October 17, 2017
(The 2017 Nostalgia-Ween opening is shown; the graves in the Joke Cemetery are as follows: "Jared Leto's Dignity", "Tommy Wiseau's Sense of Humor", "Trump's Cabinet", and "Buzzfeed Grave - Dig to Learn More"; the Simpsons couch gag in the Channel Awesome studios shows the NC dressed as Jason Voorhees sitting on the couch and turning on the TV using Freddy Kreuger's glove; fade to NC sitting at his spot, wearing his Nostalgia-Ween jacket)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
(Cut to a shot of the poster for the original Halloween)
NC (vo): Halloween is a creepy and subtle classic beloved by everyone.
NC: Which naturally means it should be remade. (beat) By this guy. (he gestures toward his right (the viewer's left), as a shot of Rob Zombie appears in the corner; NC looks toward him and nods nervously) Because he really looks like a dude who understands subtlety.
(The footage from 2007 remake of Halloween is followed)
NC (vo): In 2007, famous rock star Rob Zombie decided John Carpenter's horror masterpiece of master murderer Mike Myers' (chuckles) wacky shenanigans needed a retelling. While disliked by many, the remake did surprisingly manage to get a little bit of love from fans. Some applauded the changes and updates to the horror stable, while others saw it as gratuitously pointless.
NC: But, to its credit, the fact that it's being debated at all is a testament to the film which would normally be bludgeoned at the mere mention of the idea.
NC (vo): Over the years, the film has actually gained some street cred, and I'm here to ask: Is it warranted? While most people agree the original's better, did Zombie actually tap into a different point of view that was unique enough to stand on its own? Did it create a version that actually does have a purpose for existing?
NC: Well, I'm here to find out. Let's give this movie a stabbing chance with the remake of Halloween.
(The movie starts with showing the life 10-year-old Michael Myers, played by Daeg Faerch)
NC (vo): Thankfully, they axed the idea that this is a shot-by-shot (The screenshot comparison of the famous shower scene from Psycho (1960) and its 1998 remake by Gus Van Sant is shown briefly) Gus Van suckfest, because the film immediately starts off different by showing not five minutes of Michael Myers' childhood, but 40 minutes. In a two-hour movie, no less. Now, some say this ruins the mystery of what Myers was like as a kid.
NC: (holding a small toilet and pointing at it, jaw agape) Hey, look at that! Look at that! (shows that it's clean) No shit!
NC (vo): It's a freaking remake of a classic! If it didn't do something this different, what's the point of even doing it? But showing more of his childhood isn't the issue here. The issue is whether or not it's done well. In the original, it looked like a middle American family, and Michael, for the short time we saw him, seemed like a normal kid.
NC: Wouldn't it make sense to really look at Myers as a kid and see where all of this came from?
(Cut to Myers' stepfather Ronnie White and mother Deborah Myers arguing loudly in the kitchen while the baby sister, Angel (aka Baby Boo), is crying)
Ronnie (William Forsythe): Bitch, I will crawl over there...
Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie): Fucking loudmouth!
NC: Oh, it's just redneck assholes. Got it.
Ronnie: (about Baby Boo) Cry and shit. Waaah!
Deborah: Just like you; that's all you do is cry and shit.
Ronnie: Oh, fuck you.
NC: (looks around) Wait. We're stuck in this environment for more than 40 minutes?
NC (vo): You just hammered in our head in the first two seconds why he's crazy! Why do more?!
NC: Look, if you told me someone went crazy hearing...
(The clip from Dumb and Dumber, showing the scene of Lloyd Christmas making the so-called "most annoying sound in the world" to Joe Mentalino in the van)
NC (vo): ...Jim Carrey do that annoying sound from Dumb and Dumber for over 10 years...
NC: ...I believe you! We surprisingly don't need to hear it...
NC (vo): ...for 40 minutes to get the idea!
NC: We can kinda catch on!
NC (vo): But this falls under a genre that Rob Zombie is something of an expert on: exploitation horror.
(The montage of posters for Zombie's movies is shown: The Devil's Rejects, The Lords of Salem, House of 1000 Corpses, 31, and The Zombie Horror Picture Show)
NC (vo): It's meant to be unpleasant, exploitive and extreme, in some respects, what the original Halloween was seen as when it first came out.
NC: So you could argue that the annoyance is part of an idea, but... (squints)
NC (vo): ...Christ, what an annoying idea!
