Halloween is a 2007 horror film written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie. The film is a remake of the 1978 classic Halloween, and the ninth film in the Halloween film series. The film stars Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Sam Loomis, Tyler Mane as the adult Michael Myers, and Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode; Daeg Faerch portrays a ten year old Michael Myers. Rob Zombie's "reimagining" follows the premise of John Carpenter's original, with Michael Myers stalking Laurie Strode and her friends on Halloween night. Zombie's film goes deeper into the character's psyche, trying to answer the question of what drove him to kill people, whereas in Carpenter's original film Michael did not have an explicit reason for killing.
Working from Carpenter's advice to "make [the film] his own", Zombie chose to develop the film as both a prequel and a remake, allowing for more original content than simply refilming the same scenes. Despite mostly negative reviews, the film, which cost $15 million to make, went on to gross $80,208,039 worldwide.
PlotEditOn Halloween night in 1990, in Haddonfield, Illinois, having already shown signs of psychopathic tendencies, ten year old Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) murders his sister Judith (Hanna R. Hall), her boyfriend (Adam Weisman), his mother’s boyfriend Ronnie (William Forsythe), and a school bully named Wesley (Daryl Sabara). After one of the longest trials in the state’s history, Michael is found guilty of first degree murder and sent to Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium under the care of child psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell).
Michael initially cooperates with Dr. Loomis, claiming no memory of the killings; his mother (Sheri Moon Zombie), visits him regularly. After a year, Michael becomes fixated on his papier-mâché masks, closing himself off from everyone, even his mother. In September 1993, Michael kills a nurse (Sybil Danning) during one of her visits, Deborah can no longer handle the situation and commits suicide. For the next fifteen years, Michael (Tyler Mane) continues making his masks and not speaking to anyone. Dr. Loomis, having continued to treat Michael over the years, attempts to move on with his life and closes Michael’s case. Later, while being prepared for transfer to maximum security, Michael escapes Smith’s Grove, killing the sanitarium employees and a truck driver (Ken Foree) for his clothes, and heads to Haddonfield. On Halloween, Michael arrives at his old home, now abandoned, and finds a kitchen knife and Halloween mask he stored under the floorboards the night he killed his sister.
The story shifts to Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton), and her friends Annie Brackett (Danielle Harris) and Lynda Van Der Klok (Kristina Klebe) on Halloween. Throughout the day, Laurie witnesses Michael watching her from a distance. That night, she heads to the Doyle residence to watch their son Tommy (Skyler Gisondo). Meanwhile, Lynda meets with her boyfriend Bob Simms (Nick Mennell) at Michael's childhood home. Michael appears, murders them, and then heads to the Strode home, where he murders Laurie's parents, Mason (Pat Skipper) and Cynthia (Dee Wallace). Having been alerted to Michael's escape, Dr. Loomis comes to Haddonfield looking for Michael. After obtaining a handgun, Loomis attempts to warn Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) that Michael has returned to Haddonfield. Brackett and Dr. Loomis head to the Strode home, with Brackett explaining along the way that Laurie is actually Michael Myers' baby sister.
Meanwhile, Annie convinces Laurie to babysit Lindsey Wallace (Jenny Gregg Stewart), a girl Annie is supposed to be watching, long enough so she can have sex with her boyfriend (Max Van Ville). Annie and Paul return to the Wallace home; during sex, Michael kills Paul and attacks Annie. Bringing Lindsey home, Laurie finds Annie on the floor, bloodied but alive, and calls 911. She is attacked by Michael, who chases her back to the Doyle home. Sheriff Brackett and Loomis hear the 911 call and head to the Wallace residence. Michael kidnaps Laurie, and takes her back to his home. Michael approaches Laurie and tries to show her that she is his younger sister. Unable to understand, Laurie grabs Michael's knife and stabs him before escaping the house; Michael chases her, but is repeatedly shot by Dr. Loomis. Laurie and Loomis are just about to leave when Michael grabs Laurie and heads back to the house. Loomis intervenes, but Michael attacks him by squeezing Loomis's skull with his hands. Laurie takes Loomis' gun and runs upstairs; she is chased by Michael, who, after cornering her on a balcony, charges her head-on and knocks both of them over the railing. Laurie finds herself on top of a bleeding Michael. Aiming Loomis' gun at his face, she repeatedly pulls the trigger until the gun finally goes off just as Michael's hand grips Laurie's wrist.
