Rob Zombies Halloween VisionPosted by: Tim
With "Halloween,â€ writer/director Rob Zombie, acclaimed musician and visionary director of "The Devilâ€™s Rejectsâ€ and "House of 1000 Corpses,â€ re-imagines one of the most iconic films in the annals of horror, director John Carpenterâ€™s 1978 classic, "Halloween,â€ featuring the ruthless, masked killing machine Michael Myers. Inspired by Carpenterâ€™s 1978 original and his theme that "evil can appear in even the smallest of towns,â€ Rob Zombie "Halloweenâ€ focuses on the early years of young Michael Myers and the events leading up to his fateful Halloween night murder rampage in the quiet town of Haddonfield, Illinois. Following that brutal night, Michael begins 17 years of incarceration at the Smithâ€™s Grove Sanitarium maximum-security mental facility where he is treated by noted child behaviorist Dr. Samuel Loomis â€“ the only person who can truly understand Michaelâ€™s evil nature. Now, 17 years later, Michael escapes from the mental facility on Halloween day and begins a murderous trek back to Haddonfield to continue his killing streak and seek resolution to events from his past. In Haddonfield, Michael begins stalking a high school girl, Laurie Strode, and her friends, Annie and Lynda. When Dr. Loomis, now a successful author for his book on Michael, hears of his escape, he enlists the help of Haddonfieldâ€™s Sheriff Brackett to find and put an end to Michaelâ€™s reign of terror The original "Halloween,â€ directed by legendary horror master John Carpenter and released on October 25, 1978, went on to gross $55 million in worldwide box office.
It was the beginning of what would become one of the most successful, enduring, and influential horror franchises in film history, spawning eight films over 25 years and creating a legacy that would be duplicated in countless horror films to follow. Rob Zombieâ€™s "Halloweenâ€ stars Malcolm McDowell ("A Clockwork Orange,â€ HBOâ€™s "Entourage,â€ NBCâ€™s "Heroesâ€) as Dr. Samuel Loomis, Michael Myersâ€™ psychiatrist and renowned child behaviorist; Scout Taylor-Compton ("Sleepoverâ€) is high school student Laurie Strode in the role made famous by Jamie Lee Curtis in the 1978 original; Oscar nominee Brad Dourif ("One Flew Over the Cuckooâ€™s Nest,â€ "The Lord of the Rings,â€ HBOâ€™s "Deadwoodâ€) is Haddonfieldâ€™s Sheriff Brackett, who tries to help Dr. Loomis apprehend Myers after his escape; wrestler-turned-actor Tyler Mane (Sabretooth in "X-Men,â€ "Troyâ€) is the adult Michael Myers; and newcomer Daeg Faerch is the young Michael Myers. "Halloweenâ€ also reunites Rob Zombie with several cast members of his previous films, "House of 1000 Corpsesâ€ and "The Devilâ€™s Rejects,â€ including his wife Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Lew Temple, and Danny Trejo. Rounding out the supporting cast as Laurie Strodeâ€™s best friends are "Halloweenâ€ veteran Danielle Harris as Annie Brackett, and Kristina Klebe as Lynda. Pat Skipper and Dee Wallace play Laurieâ€™s parents, Mason and Cynthia Strode. "Halloweenâ€ is written and directed by Rob Zombie ("The Devilâ€™s Rejects,â€ "House of 1000 Corpsesâ€) from characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. The producers are Malek Akkad, Andy Gould, Rob Zombie, and Andy La Marca. The film reunites Zombie with several of his "The Devilâ€™s Rejectsâ€ collaborators including director of photography Phil Parmet, production designer Anthony Tremblay, composer Tyler Bates, special makeup effects artist Wayne Toth, and editor Glenn Garland. The talented behind the scenes team also features costume designer Mary McLeod ("88 Minutes,â€ "Resident Evil: Apocalypseâ€). Producers Malek Akkad and Andy Gould both boast long histories with, respectively, the "Halloweenâ€ franchise and Rob Zombie. For Akkad, "Halloweenâ€ is literally the family business, as he spent his formative years on the set of the earlier films starting with "Halloween 4.â€ Akkadâ€™s late father, Moustapha Akkad, financed John Carpenterâ€™s 1978 original, and his company, Trancas International Films, owns the "Halloweensâ€ franchise internationally and produced all of its subsequent sequels. "In a way itâ€™s a family legacy that Iâ€™m carrying on,â€ Akkad shares.
