This article is about the remake film. For other meanings, see Halloween (disambiguation).
|Directed by||Rob Zombie|
|Written by||Rob Zombie|
Sheri Moon Zombie
and Danielle Harris
|Music by||Tyler Bates|
|Editing by||Glenn Garland|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Release||August 31, 2007|
|Running time||109 min.|
|Preceded by||Halloween: Resurrection (2002)|
|Followed by||Halloween II (2009, Remake continuity)|
Halloween is a 2007 horror film written, directed and produced by Rob Zombie. It is a reboot of the Halloween franchise and a remake of the original 1978 horror film of the same name as well as the ninth installment in the film series. The picture stars Tyler Mane as the adult Michael Myers, Malcolm McDowell as Samuel Loomis, and Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode; Danielle Harris makes a return appearance as Annie Brackett after her previous stint as Jamie Lloyd, and Daeg Faerch portrays the ten-year-old Michael.
Rob Zombie's "Re-imagining" follows the premise of John Carpenter's original, with serial killer Michael Myers stalking teenage 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, while in Carpenter's original Michael did not have an explicit reason for killing.
Working from Carpenter's advice to "make [the film] his own", Zombie chose to develop it as both a prequel and a remake, allowing for more original content than simply recreating the same scenes. Despite mostly negative reviews, the film, which cost $15 million to make, went on to gross $80,208,039 worldwide, making it the highest grossing film in the Halloween franchise in unadjusted U.S. dollars. Zombie followed the film with a sequel, Halloween II, in 2009.
The Myers household is hardly the image of an idyllic family. It is early morning, and ten-year-old Michael Myers is upstairs playing with his pet rat, Elvis. He is wearing a Halloween clown mask. Downstairs, his mother Deborah prepares breakfast while her crippled boyfriend Ronnie White hassles her. Ronnie is loud, ill-tempered, alcoholic, callous, abusive, obnoxious and rude. He makes lewd comments about Deborah's daughter Judith and complains about Judith and Michael's infant sister "Boo", who begins crying at the sound of Ronnie's voice. Deborah sends Judith upstairs to collect Michael.
Michael is in the bathroom, washing blood off of his pocket knife. He has just killed his pet rat. He goes downstairs and tells his mother that Elvis has died, Deborah consoles him and promises that she will buy Michael a new rat after school. Ronnie tells Michael to remove his clown mask and, when Michael refuses, Ronnie yanks it off his face. Michael tells him he hates him, and Ronnie responds with holding up his broken arm saying, "When this heals again I'm gonna break it on your fucking face."
Michael goes off to school and has an unpleasant encounter with a bully named Wesley Rhoades. Wesley torments Michael by making cruel jokes about his sister being a prostitute. Along with a friend, he then teases Michael about his mother, who works as an exotic dancer at the Rabbit in Red Lounge. Michael becomes enraged and begins yelling "shut up" and fighting the other boys until Principal Jim Chambers enters the boys' bathroom, but Michael says "fuck you" to Chambers, getting himself into more trouble and all three getting detention.
The principal telephones Mrs. Myers at her place of employment and has her come down for a parent/teacher conference. He is very concerned about Michael's behavior and has even called in a child psychologist named Doctor Samuel Loomis for a special consultation. Chambers shows Deborah a bag with a dead cat found in Michael's school bag. Also in the bag was a stack of photographs of animals in various states of mutilation. Doctor Loomis mentions that only a deranged mind could take pleasure in such displays of violence.
After school, Michael follows Wesley through the woods. He lies in wait and ambushes him, knocking him down with a heavy tree branch. Michael releases all of his pent-up rage and rains blow upon blow down onto the older boy. Wesley is bleeding, crying and terrified. He begs Michael not to hurt him anymore. Michael raises his mask, stares at Wesley, then lowers it again and finishes him off.
