Tag Archives: John Carpenter

Original vs Remake: Halloween II (1981) vs Halloween II (2009)

cooltext1205611622basMKhaMi2tjIL2EghSKrHi3AoaWith Halloween being tomorrow and having previously done the 1978 ‘Halloween‘ vs the 2007 495228.1020.AHalloween‘, I figured it appropriate to compare the original 1981 ‘Halloween II‘ to the 2009 re-imagining of ‘Halloween II‘.  There are way more differences between the sequels to ‘Halloween‘ than similarities.

The openings of both films are vastly different.  In the John Carpenter’s 1981 ‘Halloween II‘, the film opens with Michael walking through an alley.  While he walks through the alley, Michael continues his killing spree with Sheriff Brackett and Dr. Loomis still looking for him.  In Rob Zombie’s 2009 re-imaging of ‘Halloween II‘, the film opens with Michael talking to his dead mother, then flashes to Laurie walking down a deserted street and she is then picked up by Sheriff Brackett.  In the original ‘Halloween II‘, Michael immediately continues his hunt for Laurie whereas in the 2009 version, Michael is loaded into the back of the coroner’s van and hauled off.

The role of Michael Myers in the 1981 ‘Halloween II‘ was played by a different actor than the one that played him in the 1978 ‘Halloween‘.  In 1978, he was played by Tony Moran, but Moran was replaced by Dick Warlock in 1981. Rob Zombie kept Tyler Mane on from his 2007 adaption of ‘Halloween‘.  The 2009 mask was also much more menacing.

The role of Laurie Strode was however kept consistent in both films.  John Carpenter brought back Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Zombie brought back Scout Taylor-Compton.  The main difference in this role in both versions of the film is the level of injuries that Laurie sustained at the hands of her psychotic brother.  Laurie was much more banged up in the 2009 version than she was in 1981.  Which brings us to the hospital.  In both films, the hospital seems strangely deserted.  Is it just me or do the nurses seem to magically disappear and the security guards seem to fall asleep or take a bathroom break at the perfect time when Michael is walking past a camera?  In the 1981 version, the majority of the film takes place in the hospital whereas the 2009 film is more focused on Laurie’s life a year after the attack.  As a matter of fact, the hospital sequence in 2009 was a nightmare that Laurie was having and not actually happening.

Another big difference is where Michael is located in the films.  In John Carpenter’s original, he is never caught and continues his hunt for Laurie.  In Rob Zombie’s version, as previously mentioned, he is loaded in a coroner’s van and hauled off.  Michael eventually escapes and begins his long journey back to Haddonfield.  We actually get to see Michael without his mask.  The main focus of Michael is also very different in both versions of the film.  In 1981, Michael is still hellbent on killing his sister.  In 2009, Michael wants to show Laurie that she is his sister and he wants to bring her home and reunite his family.

There is a huge difference in the character of Dr. Samuel Loomis.  Donald Pleasence and Malcolm McDowell both return in ‘Halloween II‘ to play the iconic role.  Loomis continues to be the creepy good guy in 1981.  In 2009 however, Loomis becomes an egocentric jerk and becomes kind of a villain.  I personally like the changes that Rob Zombie made to the character of Loomis.  He writes a book exposing Michael’s family and childhood also revealing that Laurie is actually Angel Myers, Michael’s baby sister.  I also loved the nod at ‘A Clockwork Orange‘ in the 2009 ‘Halloween II‘ when Loomis was giving a speech to the press defending his new book.  He says “Let me make things nice and sparkling clear” which was also a line spoken by Alex in the 1971 classic.  In 1981, Loomis speaks more of supernatural forces controlling Michael whereas in 2009, Loomis makes Michael out to just be an unstoppable psychopath.

One of the biggest differences in the return of Annie Brackett in 2009.  In the original series, Annie dies in the first ‘Halloween‘ film, but Danielle Harris returned in the re-imagining as the ballsy Annie Brackett.  Unfortunately, Annie does eventually meet her demise when Michael makes his return to Haddonfield and finds out that Laurie is living with the Bracketts.

Rob Zombie had it right in his evolution of Laurie.  I mean come on, having an experience as crazy as that is bound to mess you up.  In 2009, Laurie becomes more hard and slightly crazy.  She has horrible nightmares.  I love that Laurie’s nightmares seem to link her to Michael and she seems to begin to see what he sees and she begins to feel his emotions.  I thought this was kind of a nice salute to the connection that Jamie Lloyd and Michael Myers shared in ‘Halloween 4‘ and ‘Halloween 5‘.  Laurie finds out in 2009 that she is Michael’s sister, but in 1981 she had no idea.