"Weâ€™re all really excited about this one and weâ€™re really thrilled to have Rob Zombie. He just brings a whole new fresh air of excitement for both fans of the original and for all the new fans as we cross over into new areas.â€ Producer Andy Gould, Rob Zombieâ€™s longtime manager, also produced Zombieâ€™s previous films, "House of 1000 Corpsesâ€ and "The Devilâ€™s Rejects.â€ Gould recalls that the gestation for Zombieâ€™s involvement in "Halloweenâ€ came soon after the successful release of "The Devilâ€™s Rejects.â€ "Weâ€™d taken some time off to go make an album and tour,â€ Gould says. "And around that time we got a phone call from Bob Weinstein who said they really liked what Rob was doing. They liked his vision and â€˜The Devilâ€™s Rejectsâ€™ and wanted to know if he would be interested in coming in and making a movie for them.â€ Gould recalls that at the meeting they were asked if they ever thought of doing "Halloween.â€ "At first blush, no was really the answer,â€ Gould continues. "Because itâ€™s a classic and for the most part remakes are not very good. So we were very reluctant. But then Rob came around to thinking that perhaps there was another point of view, another story that could be told that wasnâ€™t a shot for shot remake.â€ By remaking "Halloween,â€ a horror classic so near and dear to so many fansâ€™ hearts, Rob Zombie knew that eyes of the world would be upon him. Andy Gould relates that Rob knew heâ€™d be treading on sacred ground, and didnâ€™t do it lightly. At first, Zombie acknowledges that he had no interest in doing the film, as he was not a fan of remakes, especially in the horror genre. "They hadnâ€™t really worked out so well,â€ he imparts. "Especially with movies that I thought were good the first time. I didnâ€™t see point. And then I started thinking about movies that I did like that were remakes, like â€˜Scarfaceâ€™ or â€˜Cape Fear.â€™ I realized weâ€™d still be watching the silent version of â€˜Draculaâ€™ had it not been remade. So I started to think along those lines.â€ Zombie set out to write a film that would incorporate Carpenterâ€™s original elements, but that would also expand upon the back. "In the original they keep telling you things happen, but you never see them,â€ Zombie explains. "So I thought I could go in there and show all that stuff and expand upon it.
Itâ€™s a good story and itâ€™s really simple, and I thought there was a lot of places you could go with it.â€ "Seeing that the first â€˜Halloweenâ€™ came out thirty years ago, the audiences today are much more sophisticated; they expect more. The first one is a classic for many reasons, one being that you barely see a drop of blood in the entire thing. But todayâ€™s audiences expect more.â€ Having seen Zombieâ€™s previous two films, Akkad felt they were emblematic of the new genre of horror and that he brought cutting edge style that could work really well for "Halloween.â€ "Rob wrote a terrific script,â€ Akkad states. "When he came in and pitched us he had a full fleshed out concept of how you can keep the core elements of the original and then add these fresh new elements that we hadnâ€™t seen before. So itâ€™s really a reinventing, or re-imagining of the franchise.â€ "I suppose one might use â€˜Batman Beginsâ€™ as an example of how you can retell a story,â€ says Andy Gould. "Youâ€™re getting some of the back story and youâ€™re filling in some of the gaps. Because if you look at the original â€˜Halloween,â€ it starts with the little boy and the early murders. In this thereâ€™s more of the how and why of the story.â€ Gould notes that there is certainly an homage to the original movie in certain scenes, but itâ€™s definitely Rob Zombieâ€™s vision.â€ "After working with Rob, the really surprising thing is how much he gives to the project,â€ Akkad adds. "He gives two hundred percent with the actors, with every department. Thereâ€™s no doubt this is a Rob Zombie film; heâ€™s left his mark on every aspect of it.â€ With his core filmmaking team in place, Zombie and the producers set out to find new cast members to portray the well-known, beloved characters familiar to 30 years of filmgoers.
This process created numerous challenges, such as whether to go with well-known actors, character actors, or newcomers. In the end, the filmmakers mixed it up, combining them all to create the vision that Zombie had imagined. Although there are many new elements to the movie, notably in the young Michael Myers storyline, when it came to Michaelâ€™s life as an adult the filmmakers didnâ€™t tinker too much with the characters that had already been established. "There are characters and classic moments that we had to keep, because if we went too far away from those elements then it wouldnâ€™t be â€˜Halloween,â€™ notes Akkad. "We kept the character names mostly the same.
