Bonus Double Feature Episode: Halloween (1978) and Halloween (2007)
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Welcome back to another episode of REEL Film Reviewed today, I have a special double review for you. I watched the original 1978 Halloween and the reboot Halloween 2007, by the way, these are not the official names of the films, but since there are so many, when we refer to the Halloweens, we typically include the years that they were made.
This is the same for the next combination I’ll review, which is Halloween 1980 and Halloween 2009. All right. Let’s get into the spoiler free reviews. These are going to be slightly different in the way that they’re reviewed, because I’m doing two films and reviewing both of them. Keep in mind, I’m not comparing the two, just reviewing them both side by side as they are different takes on the same story.
I will refer to them using their corresponding years of release. 1978. This film is 15 years following killing his sister at the age of six on Halloween night in 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again. The story for 2007 was about the same, except that we get a little more backstory about Michael Myers as..
Looking at the day of Halloween and the events that led up to the killing in the same film. We also got the main story of Michael going back and seeking out Laurie Strode. And these stories were relatively the same outside of what Rob zombie added in the 2007 version. And we did learn something in 2007 that we don’t learn in the 1978 version. It does come out in the story eventually, but I’ll go over that after my spoiler warning. 1978, we have horror queen Jamie Lee, Curtis, starring in her breakout role as Laurie Strode. She’s played by Scout Taylor Compton in the 2007 film, which was pretty much her breakout role as well.
I wasn’t necessarily too. Thrilled with her take on Laurie. We’ll get to that after the spoiler warning. In 1978, we also have Donald Pleseance playing Dr. Samuel Loomis, the psychiatrist that treated Michael Myers his entire time in the mental institution. Sadly, he passed away after those six films were done and he was eventually replaced by Malcolm McDowell in the 2007 version.
And lastly, we have the man who played The Shape. Which is what they called the masked Michael Myers. And in 1978, he was played by Nick castle and he’s played by Tyler Mane in 2007. That’s irrelevant just because there are often times characters that play Michael Myers when he doesn’t have the mask on, in this case, there was another actor which I’ll mention later, but there was another actor that played Michael Myers that wasn’t masked.
It was only for a short moment. So it wasn’t really worth mentioning in the beginning, but Tyler Mane does play. masked and unmasked. So he just plays Michael Myers overall. They don’t separate him with The Shape and Michael Myers anymore. And I’m not actually sure if The Shape ended up staying. If that was something that they ended up continuously calling him.
I think after a while they just ended up calling him Michael Myers. I don’t think he’s ever referenced as The Shape at any point in any of the films, but I know that on the cast list, at least on Halloween, 1978, he does appear as The Shape. So it was pretty funny to think about.
So let’s start with Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance. We all know that she’s beloved for her role in the Halloween films. And I love her because to me, she’s Hollywood royalty and also horror royalty with her mother, Janet Leigh, being Marion Crane in Hitchcock’s legendary horror film Psycho, for those that are unaware, I’m sure you’ve seen a GIF or something on the internet from that famous shower scene from Psycho where Marion gets stabbed to death, such a wonderful piece of history added to these films, which have also become iconic themselves.
And Janet Leigh was in Halloween, H2O, affectionately named Norma, most likely also a play on Psycho and Norman Bates. His mother, Norma, we know that John Carpenter was a big Alfred Hitchcock fan. So that kind of makes sense. Another small nod to history in this film was the naming of Dr. Samuel Loomis, which also came from Psycho Marion Crane’s lover in that film was Sam Loomis.
The differences in Michael Myers. So in 1978, Michael’s character is scary as hell, but he appears to be a rather normal sized man. Scary, not necessarily overly strong. He carries around this clunky blade and he seems to be messy and ruthless in his killings. The biggest thing with Michael Myers is that he’s expressionless.
And that is what added to his creepiness was. He would just be standing there doing nothing until he brutally kills you. What added to his scariness was certainly the spray painted William Shatner mask, which is still hilarious to me, how they came up with that mask idea. And. This wasn’t really the plan either. The mask was just available, which is wild because it ended up being such an iconic part of the Halloween movies.
