HALLOWEEN: 3-DISC UNRATED...
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Sheri Moon Zombie
What's it about
Michael Myers is back in Haddonfield and wreaking terror upon Laurie Strode. Zombie's reimagining gives just as much insight into the mind of young Michael as well before he slips on the mask and goes on his killing spree.
Is it good movie?
A lot of critics really hate this movie. I remember reading a relatively reputable website that actually gave this film a ZERO out of ten. That's right, this film was considered to be the worst type of movie there was and clearly had absolutely no redeeming value. Fans are mixed- some love the film and some hate it.
I struck up a conversation with The Arrow shortly after this one hit theaters and he agreed- people who are 'in the middle' are few and far in between. We both agreed that we were a part of that minority of people who neither loved nor hated this film.
There are three different cuts of this film, but only two really worth mentioning. There is an early workprint that was leaked to the internet shortly before the film hit the big screen; there is the theatrical release, and this DVD version, the unrated release. The version on this DVD varies very little from the theatrical cut, despite being called 'unrated.' I think that the workprint version is definitely the best one, and unfortunately no one will get to see it (not through legal means anyway). I liked the theatrical ending more, but thought the workprint had much-needed scenes of development that just made more sense. I thought it was bizarre when Myers killed Trejo and the Devil's Rejects showed up so quickly to get killed. That said, I did enjoy the movie, and I don't get why everyone is HATING on it so much, it's so much better than any of the last few sequels, so I don't get it. I know perhaps 'well enough' should have been left alone, but still, it wasn't nearly that bad.
Anyway, on to the official review. I am absolutely more on the ''like' side than the negative side. If this were the first ever film in the series, I don't know if the movie would have gone on to sport 7 sequels but I'm quite certain audiences would like it. But as an alternate take on the original version, it is just fine.
Something that people tend to gripe about is young Michael’s story, growing from a boy who was picked on and abused to the Shape we all know and love. I personally thought that this little bit of insight provides some great context and background to the character. This is where the great cast shines- Daeg Faerch, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe and the incomparable Malcolm McDowell are believable and authentic. You will feel the pain of this young man who has been presented with a life that few kids could overcome. Of course, he takes the worst path possible, but the whole thing is believable, honest and brutal. McDowell is no Donald Pleasance, but his Loomis character is a caring individual who works to no end to get through to this degenerating youth.
Then we get to the eventual jailbreak, where Michael stalks Laurie Strode and her friends. This is a part of the movie that sort of turns a bit downhill. Michael kills lots of people, and the ending is similar to the original film. The big problem here is that Scout Taylor Compton and her friends are so, so awful. They're annoying, conniving young ladies who come off like three bitches. They are not likeable characters. Zombie even cast series veteran Danielle Harris, and she even takes her clothes off before she gets killed, but still this part of the movie is cold, brutal and uninteresting. The various murders are mean and nasty, but not very entertaining. Ultimately, the second half of this movie could have any old slasher and it wouldn't make much difference.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic 2.35:1 aspect ratio, great transfer with sharp detail.
Audio: Dolby 5.1, a great aural treat and this film has a great audio track.
Michael Lives: The Making of Halloween is the main feature here at four hours long and the ultimate selling point for this DVD. In fact, besides this one extra feature which facilitates its own disc, the set is exactly the same as the last edition(which is why I borrow a bit from that DVD review Matt did). But believe me, this one really makes this the ultimate collector’s edition but let me tell you, this is for hardcore fans only. I was really, really excited to get this disc and slide it in because I love Halloween and I love Zombie. Unfortunately it is a loosely made little documentary that is absolutely exhaustive in its detail. Rather than something for fans, it’s more something for young filmmakers because the whole thing is essentially film school in a can. There are a lot of questions answered, and the documentary is as honest as can be- several times arise where Zombie shows pure frustration towards his filmmaking circumstances. There are a lot of great, candid moments with the cast members and by the time the feature is over you’ll feel like you were a part of the crew and you’ll know more about this film than you’d ever imagined. A great supplement for a serious collector.
Feature Commentary By Writer Director Rob Zombie: Not a bad commentary, but something about it felt a little flat to me. Zombie rarely seems thrilled to be doing commentary, he seems like he's falling asleep.
Alternate Ending: Good that they included it, check iot out and see for yourself.
Deleted Scenes With Optional Director's Commentary: I usually hate Deleted Scenes because they were left out for obvious reasons, but in this case you really get some different story beats and ideas. Zombie's commentary offers an interesting insight into how you often find your movie in the editing room.
Bloopers: F*cking hysterical! Malcolm McDowell is insane.
The Many Masks Of Michael Myers: Wanna know about all the different masks in the movie? Here's where you'll learn all about it.
Re-Imagining Halloween: Covers the same ground as the Director's Commentary, but quicker.
Meet The Cast: Hi cast.
Casting Sessions: Um, hi again?
Laurie Strode Screen Test: Don't you remember? We just met like two special features ago.
Theatrical Trailer: Of course!
Ultimately, I dig Zombie’s vision and I can tell that he was messed with by the studio. I appreciate the 70’s vibe and I was mostly with it even during the lackluster second half of the movie. I don’t think Myers should be a 7 foot tall hulking monster either, but I like Tyler Mane and he brought some energy to the role. This movie isn’t perfect but it is definitely worth your attention. It’ll get some reactions out of anyone who sees it, which is the most important thing!