2018’s Halloween reinvigorated the franchise, jettisoning much of the continuity that bogged down the series after so many sequels. It was a critical hit, audiences loved it, it cleaned up at the box office and there are two follow-ups – Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends – due out in 2020 and 2021. But it should be remembered that there was a 2007 attempt at rebooting Halloween directed by Rob Zombie as well.
Though it’s not thought of particularly well by horror fans, I enjoyed it on its original release (though I’m not in a hurry to revisit it anytime soon). Zombie took a lot of liberties with the story of Michael Myers, differentiating himself from what came before by showing the ruthless killer’s background. This is merely hinted at in the theatrical cut of Halloween, with his backstory summarized by the amazing opening scene in which we see a young Michael killing his sister Judith. But here’s where things get interesting.
When Carpenter sold the television rights to NBC, they realized they couldn’t air the theatrical version due to its violence. Having cut 12 minutes from an already pretty short movie, Carpenter was required to shoot 12 more minutes of non-violent footage to make up the difference.
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He did this during the filming of Halloween II and the new scenes consist of Dr. Loomis consulting with other doctors about Michael’s condition, a young Michael trashing his room while escaping and carving “sister” into the door and him sitting creepily still in his cell. This is the material that Zombie seized on when Carpenter advised him to “make the film his own.”
Whatever your opinions of the finished product, Zombie at least tried to do something in keeping with the original spirit of the Halloween franchise, even if the execution wasn’t perfect.