I’ve mentioned before that I like horror movies. That’s not entirely correct. I LOVE horror movies. I love entering the world of nightmares, and allowing myself to be scared, even though I know the blood on screen is really corn syrup, powder, and red food coloring (with a couple drops of green added if you want it to look more visceral). I love the collective release of breath from the audience when a lead character manages not to be killed – this time – and the completely girlish, but also completely real, screams that come when someone finally buys it in a mass spray of blood, guts and gore. Movies, after all, and horror movies especially, are all about the willful suspension of disbelief.
My favorite horror movie ever is actually Wes Craven’s original A Nightmare on Elm Street. To me, nothing is scarier than the notion of dying in your dreams, and having it be real. I liked one of the sequels – the one that bent reality – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – but the middle movies were disappointing, and we won’t talk about Freddy’s Dead. I also liked the original Halloween series and have nothing but good things to say about a quiet little John Malkovich film called Shadow of the Vampire.
Knowing all this, it should come as no surprise that I’m completely excited about Halloween the movie, which is Rob Zombie’s remake of the John Carpenter classic.
Zombie tends to be a lot more gory than Carpenter was, so I’m expecting the murders to be more brutal, and bloodier, but I also know he’ll bring a sort of rock star showmanship and sensibility to the film, with fast-paced imagery, and a darker tone over all, so that the violent scenes really pop, like fireworks against a black sky. He’s also stated in interviews that he likes to know the mind of the killer – the shaping forces that make you realize a serial killer is all lead character Michael Myers could ever have been.
From the trailer, it’s obvious that Zombie has honored the original as well as re-imagined it. Parts of the original score (the piano music) remain, and the relationships are the same. What is different is that there is a real-world grittiness to the tone of the film – making it a horror film, and not a cheap flick to be ignored.
Rob Zombie’s Halloween will be in theaters on August 31st, 2007.