There are some lines that Doctor Loomis and the girlâ€™s say that are always trademark. Those elements tie it to the original, and yet itâ€™s done in a way, both with the acting and the editing, that are completely new and fresh.â€ "Halloweenâ€ centers on three stages of Michael Myers life: his early years when heâ€™s as a ten year old in Haddonfield, his years under the watchful eye of Dr. Loomis at the Sanitarium, and the fateful day following his escape. "We definitely get deeper into Michaelâ€™s youth and his childhood, and his time in the institution,â€ Akkad reveals. "So it sort of fills in all these gaps. The original one really didnâ€™t touch on any of that, which in a way was good for the time because it let people fill in the blanks for themselves. But now weâ€™re going back and getting a little more detailed into Michaelâ€™s family history. I think that will make it very fresh for the die hard fans, but itâ€™ll also make it more of a complete rounded out story for audiences today who expect more than just the guy chasing and killing babysitters. Michael Myers is now a much more fully fleshed out character.â€ Rob Zombie gives some insight into what makes Michael Myers tick. "I did a lot of research because I wanted the movie to play real, because it becomes so uncomfortable to watch something that feels real,â€ he says. "We decided to play Michael like a true psychopath. It doesnâ€™t mean that heâ€™s not charming. Thatâ€™s why I made him kind of a friendly happy little kid because some of my research reinforced that someone whoâ€™s a psychopath could be charismatic, they could be charming, they could be friendly. They just have no sense of right or wrong. No sense of remorse. No sense of anything. They just donâ€™t have those emotions.
Thatâ€™s sort of how I play it.â€ Early on, signs begin to emerge in young Michaelâ€™s life that he is not the most normal kid in school. This is notably played out when the schoolâ€™s Principal Chambers makes a gruesome discovery in Michaelâ€™s backpack and calls on a child psychologist to weigh in. That child psychologist, Dr. Samuel Loomis, is played by Oscar winning veteran actor, Malcolm McDowell, star of Stanley Kubrickâ€™s classic "A Clockwork Orange,â€ as well as dozens of films, and most recently television series such as "Heroesâ€ and "Entourage.â€ "Casting is one of Robâ€™s great talents,â€ Gould imparts. "His view of who can play these characters always amazes. In the early part of the process heâ€™ll call and go, â€˜Iâ€™ve got this great idea, you know, Dr. Loomis -- Malcolm McDowell. And of course thatâ€™s great. Perfect.â€™â€ As widely known to his fans and reported, "A Clockwork Orangeâ€ is Rob Zombieâ€™s favorite film, so selecting McDowell to fill the big shoes of the role made famous by Donald Pleasance was both an easy decision and an honor. "Malcolm was somebody I knew from day one I wanted for Dr. Loomis,â€ Zombie says. "The way I wanted to play Dr. Loomis was sort of different and I knew I needed an actor that could balance the quality where heâ€™s not even really a likeable character â€“ heâ€™s kind of egotistical and annoying â€“ but heâ€™s charismatic. And I knew Malcolm could bring that quality to it. So you like him even if youâ€™re not sure you should.â€ McDowell acknowledges that he was very skeptical about doing a horror film at this point in his career, but when he met Rob Zombie he had a change of heart. "It was obvious that the man was extremely intelligent and had a wonderful take on the subject,â€ McDowell states. "He wanted to make something new and fresh and really a classic horror film. And the genre is so exciting in its classical form that he didnâ€™t really have to work hard to sell me. â€ The depth of the characters in the film also impressed McDowell. "I like something thatâ€™s driven by character,â€ he explains. "I think thatâ€™s the reason why this film works. It doesnâ€™t rely on special effects. It relies on development of character and whether you believe these people. If you make the characters threedimensional and you care about them, even the small characters, the smaller parts, then you donâ€™t need special effects. I think thatâ€™s our strength.â€ McDowell did not want to repeat the performance of his old friend and colleague, Donald Pleasance. "I certainly didnâ€™t want to do a pale imitation of Donald Pleasance, so I talked it over with Rob and we agreed that it would be much more fun if this character could bring a lighter side,â€ he says. "I donâ€™t mean to say that heâ€™s a comedic character, heâ€™s not. But heâ€™s a little pompous. Heâ€™s a doctor and a bit of an egotist.