List of DeathsEdit
|Sue Snell||Knifed in Stomach||Young Michael Myers||Yes|
|Elvis Rat||Killed||Young Michael Myers||No|
|Wesley Rhoades||Beaten 10 times/head bashed 4 times with tree branch||Young Michael Myers||Yes|
|Ronnie White||Throat slit/chest knifed repeatedly/face(off-screen)||Young Michael Myers||Yes|
|Steve Haley||Head bashed 11 times with aluminium baseball bat||Young Michael Myers||Yes|
|Judith Myers||Knifed in stomach/back 4 times/12 more times(off-screen)||Young Michael Myers||Yes|
|Nurse Wynn||Fork in throat||Young Michael Myers||Yes|
|Deborah Myers||Shot in mouth with handgun||Herself||No||Suicide|
|Jack Kendall||Head bashed against wall, thrown into desk||Michael Myers||Yes||Unrated|
|Noel Kluggs||Thrown 3 times/head bashed against wall||Michael Myers||Yes||Unrated|
|Zach Garrett||Head bludgeoned with chains||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Larry Redgrave||Head bashed 7 times against wall||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Stan Payne||Shot in chest||Patty Frost||Yes||Accident|
|Patty Frost||Throat ripped out||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Gloria||Throat ripped out||Michael Myers||No|
|Ismael Cruz||Head shoved 3 times in sink, TV smashed on head||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Joe Grizzly||Slammed 14 times against bathroom stall, stomach knifed twice||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Bob Simms||Pinned to wall with kitchen knife through chest||Michael Myers||Yes||Knifed 6 times in van(Deleted scene)|
|Lynda Van Der Klok||Strangled||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Mason Strode||Forehead sliced with kitchen knife||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Cynthia Strode||Slammed into glass table, head pulled back/neck snapped||Michael Myers||Yes||Knifed/throat slit(Unrated)|
|Paul Freedman||Knifed in stomach||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Officer Lowery||Knifed in back||Michael Myers||Yes|
|Deputy Charles||Knifed 3 times in chest||Michael Myers||Yes|
On June 4, 2006, Dimension Films announced that Rob Zombie, director of House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, would be creating the next installment in the Halloween franchise. The plan was for Zombie to hold many positions in the production; he would write, direct, produce, and serve as music supervisor. Bob Weinstein approached him about making the film, and Zombie, who was a fan of the original Halloween, and friend of John Carpenter, jumped at the chance to make a Halloween film for Dimension Studios. Before Dimension went public with the news, Zombie felt obligated to inform John Carpenter, out of respect, of the plans to remake his film. Carpenter's request was for Zombie to "make it his own". During a June 16, 2006 interview, Zombie announced that his film would combine the elements of prequel and remake with the original concept. He insisted that there would be considerable original content in the new film, as opposed to mere rehashed material. The BBC reported that the new film would disregard the numerous sequels that followed Halloween.
His intention is to reinvent Michael Myers, because, in his opinion, the character, along with Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Pinhead, has become more familiar to audiences, and as a result, less scary. The idea behind the new film was to delve deeper into Michael Myers' back story. A deeper back story would add "new life" to the character, as Zombie put it. Michael's mask will be given its own story, to provide an explanation as to why he wears it, instead of having the character simply steal a random mask from a hardware store, as in the original film. Zombie explained that he wanted Michael to be true to what a psychopath really is, and wanted the mask to be a way for Michael to hide. He wants the young Michael to have charisma, which would be projected onto the adult Michael. Zombie has decided that Michael's motives for returning to Haddonfield should be more ambiguous. As Zombie explains, "was he trying to kill Laurie, or just find her because he loves her?"
