It's easy to understand why someone would want to remake classic Horror films, especially the slasher variety. From a studio standpoint, it's a financial goldmine. All you need is a director, a low budget, and the star power of Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger, release it at the right time of year, and wait for the revenue to roll in. Artistically, although most of the franchises can be defended if a nostalgic connection exists, the truth is, a lot of them haven't aged all that well. The rest weren't that good to begin with.
Along with the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", the other exception is John Carpenter's, "Halloween". It was the first horror movie I witnessed when I was 7. It scared the life out of me then. It also turned me into a lifelong fan of the genre. Dare I say, that the atmosphere created in the original, is still as creepy and suspenseful as it was 35 years ago. It's difficult to tread on hollowed ground.
Still, there was plenty of money to be made on the Michael Myers name, but fans were losing interest in poorly conceived sequels. So the only reasonable answer was a complete reboot.
The reigns were handed over to Rob Zombie. Those of you with very poor taste in music will recognize that name. He was also the director of the lousy, "House of a Thousand Corpses", but probably earned the "Halloween" gig with the well executed, "The Devil's Rejects".
To Zombie's credit, he did, at least through half of the film, attempt to make the characters his own. The first half of the film is an origin story. It's fairly well executed. Daeg Faerch, in the role of "young Michael", is especially impressive. I'll also give credit to the history of the mask. In the original, the disguise was just selected off of a shelf in a hardware store. Zombie's version supplies the iconic face with relevance. There are of course issues with the movie's back-story. My most notable complaint, is that it provides the viewer a reason to feel sorry for Michael. To me, it was much more effective when there was no explanation for Michael's actions. The evil just resided in him, out of nowhere. There was no need to feel sympathetic toward the character, you just feared him because he was a monster. Zombie saddles Michael with a profile easily lifted off of a serial killer paint-by-number kit. Still, it was good for what it was.
The second half of the movie chronicles the return to Haddonfield. During the slasher portion of the remake, Zombie's worship of directors like Tobe Hooper are readily apparent, but it works here. Zombie's version of Michael has a pronounced mean-streak. Victims are executed with a harsh cruelty, that may be unprecedented for the franchise. "The Shape" also benefits from his imposing size. Really, the portrayal of Michael Myers was excellent all-around. The issue with the "slasher" portion of the film, is that it follows Carpenter's events to a, "T". Sure things are more violent and bloody, but what's left, felt far too familiar. That is where Zombie failed to make the movie his own, and it really eliminated the much needed sense of anxiety.
Despite my complaints, overall, I think that this is a good horror movie. It certainly trumps the remakes being spit out by "Platinum Dunes". It doesn't even come close to the original, but that goes with out saying. After the original, I would definitely recommend this over any of the other sequels.