After seven sequels, John Carpenter’s seminal 1978 slasher flick gets a straight-ish remake courtesy of Rob Zombie. Rather than the knowing, high-gloss mode favoured by some revamps of vintage titles, Zombie takes things seriously, with nasty results. The brief prologue of Carpenter’s original – in which the juvenile Michael Myers slaughters his family – is expanded to a half-hour anatomy of budding psychopathy, set around the time of the original and presented with surprising realism. The story proper, in which Myers (Tyler Mane) escapes and returns home to slaughter a bunch of kids on Halloween, is played similarly straight. Numerous elements from Carpenter’s film are resurrected – the mask, score, suburban locale, certain shots and slayings – but that film’s suspense and playfulness give way to relentless dread and unusually credible, black-blooded brutality. It’s inanely-scripted exploitation, sure, but this ‘Halloween’ doesn’t trivialise; it even returns with sympathy to one victim minutes after the attack that has left her bleeding on the floor.