Thursday, January 31, 2008

Where are you from? The country of White Trash?

Last night we watched the most loathsome, borderline-rage-inducing piece of shit. And no, not the remake of Black Christmas, which my dad and husband did actually catch the other night in all its nonsensical craptasticness. No this, was Rob Zombie's remake ("reimagining?") of Halloween. It's my fault, it really is. We were curious. I knew it would suck. I just didn't realize how much it would suck and how much it would piss me off.

About ten minutes in I began to realize this and had to ask D for paper and pen because by god, I needed to make a list, it was that bad.

At some point, I tried to judge it just as another horror movie, not as a Halloween remake, as it was not a single solitary thing like the original, save using the same music, mask (kind of), and the Bob/Linda death scene was nearly the same. Just on its own, it was still horrible. It certainly wasn't scary.

So Rob Zombie has replaced minimalism, character development (of the right characters), suspense and tension with gore (not even good Peter Jackson gore, just gratuitous gore), swearing and a bizarre transformation of everyone into their white trash selves. They're not even the same people; at one point, Laurie simulates sex on a bagel in front of her mom and taunts her about the hardware store owner leering over her, but later lectures her friends about how she hates to lie. Wtf?

I'm getting ahead of myself. We don't even MEET the girls until a whopping 54 minutes into the film. Yes, you read that properly. The first HOUR is all about Michael's childhood, torturing animals in school and killing not just his sister but multiple others, the time in a psychiatric ward with Dr. Loomis (oh, Malcolm McDowell, you are forever shamed...actually, Zombie must have had dirt on many, many people...), it went on and on and on. Two key things:

1) It was so much creepier to think Michael came from a normal, classy family. Skanking it up makes it boring and obvious and creates really tedious scenes.

2) Don't show us what goes on behind the curtain. I always pictured Michael as an emotionless black hole. This doesn't.

Also, there is way too much blood and swearing. Don't get me wrong, I'm huge fans of both--used properly. The first film is a great example of how less can be more. All this film does is exemplify that and put itself on display as HOW TO FUCK UP A CLASSIC and LOOK AT THIS INEFFECTIVE HORROR MOVIE. I mean, who--especially a so-called fan of the original--looks at this remake and thinks it's a good idea, let alone a tribute? Did you WATCH the original? Don't you GET IT??

My list ended up at 24 things that offended me about the movie. I won't list them all here. But some highlights...

1. You see Michael's face way too much (also way too many shots of his EYES), which really just contributes to one of its biggest flaws: ZERO MYSTERY. Apparently, mystery is overrated in Zombie's world. Let's spell it all out for the audience and totally wreck it.

2. Too much time on the WRONG characters.

3. It managed to ruin the music--the creepiest music of all time--by rendering it useless in this film. Not even the music made this gorefest scary.

4. Again, blood + swearing does not = quality scares. I just can't stress this enough.

5. All that time spent in the hospital was so much more effectively shown to us, for once, by some easy exposition by Loomis in the original. A rare thing, I admit. And why? BECAUSE IT'S A THROWAWAY BONE. Good to know, but really not crucial to our enjoyment.

6. What? Utilize the audience's imagination? Nope, we won't be doing that here.

7. I loathed all three girls. True, Annie was pretty annoying in the original but I still liked her. She was realistic and funny; another embarrassment is Zombie basically having a blueprint on his hands and still appearing completely incapable of writing even one line of believable dialogue.

8. Does every single solitary person, particularly the men, have to have long hair? Wtf?

God, I could just go on. Everything he could get wrong, he did. It's like everything he touches turns to white trash. I cannot believe anyone who could make this movie could ever appreciate the original--I mean, it's clear he doesn't. This is the worst movie I have seen in years and it's also truly offensive to both fans of horror and especially fans (which is EVERYONE) of the Carpenter/Hill version.

I get it he was trying to "make it his own," and I do have a least a modicum of (respect is so the wrong word)--understanding?--that at least it's not a rehashing blow-by-blow. But then, we come down to the basic, original question: why fucking remake it at all? Why can't you just leave it alone?

I'll stop now, because I could go on about this for days.


The [Cherry] Ride said...

Hmm. One question: Why?

Did you really think it was going to be anything other than really shitty?

OK< that's 2 questions.

Ellen Aim said...

Answer: Because.

Sometimes when you're a huge fan of the original, you're compelled to check out imitations. maybe?

Sometimes you check out *shit*, knowing it's *shit*, but not being able to stop yourself. I watch Sandra Bullock movies, too.

I just didn't think it would be APPALLING SHITTY. Not a mushroom tattoo on Carpenter's face. Just "shitty."

I was wrong...