(The part with Ronnie imitating Baby Boo's crying is overlapping with Lloyd's "most annoying sound", until finally...)
Joe: GUYS! GUYS! GUYS!
NC (vo): So Michael spends most of his time hurting things, screaming and getting in pointless fights. Which is surprising he doesn't get along with people, seeing how every character in this movie is hurting things, screaming and getting into pointless fights.
(At school's bathroom, Michael is confronted by the bullies)
Wesley (Daryl Sabara): (slaps Michael on the head) Hey! Tough guy!
Michael: Shut up! (He attacks the bullies, even when the school's principal comes in)
Principal Chambers (Richard Lynch): What the hell is going on here?
Michael: Fuck you.
Principal Chambers: What did you say, son?
Michael: Fuck. You.
NC: (as Michael, shifts eyes nervously) Mr. Principal?..
(Deborah visits Chambers' office)
NC (vo): His mother is called in to...what else? Scream and yell.
Deborah: I cannot keep coming down here like this.
Principal Chambers: I do not enjoy calling you down here every five minutes.
Deborah: It sure seems like you fucking do!
NC: (as Deborah) Can I have one day of being a stereotypical hooker while my stereotypical bad son gets beaten by a stereotypical drunk dad?
(Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) enters the office, wearing sunglasses)
NC (vo): But groovy Dr. Loomis, played by Malcolm McDowell, is a child psychiatrist who noticed Michael's furry friends don't like playing with him very much.
(Loomis holds up the cat's corpse he found at Michael's backpack, as well as photos of animals Michael killed at various points, and shows them to Deborah)
Deborah: Oh, God.
Loomis: Typically, the thrill of causing pain to smaller creatures, it's...often an early warning sign.
Deborah: Early warning sign for what?
NC: Lady, what answer wouldn't be alarming?
NC (vo): And then...this plays for some reason.
(It turns out Michael was watching the whole thing. He leaves the school as John Carpenter's original Halloween theme music is heard. Deborah and Loomis don't notice him and continue talking)
Deborah: What do you mean, "problems"? What is this?
Loomis: He's a very disturbed young man.
NC: I love the look on Myers' face like, "Why is that playing now?"
NC (vo): "Do we do anything to cue it? Oh, my God, that must be in the wrong scene! I better run to where the music makes sense!"
(Cut to Wesley going outside the school, the music still playing)
NC: Nope! Doesn't make sense out here!
NC (vo): It's just a kid walking! Didn't this theme used to be a big deal like they played it over major moments?
(The music fades out)
NC: Hmm. Okay, it's dying down now. I guess it wasn't meant to be played over anything big-
(Suddenly, Michael appears from behind a tree, wearing his self-made clown mask, and hits Wesley with a big limb)
NC: ...Rather before...
NC (vo): ...something big.
NC: You go back and read your How to Use Your Halloween Theme Manual!
NC (vo): He beats the crap out of one of kids that made fun of him, and he returns home to watch better horror movies. (To be specific, The Thing from Another World (1951))
(Deborah comes up to Michael and talks to him. The camera is pretty close on them during this conversation)
Deborah: Sweetie, look at me. I know things have been bad, but tomorrow we start to make everything better, okay?
NC (vo; as Deborah): I'll start by taking one step away from the camera, but not two. One step at a time. (normal) His sister (Judith) doesn't take him trick-or-treating, though, because she's too busy making love to her boyfriend, who... AAAH!!
(Judith's boyfriend Steve is shown putting on a white mask)
NC: (frantically waving away) Wears William Shatner masks!
Judith (Hanna Hall): Take that stupid thing off.
Steve (Adam Weisman): Oh, come on, babe. I want to do it with the mask on.
NC: Kid, how old are you? You're so bored with sex, you need to spice it up already?
NC (vo): Follow-up question: This is spicing it up?
(Steve jokingly roars at Judith, shaking head wildly)
NC (vo): Myers decides he wants to spice things up, too, as he duct tapes his dad and kills him. Nothing...particularly motivates him to do it; he just decides, "Eh. Why not now?". And for no additional motivation, let's throw the sister in there, too.
(After killing Steve and putting his mask on, Michael stabs Judith's stomach with a kitchen knife. He then goes outside, holding Baby Boo in his hands just as Deborah returns home)
NC (vo): The mother comes home and finds that Michael is actually a pretty good babysitter. Just not a good father, sister or boyfriend sitter.
