I just came back from seeing Rob Zombie's Halloween. It was packed with in-joke cameos and visual references to classic horror films of the 70s and 80s. Definite comfort food for a lad who meticulously applied fake blood to his hockey mask for three Halloweens running.
The first 30-minutes of the film are devoted to mapping out Michael Myers' psychosis; his stripper mom and sexually precocious older sister (for his homicidal sexual repression), his lazy abusive step-dad, his cruelty to animals, and his dependence on masks. All in all, a neatly worked-out background for a character who was never more than a "Shape".
The autumn setting is nice too. Lots of blood is spilled over crackly golden maple leaves. And the shout-out to Suspiria--with the main girl crawling though a claustrophobic maze of irrational interior spaces--is a lot of fun.
The innovation of the original Halloween though was that it was one of the first horror films to show bottomless evil rising from the suburbs (Myers was a direct descendant of The Bad Seed). Unfortunately Rob Zombie can't do tract housing, only trailer parks. All the teen-age characters swear like sailors, the head cheerleader and her clique are dating implausible scruffy hair-bags, and the family dialog was cribbed from the Jerry Springer Show. So the suburban milieu is kind of wasted.