Halloween: Slicing Up a New Generation of Fans
When I first heard that ‘Halloween’ was being remade I was a little annoyed as this is and has been for years one of my favorite films of all time. It is one of those movies where everything seemed to come together with just the right amount of character, action, suspense and murder. John Carpenter managed to make Michael Myers into one of the most well known killers of all time without a huge budget and buckets of blood.
A while later I heard that this was to be a Rob Zombie movie. I know that he has legions of followers out there that will probably be after me now, but I am not a huge fan or his movies. I tried to watch both ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ and ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ but never made it more than 15-20 minutes into the movie before hitting the Stop button. With this new bit of news I was ready to skip the new ‘Halloween’ movie and try to pretend it wasn’t happening.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. When I saw the programming plan for Comic-Con International I noticed a panel by Dimension Films covering both ‘Halloween’ and ‘The Mist .’ Even with my mostly negative reactions to the new ‘Halloween’ I added this to my list of things I wanted to see. Due to overlapping programming I could only sit in on the Halloween part of the presentation, but John covers ‘The Mist’ in another post.
The time for the panel finally came and started off with the introduction of Rob Zombie, Sheri Moon (Deborah Myers), Tyler Mane (Michael Myers) and Scout Taylor-Compton (Lori Strode). Wasting no time we were shown the movie trailer that will soon be available on the movies official site and probably everywhere else you can think of. The lights dim, the trailer starts, the classic “Halloween’ piano music starts and I yawn (lack of sleep over the weekend, not the trailer). There is plenty of what we expect from a horror movie – people being slashed, people screaming, lots of dead bodies, etc. Then I notice that we are seeing several flashes of Michael before he was in the costume. I sit up a little higher and pay more attention. Now we have scenes of Michael and the whole family. This is new. OK. You Win. You have my attention.
The lights come up and Rob talks a minute about the trailer then throws out a nice bonus to us, not only are we the first to see the trailer but he brought a clip from the movie. We are treated to Lori in hiding, what looks like a dead or wounded Dr. Loomis on the floor, and Michael searching for Lori. As the clip continues we are see a decent chase, Michael ripping apart walls and the ceiling in a house and LOTS of screaming. I’m not sure that Scout qualifies as a scream-queen yet, but this movie could get her well on the way.
The lights come up and the crowd goes wild. There are LOTS of clapping and screaming and an obviously happy cast on stage. Instead of talking to us about the movie, Rob almost immediately opens the floor to questions and comments. While several were about his music, and a few others can’t be reprinted due to language, I think I was able to pick up on a few nice tidbits of information.
One audience member wanted to know how this movie is different from Carpenter’s version. Rob tells us that if you are going to make a movie to be exactly the same as the original, then there is no point in a remake. This is a new movie, it will be different while embracing classic elements from the first. This is more the story of Michael where the original movies were the story of Lori and various other characters with Michael coming in to wreak havoc.
Rob did not do the music for the movie. The original Carpenter piano theme is in the movie, but has been updated. While there are slight changes, it was kept very close to the original to help with the mood of the movie.
In a stroke of casting genius, Malcom McDowell will play the role of Dr. Loomis. It was revealed that McDowell has never seen the original ‘Halloween’ movie and stayed away from it before filming to avoid copying Donald Pleasence.
As a mostly new character, Sheri Moon was asked to expand on her role. She admits that her character is “your typical stripper mom, with a teen daughter, a mass-murderer child and a baby. She is trying to make the most of a bad situation.” I thought this was pretty funny as I was expecting her to be a “typical soccer mom” or “a typical divorced mom” but I have to admit that her answer was one I hadn’t come up with.
One audience member is a prospective movie director and asked for any advice to help launch his new career. Rob stated that “If you don’t quit, eventually everyone else does. Then you win.” I like this and It may have to become my new quote for life.
I’ll be the first to admit when I am wrong. Well, maybe not the first as my friends like to do that for me, but I think I may have judged this one too harshly. I still have a few reservations, but this will be on my list of movies to see once it opens. After seeing the trailer and clips, I think that this one deserves a chance before I write it off.