Posted by: pop-break | November 3, 2012

31 Days of Horror: A Three Film Finale

ann hale’s series gets concluded…

Editor’s Note — Due to Hurricane Sandy, Pop-Break was unable to conclude the Halloween Film Series on the days intended. We have combined the final three selections into one piece for your reading pleasure.

Tonight’s [Night 29] film has been received with the most amount of hate I have ever experienced from the horror community. I had originally written a piece about it for another site, which will remain unnamed, and I was told, and I quote “you’d be met with an extreme amount of ridicule and mean comments” just for liking the film. Well, I say fuck that! I dare to challenge the horror community because I happen to think they are wrong. So, today I’m not going to do what I have done the past 28 days, which is review the film and tell you why I like it. Today, I am going to tell you why this film is not only worth watching, but undeserving of all the hate.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween II is marketed as a remake. This is actually incorrect. A remake is defined as “to make something again.” This film is a retelling which is defined as “a new version of a story.” This film isn’t meant to replace John Carpenter’s film, but to give you another view on the story.

John Carpenter gave you Michael Myers, the inhuman monster who had the inability to die. He was simply “the shape” with no explanation as to why he needed to find and kill his sister until the sixth film in the series, The Curse of Michael Myers, where we learn that there is a demon who will bring sickness and destruction unless a child bares the curse and spills the blood of their next of kin. John Carpenter’s Michael is supernatural.

Rob Zombie gave us Michael Myers, the human whose mentally instability has been made worse by abuse from his step father, sister and a bully at school. He takes it all out on innocent animals until things get so bad that he finally snaps and murders them all. Michael needs to kill his sister because his mental problems cause him to see his dead mother, who tells him to kill Laurie. Rob Zombie’s Michael is psychologically damaged.

Comparing the two films is like apples and oranges. They are two almost completely different stories with characters of the same names.

JC’s Halloween II is set in a hospital on Halloween night after all of Laurie’s friends have been butchered. Laurie has been admitted due to injuries sustained from Michaels attack. Michael then murders all of the doctors, nurses and security guards in the hospital in the attempt to get to Laurie.

RZ’s Halloween II starts out in the hospital but that turns out to just be a post-traumatic stress induced nightmare that Laurie is having. It is one year since Laurie thought she had killed Michael but his body disappeared. He has since been traveling to find Laurie and finish what he started.

I could understand the hate for the film as a remake. It completely strays from the story, people live that are supposed to die and vice versa, and the humanity of Michael is just absurd when compared to the original. However, as I said before, this isn’t a remake.

Now, I’m a massive fan of the original Halloween series and I was pissed when I saw Zombie’s version in the theater until I stopped and took it for what it was. Standing alone, if you ignore everything you know about the original films, Zombie’s Halloween films are actually good. Halloween II alone is beyond brutal. You can feel the strength going into the thrusts of Michael’s knife. The screams of terror are horrifying.

The blood is plentiful.

The fact is that the Halloween name is what is really giving it all of the hate. If it were given a different name, people would’ve liked it but, instead, people see the name and immediately become closed minded. What really blows my mind is that the remake of Prom Night got a higher audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes than RZ’s Halloween II and that was a complete piece of shit.

Is Zombie’s Halloween II amazing? Is it the best in the series? Is it better than the original? No and I won’t sit here and tell you that it is. What I will tell you is that it’s not as awful as people make it out to be. I think if you just gave it a chance and thought of it as something completely separate from the original, you might actually enjoy it. I challenge you to try.

Tomorrow is Halloween and that can only mean one thing: It’s Trick r Treat night! Every year, I start my marathon with The Exorcist and I end with my all-time favorite horror movie. For the past few years, I have saved the day before Halloween for this anthology masterpiece.

Trick r Treat is an anthology of five stories that, though played out of order, are all connected. Each story includes Sam is a trick-r-treater in a burlap sack mask, orange footie pajamas and his signature pumpkin lollipop. He observes the happenings of Halloween and only steps in when the traditions of Halloween are broken.

The first story is of a young couple turning in early from Halloween fun. Emma (Leslie Bibb) decides to stay up and clear their yard of all of their decorations while her husband sets up a porn video for them to watch together. She makes the mistake of blowing out her pumpkin before Halloween is over, a big Halloween no no, and this is seen by little Sam. Emma must now face the consequences of breaking the rules.

