Let's face it; with the world's critics becoming all the more vocal on bemoaning Hollywood's remake-itus, any redo, re-imagining, reboot (or whatever pretentious euphemism those going down that route wish to use) will have a tougher time pleasing them. But someone must be going to see them, because they are coming in ever-greater number, like an unholy wart, spreading incessantly.

Regardless of critics, remakes also face another rather large hurdle that, until twenty years ago, didn't exist. With the advent of the home video market in the eighties, every man and his wart could have inexpensive, regular viewings of whatever the Hell he wanted. To that end, from the most populist titles to the nastiest direct-to-video piece of poopy, films nowadays are far better known, viewed, and remember than ever before. The most reviled cinematic box office turds have often found a new life on the home boob-tube. DVD has progressed the everyman's film knowledge even further, with the ‘special feature.' So begs the question: If this is the hardest possible time to be pouring out remakes, why in the name of a Donkey's butt are these asses spilling them out with the speed of a fart clearing an elevator?

Rob Zombie began directing films with the rough-and-ready, low budget, 70's-like exploitation horror, House of a Thousand Corpses, and followed with its sequel The Devil's Rejects. These films were of an ilk not seen in a long time, and he deservedly got some major kudos for his efforts. Last year, someone decided it was a good idea to let him lose on one of the most respected, seminal horror films ever created: Halloween. Being the respectful dude he is, Rob immediately did the right thing and called John Carpenter, who gave him the edit: â"Go for it, man. Just make it your own."

Rob Zombie's Halloween has followed that piece of advice. His film is a very different kettle of fish from the original; has all his own stylistic idiosyncrasies; and doesn't let its progenitor's rather large and ominous shadow encroach on its own narrative or execution. This is a compliment to Zombie, at least inasmuch that he set out to retell this story in a fresh way and was successful in doing so. But this is also the film's downfall, and an almost obvious end result, if any logic is to be applied to the attempt at all. Carpenter's Halloween worked the way it did, is remember and beloved to this day, because it was told the right way the first time; because it used specific techniques that have rarely been matched; and because it followed the most well known and mostly ignored rule in scaring people: What people don't know, can't see, or can't explain, will always terrify them more than anything shown, conjured, or explained away.

Zombie's Halloween explains the story of Michael Myers'. This immediately makes it different, but just as the copious and inferior sequels that followed, adding any depth to this character, any information about him, dulls his blade, so to speak. Myers at his most effective - is not Hannibal Lector; he is a ‘shape,' a pale, eyeless entity that allows whoever looks at him to inject whatever fear is buried inside them into his hollow, black eye sockets. He is the bogeyman, in the most basic, instinctual, mythological sense, and for that reason alone, Carpenter's Halloween is a film that should never have been remade... or at least not for a very, very, very long time.

To merely do a Gus Van Sant (a shot-by-shot redo) would have been pointless (we are in agreement, Mr. Zombie) but it is equally pointless to give this character a detailed back story from childhood no less and expect him to have the same effect on audiences. If this had been a stand alone film, remiss of the legend of Halloween, then it is a solid, well-made, interesting Slasher film... completely different to Carpenter's. But it's title and characters cannot be ignored, and as slick and impressive as this film presents, it doesn't overcome the hurdle of wondering what was the point?

To the die hard Halloween fans, who crave anything new, then this is a fantastic film to fill in some blanks and add some new and interesting dimensions to classic characters, but for those of us out there who see Carpenter's masterpiece as a standalone classic, this is nothing more than a pointless endeavour from a very talented new director.



DVD Details:

A very well-presented, generous offering, with loads of featurettes, commentaries, bloopers (bloopers!? Yep bloopers) trailers. This cut of the film is different from the theatrical release, not just with a couple of extra gory bits, but noticeable changes to subplots and the ending. Worth a look.

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: Spanish; Closed Captioned

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access, deleted scenes and an alternate ending with director's commentary, bloopers, cast interviews and more.

* Commentary
o Feature-length commentary track with writer/director Rob Zombie
* Bloopers - 10:16 worth of cut-ups including some appearances by special guests
* Deleted Scenes - Alternate ending (03:38) and deleted with optional commentary from Zombie.
o Rabbit in Red
o Quickdraw
o End of the Long Night
o Rainy Evening
o Not a Monster
o You Seem Sad Today
o The Media
o Xmas Gift
o Parole Hearing
o Night Shift
o Very Young
* Documentaries:
o The Many Masks Of Michael Myers (6:13)
o Re-Imagining Halloween
+ From Camera To Screen (6:04)
+ Production Design (5:35)
+ The Make Up Effects, Props and Wardrobe (7:18)
o Meet The Cast (18:20)
o Casting Sessions
+ Daeg Faerch (3:20)
+ Scout Taylor-Compton (3:21)
+ Danielle Harris (1:45)
+ Kristina Klebe (1:56)
+ Hanna Hall (1:39)
+ Adam Weisman (1:33)
+ Skyler Gisondo (4:05)
+ Jenny Stewart (0:40)
+ Daryl Sabara (2:00)
+ Pat Skipper (1:15)
+ Clint Howard (1:28)
+ Nick Mennell (1:08)
+ Max Van Ville (2:18)
+ Mel Fair (0:29)
+ Courtney Gains (1:32)
+ Scout Taylor-Compton Screen Test - Laurie Strode (7:39)
* Trailers
o Original theatrical trailer for Halloween (02:01)
* Sneak Peeks