Is Zombie’s newest film a trick or a treat?

It always happens during the last week in August. With Halloween just two months away, movie producers look to capitalize on the changing of seasons and begin an onslaught of horror films to pacify the blood-thirsty killer in all of us. And kicking off this year’s horror season is, quite fittingly, Rob Zombie’s adaptation of John Carpenter’s now infamous “Halloween.”

Let me correct myself. “Adaptation” may not be the best word. The 2003 version of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was an adaptation of the 1974 classic film. It took the general basis of setting and story of the original and added a fresh plot, breathing life into the old formula. In “Halloween,” Rob Zombie hasn’t really adapted anything. He seems to have more or less copied the original and placed the same characters, settings and situations into a more modern setting.

Rob Zombie’s first two films (“House of 1,000 Corpses” and the wonderfully gruesome “The Devil’s Rejects”) set him up as a surprisingly developed and, dare I say, talented horror director. Expert character development, genuinely freaky situations and abundant amounts of gore made Zombie’s aforementioned films refreshing innovations on the horror genre. “Halloween,” while not retracting any of the respect he garnered from these films, doesn’t do much for his image as a director. And it’s a shame, because Rob Zombie has become an impressive up and coming director, and hopefully he will stick to his devilish original ideas to showcase his talents in the future.

Back to the film – there is nothing offensively bad with this movie, and it will most definitely shock those who aren’t terribly familiar with the infamous killer Michael Myers. The downside: with three Blockbusters within a 10 minute drive of campus, it doesn’t seem worth it to pay $7 to see a less impressive copycat.

However, not everything is completely stale in “Halloween,” and while anyone familiar with the original will find the similarities astounding and the parallel nature of the two films to be quite identical, Zombie does throw in some of the deranged comical dialogue his earlier films were known for and provides an engrossingly detailed depiction of Myers’ early childhood and fall into depravity.

In these aspects, the film sets itself apart, but does it do it enough to make it a worthwhile adaptation? Not really, considering that the original isn’t all that far removed from the minds of horror movie afficionados. And when it comes down to terror, the predictability of this film leaves little in the way of any real genuine scares.

In all honesty, the possibility that the seven sequels to the “Halloween” franchise could be remade scares me a lot more than any part of this film did.