I loved Michael’s hallucinations in the 2009 re-imagining.  I feel like it gave more depth to the mind of Michael Myers and what drives him to do what he does.  I also liked that they eventually had Laurie begin to share in these hallucinations when she was in close proximity with Michael.

Another honorable mention for Rob Zombie’sHalloween II‘ are the cameos he had.  As a fan of ‘Sons of Anarchy‘, I quickly recognized Dayton Callie (Unser) and Mark Boone Jr. (Bobby).  Sadly though they both become victims of Michael and are not with us very long.

The endings of both films are complete day and night to one another.  In 1981’s ‘Halloween II‘, Loomis and Laurie blind Michael, while still stuck in the hospital, and Loomis blows up the room while he and Michael are still trapped inside of it.  Loomis is then presumed dead while Michael of course makes an escape.  The ending was kind of a snorefest.  The 2009 ‘Halloween II‘ ending however was much more exciting.  Michael brings Laurie to an old shack on the side of the road.  Laurie begins to hallucinate young Michael and their dead mother.  The police surround the shack and instead of Michael coming out, Laurie dawns the mask and sort of transforms into her brother.  The police shoot Laurie, but she does not die.  The very closing of the film, we see Laurie in a mental hospital and she again sees her mother and gives a wicked smile opening a door to the thought that we may see Laurie take Michael’s place as the resident loony with a stabbing fetish.

In this ‘Halloween II‘ edition of Original vs Remake, I am going to have to go with the 2009 re-imagining.  The whole basis of the film was more exciting than the original.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the 1981 classic, but when a film is essentially an hour and a half of running around a hospital it tends to get a bit boring.  I will rarely pick a remake or re-imagining over an original, but Rob Zombie really gave ‘Halloween II‘ a much needed face lift and gave new life to such a fantastic franchise.

 

Original vs Remake: Halloween (1978) vs Halloween (2007)

cooltext1205611622halloween-movie-poster-1020189584John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween has been one of the most viewed and talked about horror hh2films in the history of the genre.  As a matter of fact, it was the first horror movie I saw.  In 2007, John Carpenter’s classic got a reboot from the disturbed mind of Rob Zombie.  Being a fan of the original Halloween and Rob Zombie, of course I went to see it and of course I had to add the film to my collection.  Anytime a remake or reboot comes about, the first thing anyone does is compare the film to the original.  I decided to sit down and watch both the original and the reboot back to back and add Halloween to my Original vs Remake series.

LaurieStrode_-_Curtis_&_Taylor-ComptonThe first comparison I made was the role of Laurie Strode, the sister and main target of Michael Myers.  In 1978 the amazing Jamie Lee Curtis put on her innocent face to grace the screen as he damsel in distress turned badass heroine.  Jamie Lee Curtis could never be topped in the role of Laurie Strode.  In the 2007 reboot,  an actress new to the scene, Scout Taylor-Compton was cast as Laurie.  In 1978, Laurie was much more reserved and timid whereas in 2007 she was more outgoing and not nearly as standoffish.  Both films portray Laurie as the more innocent one of her group of friends.  Scout did an incredible job resurrecting the iconic role, but she did not sell it as well as Jamie Lee.

The next most vital role is obviously Michael Myers.  In 1978 Tony Moran played the masked Tyler Mane as Michael Myers in Halloweenpsycho and in 2007 the very large, intimidating Tyler Mane reprized the role.  Tony Moran was of course amazing, but Tyler Mane’s Michael was much more menacing.  Tyler was larger and his movements were much more brutal.  Michael’s kills in the 2007 Halloween were much more gruesome than those in the 1978 Michael_Myersfilm.  In the battle of Michaels, I am going to have to give it to Tyler Mane.  

The most iconic image from the Halloween franchise is without a doubt, Michael’s white mask.  The masks are drastically different in both films.  The 1978 mask was not very detailed and seemed to be very loose fitting and it did not have many human characteristics.  In 2007, Michael’s mask was much more defined and tighter fitting.  You could tell that there was a human face behind the mask.  In the battle of the masks, I would have to say that Tyler Mane’s mask in the 2007 Halloween wins this one.  Michael’s face does not seem as blank and I love that he has more human qualities to his face.

