The horror genre may be in a renaissance, but it's one built on long-standing franchises and sequels. John Carpenter's Halloween changed the movie landscape when it debut back in 1978, helping to make slashers a profitable subgenre. It's a franchise that has never been far from theaters, with a whopping ten sequels released and two more are on the way. Two of these movies came from a reboot directed by Rob Zombie, but it turns out that the experience wasn't good for the filmmaker/musician.
Rob Zombie directed Halloween and its sequel Halloween II in 2007 and 2009 respectively, using the same characters from Carpenter's original. But he brought them into the modern age, and amped up the gore, violence, and cruelty to the extreme. It's a choice that didn't jive well with fans of the property, and Rob Zombie didn't have a good time making the films. As he put it:
Making Halloween with the Weinstein’s was a miserable experience for me, and so I was very reticent to do the second one. I did do the second one, and I thought, ‘Okay, well the first one was a miserable experience, but it did well, so maybe it’ll be easier the second time?’ It was worse. Oh my God. I felt like they weren’t trusting me on the first one because they wanted to make sure it was a hit and now they weren’t trusting me not to fuck up their hit.
Unfortunately, making Halloween under the Weinstein Company proved challenging for Rob Zombie. He calls it downright miserable, which sounds like no way to take point on a major movie remake. What's more, he maintains that the process of crafting Halloween II was even worse than the first one. I'm not sure what is worse than miserable, but it can't be good.
I have to wonder how the poor experience ultimately affected Halloween and Halloween II, which were both critical failures when they hit theaters. They also largely failed to resonate with hardcore fans of the franchise (and John Carpenter), as the pair of movies relied heavily on gore, and didn't retain the true nature of its characters.
In his same conversation with Forbes, Rob Zombie spoke to a behind the scenes documentary that could prove his claims of the poor working environment. As he put it:
We made a behind the scenes documentary for the making of Halloween. That has somehow gotten lost in the vaults. That shows how messed up everything was and what was going on when we were making those movies.
Yikes. It looks like the poor response to Rob Zombie's Halloween might not lie on the director himself. He wasn't happy with what was happening on set, although no specific details were provided regarding what studio interference might have been like.