Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Unhappy Halloween

By Mike Gillis

I wonder if John Carpenter is hard up for cash. He's got to be. "Halloween" is the latest film from the director getting a 21st-century polish, this one courtesy of Rob Zombie. Other Carpenter films, all of them still contemporary, have already been remade for a younger audience, including "The Fog" and "Assault on Precinct 13". Plans are under way to remake several other Carpenter pictures, including his masterpiece, "The Thing," already a remake, "Escape from New York" and "Christine".

I don't understand the appetite for remakes, whether movies or TV shows. Are original ideas in such short supply? Why remake a masterpiece like Hitchcock's "Psycho" as Gus Van Zant did in 1998? Why remake "Halloween?"

I have to admit that Rob Zombie has an interesting style. All the more reason to avoid a remake, I would think. In interviews with various publications, Zombie insists the reason for the remake is that "Halloween's" sequels have so soiled the story that no one remembers the original. That's crap, of course, but it's also disingenuous. Malcolm McDowell, who stars as Dr. Loomis, recently revealed he's signed on for three Halloween pictures.

I doubt I'll get around to Zombie's version. I'll always remember Carpenter's version as a charged, atmospheric and largely bloodless horror picture with heart, made when the craft of moviemaking, and the ingenuity involved, still mattered, not so long ago. It's a lot easier, I suppose, to be called into Bob Weinstein's office and be offered a remake, as Zombie was. But where's the heart in that?

See the trailer for Zombie's remake:

Buy them here:

Halloween (Divimax 25th Anniversary Edition)

The Thing (Collector's Edition)

The Thing from Another World