That evening, Michael sits at home waiting for Judith to take him out trick 'r treating. His mother is unaware of the episode with Wesley. Ronnie admonishes Michael for killing all of those animals and says "That is some deep-ass serious faggoty-ass shit". Deborah calls down for Judith to tend to Michael before she leaves again for work. Judith however has no intention of taking Michael out. Just as her mom leaves, Judith's boyfriend Steven Haley comes over, and Judith tells Michael that he will have to go trick 'r treating by himself.
Michael goes out on his own, but comes back after a short while to find Ronnie passed out on a chair in the living room. Michael secures him to the chair with duct tape then takes a butcher knife and uses it to slit Ronnie's throat. He then finds Steve Haley in the kitchen making a sandwich. Michael takes an aluminum baseball bat and strikes Steve across the back of the head. Steve falls to the floor twitching, and Michael watches him for a moment before continuing to hit him until he is dead.
He then walks upstairs where he finds his sister Judith resting in her room. He removes his clown mask and dons the large, pasty white Halloween mask that Steve had brought over. He runs his fingers across Judith's leg until she turns around. Judith, startled by Michael being in her room demands to know what Michael is doing and begins slapping him upside the head when he won't verbally respond. Michael then stabs Judith in the stomach with the knife. She stumbles down the hall, but Michael follows her. He slashes her several more times across the back until she is dead.
Deborah eventually comes home from work and finds Michael sitting on the front sidewalk holding his baby sister "Boo" in his arms. As it is very late, she worriedly asks him what has happened. Michael does not answer. The sound of police sirens can be heard coming closer.
Smith's Grove Sanitarium
- "Michael was created by a perfect alignment of interior and exterior factors gone violently wrong. A perfect storm if you will."
- ―Doctor Samuel Loomis
Michael Myers is admitted to Smith's Grove Sanitarium under the care of Doctor Sam Loomis. Loomis asks him what he remembers of "that night", but Michael does not admit to recalling anything related to the murders. When Deborah comes to visit him, Michael asks if everyone at home is okay. She is unsure how to react, but says that everyone is fine.
Michael has another session with Loomis. He makes a new mask for himself and shows it to him. Deborah comes to visit him every week, but Michael appears to be getting worse. He has the occasional emotional break and Doctor Loomis consoles him. Michael wants to go home, but Loomis tells him that it is not possible. He continues to make masks for himself and wears them with increasing regularity. He says that he wears them to hide his ugliness. Deborah tries to get him to take the masks off once in a while, but Michael refuses.
At some point the following year, Deborah visits him one last time. He is more withdrawn than ever and refuses to speak. Hoping to cheer him up, she gives Michael an old photograph of himself and his baby sister, suggesting that Michael should display it in his room. Michael says nothing. After the visit, Doctor Loomis walks Deborah out to her car, leaving Michael in the care of Nurse Wynn. Only seconds later, Michael reacts badly to her presence and violently stabs Nurse Wynn to death with a fork as Wynn insulted him saying his sister was rather beautiful and that Michael could not possibly be related to the baby. Orderlies come rushing into the room. Loomis and Deborah trail in behind them and Deborah finally sees her son as he truly is. The orderlies restrain him, but the situation proves too much for Mrs. Myers. Back home, she tearfully watches old films of her family before taking her own life with a handgun.
Fifteen Years Later
Michael Myers, now 27 years old, is still locked up at Smith's Grove. He is a towering man whose room is decorated wall to wall with the macabre masks he has crafted over the years. A guard named Ismael Cruz escorts a younger guard, Noel Kluggs, to Michael's cell. Ismael has been taking care of Michael for the better part of two decades and has something of an understanding with him. Noel, instead, believes him a freak and fails to understand why Ismael tries to reach him. They bring Michael down to the visitor center where he is to have his final meeting with Doctor Loomis before his competency hearing. Loomis does not know what to say to Michael other than that he is sorry for failing to help him over the years. Loomis muses that, in a weird way, Michael has practically become his best friend.