He thinks heâ€™s the greatest in his field. The thing that I latched onto was that fact that Loomis got a lot of mileage out of this patient. Heâ€™d written a best selling book and is a pundit on TV. So if you have a sort of lighter side with the doctor, then the scary moments become a lot scarier.â€ With Dr. Loomisâ€™ role in the film spanning 17 years, the makeup and hair department also had to change McDowellâ€™s age appearance his look for the two separate timelines. The casting search for the ideal boy to play the pivotal role of the young, 10-year-old Michael Myers reached its conclusion when the filmmakers found young newcomer named Daeg Faerch. Zombie always knew that finding young Michael Myers was always going to be the hardest challenge. "If that didnâ€™t work, I felt like the whole movie wouldnâ€™t work because he plays such an important role,â€ Zombie says. Zombie says he couldnâ€™t think of any current child actors off the top of his head, because if he could, they were probably already famous. "Finding really special kids is hard,â€ he expresses. "There have been so many in the history of movies, like Tatum Oâ€™Neil or Dakota Fanning or Drew Barrymore.â€ Zombie knew he didnâ€™t want a real Hollywood type actor kid. "I knew that wouldnâ€™t work,â€ he says. "And I didnâ€™t want a little kid who suddenly makes his scary face.â€ When Daeg came in Zombie immediately saw his Michael Myers. "I saw his picture even before I saw his tape or anything,â€ Zombie remembers. "I was like, that kid is perfect! Heâ€™s got a really odd presence about him. Where sometimes â€“ in one second, without even trying â€“ heâ€™ll look so scary and intense. And then in another second heâ€™ll look like the sweetest little kid ever. He just has a naturally odd vibe to him. He just seems natural.â€ "Finding Daeg was the real coup,â€ Andy Gould states. "Not to take anything away from any of the other people in this movie, but this kid is an incredible little actor. Heâ€™s got this look and way about him that is just amazing. He really loves film. He studies it. He wants to know more.
And he takes great direction.â€ "Comedies and scary movies are my favorites,â€ says the young Canadian-born actor. Although Daegâ€™s mother let him watch the original "Halloweenâ€ before filming commenced, she would only let him read the pages of the script that featured his scenes. "After she read the whole thing she was, like, â€˜Unh-uh, youâ€™re not reading that,â€™â€ he recalls. "And I was like, aw dang it. I guess thereâ€™s a lot of killing and stuff I didnâ€™t need to see.â€ Daeg did get far enough, however, to get a handle on his character. "Heâ€™s psycho, insane, evil,â€ Daeg imparts. "I donâ€™t think Michael was born evil, but with everybody being mean to him he became evil because he just couldnâ€™t take it anymore. So he ends up just getting into trouble at school and then going on a killing spree.â€ "Daeg is just such a well-adjusted wonderful kid, but when you ask him to turn on this serial killer mode he would just snap right into it,â€ recalls Malek Akkad. "He just got it. We were so happy with his performance. And now heâ€™s the new look of young Michael Myers.â€ In Michaelâ€™s young years, we meet his mother, Deborah, played by Sheri Moon Zombie; her nasty and abusive boyfriend, played by William Forsythe; and Michaelâ€™s oldest sister, Judith, played by Hanna Hall. Michael also has a young baby sister he affectionately calls â€˜Boo.â€™ Sheri Moon Zombie, who memorably played the killer blond bombshell Baby Firefly in Rob Zombieâ€™s "House of 1000 Corpsesâ€ and its follow up, "The Devilâ€™s Rejects,â€ plays Deborah Myers, Michaelâ€™s blue-collar mom, who has to work at the Rabbit in Red strip club to help pay the bills in her fatherless family. "I love working with Sheri,â€ Rob Zombie says. "Obviously, first of all sheâ€™s my wife. And I always wanted her to play Michaelâ€™s mom. I always knew that that would be a great match. It was great to start with her and then when I saw Daeg, I thought they totally look related. Right away, Sheri and Daeg had a great relationship and a great vibe. And it really works. The movie took on a different vibe with them because it became much more about Michael and his mom in the early scenes. But as soon as they were together, that just seemed like a deeper relationship.