Moreover, Michael would not be able to drive in the new film, unlike his 1978 counterpart who stole Loomis' car so that he could drive back to Haddonfield. Zombie also wants the Dr. Loomis character to be more intertwined with that of Michael Myers; Zombie said that the character's role in the original was "showing up merely to say something dramatic".Although Zombie has added more history to the Michael Myers character, hence creating more original content for the film, he chose to keep the character's trademark mask and Carpenter's theme song intact for his version (despite an apparent misinterpretation in an interview suggesting the theme would be ditched). Production officially began on January 29, 2007. Shortly before production began, Zombie reported that he had seen the first production of Michael's signature mask. Zombie commented, "It looks perfect, exactly like the original. Not since 1978 has The Shape looked so good".
On December 19, 2006, Zombie mailed Bloody-Disgusting in which he announced that Daeg Faerch would play the part of ten year old Michael Myers. On December 22, 2006, Malcolm McDowell was officially announced to be playing Dr. Loomis. McDowell stated that he wanted a tremendous ego in Loomis, who is out to get a new book from the ordeal. On December 24, 2006, Zombie announced that Tyler Mane, who had previously worked with Zombie on The Devils Rejects, would portray the adult Michael Myers. Mane stated that it was very difficult to act only with his eyes. Scout Taylor-Compton endured a long audition process, but as director Zombie explains, "Scout was my first choice. There was just something about her; she had a genuine quality. She didn't seem actor-y. She was one of the final people to be cast for a lead role after Faerch, Mane, McDowell, Forsythe and Harris. A contest was held for a walk on role in the film, at the time called Halloween 9; it was won by Heather Bowen.
Approximately four days before the theatrical release of the film, a workprint version of Halloween appeared online and was circulated around various BitTorrent sites. Upon hearing of the leaked copy, Zombie stated that whatever version had been leaked was an older version of the film, unlike what was about to be released in theaters. The leak of Zombie's workprint led to speculation that the film's box office success could be damaged the same way director Eli Roth attributed the financial failure of his film, Hostel: Part II, to the leaking of a workprint version. Dark Horizons webmaster, Garth Franklin, notes that watching the workprint allows a viewer to see what things were changed after the test screenings in June 2007. One particular scene, the rape of one of the Smith's Grove female inmates, Franklin was glad to see replaced in the final version of the film. Halloween was officially released on August 31, 2007 to 3,472 theaters in North America, giving it the widest release of any of the previous Halloween films.
Based on 98 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Halloween received an average 27% overall approval rating, the film had a lower approval rating with the 18 critics in Rotten Tomatoes' "Cream of the Crop", which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, receiving a 17% approval rating. By comparison, Metacritic calculated a normalized score of 47 out of 100 from the 18 reviews it collected. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade cinemagoers gave the film was "B-minus" on an A+ to F scale; it also reported that 62% of the audience was male, with 57% being 25 years or older. Peter Hartlaub, of the San Francisco Chronicle, felt Zombie was successful in both "putting his own spin on Halloween, while at the same time paying tribute to Carpenter's film"; he thought Zombie managed to make Michael Myers almost "sympathetic" as a child, but that the last third of the film felt more like a montage of scenes with Halloween slipping into "slasher-film logic. Nathan Lee of The Village Voice disagreed in part with Harlaub, feeling that Halloween may have placed too much emphasis on providing sympathy for Michael Myers, but that it succeeded in "[deeping] Carpenter's vision without rooting out its fear". The View London film critic Matthew Turner believed the first half of the film, which featured the prequel elements of Michael as a child, were better played than the remake elements of the second half. In short, Turner stated that performances from the cast were "superb", with Malcolm McDowell being perfectly cast as Dr. Loomis, but that the film lacked the scare value of Carpenter’s original. Jamie Russell from the BBC agreed that the first half of the film worked better than the last half; she stated that Zombie’s expanded backstory on Michael was "surprisingly effective"—also agreeing that McDowell was perfectly cast as Loomis—but that Zombie failed to deliver the "supernatural dread" that Carpenter created for Michael in his 1978 original.
