Sunday, 26 April 2009

Remake Films

Do you know that feeling when you've seen too many crappy remake films?

This week I saw the new Halloween remake movie and if you've ever seen it, you'll know exactly what I'm saying.

Although it has to be said that I had never heard of Rob Zombie before and I haven't seen any of his previous films. I didn't have any concept of his work or directing style. So, having come to the film with no previous impressions I watched Halloween Unrated - Director's Cut with an open mind. I was totally unimpressed.

I know this was 2007 and I'm a little behind the times but originally it didn't appeal to me for obvious reasons. How can anyone dare to imagine they can do any film better than John Carpenter? Although I could see how he had tried to improve on it.

This film went into the background of Michael Myers in depth. An interesting concept; but unfortunately this prior information worked against the fear element of the story. It was a little hard to be scared, when you knew exactly who was under the mask. It lost the psychological element and surprises of the first film.

The other problem I had with the film was that mostly it was little more than a slasher/torture porn movie. It was filled with scenes of naked, injured women crawling on all fours. Obviously a fetish of someone on the production team - maybe Mr Zombie himself - but frankly, after the first killing, the viewer becomes desensitised and after that the constant killing scenes ran into each other and it became totally boring.

There were however some great things in it. Malcolm McDowell was brilliant in his role as Myers' psychiatrist. Daeg Faerch was an impressive and convincing young Myers and Sheri Moon Zombie was great as Myers' lap-dancing, loving mother.

I found the ending to be completely unsatifactory. It decended into an abstract chase through the old Myers' house, chasing after, what I sort of gathered was Myers' younger sister Laurie Strode - it seems she was adopted by another couple after her mother killed herself.

Malcolm McDowell apparently has his eyes gouged out, but then magically looks up at Myers and grabs his leg - yeah right.

The ending went for full-on blood and gore, Laurie was a bloody mess by the end. By then I was completely switched off and had switched on my laptop to do somehting better.

But I must add, that after watching the movie, we looked at the special features and there was a little gem among them - an alternative ending. The alternative was far more emotive, explained the motivation of Myers' behaviour better but had less gore.(It was shorter too, which had far more impact than constantly trying to crank up the tension).

So, Mr Zombie - I have to refer to some of the most successful and terrifying films of the past. Remember The Changling ,(1980) The Legend of Hell House,(1973), The Amityville Horror (1979), Rosemary's Baby, (1968)to name but a few. All of these films held something that the latest Halloween lacked - they played on the mind of their audience.

The old adage, which is still amazingly relevant, even in our society of producing 'shock' movies. Less is more ...

Overall verdict therefore for this movie - boring, boring, boring.

I'd like to see a return of decent scripts to be honest, action does not necessarily equal good viewing - but strong plot with twists and turns, that aren't predictable usually works best for me.

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