225px-SamuelLoomis_-_Pleasence_&_McDowellOf course Halloween would not be the same without Dr. Samuel Loomis, Michael’s doctor.  Both the original and the remake had icons playing this role.  In 1978, Donald Pleasence played the role and in 2007, Malcolm McDowell dawned the tan trench coat and pursued Michael around Haddonfield.  The role in both films, in my opinion, is kind of a creepy one.  Loomis is a very complex character, he’s a good guy, yet he’s very conflicted.  Both Pleasence and McDowell did an incredible job in the role, and it is almost impossible for me to choose which one I liked more as Loomis.  So, when it comes to this role, I’m calling it a draw.

Now to compare the contents of the films.  Both films have the same characters and the same basic concept.  One thing that I did like more about the 2007 reboot was that we got to see more into the mind and life of young Michael Myers.  Being able to see more into Michael’s past makes him easier to understand and much more a sympathetic character.  In the 1978 classic, we only see young Michael when he dawns the mask and kills Judith, but in 2007, his rampage is much more brutal and his body count is much higher.  It was great to see the hell he went through at home and at school that makes him snap.  It gave the film much more depth and more of a story to build on.  In John Carpenter’s Halloween, we are not quite sure what happens to Michael’s parents, but in 2007, we see that he kills his step-father/mother’s boyfriend and that his mother kills herself after a very traumatizing visit to see Michael in Smithsgrove.

In the 1978 film, Michael moves more like a mindless killing machine, which I guess would kind of make sense. However, in 2007 Michael moves with more calculation and his actions are much more methodical and thought out.  I like the actions of Michael in Rob Zombie’s Halloween more than his actions in John Carpenter’s film because if you really think about it, he has had 15+ years to think about what he is going to do, so his actions should appear to be more thought out.  In 1978, Michael seems to be on a mission to kill Laurie, but in 2007 he seems to be on more of a mission to bring her home and make her understand that she is his sister.

In 2007, we see Michael kill the Strodes on his destructive path to find his baby sister, but in 1978, we have no clue what happens to them.

hal03-300x154Laurie of course has her group of party girl friends, Lynda and Annie.  In both films, Lynda2_Halloween_071122093758557_wideweb__300x375 and Annie were much more outgoing and sexually driven than Laurie.  In 1978, PJ Soles and Nancy Kyes/Loomis play the mischievous duo.  In 2007, Kristina Klebe plays Lynda and a veteran to the Halloween franchise, Danielle Harris plays Annie. Of the teenagers killed on Halloween night by Michael Myers, one of the most memorable ones is Lynda.  In both 1978 and 2007, Lynda’s iconic death is the same.  Lynda and her boyfriend fooling around in the Myers’ house and when they are finished Lynda has her boyfriend get her a beer.  On his way back he is brutally killed by Michael and Michael then dawns a sheet and her boyfriend’s glasses and enters the room Lynda is in.  After some bitchy lines from Lynda, Michael hands her the beer and then proceeds to strangle Lynda.  I am glad they kept that kill from the original the same.  Annie however has a different fate in both films.  In 1978,  Michael is in the backseat of Annie’s car and when she gets in to go pick up Paul, Michael reaches to the front seat and straggles her.  However, in the 2007 reboot, Paul picks Annie up after she drop Lindsey off to Laurie and they head off for a rendezvous.  While they are messing around on the couch, Michael channels his inner voyeur and watches them for a bit then proceeds to kill Paul.  Annie however tries to run away and Michael catches up to her and stabs her a few times, but Laurie finds Annie still alive laying on the floor.

In both films, Michael finally gets a hold of Laurie and takes her to their childhood home.  In both films, Laurie sees Lynda laying at the foot of Judith’s tombstone in the basement of the Myers‘ house.  In the 1978 film, Annie is also in the basement, dead with Lynda, and we all know that in 2007’s adaptation, Annie survives and is not in the basement with Linda.

Loomis_saves_LaurieThe endings to both films were different yet similar.  They were both very open and left Laurie_shoots_Michaelroom for a sequel.  Both involved Laurie, Michael and a gun.  In the original, Michael finds Laurie in a closet and she stabs him in the eye with a coat hanger then Loomis enters the room and shoots Michael and he falls out the upstairs window.  When they look out the window, Michael is gone.  In the reboot, Laurie tries to shoot Michael but the gun jams then Michael tackles her out the window.  Laurie lands on top of Michael and then she repeatedly tries to shoot him, but the gun does not go off.  Finally, the gun goes off and she shoots Michael in the head.  The movie ends with Laurie sitting on top of Michael screaming.

In this edition on Original vs Remake: Halloween (1978) vs Halloween (2007), I am giving the title to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Rob Zombie’s reboot, but when it comes to such an iconic film, nothing tops the classic.

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