New York Daily News critic Jack Matthews believed the film lacked tension, and went more for cheap shocks—focusing more on enhancing the "imagery of violence"—than real attempts to scare the audience; he gave the film one and a half stars out of five. Dennis Harvey, from Variety magazine, echoed Matthew's opinion that the film failed to deliver on the suspense; he also felt that you could not tell one teenage character from the next, whereas in Carpenter's original each teenager had real personalities. In contrast, Rossiter Drake of The Examiner applauded Michael's backstory, feeling that it was a "compelling take on the mythology" that managed to be "unique" and "shocking" at the same time. In agreement with other critics, Empire magazine's Kim Newman felt that, because Zombie seemed less focused on the teenagers being stalked and killed by Michael, the film "[fell] flat" when it came to delivering suspense or anything "remotely scary"; Newman did praise McDowell for his portrayal of the "dogged psychiatrist". Ben Walter, of Time Out , felt Zombie added "surprising realism" to the development of Michael Myers’ psychopathic actions, but agreed with Newman that the director replaced the original film’s "suspense and playfulness" with a convincing display of "black-blooded brutality".
Frank Scheck, of the Hollywood Reporter, believed that even though Zombie's remake of Carpenter's Halloween was better than getting another sequel in the long running franchise it still was not comparable to the 1978 original. For Scheck, Zombie replaced Carpenter's building suspense, which made it so "brilliant", with graphic violence and extended scenes of nudity; he also criticized McDowell for lacking the intensity that Donald Pleasence brought to the Loomis character. By contrast, TV Guide's Ken Fox felt that Zombie did deliver a "scary horror movie", not by copying Carpenter, but by making the film his own. Fox noted that Zombie seemed to follow more in the footsteps of Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper's "savage, greasy-haired '70s" films, which allowed him to bring Michael back to his roots and successfully terrify an audience has grown accustomed to the recent "torture porn" horror films. Bill Gibron, of PopMatters, believes that audiences and critics cannot compare Carpenter's film to Zombie's remake; where Carpenter focused more on the citizens of Haddonfield—with Michael acting as a true "boogeyman"—Zombie focuses more on Michael himself, successfully forcing the audience to experience all of the elements that Michael went through that would result in his "desire for death".
Halloween won the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for Best Film of 2007, drawing in 550 votes, the most ever in the history of the award. Halloween recently won the 'Best Remake Award' at the 2008 Spike TV Scream Awards. Dan Mathews, vice president of PETA, sent Rob Zombie a thank-you letter for what he perceived as Zombie sending a message to audiences when he depicted the young Michael Myers torturing animals, something he felt demonstrated that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals are likely to move on to humans. Mathews went on to say, "Hopefully, with the attention focused by your movie on the link between cruelty to animals and human violence, more people will recognize the warning signs among people they know and deal with them more forcefully. We wish you continued success!"
Home mediaEditThe film's soundtrack was released on August 21, 2007; it includes 24 tracks, consisting of 12 dialogue tracks and 12 instrumentals. The album contained both new tracks, as well as ones recycled from the original Halloween and its sequel. Tyler Bates' interpretation of John Carpenter's original Halloween theme is the first musical track, with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," which appeared in Halloween, and "Mr. Sandman", which appeared in Halloween II and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, performed by Nan Vernon. Writing about its selection from the 1981 film, one reviewer for theBBC commented that it worked well to "mimic Laurie’s situation (sleeping a lot)", making "the once innocent sounding lyrics seem threatening in a horror film". The album also includes Kiss's "God of Thunder", Rush's "Tom Sawyer", Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed", Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way", Nazareth's "Love Hurts", Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Let It Ride", Misfits' "Halloween II", and an Iggy Pop live version of the The Stooges' "1969" among others.
On December 18, 2007, the film was released on DVD in the United States; both the theatrical and an unrated director's cut were released as two-disc special editions containing identical bonus features. The film was released on DVD in the UK on April 28, 2008, known as the "Uncut" edition. On October 7, 2008, a 3-disc set was released. This Collector's Edition of Halloween features the same bonus features as the previous unrated edition, but includes Rob Zombie's four-and-a-half hour "making-of" documentary similar to the "30 Days in Hell" documentary for Zombie's The Devil's Rejects.