Theatrical Version: One night, guards Patty Frost, Larry Redgrave, Zach Garrett, and Stan Payne are transferring Michael to another sanitarium. However, Michael breaks free of his chains and punches Zach hard in the face, killing him. He then kills Larry by slamming his head. Patty aims at Michael, but when she shoots she accidentally shoots and kills Stan, who Michael used as a shield. He then rips Patty's throat and she bleeds out and dies.
Unrated Version: One night, guards Kluggs and his cousin Kendall Jacks are walking in the hallway, talking. They agree on snatching away a female prisoner, take her to Michael's cell and rape her on the spot. However, when Kendall puts on one of his masks, Michael stands up and grabs him, slamming him on the table, then walks up to Noel out at the hallway, bashing him a few times and slamming his head against the wall, causing it to erupt in blood.
Ismael comes down the cell block and finds 2 different bloodied bodies strewn all over the floor. He comes across Michael and instantly knows what has happened. He tries to usher "Mikey" back into his cell, but Michael grabs him and shoves his face into a sink full of water. He dunks him several more times then throws him upon the floor whereupon he crushes his head with a large wall-mounted television set. With no one left stand in his way, Michael leaves the asylum.
When the staff learns about Michael's escape, they immediately telephone Dr. Loomis, who responds by saying that he would be there as quickly as he can.
Meanwhile, Michael makes his way to a truck stop. He accosts a truck driver named Joe Grizzly inside the restroom. Barging into the stall, he bashes Grizzly several times against the wall before finally stabbing him to death. He takes the man's overalls and discards his own hospital robes.
The following morning in the town of Haddonfield, seventeen-year-old Laurie Strode is spending some time with her parents. Her father, Mason Strode, reads the newspaper and learns that they are closing down Nichol's Hardware Store. Laurie teasingly makes an obscene gesture about how Mr. Nichol likes to touch her, which greatly embarrasses her mother, Cynthia. Mason then asks Laurie to drop off some papers to the old Myers house on her way to school.
Meanwhile, Michael Myers has returned home. He goes to his old house and digs through the floorboards until he recovers the mask and the knife he used the night he killed his sister Judith.
Laurie walks to the house and is greeted by young Tommy Doyle. Laurie is Tommy's babysitter and has agreed to watch over him on Halloween night. Tommy asks Laurie a barrage of questions about various bits of folklore including the Boogeyman and the Mexican Wolf Man. Laurie drops off the papers on behalf of her father into the old Myers house. From inside, Michael watches the two through the window.
Laurie goes to school and meets her friends Annie Brackett and Lynda Van Der Klok. During study hall, Annie tells Laurie that she has to babysit a girl named Lindsey Wallace. Annie wants to ditch Lindsey so she can go out with her boyfriend Paul, and asks Laurie if she can pull double-duty watching both Tommy and Lindsey. Laurie agrees to help out her friend.
Back at Smith's Grove, Dr. Loomis arrives and speaks with Doctor Koplenson and Morgan Walker. He is furious over the news of Michael's escape and holds the senior staff accountable. He informs them in no uncertain words of who Michael Myers is and exactly where he is going.
Back in Haddonfield, school lets out and Laurie, Annie and Lynda walk home. Lynda tells Laurie about her recent altercation with her cheerleading coach, which resulted in Lynda making several lewd remarks. Annie jokingly tells Lynda that she is a slut. As they walk, they notice an ominous shape standing across the street. Laurie is bothered by the image, but Lynda and Annie make some bold remarks before it disappears back into the shadows. Annie's father, Sheriff Lee Brackett pulls up and offers them a ride home, which only Annie accepts.
Loomis eventually arrives in Haddonfield. He goes to the cemetery and speaks with caretaker Chester Chesterfield. They speak about the late Deborah Myers and Chesterfield recalls the entire event. As they walk, Chesterfield discovers that the headstone for the Myers plot has been stolen. In its place are the crucified remains of an animal. Loomis solemnly remarks, "I think I know whose grave this is."
