Michael Learns To Kill

Rob Zombie’s take on the classic horror film Halloween adds more gore and more blood to the original while still trying to maintain the psychotic nature of Michael Myers. The film spends a lot of time building up the antagonist. It shows Michael in school getting bullied because of how screwed up his family is, and at home it gets worse as he gets pushed around by his sister and and stepfather. He finds comfort in his mother and his baby sister, but we still see that he’s had enough with all the shit that he’s getting in school and at home. We’re shown how he starts of slow, getting revenge on the bully who was teasing her mother, beating him to a bloody pulp. Yes he was provoked by the bully but maybe because he’s had enough already. Then at home he kills off his stepfather, his sister and her boyfriend, as we see the famous mask that was popularized in the original Halloween. We have a sense that Michael was doing these things because he was protecting the image of his mother, those he loves, since he didn’t harm his baby sister. I think the mask worn symbolizes how he has truly lost it and escaped those who have tormented him and in turn he sets off to kill them.

It builds up as we see Michael growing up in the asylum and his doctor, who tried his best over the years to help Michael, eventually leaves, which is followed by Michael escaping the asylum and going back home. We are then led to his pursuit of his younger sister, though we aren’t aware of why he is doing this, because we see that when he captures her it looked as if he didn’t want to hurt her. Maybe he just wanted to see a familiar face? This ambiguity is left there for the rest of the movie. Though he doesn’t seem to want to hurt her sister, he does leave a trail of gruesome deaths along the way.

When they first meet, we see how they stare at each other in the ditch, she looks into Michael and it seems that there’s something similar about them, not just because they really are brother and sister, but because there’s a similarity to them as mentioned in the article of Linda Williams, on how the monster and the woman has some distinct similarities. We also see a form of abjection through all the gore that was seen throughout the film as discussed by Barbara Creed. There’s also some ambiguity that is expected in the horror film, it was never really explained why he went after his sister, and how come Michael seems to be superhuman because he could never seem to die despite being stabbed and shot, but as was explained the horror film doesn’t have that good a relationship with plot.

I like how Halloween tries to live up to the original, while still giving nods to the original as well, it was given a bloody new take by Rob Zombie and just like Michael, the franchise seems like it still has some life in it.

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