I always choose Michael when it comes up against other horror guys, you know, between Jason and Freddy and all the other horror guys, because he scared the shit out of me as a kid. 2007’s Michael gave us that backstory with Michael as a child, which was wonderfully played by Daeg Faerch and added to the belief that Michael was angry.
The biggest difference in this, Michael, besides the mask, which changed slightly was how violent he was. Yes, he was a slasher, but this Michael was brutally violent in his killing and he was massive. Tyler mane is 6’9. Nick castle is 5’10, which isn’t exactly short. And Tyler had a little bit of weight on him too.
He wasn’t fat, but he just had some weight on him. So he had a very, he gave a very fearful and unstoppable image to Michael Myers. It made those overpowering scenes that much more real and terrifying. Someone posed the question on Twitter. Does horror really need a backstory? I know this is a famous horror concept and I certainly agree it isn’t needed, but in some cases done the right way, like 2007 was, it can be beneficial to the overall impact of your film.
And this was really the only difference in story. Save another piece that I’ll go over in a moment after the spoiler warning, this made me feel something, when he escaped, he had an agenda and he was going to kill everyone in his path, carrying it out if they were in his way or not in 1978, this was also great because we don’t know Michael’s agenda.
We.. We know he kills and he enjoys it. And we know Loomis is really afraid of him, but this mystery adds a lot to those scenes where he’s stalking and walking amongst the kids in costumes, because, you know, this is Halloween night, so he’s just kind of blending in with his mask on, but we have no idea who is going to kill or why that mystery really kind of, I think the mystery was greater in 1978 and then it wasn’t 2007.
Eventually we see him become fixated on Lori in 1978, but she keeps getting away. So this also provides kind of a little bit of potential motivation for the reason why he keeps going after her because she keeps getting away and she’s just like that itch he needs to scratch.
All right. So my REEL review. 1978. I gave four stars. It is a bit dated obviously, but I did not mark anything down based on what was available in the seventies compared to now what I marked down was the editing and some of the killing scenes. It was really clear. It wasn’t really clear what he was doing. It was presumed, but just looked kind of odd. I felt it could have been either choreographed, better or shot, a little better. The camera angles in some scenes. Weren’t ideal.
My REEL review for 2007, I gave that four and a half stars. Call me a sucker. I liked how much Rob was able to cover in his version. And that made it almost a whole story and still leaving the same type of mystery.
In the end, someone did mention to me, it was entirely too long, but at an hour and 49 minutes, it was only 18 minutes longer than 1978. I enjoyed those additional 18. So not long for me,
Halloween was released in 1978. It was written and directed by the infamous John Carpenter, starring Jamie Lee, Curtis, Donald Pleaseance, Nick Castle, and Tony Moran. Tony Moran was the actor that played Michael Myers, Michael Myers unmasked. It is rated R with a runtime of one hour and 31 minutes. It is showing in select theaters right now in the spirit of Halloween season. So check your local theaters to see if and where it’s showing it is available to watch on the free streaming app Fawesome.tv. It is available to rent or buy from Amazon and Amazon prime video
Fawesome.tv . I’m not sure if that’s new or if I just haven’t seen it before, but it does have some great horror movies available for free on it. And I recommend checking that out.
Halloween the reboot was released in 2007. It was directed, written and directed by Rob Zombie, though inspired by John Carpenter’s characters. It stars scout Taylor Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, and Brad Doraif. It is rated R and has a runtime of one hour and 49 minutes. It is also available to watch on the AMC plus prime channel and available to rent or buy from Amazon and Amazon prime. I don’t know if I said that, but both films are available either on AMC plus or on one of the Amazons.
Alright here is the spoiler alert, warning. Those new to REEL Film Reviewed, after this point, I will discuss this review further potentially and likely revealing spoilers. Thank you for listening to the spoiler free review. I’ll be back after a word about my sponsors.
Welcome back, everyone. All right. I’ve got my notes here and I made sure that I took plenty of notes when I watched 1978, because I’ve seen 2007, so many times that I feel like I’m pretty comfortable with why I like it.