That evening, Lynda Van Der Klok and her boyfriend Bob Simms drive out to the dilapidated Myers house. They have already consumed several cans of beer and plan on spending the evening having sex in the upstairs bedroom. From the upstairs balcony, Michael Myers watches on. The two make love, with Bob complaining he has got a leg cramp which makes him stop and finish abruptly, causing Lynda to get annoyed. Afterward, Lynda sends him back down to the van to get another beer. Bob rifles through a cooler of empties searching for an unopened can. Meanwhile, Lynda calls Laurie on the telephone. She is upset over Annie calling her a slut earlier.
Lynda puts it out of her mind though and the two conclude their conversation. Bob comes back into the house. He is wearing a bed sheet over his head with his eyeglasses on the outside, planning on playing a joke on Lynda. Unfortunately for Bob, Michael emerges and stabs him through the stomach with a knife, pinning him to the wall. He takes up Bob's rudimentary costume and goes upstairs. Lynda, mistaking Michael for Bob, makes some rude comments and demands her beer. Michael waits several seconds then offers it to her. She gets up to get it then turns around just as Michael takes off the bed sheet. He grabs Lynda with one hand and strangles her to death.
Across town, Doctor Loomis stops at a gun store looking to buy a weapon. The proprietor, Derek Allen, shows him a wide selection of firearms, but Loomis settles on the .357 magnum.
At the Strode house, Cynthia and Mason Strode pass candy out to trick or treaters. Laurie leaves the house as Annie comes to pick her up. Mason tells her to be careful, reminding her that a lot of "nutcases" come out on Halloween. After Laurie has left, Michael Myers appears. He assaults Mason Strode on the front porch. He drags the body inside and encounters Laurie. He batters her across the room and then shows her a photograph of he and Laurie, indicating that he wants to know where Laurie is. refuses to say anything, and Michael finishes her off by breaking her neck.
Meanwhile, at the Doyal house, Laurie entertains Tommy Doyle. Tommy asks Laurie about the Bogeyman, but Laurie tells him that there is no such thing. Annie calls and tells Laurie that she is bringing Lindsey Wallace over. Tommy is not thrilled to hear this news. At the Wallace house, Annie breaks the news to Lindsey. Lindsey is not thrilled either and acts like a brat, however, Annie successfully drops Lindsey off with Laurie. Annie and Laurie have a quick conversation about Paul's friend Ben Tramer having said that Laurie was "hot". Then, Paul pulls up out front and Annie leaves with him.
Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis finds Sheriff Brackett. He tells him about the threat of Michael Myers and details the incident at the cemetery. Brackett is not impressed with stories of missing headstones and tells Loomis to come back to see him the following day. Loomis says that by then it will be too late. They go back to the police station, where Brackett reveals that he is familiar with Loomis' work as well as the book he has written. He suspects that Loomis is trying to stir up the old Michael Myers stories so as to increase his book sales. Loomis reiterates how the threat is real and that Michael has returned to Haddonfield to find his little sister. What his intentions towards his sister might be, even Loomis cannot determine. Brackett already knows who Michael's sister really is and places a call to the Strode house. Nobody answers the phone, and the sheriff grows concerned.
Elsewhere, Annie and her boyfriend are making out on the couch and, as they are about to have sex, begin to undress. They are completely lost in the moment and do not sense Michael Myers approaching from behind. Michael pulls Paul aside and stabs him in the chest. Annie screams and tries to run out of the house, but Michael drags her back inside. Annie grabs a knife and tries to defend herself, only to be backhanded to the floor and made Michael's prisoner.