The second story begins with a fat kid named Charlie smashing pumpkins. He gets caught by his school principal, Mr. Wilkins (Dylan Baker), stealing all of the candy from his bowl. Wilkins then makes Charlie sit, gives him a candy bar and chats with him about stealing. Soon, Charlie is vomiting blood and chocolate all over the porch before finally dying. We soon discover that this isn’t Mr. Wilkin’s first kill and he doesn’t intend for it to be his last.

The third story is about a group of popular kids at school that take a savant girl to the rock quarry under the guise that they were going to leave pumpkins in memory of the children that died in the “Halloween School Bus Massacre” where a group of mentally challenged kids were chained to their bus seats and the bus was driven over the edge of the quarry to kill them. Supposedly the parents paid the driver to do it. What the kids intended to do was to scare the savant girl as a Halloween prank. What they got was punishment from the kids perished in the bus.

The fourth story is about a virgin, Laurie (Anna Paquin) who has trouble meeting boys. Her sister and her gorgeous friends are heading to a party deep in the woods and each of them has a date. Laurie stays behind to find a date of her own. With no such luck, Laurie finds herself followed by a mysterious cloaked man who we witnessed murder a woman earlier. What this stranger doesn’t realize is that there is more to these women than he thinks.

The fifth story is about an old grumpy man named Kreeg (Brian Cox) who lives at home alone with his dog. He is to Halloween what Scrooge is to Christmas by scaring away trick or treaters and stealing their candy. Kreeg finds himself fighting for his life against little Sam who proves to be vicious and sadistic. Kreeg suffers a broken wrist and several cuts and bruises before Sam takes off, having punished him for not handing out candy to trick or treaters. We then find out that Kreeg was the bus driver during the massacre and those kids are back for revenge.

Considered a horror comedy, Trick r Treat is one fun and messed up film. I would say that it is easily the most creative horror film in the last several years. It has been a very long time since an anthology was made that was really worth anything (Tales from the Hood, The Twilight Zone, Creepshow) but I can honestly say that I think Trick r Treat is the best anthology to date.

Little Sam is adorable but has a dark streak that I wouldn’t want to come face to face with. So tomorrow night, make sure you keep the traditions of Halloween or you might find that your punishment is more than you’re willing to take.

The time has finally come. The greatest day of the year is here, people are already drunk, and I’ve already eaten enough candy to ensure a premature death from diabetes. I have spent all month watching movies that I felt were perfect for this year; some great, some complete cheese but all great in their own way. The truth is, after day one with The Exorcist, I spend the entire month looking forward to day 31, when I finally get to watch all-time favorite horror film which, as you can guess, is appropriately Halloween.

Michael Myers was only six years old when he murdered his sister Judith in cold blood on Halloween night. Fifteen years later, on the night before Halloween, Michael escapes from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and makes his way back to Haddonfield, Illinois. Dr. Loomis, knowing that Michael is pure evil, knows that nothing good can come from Michaels escape and heads to Haddonfield to cut him off.

Laurie Strode is a high school student, a good girl by most standards. She does well in school, she gets along with her parents and, with the exception of a little pot smoking with her friends, doesn’t cause any trouble. Tonight on Halloween, Laurie is babysitting Tommy Doyle while her friend Annie is down the street babysitting Lindsey Wallace. Annie brings Lindsey over to the Doyle’s so she can meet up with her boyfriend. She never makes it there as Michael kills her first.

Laurie’s other friend Lynda and her boyfriend Bob show up at the Wallace’s house expecting the house to be empty so they can hook up. When Bob goes off alone, Michael stabs him to death and then strangles Lynda while she is on the phone with Laurie. Laurie heads over to the Wallace’s to see what is going on and finds the dead bodies of her friends.

Now Laurie has to find a way to escape or defeat Michael Myers before she ends up another one of his victims.

I don’t need to tell you that I love Halloween. I love it from the white painted William Shatner mask to the simple yet menacing theme song. Michael is, in my opinion, the most brutal of slasher film killers. He has absolutely no regard for human life. He will kill anyone and anything in his path to Laurie Strode. Laurie is a total badass. Sure, in the first Halloween film and in most of the second, she is kind of whiney but she manages to hold her own and survive. When it comes to Halloween: H20, she is 100% without a doubt badass. In a horror film, she’s the one I’m hiding behind, but with my back against a wall so that Michael isn’t behind me because, let’s face it, everyone in Laurie’s life dies.

Have fun tonight, everyone. Get dressed up, get wasted and get laid but keep your eyes open because you never know where Michael is hiding and your drunken ass is his favorite treat.


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