Thursday, January 17, 2008

Commentary commentary: Halloween (2007)

So I had a bit of a panic when I realized that, after only one movie, I had already forgotten to maintain my intended regular-viewing of movie commentary tracks. Last weekend *should* have seen film number two of 2008 viewed, but, well, I forgot.

And, okay, it wasn't so much of a panic. I didn't break out in a cold sweat, my heart didn't start hammering in my chest. It was more of, "Oh, hey, I forgot to do that, crap," sort of realization. More disappointment than, panic, I guess.

But, not one to take disappointment well, I decided it was best to fix this problem as soon as possible. So last night I plugged in 2007's remake of the classic horror film Halloween and spent two hours listening to Rob Zombie yack about the production.

While I was a fan of Zombie's first two directing efforts -- House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, I wasn't quite as impressed with his reinvention of the Halloween franchise. The extended opening, focusing on the young Michael Myers, was interesting but added little to the story, and may have actually undermined the character by attempting to overly humanize him. The middle -- and the core of the film -- is so reminiscent of the original that there seemed little point making it again. And the ending, which diverges quite drastically from the original, seems to diverge simply for the sake of saying, "Ha, see? It's different! Surprise! Boo!"

But, I am a fan of Zombie's work, and I am a fan of the Halloween franchise, so the opportunity to listen to the man dig on the process of creation while giving the movie a second crack (albeit in the background of the director's monologue) was appealing enough.

Zombie is probably one of the more entertaining commentarians among those I've listened to. His comments on Halloween include anecdotes from the film set, explanations of the mistakes that frustrated him the most, and information on which actor's were most prone to dickheadery. While none of this adds any particular depth to one's understanding of the film, it's an entertaining two hours. And let's not forget, this is Halloween. There isn't much depth required.

Most entertaining part of the commentary? Probably Zombie recounting how Daeg Faerch, the boy who played the young Michael Meyers, enjoyed the heck out of pretending to cut people up, beating the crap out of things with an aluminum baseball bat, and getting to say things like, "Fuck off." And seriously, what ten year old wouldn't?

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