As Loomis and Brackett are driving in a squad car towards the Strode residence, the sheriff tells Dr. Loomis what he knows about Laurie Strode. He mentions how some seventeen years ago he responded to a 911 call, which ended up relating to Deborah Myers' suicide. He found her infant daughter alone in the room and, not wanting the child to grow up with the stigma of the Myers legacy around her neck, he omitted finding her in his report and drove her to another town where he left her at the emergency room. Three months later, he discovered that his friend Mason Strode had adopted the baby.
Enough time passes that Laurie decides to walk Lindsey back home herself. As they enter the Wallace house, they are horrified to find the lifeless Paul hanging from the ceiling with a jack-o'-lantern placed upon his head and the half-naked Annie badly hurt and bleeding on the floor. The arriving girls begin shrieking, until Laurie tells Lindsey to run out and call for help. Laurie picks up the telephone and places a 911 call. The police immediately dispatch the call to Sheriff Brackett and, when Loomis hears the chatter coming over the radio, he screams, "He's found her!"
At the house, Michael grabs Laurie and begins tossing her about. She picks up a chair and throws it through a pair of french doors. She climbs out into the yard, but injures her ankle in the process. As she shambles down the road, she screams for help. She makes it back to the Doyal house and Tommy lets her in. She locks the door behind her, but Michael smashes his way through. Deputy Charles and Officer Lowery arrive at the house to help out, but Laurie and the children have sealed themselves in the bathroom. Before they can reach Laurie, however, Michael stabs both men to death. He is able to grab Laurie and drag her out of the house. Moments later, she faints.
After Michael has left, Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis arrive at the Wallace house. Loomis meets up with the children while Brackett takes care of his savaged daughter.
When Laurie awakens, she finds herself in the cellar of the old Myers house. The nude corpse of Lynda is sitting nearby, next to the stolen tombstone of Judith Myers. Laurie screams for her to wake up, but realizes that it is too late as Lynda is already dead. Michael walks into the room, drops his knife and kneels down. He pulls an old photograph out of his pocket of himself and Laurie when she was still a baby, the same photo that his mother had given him at Smith's Grove many years earlier. He then removes his mask. Laurie does not understand what he is trying to communicate.
Taking advantage of Michael's sudden calmness, Laurie picks up his knife and stabs him in the shoulder. She then finds a way to break out of the room and get outside. Michael gets up, puts his mask back on and follows her into the neighboring yard. Laurie slips and falls into an empty swimming pool. Michael begins walking in after her, but Loomis arrives and fires several shots into Michael's back, causing him to pitch over, then the doctor helps Laurie out of the pool. He gives her his coat and walks her back to Sheriff Brackett's squad car. Laurie tearfully asks him, "Was that the Boogey Man?" Loomis responds, "As a matter of fact... I do believe it was".
Michael suddenly appears from out of nowhere and pulls Laurie out of the car. As he begins dragging her back to the Myers house, Loomis calls out to him, repeating his name over and over. He apologizes, saying "I failed you." Michael lets go of Laurie for a moment and directs his next attack towards Loomis: he grabs his head with both hands and squeezes his skull. As Michael is walking away, Loomis grabs his foot to try and stop him, but Michael shakes him off and Loomis slumps to the floor unconscious. Laurie meanwhile flees into the house. Michael begins searching for her, breaking through walls and plaster.
Laurie picks up Doctor Loomis' handgun and climbs into the rafters. While crawling away, one of the patches gives way and she falls through to the floor, landing on her face. Michael sees her and tackles her. Both of them barrel through a weakened wall onto the upstairs balcony and fall over the edge. Laurie revives first, Michael is unconscious and bleeding. She picks up the gun again and aims it at Michael's face. Michael suddenly awakens and Laurie pulls the trigger and shoots Michael in the head. She is showered with blood and begins to scream.