And I loved 1978. It was fantastic just like everybody else. And I’ve also made the reference that I felt that Halloween 1978 was drastically better than Friday the 13th, which came out what, 1981, but I didn’t understand how one movie could be so much better than the other. I really hated Friday the 13th.
And I realized that it wasn’t so much that it was a bad movie. It was that Halloween 1978 was just fantastic beginning with, let me talk about like the beginning, the biggest difference between 1978 and 2007. And again, this isn’t a comparison. This is just a way that both the movies started. This is how I’m going to review is just discussing the same parts of the film side by side.
But so in 1978, we know that that begins with the night of the murders. And we learned later that he only killed his sister, but obviously in 2007, he killed a lot of people. He killed, he had an issue with killing the animals. And that’s a common thing for a lot of, I guess, psychopath or psychopathic killers is that the torture or killing of animals is kind of an indicative sign, which he references in 1978.
Dr. Loomis references. As I mentioned in the spoiler free review, those additional 18 minutes, most likely were from the beginning in a little bit of backstory that we got with Michael. It began on the same day. It just began a little bit earlier in the day so that we could get an understanding of what was going on in Michael’s home life.
Thus giving us a side backstory to kind of give us a reasonable cause as to why he was the way that he was, this still made him terrifying because we still knew who Michael was. With the history, but in seeing this movie and looking at it as a true reboot, he was terrifying. And when he breaks out, you really feel the terror of the doctor.
You feel exactly the same as he does about how fearful he is about this psychopath that’s broken out. But in 1978, the absence of the backstory adds to his mystery, which makes him terrifying. So it was really a play on different sides of the same character. I don’t think one, my goal was more terrifying than the other one.
I did watch Halloween Kills. Stay tuned for my review on that. My two favorite Michaels were the Michael in these two films. So I loved Nick Castle in 1978, and I loved Tyler mane in 2007. So those were actually my two favorite Michaels. And that may be kind of maybe the reason why it was my first. I really appreciated the masks in those two as well.
I actually really have only really cared for the mask in 1978. I don’t know why I think because it was the original, it was before it got a little dusty and dirty from it being spray painted and that whole thing where they gave the mask away and all of that. So I liked the original mask. Again, stay tuned for my review on Halloween kills cause I’m going to talk about masks a little bit more on that.
Going back to the Michaels, that backstory, you saw a lot, you saw him with an abusive stepfather. You had the stripper mom or not even stepfather. I think he may just been a boyfriend, but you have the stripper mom and then the kind of asshole sister.
That’s just kind of this out of control teenager, because her mom’s never around. And she’s also got the history that she has with her being a stripper and things like that, and how daughters can be with situations when they don’t have good examples of women for mothers, that’s kind of where that came in.
And then while he had a good relationship with his mother, he really didn’t appreciate anybody except for the innocence in his life. So that’s when we see who they call Boo who’s Angel Myers, and that ends up being Laurie Strode as a baby. And one of the things that I called out about 2007 is that baby and the cry, it just added to that horror. And I knew I’m like, man, he must have cast her just from how she cried. He must’ve heard her out in the waiting room while they were trying out or something like that. That was a thing that I always got with 2007. Was that cry the night of the murders.
So getting back to 1978, the night of the murders happen. And I enjoyed that perspective. Cause that was one of the first times that we really see from behind a mask where the viewpoint of the killer. And I know we see that going forward and I know I’ve seen a couple of different horror films, and I know that wasn’t necessarily the first film that did it, but it was different in the way that it looked like you were inside the mask. And it was short, like a child and following him as he committed the murder. That was cool. And that was a nice little twist.
I also enjoyed in 2007, the little bit of longer period that you get and you see him when he’s institutionalized, because I think that’s a really important thing on entrapment. And also gives a backstory as to not really a backstory, but gives a reasonable explanation as to why he hides behind the mask.
