Original Vs Remake Halloween
Original Vs Remake : Halloween
Welcome to Original Vs Remake, the place where Horror Remakes go head to head with their Original. Was the remake an abysmal failure at the box office? Did the Original have a smaller budget? Which received the best reviews? All will be revealed here in the ultimate showdown! Today’s contenders are Halloween (1978) Vs Halloween (2007) Ready? 3,2,1 FIGHT!
The Original : Halloween (1978)
Release Date : 25th October 1978
Cast : Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, Tony Moran
Directer : John Carpenter
Writers : John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Studio : Compass
Budget : $325,000
Domestic total Gross : $47,000,000
Rotten Tomatoes Rating : 94% Fresh
John Carpenter was tasked by independent film producer Irwin Yablans to conceptualize and create a film that followed a psychopath that stalked and terrorized babysitters. Carpenter enlisted his then girlfriend (and later producer) Debra Hill to help and together they created a script entitled The Babysitter Murders. Yablans who developed a desire to back a horror film after witnessing the success of The Exorcist suggested that the film be set on Halloween night and the title be changed to Halloween and the rest as they say is history. The film established a historic silent faceless killer in Michael Myers, gave Jamie Lee Curtis her first film role and launched her as the final girl of her generation, it also catapulted John Carpenter to fame as a horror director to watch. Halloween also helped to establish a few sacred horror movie tropes ; if you take your eyes off the killer whom you think you’ve defeated when you look back he will be gone, if you have sex you will meet a rather swift end. And no one would ever look at wire hangers the same again.
The film was released to instant success. Original sparse Jack O’ Lantern posters were joined after the film’s opening weekend with posters that had an extensive board sheet run that solemnly asked ‘When was the last time you were scared out of your wits by a movie’ and jeered ‘We Dare You To See It!’. It became the date movie of 1978, with word of mouth promising that it would scare your date straight into your lap. Critical success followed high box office numbers, with almost exclusively positive reviews. With most critics commending Carpenter for his high brow approach to horror and never sacrificing the importance of blocking and lighting in favor of over blown gore. The late great Roger Ebert said of the film ;
“It’s easy to create violence on the screen, but it’s hard to do it well. Carpenter is uncannily skilled, for example, at the use of foregrounds in his compositions, and everyone who likes thrillers knows that foregrounds are crucial ….”
The film did have it’s detractors as did all violent films of that era, there were some who bemoaned the enjoyment that young people were getting from watching their own young counterparts being murdered on screen but the film’s box office and overall public popularity was not dented.
The film is considered a classic and set to be highly celebrated this month as it reaches the 35th anniversary of it’s release.
The Remake: Halloween (2007)
Release Date : 31st August 2007
Cast : Scout Taylor Compton, Malcolm McDowell
Directer : Rob Zombie
Writer : Rob Zombie
Studio : MGM/Dimension Films/Paramount Pictures
Budget : $15,000,000
Domestic total Gross : $58,272,029
Rotten Tomatoes Rating : 25% Rotten
It was Rob Zombie who coined the phrase ‘Reimagining’ when he took on Carpenter’s Horror classic and God Bless his little cotton socks, his heart might actually have been in the right place. Though remakes were proving their weight in gold and you simply had to waft the idea of one past a studio boss’s nose and he was signing checks, the original impetuous for the Halloween remake may not have been a solely monetary one. Zombie (evident in his moniker) has always proclaimed himself to be a devoted fan of horror. Influences of the classics can be seen in his films ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ and ‘House of 1000 Corpses’. The two films play out like bloody love letters to the shock horrors of the 70’s.
Though Dimension Films announced in the Hollywood business news that Zombie would helm a reboot of the Halloween franchise for them, Zombie told any entertainment news outlet that would listen that he was going to lovingly write,direct, produce and serve as music supervisor on the project. He fanboyed all over the place about John Carpenter and his wonderful work and how he would strive to protect it, so much that some began to wonder if Mr zombie had a ‘special’ picture of Carpenter that he kept by his bed..And Dimension Films sang from an entirely different hymn sheet as they calculated potential profit margins and profiled demographics. You have to wonder if Zombie sat in his meetings with Dimension Films with his fingers in his ears while screaming “la,la,la,la CAN’T HEAR YOU!!”
Potential audiences were left confused, a true horror fan was to helm this return to Michael Myers but it wasn’t exactly going to be an independently funded labor of love. John Carpenter weighed in and gave Rob zombie his blessing (but probably not his home address) and told the young padawan to make the film his own.
Baited breath. And then four days before the film’s release an early workprint version of the film was leaked online. This could have spelled disaster for the film’s box office but Zombie shrugged it off and said that the leaked copy was different to the film that would appear in theatres And sure enough his confidence and the studio’s mantra that ‘if you remake it they will come’ paid off in the millions. Halloween made $10,896,610 on it’s opening day. By it’s second weekend the figures had slipped lower but it’s mark had been made on the box office and it was hailed a commercial success.
And the film itself? Well it was clear with each frame that Zombie’s horror heart was on his sleeve and that he had put effort and devotion into his ‘reimagining’ but his approach in the end was perhaps a little too earnest for what was marketed as a ‘Fun Horrror Movie’ (again going back to possible lack of communication between him and Dimension) Much time was devoted to understanding Michael Myers and the creation of his psychotic tendencies, which was an interesting and bold move but one that did eventually neuter the film’s central villain. Casting also proved a little lackluster with Scout Taylor Compton tumbling around in Jamie Lee Curtis’s shoes as though she had borrowed her big sister’s heels.
Critics were not much impressed, with the reviews being mostly negative, with reviewers usually citing the film as being muddled and heavy handed. Zombie was praised for his desire to bring a deeper understanding to the iconic character of Michael Myers but they were not entertained by it. The film then quietly let itself out without asking for money for a taxi and did the walk of shame to DVD with all the other Horror remakes.
The Winner : The Original
We see again that a remake has out sold an original but in this instance money doesn’t talk, the remake brought nothing new to the table to distinguish itself from all the other remakes out there, so the winner is The Original for standing the test of time and holding it’s own! K.O!