- Tyler Mane as Michael Myers
- Daeg Faerch as Michael Myers (age 10)
- Malcolm McDowell as Doctor Samuel Loomis
- Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode
- Sheri Moon Zombie as Deborah Myers
- William Forsythe as Ronnie White
- Danielle Harris as Annie Brackett
- Kristina Klebe as Lynda Van Der Klok
- Skyler Gisondo as Tommy Doyle
- Danny Trejo as Ismael Cruz
- Hanna Hall as Judith Myers
- Brad Dourif as Lee Brackett
- Jenny Gregg Stewart as Lindsey Wallace
- Adam Weisman as Steven Haley
- Dee Wallace as Cynthia Strode
- Pat Skipper as Mason Strode
- Nick Mennell as Bob Simms
- Max Van Ville as Paul Freedman
- Daryl Sabara as Wesley Rhoades
- Ken Foree as Joe Grizzly
- Richard Lynch as Jim Chambers
- Clint Howard as Doctor Koplenson
- Lew Temple as Noel Kluggs
- Udo Kier as Morgan Walker
- Sybil Danning as Nurse Wynn
- Sid Haig as Chester Chesterfield
- Daniel Roebuck as Lou Martini
- Micky Dolenz as Derek Allen
- Mel Fair as Taylor Madison
- Richmond Arquette as Deputy Charles
- Paul Kampf as Officer Lowery
- Tom Towles as Larry Redgrave
- Bill Moseley as Zach Garrett
- Leslie Easterbrook as Patty Frost
- Steve Boyles as Stan Payne
- Sydnie Pitzer as Baby Laurie
- Stella Altman as Baby Laurie
- Nikki Taylor Melton as Princess
- Deven Streeton as Princess
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 a 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 into an 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 Halloween sequels.
His intention was to reinvent Michael Myers because, in his opinion, the character, along with Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Pinhead, had become too familiar to audiences, and as a result, less scary. The idea behind the new film was to delve deeper into Michael Myers' backstory. A deeper backstory would add "new life" to the character, as Zombie put it. Michael's mask would 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 wanted the young Michael to have charisma, which would be projected onto the adult Michael. Zombie decided that Michael's motives for returning to Haddonfield should be more ambiguous. As the director explained, "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 Dr. Loomis' car so that he could drive back to Haddonfield. Zombie also wanted his take on the 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 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 left out). Production officially began on January 29, 2007. Shortly before then, Zombie reported that he had seen the first production of Michael's signature mask, commenting, "It looks perfect, exactly like the original. Not since 1978 has The Shape looked so good".
On December 19, 2006, Zombie mailed Bloody-Disgusting announcing 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 was 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, noted that watching the workprint allowed a viewer to see what things had been changed after the test screenings of June 2007. One particular scene, the rape of a Smith's Grove female inmate, Franklin was glad to see removed from the final version of the film. Halloween was officially released on August 31, 2007 to 3,472 theaters in North America, giving it a wider release than 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 cinema goers 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 "[deepening] 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 the 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 Matthews' 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 "bogeyman"—Zombie focused 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 later 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!"
The 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 and 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 1978's Halloween, and "Mr. Sandman", which appeared in Halloween II and Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, performed by Nan Vernon. Writing about its selection from the 1981 film, one reviewer for the BBC 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 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.
Notes & Trivia
- Halloween (2007) marks the 3rd reboot of the Halloween franchise following Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later in 1998. This continuity is a completely new reimagining of the series disregarding every entry before it whereas H20 was a partial reboot disregarding parts 3, 4, 5 and 6 and only recognizing the original Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981).
- The timeline for the remake series was at first left deliberately ambiguous. While the first act of the film initially appeared to take place during the late 1970s (possibly even in 1978, which is when the first Halloween film was released), it was later implied to be 1990 despite having some 1970s aesthetics.
- By the dates given in Halloweencomics.com, Lynda was over 18 in the original while Annie was not. Assuming the same holds true for this version, the remake is the only film where the adult Michael Myers attacked an underage girl when she was nude (Annie).
- Halloween (2007) on Wikipedia