Rob Zombie’s Halloween
As a big fan of Rob Zombie’s films and a casual fan of slashers, it is hard to admit that I was so late to the party with Zombie’s take on Halloween. I can now say that it was a great slasher film. It lacked a certain level of horror and tension, but it was worth viewing. Watching Michael Myers’ development from damaged child to deranged adult was an intriguing take on a character I previously had no interest in following. The main turnoffs I had with the film were the tropes: the girls (and guys) who had onscreen sex were the primary ones killed, and Sailor Moon Zombie was put into an overtly sexual role (a stripper) so that Rob Zombie could silently gloat about how gorgeous his wife is.
What I like best about the movie is that it left me with a “What’s worse?” question. So, what’s worse – a movie full of gratuitous violence or a sympathetic psychopath committing gratuitous violence? The latter certainly adds some depth to a film, but at the same time it can work as an additional motivator to copycats looking to act out. Anonymous, faceless killers are ultimately boogey men and monsters who make for a good scare while still remaining harmless. They are unreal and therefore not real. A character suffering from regular emotional abuse at home as well as embarrassment at school due to factors outside of his control (mother’s job as a stripper and sister’s sexual practices) is real. To some degree he might even be relatable. He remains a monster due to the manifestation of his psychopathy, but he is far worse because of his characterization. Michael Myers becomes the harmed child inside of each of us.
That aspect alone makes the film powerful. This movie taps into something amazing. It deserves better reviews than it received.