The horror genre is a funny thing. While filmmakers are constantly trying to push the boundaries and produce a horror flick that is wholly original and will scare the crap out of people, there's something about the classics that are just plain better. Movies like Friday the 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street, and Halloween truly changed the genre for the better, and their respective villains will be iconic and beloved by fans of the genre forever. Chief among these legends is Michael Meyers and Halloween, created by horror legend John Carpenter. However, Carpenter's involvement in the franchise is essentially non-existent at this point, and therefore he has some strong opinions about the various additions to the canon. This includes Rob Zombie's 2007 bloody reinvention of the character.
John Carpenter has remained fairly tight lipped about his thoughts on the 2007 version of Halloween, as well as its director. But during a recent interview with New York Film Academy Students (via iHorror) he didn't hold back, saying:
Shots fired. Let's break down exactly what John Carpenter's problems with Halloween, as well as the other issues he didn't bother to mention. His comments about Rob Zombie seem to speak for themselves.
John Carpenter's biggest problem with 2007's Halloween is that the story attempted to flesh out the character of Michael Meyers and further explain his origin. In the traditional movies, Michael is simply a disturbed young boy who is shipped away after murdering his sister on Halloween. Fifteen years later he returns back to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. Later films would reveal that Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode is actually Michael's other sister, and that his attack was calculated for that reason. Rob Zombie's Halloween; however, really fleshes out Michael's childhood and history of violence. Additionally, we see Dr. Loomis' treatment of Michael while at Smith's Grove Sanitarium.
While this might have been an interesting development for hardcore fans of the franchise, John Carpenter maintains that it is a disservice to the character. What makes Michael so terrifying is how little we know about him, besides his penchant for sharp knives and Jamie Lee Curtis. Additionally, he maintains that the physical size of the 2007 Michael Meyers was practically inhuman, which makes him less scary.
However, John Carpenter failed to mention how the violence in Rob Zombie's Halloween is far more gruesome than the franchise normally is. This really took me out of the movie, as well as its sequel.
Do you agree with John Carpenter's thoughts on Halloween? Or did Rob Zombie adapt the movie well for a more modern audience? Sound off in the comments below.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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