Itâ€™s never really said but you get the feeling at the beginning of the movie that Michael kills everybody to protect his mom. Itâ€™s never said and I never explain it that way.â€ "Sheriâ€™s been in all the movies and watching her from â€˜House of 1000 Corpsesâ€™ to â€˜The Devilâ€™s Rejectsâ€™ to this, her game has really gotten better,â€ Andy Gould says. "You can see that sheâ€™s really taking it incredibly seriously and sheâ€™s just really blossomed as an actress over these three movies. I think there are some scenes in this movie that will genuinely get people to stand up and say sheâ€™s really something.â€ "Sheri is just wonderful, such a happy fun personality to have on set,â€ notes Malek Akkad. "And as an actress sheâ€™s just remarkable. I like to say that we would have cast her either way, whether she was Robâ€™s wife or not, because she gives such a wonderful performance.â€ Veteran character actor William Forsythe, who also reunites with Rob Zombie, having portrayed Sheriff Wydell in "The Devilâ€™s Rejects,â€ plays Deborah Myersâ€™ abusive boyfriend. Forsythe recalls getting a call sight unseen from Rob Zombie to appear in "Halloween,â€ not knowing what his character, or his fate, would be. "I made a pact with Rob that I must have a real special creative death in every one of his films,â€ Forsythe muses. "And this one was certainly no exception.â€ Michaelâ€™s older sister Judith is played by Hanna Hall, a young actress who is still known for her childhood role in "Forrest Gumpâ€ as young Jenny, the girl who screamed "Run, Forrest, Run!â€ Hall also starred alongside Kirsten Dunst in Sophia Coppolaâ€™s "The Virgin Suicides.â€
With the role of young Michael and his mother already cast, Rob Zombie says that he just had to fill in the blanks of that family unit. "When I found Hanna to play the sister they all came together,â€ he states. "Judith Myers is a very manipulative character, mostly with her sexuality, and she is not afraid to use it to get her way,â€ Hall says. "I think she learned this as a defense; much like Michael, she is a product of her situation, and this situation is having an unstable family life which brings out the worst side of her character. I really wanted to show that she has a vulnerable side too, like any girl her age.â€ Hall had not seen the original "Halloween,â€ so that was the first thing she did to research the part. She also watched both of Rob Zombieâ€™s films to get a sense of his tone and style. "Rob is a very talented filmmaker and knows how to affect his audience,â€ she says. "Horror was not necessarily my favorite genre, but I could appreciate Robâ€™s understanding of how to affect people with it. It was interesting to meet the real Rob Zombie, because there are many things someone might assume about what he is like after watching his films or seeing him perform. He is really a very focused, intelligent artist, and even kind of shy.â€ Other actors featured in Michaelâ€™s early years include his sister Hannaâ€™s boyfriend, Steve, played by Adam Weisman. Veteran character actor Richard Lynch plays the principal at Michaelâ€™s school, and Daryl Sabara plays the school bully. "I get to be the bully for the first time,â€ says Sabara, the star of the popular "Spy Kidsâ€ films. "The ironic thing is that you realize Wesley has obviously been bullied by his father, and then you see Wesley bullying Michael sort of out of retaliation, lashing out his anger. And then you see Michael doing the same thing, lashing out his anger.â€ With Rob Zombieâ€™s "Halloween,â€ the character of Wesley gains the historic distinction of becoming Michael Myersâ€™ first kill, after he bludgeonâ€™s him to death in a park one day after school. Once he is incarcerated at Smithâ€™s Grove Sanitarium, Michael spends the next 17 years of his life under observation by Dr. Loomis and the nurses and guards at the facility. For the pivotal role of adult Michael Myers â€“ one of the most legendary figures in the annals of horror -- Rob Zombie always had Tyler Mane in mind.
Mane, an imposing six foot eight inch actor, got his start as a professional wrestler before turning to acting, and was formerly best known for his roles as Sabretooth in the first "X-Menâ€ film, and as Ajax in "Troy.â€ "Tyler was actually the first person I thought of for the role,â€ says Zombie. "I thought that over the years Michael Myers as a character had become so iconic that I thought they stopped even paying attention to him in the movies. They just put a stuntman in a suit. It didnâ€™t matter. They werenâ€™t scary. So I thought it was important to get someone who not only has an intimidating physical present, but was also an actor.â€ Andy Gould adds that they had already worked with Tyler Mane, as he had a small role in "The Devilâ€™s Rejects.â€ "At first thought you wonder if this is the right guy to play Michael,â€ Gould explains. "But the way he carries himself and holds that character just takes you. Heâ€™s not just a hulking menace. This guy has got acting chops. So he brings something more to Michael than just being a killing machine.â€ Malek Akkad asserts that Mane has brought Michael Myers to a whole new level. "At first we were concerned because we thought maybe we was too big or too buff, because Michael had always just been â€˜the shape,â€™â€ he says. "And then you see him on film and he just looks great and just has this aura about him. He really gets the character.â€ "Tyler can do so much more than just lumber around like a big guy,â€ says Zombie. "Having worked with him I went after him right away. I called him and told him what I wanted to do. That this wasnâ€™t just like a big guy-smashing-through-walls role. And he was into it and that was that. There was no other choice.â€ Mane notes that although there have been several other Michaelâ€™s, he wanted to bring something to the character other than just a walking shape. "I feel itâ€™s scarier to know a little bit about whatâ€™s going on behind the mask than just the mask,â€ he explains. "You can hand a mask and butcher knife to anybody and say go kill someone, and ninety-nine percent of the people wonâ€™t do it.