(We are shown the footage of the police taking away the bodies of Ronnie, Judith and Steve, before cutting to Smith's Grove Sanitarium where Michael is sent to. Here, we see Dr. Loomis asking Michael about the mass killing he has done)
NC (vo): Eh, maybe I'll give that psychiatry thing a try.
Loomis: You remember nothing about getting a knife?
Michael: (shaking head no) Nuh-uh. I didn't do that.
Loomis: Oh, okay.
NC: I have to admit, there is something funny about him killing his family and then lying about it exactly how a little kid lies.
Loomis: But you were covered in blood. Whose blood was it?
Michael: (shrugs, mumbling) I don't know.
NC: (as Michael, channeling Donald Trump) Don't believe the fake news! Both sides are to blame!
NC (vo): He seems to be in denial about killing everyone, which again, is an interesting mystery added on top of everything else; how much does he know, and how much is a put-on.
(Michael starts wearing different masks on sessions with Loomis. During one session, he takes it off and starts sobbing)
Loomis: I'm afraid you can't go home.
Loomis: Because you've done terrible things. (He comforts the crying Michael, embracing him) Come here. Come on. It's okay.
NC: (waves off) No, no. You're using your Malcolm McDowell all wrong. You're not supposed to let him act well!
NC (vo): Don't you watch movies? You don't let a great actor like that give a good performance. (As NC speaks, the posters for Milk Money, I Spy, Can of Worms and Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes are shown)
NC (vo): It is interesting to see Loomis so sympathetic, hugging Michael, comforting him, really trying to help. (The shot of Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis in the original film is shown) I get why he was so one-note in the original, it was to build up the danger of Myers; "he's not a man, he's a monster" and all that stuff. But here, he does see him as a child first. It's nice seeing what led up to that change of heart. Stuff like this probably has something to do with it.
(Michael, having completely lost his mind, kills one of the nurses. Loomis and Deborah arrive just to see all the rush)
Loomis: What happened? What happened?
NC (vo): Myers seems too dangerous and unpredictable, even leading to his mother committing suicide, so he's locked away for years and clearly has been eating his Wheaties.
(15 years pass, and Michael has grown into a numb muscular man, his face hidden behind hair. Two nurses, Noel Cluggs and Ismael Cruz, played by Lew Temple and Danny Trejo, cuff him as he walks in his cell)
Noel: Don't look at me. I'll be a shitstorm in your worst nightmare, motherfucker.
NC: You know, it's not uncommon for a director...
NC (vo): ...to put himself in his own films...
NC: ...but to wear stilts? (Note: a mistake, 27-year-old Michael is played by Tyler Mane)
NC (vo): Loomis tells Michael that after him not talking for 15 years, he has no choice but to move on. At first, he seems really sympathetic, even calling him his best friend.
Loomis: In a weird way, you've become like...like my best friend.
(After leaving Michael, Loomis gives his retirement speech to a crowd)
NC (vo; chuckles): But, boy, I guess a crowd really brings out the worst in people.
Loomis: Behind these eyes one finds only blackness.
NC: Yeah...previous scene?
Loomis: (addressing Michael) Like my best friend.
NC: Next scene.
Loomis: (addressing the crowd) ...Blackness.
NC: Previous scene...
Loomis: Take care, Michael.
NC: Next scene.
Loomis: (to a crowd; eyes shown in close-up) These are the eyes...of a psychopath.
NC: You sure you're not the one that needs medicine?
(And we go to a commercial. After returning, we cut to nurse named Kendall walking along the hallway with half-drunk Noel, whose regular clothers are a brown jacket and an orange knitted hat, to let a female inmate out. All three go inside Michael's cell)
NC (vo): One of the caretakers brings Chester A. Bum in to have his way with one of the inmates. And they have the brilliant idea of bringing her into a cell with a gigantic homicidal maniac.
(Michael starts beating Kendall and Noel to death)
NC: (arms akimbo) Why, this came out of nowhere!
NC (vo): But Myers realizes murder is like Pringles, and he can't stop at just one. He even kills the one guard (Ismael) who treated him well, playing to his unpredictability. Though, honestly, I think he just wanted to stop Machete 2.
