I am sure many of you have already chosen your side on the debate concerning Rob Zombie's Halloween movies. And I'm sure that if you have picked a side it is probably the anti-Zombie side. Well, I'm here to play a little defense for the Zombie Halloween movies.
Rob Zombie started his feature film career with House of 1,000 Corpses, a movie that was a rip-off of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but contained a lot of strange imagery and memorable performances that the movie has been given a pass by most fans.
Zombie's next movie was The Devil's Rejects. It continues the story of the Firefly gang, but does so in a way that is the exact opposite of what the first movie was. Gone are the neons and strange imagery and what we are given are harsh earth tones and a grind house feel. For me, this movie showed that Rob Zombie was maturing as a director.
So now we are talking about Halloween, Zombies remake of the John Carpenter classic. When the movie was announced fans got up in arms. They didn't think that Zombie could do the original justice and they even questioned the remake in the first place. But this is what I tell anyone who complains about the remake and it's sequel. How many times have we seen Dracula In movies? A lot.
What people don't understand is that the classic will always be there, untouched. Zombie didn't go back and mess with the original movie. That will always be there. What Zombie has done is take the story and many classic elements and given it his own spin. He stays true to the story, which there wasn't much to in the first place, and adds things that he feels is nessicary to telling his version of this story.
It has been a little over two years since Zombie's version of Halloween came out and, for the most part, the dust has settled. People have accepted the movie for what it is. It is done and over with. Now we get a sequel.
Zombie has said that he would not make a sequel, but changed his mind. When the movie came out in August 2009 it was universally panned and voted by many people as the worst movie of the year. I saw it when it was first released and, while I thought it was bad, I had a hard time shaking the movie. Somewhere deep down I knew that there was something else, something that I missed.
Well it turns out that there was something, but I didn't miss it. It wasn't there to begin with. In the theatrical version is a mess compared to the director's cut that was released on DVD and blu-ray in January of 2010. Many scenes play out in the theater like they weren't complete, like something was left out. In the director's cut these scenes play out in their entirety and we can finally understand what is going on.
We understand Laurie's descent into the madness that consumed her brother a lot more clearly now. We see that she has not been able to come to grips with the events from the first Halloween. She feels responsible for everything that happened and it eats away at her.
We also get a better understanding of the relationship been Laurie and Annie. Annie, too, has survived the events that haunt Laurie, but Annie has dealt with them in her own way. In the theatrical version we are led to believe that Laurie is just full of rage, but in the director's cut we see that Laurie is using that as a self-defense mechanisim. She doesn't know what is going on with herself and that is the only way she knows how to deal with it.
Played back to back, both of Rob Zombie's Halloween movies play like one movie. Zombie has crafted a complete story that can't be sequelized. He started with the first movie as a broad outline and went from there, crafting a story of loss, loneliness, and ultimately, madness. Fans of the Halloween movies should take note, Zombie has made a slasher movie with an incredible amount of depth.