So thereâ€™s something going on in Michaelâ€™s head that caused him to turn the way he did.â€ Zombie explains that there is definitely an emotional element to Maneâ€™s performance. "Tyler thinks about everything,â€ he says. "He thinks about how he moves. He never looks at it like it doesnâ€™t matter since he has a mask on. It does matter and he plays it like it matters. And itâ€™s made a big difference.â€ To research the role, Mane not only watched all of the "Halloweenâ€ movies, but he also read books and went online to research famous serial killers like Ted Bundy to see what kinds of things were going on in their heads and their rationale for killing. Part of his "Halloweenâ€ research was done to see what the fans were interested in seeing from what had been done in the past in an effort to do things a little different and bring more life to Michael Myers. While Mane strove to bring more life to the character of Michael Myers, he also promises that Michael will bring bigger deaths to his victims. "When the first film was done in 1978, people got what they expected for the era,â€ adds Mane. "Now theyâ€™re expecting a whole lot more gore. They want to see the action. They want to see the violence a little bit more.â€ Akkad notes, however, that the key to Michael had always been trying to keep his killings more about the suspense. "Itâ€™s always more about the five minutes before the kills as opposed to the killing itself. I think for the most part weâ€™ve stuck to that. But having said that, there are definitely some new techniques up Michaelâ€™s sleeve that I think the audiences will be very happily surprised with.â€ Mane says that as the tallest and biggest actor to ever play the Myers character, he is bringing that physicality to the role. "There are certain movements that Michael does that I have included in my portrayal,â€ says Mane. "In the original he moves really slow. In this film Michael moves a little bit quicker and heâ€™s going to be intimidating and terrorizing a little more than the first ones.â€ Mane says that Michael will be using every weapon at his disposal for his various killings. "We all know there is a nice long butcher knife,â€ he says wryly. "He strangles people with his hands. Chokes people with ropes. Hangs people. All who are out just to have a good Halloween night.â€ "Thereâ€™s a sort of pathos to him,â€ Malcolm McDowell says about Michael Myers. "Heâ€™s a bit like Frankensteinâ€™s monster in that you kind of feel for him. Heâ€™s got the same kind of heart there. And thereâ€™s an emotion that he brings out even though he never speaks a word of dialogue. Heâ€™s totally silent. But just in the way he moves itâ€™s quite beautiful. He conveys vulnerability and thatâ€™s very important. Itâ€™s not good just having a scary monster per se if thereâ€™s no vulnerability.
And Tylerâ€™s managed to do that just through his movement.â€ Although Malek Akkad hopes that audiences will have some different feelings towards Michael Myers in this film, he is quick to note that at the end of the day heâ€™s still a horrible serial killer. "Weâ€™re filling in so much more of his story there might be some elements of sympathy there,â€ Akkad says. "We actually donâ€™t want it to be like Frankensteinâ€™s monster where at the end youâ€™re feeling sorry for him, but there are definitely classic horror elements in there.â€ 17 years later, when Michael Myers is an adult and has escaped from Smithâ€™s Grove Sanitarium, we meet a whole new cast of characters. They include high school babysitter Laurie Strode, her friends and family, and a few unfortunate souls Michael meets on his trek back to Haddonfield. Dr. Loomis is aware that with Michael on the loose, he is just a ticking time bomb, so he rushes to Haddonfield to enlist the aid of the townâ€™s sheriff, Leigh Brackett, played by Brad Dourif, to help stop the terror and ultimately try and protect her daughter and her friends. Dourif, who was nominated for Best Support Actor OscarÂ® for his memorable role as â€˜Billy Bibbitâ€™ in Milos Formanâ€™s "One Few Over the Cuckooâ€™s Nest,â€ and recently appeared as Doc Cochran on HBOâ€™s "Deadwood,â€ is no stranger to horror films: the actor gained legions of new fans as the voice of Chucky in the successful "Childâ€™s Playâ€ films. In "Halloween,â€ Dourif was cast against type. "Iâ€™m always happy to be given the part of the nice guy,â€ he says. "This is relatively new for me. Usually Iâ€™m committing a lot of murders.â€ "A lot of people in this movie I cast against the type that they always play,â€ explains Zombie. "Brad has such a strange presence on screen. Thatâ€™s why I thought heâ€™d be great as the sheriff. Normally youâ€™d think of him as some kind of crazy guy.â€ Dourif acknowledges that he never saw any of the original "Halloweensâ€ and doesnâ€™t have plans on seeing this one either. "They are too scary for me,â€ he admits. "Theyâ€™re truly terrifying!â€ That said, Dourif does feel that "Halloweenâ€ is a real classic horror film about innocence and family, though really pushed to an extremely violent edge. Andy Gould recalls that Rob Zombie went through an incredible process to try and find the right girls to play the filmâ€™s principal girls, Haddonfieldâ€™s most famous babysitters. "Rob wanted to find girls that really look and carry themselves like they live in the neighborhood,â€ he says. "Not like three girls that just came out of Hyde nightclub.