And the fact that he’s not really hiding behind the mask. That’s what a lot of people think when you put a mask on it’s symbolic that you’re hiding behind it, but that’s not exactly the same for Michael. It was kind of like putting the mask on, gave him his identity to be who he really was. It put a face on him and what he really wanted to become when he didn’t have that.
It left him vulnerable. So it wasn’t necessarily that he was hiding. I think he put the mask on to gain the power as opposed to hiding behind it. So I think that was cool to see in 2007, how they highlighted that, because that was always kind of a perspective that I had. I never thought that Michael Myers was hiding behind anything. Honestly, he’s never, he’s never hidden in any of the movies (laughs).
1978, I think scared the living shit out of everybody. It scared me as a kid and he, it was just creepy the way that he moved and the expressionless slow motion looking at the two types of terror. So you’ve got the mystery side of 1978 and you’ve got the monstrous side of 2007.
So he appeared strong. As I mentioned, Tyler mane was six foot nine. Nick castle was 5’10 was also tall. So in 1978, he looked big, but he did look like not in terms of big. As in like sturdy like Tyler Mane, he just looked, he looked more powerful than the rest of the people that were on screen. Not to mention he had this freaky mask on, that nobody had ever seen.
And that was just so creepy. I remember just hating that mask man and the opening music. I absolutely love the Halloween music theme. It’s one of my favorite themes in horror. I don’t even really think I care for, I mean, Jason is cool, but I really love the Halloween theme. I think it’s got a good sound, a little piano keys.
- Man, Rob zombie opened up with God of Thunder by KISS, which happens to be my favorite song in the world by KISS. So I loved that opening. It starts looking at Michael when he’s six years older and that’s the other thing. He didn’t look like a six year old and we’ll get into the aging too. I was going to get into that too here, moving on next.
There’s the comparison of not just the Michaels, but also the rest of the characters. Again, there’s not a comparison here. I know I keep saying compared, but that’s not what I mean. The two Lauries nothing’s going to ever compare to Jamie Lee Curtis. There were certain things about the characters that I did like looking at Loomis.
I did enjoy Malcolm McDowell. I felt like he was a pretty safe choice for that role. And he did fairly good looking at the Michael character when he was six years old, he appeared to be six years old in 1978. He did not appear to be six years old in 2007, he appeared to be about 10. So certain things like that stood out to me.
Jamie Lee Curtis looked young because she was young, but I felt that the actress that they got to play, so what was her name? Scout. (laughs), I feel like she looked a little bit closer to the age that Laurie Strode was as opposed to Jamie Lee Curtis, that looked like she was maybe about 19, 20. That wasn’t really too much of a bad comparison.
I think both look young and we know that that’s a common thing. Most actors and actresses are adults that are playing teenagers. That’s definitely not uncommon. It doesn’t stand out or anything in 1978, but that’s pretty much the only thing that I liked about the Laurie in 2007, I just, I don’t know, maybe it was just me being biased and I don’t like Halloween that doesn’t contain Jamie Lee Curtis.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this actress playing Laurie. She pretty much did the same things in as she did in 1978, but I just think the fear and the terror was a little bit more convincing with Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, not to mention to her eventual emergence into horror heroism.
As I like to say, we see Sydney Prescott in the original screen movies. And she appears, you know, kind of weak, but you can see the potential in her as her strength kind of grows through the end of the first film. And she’s still afraid, but she’s got that strength in her.
I don’t have any confidence in the Laurie Strode that was in 2007 versus Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie at the end of 1978, where I know that this is going to be, even though it was wild, she’s had the potential to be a great horror hero.
Getting into the motivation of Michael in 1978, we don’t really know. Like I mentioned, the mystery of him is just that he killed his sister. He gets locked up and he breaks out. And the only knowledge that we know, and the only reason we know that he’s scary is that he kills people when he breaks out. And then Dr. Loomis versus 2007, where we get a history and a buildup and we know why he’s angry.
