As if Rob Zombie wasn’t destined for a life of infamy as the founder of White Zombie with a successful solo career, his reboot of John Carpenter’s Halloween made him one of the most controversial horror practitioners of the 21st Century. To be blunt, he was eviscerated for the changes he made to the mythologies established in the original Halloween franchise. And while some have come around to Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II, the majority of horror fans have delegated his effort to the dustbin of genre history (right alongside 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot).
Zombie recently opened up about his Halloween movies during an interview with the folks at Games Radar. He’s willing to admit where his reimagining fell short:
“I think Laurie Strode from my Halloween [played by Scout Taylor-Compton] was a bit boring. I mean, she is supposed to be the all-American nice girl and, to me, that is just dull. That is why when we did the sequel I made her this really damaged person – because that is infinitely more interesting and cool to explore. But in Halloween, I made a movie about Michael Myers, that came from the pitch of, ‘Okay, what if this was a real man? An actual serial killer? What set him off?’”
For the most part, though, Zombie believes anyone attempting to reboot a classic horror property will face the same backlash:
“To be honest, I would rather be doing my own thing. 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 judgment 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.”
I guess Zombie never saw a little flick from 2013 called Evil Dead, but whatever. I’m not here to throw more shade at Zombie. While the humanization of Michael Myers is a slippery slope, I’m also a fan of 2009’s Halloween II; I love the supernatural elements it incorporates, the fake-out First Act, and the bold, arthouse sensibilities. And Zombie definitely has a point about the inherent pitfalls that come with remaking past classics—no matter what the genre.