has an average rating of 6.0 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
Dolby TrueHD 5.1 / Dolby Digital 5.1
include a 4 1/2 hour documentary!
– 121 minutes
– The Weinstein Company
Street Date : October 21st 2008
Overall Verdict – Worth a Look
— Review written by: Brendan Surpless —
The Movie Itself is directed by Rob Zombie. This remake serves as a retelling of the infamous film of the same title by horror legend John Carpenter. If you don’t know what the horror film “Halloween” is about that’s a serious issue, but I’ll be a nice guy and tell you anyhow. In the year 1979 Michael Myers killed his sister, her boyfriend and his step-father in a bloody rage. The biggest shock was that Michael was only 10 years old resulting in him being committed to an insane asylum. Now it’s roughly 15 years later and Michael has broken out leaving everyone to scramble in a panic as no one knows what he’s going to do next. No one that is except his psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis. What results is a film that is clearly not as good as the original but is able to stand on its own due to Zombie’s direction.
As a fan of the original “Halloween“, when I heard that Zombie was given the consent and greenlight by Carpenter to helm this revision of the classic film, I became immediately intrigued. Not only because of my love of the original but also because I really enjoyed Zombie’s other directorial efforts. Instead of simply remaking the original, Zombie chose to incorporate more of Myers childhood mixing in the child’s psychological breakdown while Carpenter’s film chose more to go for the physical horror of the moment. While this idea does work for the first half it’s more the second part of the film that suffers.
The area where the film tends to fall apart is more in the latter half of the second part. Once Myers starts to chase Laurie after he tries to befriend her, the film progresses too slowly, which results in the viewer losing a bit of involvement not only in the story but the possible connection he was trying to create between the audience and the characters. A bit of the deleted scenes (and the making of on the second disc) show the possible direction Zombie wanted to conclude the film on. In this viewer’s opinion the alternate ending would have worked a bit better as all this ending does is possible set us up for a sequel (since when does Michael actually ever die?).
Overall Zombie has presented a watchable alternate take on the “Halloween” name. Instead of focusing just on Myers going back to Haddonfield to seek out Laurie, Zombie deals with the inner thoughts of Myers as both a child and an adult (see some of the deleted scenes for more on the latter portion of this statement). This makes the film feel like a sort of companion piece to the original giving us more in-depth character development. Fans of the original might be disappointed by this remake if they expect something as good but I feel those with an open-mind will come out pleased.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte Blu-ray Disc). Rob Zombie used a type of camera (Arriflex Cameras) that have only been used on “three” other films. There is a sense of somewhat darker feel to the print in that the color palette tended to focus on the darker side of the color spectrum. Blacks hold up well while somewhat lighter colors like gray also hold up fine. Grain is present mostly in some of the sanitarium sequences and a few of the Myers house interior shots. I didn’t notice any type of EE or DNR filters so it’s great to see that the grain I saw in my theatrical experience is still present. Detail is lacking in the darker shots (perhaps this was done intentionally) while the daylight outdoor sanitarium shots hold better detail. All in all this earns a fine “4 Star Rating“.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. Dynamics were excellent as each and every effect from the footsteps of Myers to him punching threw a wall (a great scene is where Laurie is trying to escape through a chained door and he punches through scaring her and the audience) came through perfectly creating a truly great sense of atmosphere. In fact with a moderate 47 setting on my 605, the surrounds sometimes became so loud that I had to turn down the volume (or maybe it was because it was 10 PM at night too). Dialogue is the only slight issue here honestly keeping this one from a perfect 5 Star Rating. I noticed that the dialogue seemed to be recorded at a lower level or perhaps a few of the actors spoke too low resulting in a bit of remote fiddling.
The score by Tyler Bates obviously borrows the infamous Halloween theme but adds more LFE to the mix. Speaking of LFE the bass, mostly coming from the theme, was deep (much deeper on the TrueHD track than the Dolby Digital track) and immersive throughout. All the way from the opening credits to the ending screams by Laurie, I noticed clean, clear LFE rounding out a fantastic effort from Weinstein. All in all this TrueHD 5.1 receives an almost perfect “4.5 Star Rating“.
Bonus Materials are presented in Standard Definition video using MPEG-2 with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo surround.
Disc 1 contains:
- Deleted Scenes: Here we get 22min15sec of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Zombie. The deleted scenes, in particular the sequences that show the commission hearing of the adult Myers, are interesting and are definitely worth watching.
- Alternate Ending: This Alternate Ending runs 3min45sec and shows a more psychological ending where Myers releases Laurie.
- Bloopers: This feature runs 10min18sec and is actually pretty damn funny with lots of improv.
- Re-Imagining Halloween: Running 19min11sec this feature is broken down into 3 sections (From Camera to Screen, Production Design and Makeup, FX Props and Wardrobe) and pretty much covers a solid portion of the production.
- Meet the Cast: This one runs 18min16sec and introduces us to a majority of the major cast. Of particular interest was not only Zombie’s comments on each cast member but also other cast members commenting on each other.
- Casting Sessions: At 29min52sec this feature is just as described. We get to see the casting tapes of a majority of the cast.
- Scout Taylor-Compton Screen Test: At 7min47sec this one has Scout Taylor-Compton doing a scene sort of improv.
- Theatrical Trailer: The 2min trailer is shown.
Disc 2 contains:
- Michael Lives: The Making of Halloween: Similar to his other films, director Rob Zombie has put together a complete definition of a making of feature. Running a whopping 4h20min this making of is broken down into the following sections: Preproduction, Shooting Days 1-5, Shooting Days 6-10, Shooting Days 11-15, Shooting Days 16-20, Shooting Days 21-25, Shooting Days 26-30, Shooting Days 31-35 and Shooting Days 36-42.
Overall bonus materials here are quite impressive and are sure to please fans of the film. The easy highlight is the massive making of on the second disc.
Blu-ray Disc packaging: