A Nightmare from Friday to Halloween - Halloween (2007)
The three most prominent American horror franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street) have influenced American cinema even beyond the horror genre. As of 2021, there are exactly 31 movies across all three franchises, and I am going to attempt to watch all of them, for this Halloween, one per day.
Rob Zombie has always been a peripheral figure in my life. A musician that my conservative parents would flip out about if they caught me listening to him. I knew that he made movies but had no idea about his capabilities. So Halloween (2007) was my first Rob Zombie movie, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This movie is essentially if the first seven minutes was expanded into a half hour, and this part is the better half of this movie. Zombie has the heart of an exploitation artist but a pretty sharp eye for craft, and he is able to tell this story about a working class White family efficiently and compellingly. I’ve heard that Zombie is one of the few filmmakers who reliably talks about disenfranchised people in a genre setting when it’s usually middle or upper class people that tend to be the victims of horror movies. This doesn’t quite break from the mold that it is often impoverished people or minorities that are coded as horror villains but it does at least push against the idea. It’s interesting to frame the Halloween narrative as one of class when the original was more about the illusion of safety in suburbia, and while, I don’t this movie goes as far with that idea as it could be, it’s still a fascinating direction. Giving Michael a motivation and some humanity is definitely an interesting choice although I’m surprised it’s taken almost 30 years for anyone to think of doing so.