(Michael drops a television on Ismael. After escaping Smith's Grove, he makes his way back to Haddonfield. On Halloween, Michael arrives at his childhood home)
NC (vo): He realizes his paper mask should probably be put to rest, so he goes to his old stabbing ground and grabs his nostalgia goggles.
(Michael comes across the knife and the white mask he stored under the floorboards the night he killed his sister. The original theme music starts playing again)
NC: Aaahh! The theme...
NC (vo): ...actually makes sense in this scene!
(Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is introduced in the film, along with her friends Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris) and Lynda Van Der Klock (Kristina Klebe))
NC (vo): Halfway through the film, we're introduced to the main character of the original, Laurie. I do like how when she and her friends see Myers for the first time, she doesn't act scared, she instead calls him out.
(Walking together, Laurie, Annie and Lynda see Michael on the other side on the road)
Annie: Hey, asshole! Hey, my daddy's the sheriff. Huh? Why don't you go crawl back under your fucking rock?
NC (vo; as Michael): Hey, "rock" is my trigger word. I'm gonna go complain on a blog about this. (normal) The rest is...kinda what you'd expect. He follows her around, they play the same music, and Myers starts killing people on Halloween night.
(We are shown one of the teens dressed like a ghost, wearing bedsheet, but his glasses are not under it)
NC (vo; as a teen): I got a rock. (Myers kills the teen) And stabbed brutally to death.
(Upon discovering that one of the little girls at home, Lindsey Wallace (Jenny Gregg Stewart) is watching The Thing from Another World, Michael decides to spare her life)
NC (vo): Even when he sneaks into other people's houses, I like the fact that he won't kill someone based on their taste in movies. (as Michael) You know what? It's a good film. John Carpenter's is good, too, but you appreciate the classics. Live.
NC: I do also like how Myers sneaks up so well...
(Three different scene are shown, with green arrow pointing at Michael standing in the background, watching the teens from a distance)
NC (vo): ...that half the time, you don't even notice him. For such an over-the-top film, little touches like that are pretty cool.
NC: (laughs) But don't worry, it doesn't get too subtle!
(Loomis is alerted about Michael's escape, so he warns Haddonfield's sheriff, Leigh Brackett (Brad Dourif), about that)
NC (vo): Chucky from Child's Play shares a scene with Alex from A Clockwork Orange.
NC: I've never seen two people not trying to be the monsters still come across as the monsters!
Leigh: I think you have created quite the masterpiece of a monster off the blood of this town.
Loomis: I know it in my bones, Sheriff.
Brackett: Then you must promise that you will play it razor, and I mean razor, straight with me.
NC: These two can do a Christmas show, and it'd still be terrifying! (The poster for A Miser Brothers' Christmas is shown, with McDowell and Dourif's heads Photoshopped on the main characters)
NC (vo): In the clever combination of Halloween 1 and 2, Loomis reveals that Myers is after his baby sister, Laurie, who we don't want to see die, because she's the closest thing to a decent human being in this film.
(Cut to a scene from earlier, showing Laurie discussing the local horny shopkeeper, Mr. Nickels, with her mother Cynthia (Dee Wallace))
Laurie: Look at this, Mom. (grabs a bun and pokes it) Ohh!
Mrs. Strode: Laurie!
NC: I said "almost".
NC (vo): But Myers still has to get some appetizers before the main course.
(Michael quietly goes to Lynda having sex with her boyfriend Bob, and stabs the latter to death. The screaming Lynda tries to escape, but Myers grabs her and drags her back in the house. The door closes, and silence occurs)
NC (vo; solemnly): And we never know what happened to- (Cut to Myers murdering Lynda) Or this happens to her.
NC: We just like...holding shots on doors!
NC (vo): But fear not, there's even more confusing choices. Listen to Laurie's very bizarre, dare I say, ridiculously forced backstory after her mom (Deborah) committed suicide.
(Cut to Brackett driving Loomis to the Strode home)
Brackett: And I see this beautiful, innocent baby sitting in this bloody mess. I omit her from the report...I drive her to another town, and drop her off at the nearest emergency room.
NC: As sheriffs do!
NC (vo): Christ, his manipulation of Theoden wasn't this crazy! (A screenshot of Grima Wormtongue and Theoden from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is shown briefly) To serve and do whatever the hell you want, I guess!
(Michael encounters Laurie and Lindsey)
NC (vo): Myers finally comes face-to-face with her, so it's probably best to have everything on close-up and shakey.
