Rob Zombie prefers his take on Halloween 2 over the 2007 Halloween remake. Following the critical and commercial disappointment of 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection, the series was in a bad spot. Fans despised the movie, and it was clear the franchise had run out of good ideas. It was later decided to remake it, with producers handing the keys over to musician Rob Zombie, who was coming off 2005’s acclaimed thriller The Devil’s Rejects.
Zombie is a filmmaker very much influenced by the grittiness of the 1970s, and his take on Halloween was much more graphic and profane than the 1978 original. His movie explored Michael Myers' tragic childhood and descent into violence, but it was an awkward mash-up between Zombie’s style and a straight-ahead remake of the original. The movie was a big hit despite negative reviews, though Zombie’s 2009 sequel Halloween 2 was neither financially nor critically well received.
Opinion is still divided over Zombie’s two Halloween movies; some fans find them unique reinventions of the Michael Myers mythology, while others feel they're abrasive and unpleasant slasher movies that don’t belong in the series. Now in a new conversation with SFX magazine Rob Zombie has opened up about making both movies, and why he prefers the sequel over the remake:
To be honest, I would rather be doing my own thing anyway. But I am still proud of both Halloween movies. I prefer the second one, which might surprise people, but the problem is that when you do a remake you can never get a true judgement on what it is you have done. I think it’s the same deal when someone remakes A Nightmare on Elm Street or anything else – it’s just too hard to completely break the formula. Everyone knows Michael Myers and a lot of the fans want the same thing again, but maybe with a small twist – like when they did the eighth one and he’s part of a virtual television programme or something [laughs].
Zombie felt Laurie Strode was somewhat dull in his take, so one part of Halloween 2 he was eager to tackle was the trauma that night inflicted on her character:
I was excited to do a sequel, though – mainly because if the first film was about Michael and how he became this famous murderer, the second one could be about Laurie and how this event had really messed her up. The original Halloween 2 never did that. And now that I had established this universe I felt like I could do anything I wanted with it.
Halloween 2 broke many of the cardinal rules of the series, especially in Zombie’s Director’s Cut; Michael is shown unmasked, he briefly speaks and the movie ends with the definitive deaths of both Laurie and Michael. Zombie had no interest in making a part three, but a project titled Halloween 3D was soon put in development regardless. The story would have followed Laurie in a mental asylum a couple of years after Halloween 2, with the presumed dead Michael returning for his sister yet again. The movie would have revealed his mask had fused with his face following a fire, but it was cancelled after falling into development hell.
There’s no denying Zombie brought a unique tone to his Halloween movies, and they both have their merits. That said, it does feel like Zombie had more freedom with Halloween 2, which is probably the biggest departure from formula out of all the Michael Myers entries. Like with every other sequel, Halloween 2018 has retconned Zombie’s movies out of existence and picks up with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) facing Michael again 40 years later.
Source: SFX Magazine (via GamesRadar)