sister -and how Myers finds her and begins many attempts to kill her, Zombie's film focused more on Myers. He kept a sentimental photograph of himself holding Laurie, which he tried to give her (Scout Taylor-Compton) in Zombie's version, whereas in Carpenter's he just wants her dead.
Zombie's pacing is extremely similar to the original with dark, creeping moments leading to shrieking and insane brutality.
The music, thankfully, was Carpenter's signature keyboard masterpiece from the original, with Zombie flare added to the original riffs such as an airplane taking off or insects roasting on a bug zapper.
Zombie included much more skin and more blood (an absurd amount )in his film - perhaps a sign of how time has amplified the slasher genre.
Carpenter's music and "Mr. Sandman" by The Chordettes weren't the only music in Zombie's film, which includes hits from Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, Kiss and Iggy Pop on the soundtrack. The addition of classic rock helped set a time period for Myers' childhood and updated the story (the original Myers killed his sister in 1963).
The movie ends, of course, leaving an opening for a sequel. Also, a main character who stuck around for four sequels of the original, seemed to have been significantly more injured than in Carpenter's version - maybe even dead.
Beware - not of nudity or gore - but of teenage hormones. Slasher flicks always garner the highest sneak-in rates of underage viewers because of the boobs and blood.
I personally have never heard a theater as boisterous as during this film, nor have I ever witnessed such poor regulation of rowdiness and underage viewers on the part of theater management as at the 9:30 p.m. Saturday showing of Halloween at the Carmike Crossroads 16 in Conyers.
A few patrons actually old enough to remember the original film complained to staff their experiences were ruined by shoddy management.
If you want to be genuinely scared, wait until the movie comes out on DVD and watch it alone in the dark.
"Halloween is Rated R for strong brutal bloody violence and terror throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity and language.