You want have girls that you believe in, that you can be invested in and feel terrified for. If it was some typical Hollywood starlet type person, you might just go, hey, kill em, I donâ€™t care.â€ For the character of Laurie Strode, originally made famous by Jamie Lee Curtis, the filmmakers selected Scout Taylor-Compton, a young actress of enormous depth and charisma. Jamie Lee Curtis was so significant to the first movie, Zombie recalls everyone constantly asking him, "Whoâ€™s going to play Laurie Strode? Whoâ€™s going to play Laurie Strode?â€ "What was funny,â€ he reveals, "is that Scout was the first person I saw. But of course I thought, well, maybe Iâ€™m just so over excited. Iâ€™m too excited about this person because theyâ€™re the first person. But I always liked her the best. We went out to everybody in the world for this role but came right back to Scout. She was just perfect.â€ Scout Taylor-Compton, an accomplished singer and actor, starred in the 2004 horror film, "Sleepover,â€ and is a self-proclaimed proud fan of scary movies. "I was definitely already a fan of â€˜Halloweenâ€™ and then I watched it again after landing the role to get a better feel for the character.â€ "Scout has a really vulnerable side,â€ Zombie recalls. "Out of all the people that came in to read for the character, when she was acting scared it just seemed real. She didnâ€™t seem like she was putting on this â€˜this is my scared faceâ€™ or â€˜my scared scream.â€™ It was very natural. And that was what I was looking for in everybody; just people that seemed natural. In horror movies you start getting these clichÃ©d conventions of this is the way people act. And her way of being was so different.â€ "Laurie is Michaelâ€™s sister, the only one that he likes,â€ Taylor-Compton explains. "But she was only a baby when he started killing at 10 and now heâ€™s come back to get her. Sheâ€™s 17 now and doesnâ€™t know who he is. He comes back and kills all of her friends and family and sheâ€™s just freaking out and a little confused throughout the whole thing.â€ The young actress describes the original Laurie Strode as bookwormish and not very outspoken, so during conversations with Rob Zombie, they decided to slightly changer her characterization. "Laurieâ€™s become more spunky and has more attitude,â€ she shares. "But she still has that girl next door kind of thing and is very innocent looking, but with her friends she blends in a little better.â€
Scout admits that she put a lot of herself into the character. Danielle Harris and Kristina Klebe portray Laurieâ€™s friends Annie and Lynda, respectively. Danielle Harris is no stranger to the "Halloweenâ€ franchise. As a child she starred in both "Halloween 4â€ and "Halloween 5,â€ becoming the only actor in Rob Zombieâ€™s film who has any past "Halloweenâ€ experience. Speaking about Harris, Malek recalls, "When we were doing those earlier â€˜Halloweensâ€™ films, we did a child actor search across the country for our lead, Jamie, who plays Jamie Lee Curtisâ€™ daughter, and we found young Danielle. So itâ€™s wonderful that now as an adult sheâ€™s able to come back and play a completely separate role.â€ Danielleâ€™s character, Annie Brackett, is Laurie Strodeâ€™s best friend and also the daughter of Haddonfieldâ€™s Sheriff Brackett. "Annie is, as Rob put it, in between the good girl and the slut,â€ Harris reveals. "Sheâ€™s definitely a free spirit, feisty and a little bit of a troublemaker.â€ In keeping with "Halloweenâ€ lore, Annie Brackett is the babysitter for young Lindsey Wallace on the night of Michael Myers return. The role was a challenge for the veteran young actress. "Iâ€™ve had to go through a lot as Annie for this one, just being vulnerable and having to fend with Michael Myers,â€ she says. "As an actor trying to sit there and really believe than Iâ€™m about to die, you go to some pretty messed up dark places, running around hyperventilating and trying to cry. In this film you actually feel for all the characters. Theyâ€™re very human. This isnâ€™t one of those films where the hand comes on the shoulder and thereâ€™s that big loud bang of music and everyone jumps. This is so much more than that.â€ Kristina Klebe, who recently completed filming Griffin Dunneâ€™s "The Accidental Husband,â€ in which she plays Isabella Rosselliniâ€™s daughter, plays Lynda van der Klok, the vivacious and occasionally mean cheerleader, who spends a memorable night in the boarded up old Myers house with her boyfriend, Bob, played by Nick Mennell. PJ Soles played the role of Lynda, in John Carpenterâ€™s original version. Klebe recalls that when she auditioned for the film she didnâ€™t know that it was for "Halloween.â€ "I knew it was the Untitled Rob Zombie Project,â€ she recalls, "and that I was this girl who was around eighteen and had the dirtiest mouth I have ever experienced.