(As described above, Michael approaches Laurie and Lindsey, with several close-ups on their faces and camera shaking)
NC: (feigned amazement) It's like I'm really there! (shakes his hands) Being shaken as a baby!
(Michael carries the unconscious Laurie to his childhood home to show the picture of him, her and their mother)
NC (vo): He knocks her out and takes her to his old house to show that he is her brother. (Beat) Not entirely sure what he had in mind, but either way, she says, "Shit on that noise" and tries to escape.
(Laurie stabs Michael in the throat with his own knife and rushes away. Michael simply pulls the knife from his back)
NC (vo; as Michael): You know, this is why men never show vulnerability around women. (normal) He traps her in an empty swimming pool...a unique spot for a climax...but Loomis shows up to end it all.
(Loomis appears and shoots Michael in the back. Shortly after, he and Laurie get into the police car)
NC (vo): No. Really. It's totally over. You know the rules: you kill the monster once, he's never coming back-
(A recovered Michael grabs Laurie all of a sudden, breaking the car window and startling Loomis)
NC: Oh, man. You did that so fast, you didn't even give me time to finish my joke!
NC (vo): My favorite is when McDowell just flat-out screams, "What the hell?".
Loomis: What the hell?!
NC: Yeah, no "Stab him in the eye!" or "Michael, stop!", just... "What the hell?".
NC (vo): As if to say, "Really? We're doing this shit? I expected more out of something I already expected less from!"
Loomis: What the hell?!
NC (vo): Loomis tries to sympathize, but Michael helps him see eye to eye. By literally trying to push his eyes together.
(Back in Michael's house, Laurie, having taken Loomis' gun, runs upstairs and tries to break the wall open to crawl inside it)
NC (vo): Laurie hides inside the house and, honestly, does way too good a job, because he (Michael) literally searches for her for five minutes! Yeah, five minutes of just silence and him looking around.
NC: Look, I know you want to build suspense, but you know the saying "So boring, I'd rather stare at a wall"? Well, Myers is...
NC (vo): ...literally staring at a wall for most of the time!
NC: I think more could be done here!
NC (vo): But it's okay. It's then followed by two minutes of Myers just stabbing the ceiling, trying to get her. Is there such a thing as horror movies for plaster? That's why I feel like I'm watching it.
(Michael hits the ceiling with an axe, and Laurie dodges the blows)
NC: (hand on cheek, bored) Let me guess. He's gonna hit the ceiling.
(This exactly happens)
NC: (sarcastically) I'm a wizard!
(Michael finally corners Laurie, who has him on gunpoint, on a balcony)
NC (vo): And what's his great final plan to finish her off? He just runs towards her!
(Michael charges Laurie head-on, knocking both of them over the railing)
NC (vo): And she's like, "Dumbass, I got a gun!"
(Just as Michael awakens, Laurie shoots him in the head, killing him. She lets a shriek of agony and despair, and...cut to the movie's credits)
NC (vo): She shoots him, she screams... That's it! Halloween!
(Cut again to Dumb and Dumber clip of Lloyd making the "annoying sound" to Joe)
NC: So... (sighs) Um...this clearly isn't as good as the original, but I will give it this...it is the second-best Michael Myers' Halloween movie. (Pause) But that's coming from a series that has this.
(A clip from Halloween: Resurrection is shown)
Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes): (to Michael) Trick or treat, motherfucker!
NC: So take it for what it's worth.
(The clips from 2007 remake play once more as NC gives out his final thought)
NC (vo): I know it's different, a little clumsy and arguably unnecessary, but, in a strange way, I think it would work less if Zombie didn't direct it. The shocksploitation style has never been my thing, but it is a style that can be done good or bad. This does it good, but not great. It is a different direction, and sometimes, it does tie into the traditional Halloween callbacks. It's kinda like Halloween, but in an alternate universe. The best stuff is in the mental hospital. And seeing him (Michael) grow up did make me look at the killings in kind of a different way. It made me wonder what was going on in his mind when he was murdering them, while in the original, you're more concerned about Laurie surviving. It's hit and miss, I suppose, but, honestly, for a remake of one of the most famous horror films of all time, hit and miss is pretty impressive. It's strange and doesn't always work, but the stuff that does is kind of interesting. Take a look and see for yourself.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
(He gets up and leaves. The credits roll)
Channel Awesome tagline - Loomis: What the hell?!