Left the house with every intention of going to Death Sentence, as suggested. I remain quite curious about it, and think you and the rest of the moviegoing public should be too.
Unfortunately, arrived late. Ended up succumbing to my baser instincts and seeing Rob Zombie's Halloween. Partly inspired, I suppose, by the wide variance in opinion out there.
Well, it's not good.
Mind you, it's not as horrible as some suggest, but it's not good.
My opinion is that making this a literal remake at all was a huge mistake. This movie stumbles the hardest when it tries to revisit the events of John Carpenter's Halloween. It would have been more controversial on the surface, but would have had more potential to stand the test of time, such as The Thing, if Zombie had simply told the origin of Michael Myers in a way that did not lead to familiar events.
A decent part of this is that after both House of 1000 Corpses and now this, it's quite clear that Rob Zombie is not the least bit interested in teenagers, at least as characters. This certainly isn't a bad thing. Far too much of what passes for horror these days focuses on teenagers... not to encourage too much harsh criticism of this, since Lakeside does as well.
As it goes, Kristina Klebe is stuck doing a rather pitiful imitation of P.J. Soles, while the others seem to have no character at all. Frankly, I submit that the perkier and more charismatic Danielle Harris would probably have worked better in that role.
But frankly, none of them, not even Laurie Strode, the central character of the original, is allowed to have anything like a character or personality. Zombie has said in interviews that he put a lot of effort into giving the actresses the freedom to create a basic realism in their characters. Unfortunately falling for the delusion of the age that Realistic = Good. Face it, Bugs Bunny is one of the best characters in the history of cinema and less than 24 hours later, I've already forgotten most of what the three girls in this movie did or said.
Mind you, I suspect Debra Hill is a key player in the unique voices of the teenage girls in the original, but regardless of how true that is, it's clear that Carpenter got their voices and allowed them to resonate in the movie. Zombie is unable to follow suit.
But ultimately, he's let himself loose to far in making a movie that feels entirely different from the original, while still tying himself to very specific characters, events and lines of dialogue.
The great Malcolm McDowell, for example, has been widely criticized for his performance, but I think the problem is much more a screenplay that creates an entirely new character, a looser, more modern character than the one Donald Pleasence played in the original, but then expects him to be able to sound credible when reading the stiff, old world lines we all expect.
With The Devil's Rejects, Zombie showed that he had potential as an original artist, after the amusing genre pastiche of House of 1000 Corpses, but this is a step backward. A remake that has no interest in repeating the beats of the original, but feeling too constrained by them to break loose and create something wholly new... or entirely interesting.