I was having a bad day and was so angry that I just kind of took it all out in the audition. So thatâ€™s where Lynda came from. Sheâ€™s a very angry young girl, who has had a really crazy, sad upbringing. Sheâ€™s the girl I always wanted to be when I was in high school â€“ just a real bad ass.â€ The biggest challenge for Klebe was an unnerving scene where she is completely nude and getting strangled by Michael Myers. She recalls: "Here I am completely naked. Not just topless. And this huge guy comes up behind me with these hands â€“ just one of which could probably kill me. I felt so self-conscious, but Tyler made me feel really comfortable. He was really professional and nice, almost like this brotherly figure.â€ Dee Wallace and Pat Skipper play Laurie Strodeâ€™s mother and father, Cynthia and Mason Strode. As one of the most familiar faces in genre films, Dee Wallace has starred in classics ranging from the original "The Hills Have Eyesâ€ to "Cujoâ€ to Steven Spielbergâ€™s "E.T the Extra-Terrestrial.â€ "Iâ€™ve always loved Dee Wallace from the millions of great things sheâ€™s done,â€ Rob Zombie enthuses. "Sheâ€™s so immediately likable on screen and so sympathetic.â€ "Three fourths of my repertoire is horror and science fiction,â€ Wallace proudly proclaims, adding that she was a fan of all the Halloweens. "Iâ€™d always wanted to work with Rob Zombie. To do even a â€˜Hiâ€™ in a Rob Zombie film is a big thing with his fans.â€ Wallace points out that in her entire history of doing horror films sheâ€™d never been covered with so much blood as she was on one particular day on the set. "I donâ€™t want to give too much away, but I could have pooled all the rest of them together to equal the amount of blood in one of my scenes in this film. In general I think audiences are less sensitive to all the blood and gore and in this particular genre and to have any less would be a disappointment.â€
Peppered throughout the film and an enormous and diverse ensemble of featured performers who portray some of "Halloweenâ€™sâ€ best known iconic supporting characters and new ones as well. This talented group and the characters they play include Udo Kier (â€˜Morgan Walkerâ€™), Clint Howard (Dr. Koplenson), Adrienne Barbeau (â€˜Barbaraâ€™), Sybil Danning (â€˜Nurse Wynnâ€™), Richard Lynch (â€˜Principal Chambersâ€™), Tom Towles (â€˜Councilman Edwardsâ€™), Micky Dolenz (â€˜Derek Allanâ€™), Courtney Gains (â€˜Kendall Jacksâ€™), Ezra Buzzington (â€˜Grant Clarkâ€™), Richmond Arquette (â€˜Deputy Charlesâ€™), Daryl Sabara ("Wesleyâ€), Richard Fancy (â€˜Dean Carpenterâ€™), Adam Weisman (â€˜Steveâ€™), Nick Mennell (â€˜Bob Simmsâ€™), Max Van Ville (â€˜Paulâ€™), and young actors Skyler Gisondo (â€˜Tommy Doyleâ€™) and Jenny Gregg Stewart (â€˜Lindsey Wallaceâ€™). Making the characters real and giving them all a purpose was an important aspect Zombie wanted to convey. "I like to cast really solid actors for small roles,â€ Zombie explains. "Every character in this film is also damaged in some way,â€ he adds. "It makes it pretty interesting.â€ "Robâ€™s casting is always good,â€ Andy Gould says. "And he always has these cool people that youâ€™ve seen in other things and people that have been in some underground films. I like when you go to a movie and see some really good actors in the supporting roles to surround the lead actors.â€ Gould compares Zombieâ€™s casting philosophy to that of George Lucas when he was making "Star Warsâ€ and deciding to cast Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing in key roles. "Having actors with rock solid
talent and experience allows the younger actors more freedom to experiment,â€ Gould says.