And then we get a view of what it’s like when he’s institutionalized and how he’s feeling and how he basically slowly went crazy over time. And then he snaps very important scene in the beginning of 2007 is the scene between Danny Trejo, the other guy, and Michael Myers after he’d been there for 15 years and he hadn’t said anything. And Danny Trejo, makes a comment about him taking care of Michael, since he was a kid and to, for the guard, to the other guard in there to keep his hands off of his things. So he appeared to be very polite, kind of how the guard was with Hannibal Lecter and Hannibal Lecter let him live because he was polite to him.
Well, when Michael Myers breaks out, he kills him. And that’s an important scene as well. When Danny looks at him and he said, I’m good. I was good to you, Mikey. But in the end, it wasn’t about if you’re a good to him or not. It wasn’t about the innocence anymore. He only cared about one thing at that point that was important to see a good difference.
And I think our motivation for why Rob Zombie added that part to 2007 is because in 1978, that wasn’t established. Because we know the whole story in the time from 1978 to 2007, and how many different versions have come out, but from Halloween 1978 and Halloween 1980, we see, and we learn in those two films, Halloween one and two that Laurie Strode is Michael Myers’ sister.
And we actually learned that in 2007 in the beginning when Dr. Loomis gets in the car with the, I guess he was a sheriff or deputy or a police officer, whatever he was, but he gets in the car and he lets him know that. So he knows, and they immediately puts it together that that’s who Michael is going after we learn all of this information in the first one without jumbling it all together.
Really a good credit to Rob Zombie there. I mean, to be fair, he had a whole lot to work with because he knew. But (laughs) before he made 2007, but that’s okay. It was still decent. I think it’s, like I said, no comparison to 1978 and 2007, I think 1978 was a classic. And it was also just a good film in itself without being classic or not.
It was still a solid horror film, one of the original slashers. So with respect to that, not every slasher is good. I have a pretty decent little piece of horror and the combining movies that came after that made it a good story. So I think he really kind of combined a lot of the story in 2007, which made it appealing.
And in those 18 minutes, the additional 18 minutes in length at that film was from 1978. He delivered a whole lot to us. He gave us a backstory. He gave us some motivation. He gave us an explanation of the possible psychiatric viewpoint of Michael and the mask and how his background and how his history may have led up to it.
But when you get into Halloween two, you see the continuance of that. And I won’t get into too, those two movies on this review, because I don’t want to put any spoilers in any films that I haven’t listed in the episode, but we just learn a little bit more about Michael. And is he really just a typical, stereotypical psychopathic murderer?
This killer that had this fucked up childhood and eventually snaps and kills everybody around him and gets revenge on everyone. An important scene in 2007 is when Michael confronts Laurie and he kind of kneels down and he gives her the picture kind of telling her that he’s her brother and she’s his sister.
And you know how the story goes. She’s obviously afraid of him and not really understanding exactly what he’s trying to tell her. And she’s afraid and doesn’t really care to listen, but she’s trying to just make it out alive. And when she betrays him by attempting to harm him, that’s when he turns on her.
And at that point, I think kind of just snaps and he’s done with trusting anybody. He’s never going to be vulnerable again, it was his one chance to come out of his shell. And because she is either not like him or not understanding of him or accepting of him, he no longer has anybody. But at that point, I think that’s maybe when he broke, but in 1978, we don’t see.
Mystery is the big thing with Michael Myers in 1978. And he’s just going after her. He’s not stopping. He doesn’t show mercy to anybody and he pretty much kills anybody that comes in his path. To me, that’s always going to be the villain that’s going to scare the crap out of me is the person that doesn’t stop for anything that doesn’t have any kind of motivation or doesn’t appear to have any kind of motivation or anything that I can use it at a weak point. And I think that’s what, 1978, Michael was, there was no weak point there wasn’t going to be anything you were going to be able to do to stop him, including shooting him. Wonderful films. I love Halloween. I love the Halloween movies and this was one of the original movies along with Scream that scared the crap out of me because I’m only 33.
So I was only, I was a young buck when these movies were coming out. So my big Halloween that I saw when I, when I was young, was Halloween H20, that one wasn’t bad either, but I mean, in comparison to 1978, come on. Thank you for listening to everyone. I’ll catch you next time.
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