If there’s anything I can take away from my membership in several fan groups dedicated to the ‘Halloween’ franchise, it’s that Rob Zombie’s two films have the most divisive reactions. There are many fans who absolutely hate the 2007 remake and its sequel from 2009 with a passion, but there’s also many – fewer in numbers, for sure – who seem to love them. I’ve read some pretty bold claims from some who prefer Zombie’s remake over the original; I’ve read some that seem to enjoy the 2007 film but hate the 2009 sequel. Fans, especially those who occupy the specific groups dedicated to the movies they love, are full of passion and strong opinions, and more often than not, engage in heated debates. While opinions are subjective and formed on the personal preference of the individual, there are some people who are unwilling to accept any opinion that doesn’t match their own. Personally, I love to read a variety of opinions, regardless if I agree or disagree – well, as long as they’re formed beyond the simplistic stance of something sucking just because and without insight as to why they feel the way they do – and when it comes to the ‘Halloween’ franchise, there’s three movies that almost always spark some of the strongest debates anytime they’re brought up: ‘Halloween 3: Season of the Witch’ (1982), Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween’ (2007), and Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween 2’ (2009).
When it comes to these three, I’m an avid defender of ‘Halloween 3: Season of the Witch’, but as far as the two Rob Zombie films are concerned, I don’t love them nor hate them. I feel that the 2007 remake is better than some of the sequels in the original franchise, and although my initial reaction to the 2009 sequel was stubbornly negative, it has grown on me a bit with multiple viewings.
Long before the most recent sequel, ‘Halloween’ (2018), and long before the ill-fated effort known as ‘Halloween Returns’, there had been plans for the franchise to continue within the remake timeline. With Rob Zombie declining to return to the world of ‘Halloween’, Malek Akkad of Trancas International, along with Miramax/Dimension films had commissioned Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier to pitch a sequel. The pair had some success with their 3D remake of ‘My Bloody Valentine’, as well as ‘Drive Angry 3D’ later on after ‘Halloween 3D’ was scrapped, and they had wanted to bring the 3D touch to the ‘Halloween’ franchise. The pair had planned to meld the world established by Rob Zombie with that of the original series and wrote the script in 8 days. Four days into pre-production, however, Miramax and Dimension Films owners Bob and Harvey Weinstein shut down the production, reportedly due to the belief that it was being rushed (only one week after the first draft of the script was turned in), but it’s also speculated that it had to do with the studios’ financial woes at the time.
So how is the script from Farmer and Lussier? Well, while I didn’t love every choice they had made, I actually really liked their approach. In my opinion, this probably would have been the better film in the Rob Zombie timeline.
The script, dated September 26th 2009, begins with a different perspective of the events at the end of Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween 2’: from Laurie’s point of view, she stabs at Michael repeatedly and delivers the final blow with the knife to the face. However, she comes to discover that she did not kill Michael, and that the person she stabbed to death had been Dr. Loomis instead. On the scene, and still in shock over the death of Annie, Lee Brackett is desperate to protect Laurie and is in denial of the fact that Laurie murdered Loomis.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Haddonfield, we’re introduced to a new lead protagonist named Amy, who parties with her friends as the scene at the shack makes the news, and the drunken group of friends decide that they’re going to go out and TP the town.
Back at the shack, the police are unable to find Michael, and Brackett has Laurie loaded into his cruiser. He insists that they contact another psychologist to meet him and Laurie at the hospital, but while on the road, Michael appears and strikes – crashing through the windshield and lunging at Brackett. The cruiser crashes into a ditch and Michael is flung back out through the windshield. Michael then frees Laurie from the cruiser, carrying her off.
Soon after, a banged-up Brackett is met by Dr. Josey Blair, who has had some experience with Myers and Loomis. Looking for insight as to where Michael would have taken Laurie, the two conclude that Michael’s business wasn’t done with Laurie and that he was looking for someone else as well.
Meanwhile, at the local cemetery, Michael and Laurie dig up Deborah Myers grave, but are interrupted by Amy and her drunken friends who have stumbled upon them. Laurie tries to warn the group to leave if they want to live, but as Amy’s boyfriend approaches the grave and recognizes Laurie from the news, Laurie pushes him into the dug up grave where Michael awaits. Michael kills Amy’s boyfriend and then climbs out of the grave and kills her other friends as they try to flee. Just as he goes to strike at Amy, sirens and flashing lights approach from the distance, and Laurie stops him. They remove Deborah’s corpse from the grave and then throw Amy inside the casket with the headless corpse of her boyfriend; they then toss several headstones on top of the casket, preventing Amy from getting out – this is a ploy to slow down the police and get them off their trail. Michael and Laurie take Deborah’s rotting corpse and flee the scene just before Brackett and the other police arrive. Brackett, Josey and several other officers follow hot on Michael and Laurie’s trail, while newly introduced cop Cooper Goodman and a few others attempt to free Amy from the casket. Cooper frees her eventually and loads her into an ambulance, riding with her in the back.
At MacReady’s Dam, Brackett and Josey find Laurie, but are attacked by Michael. Michael slaughters several police officers, and, Brackett, angry, gets Michael’s attention by firing at Deborah’s corpse multiple times. Laurie takes off with Josey just behind her. After hearing Laurie’s screams, Michael abandons his attack on Brackett and chases after his sister. Michael catches up, wounds Josey, and then offers his knife to Laurie as a gesture to finish the job.
As Laurie considers, the ambulance with Cooper and Amy accidentally strikes Laurie, sending her to the asphalt and nearly crippling her. Michael kills the driver of the ambulance and then attacks Cooper and Amy, wounding Cooper in the process. They manage to get clear just as the cruiser with Brackett and another officer strikes the Ambulance from the front. The ambulance crashes over the guardrails of the dam and goes up in flames, melting Myers mask to his face before exploding. Brackett approaches Laurie, but Laurie having recovered Cooper’s gun, opens fire, shooting Brackett in the face, killing him.
The script cuts to almost a year later, where Amy is under the care of Josey Blair at the J. Burton Institute. The bulk of the remaining script takes place in this institution, and it’s revealed that this is also where Laurie Strode is also being treated. Amy, set to be released after almost a year of therapy, blows her chance of freedom after coming face to face with Laurie and takes a few swings at her.
Meanwhile, Cooper Goodman is the only police officer who is not satisfied with the conclusion that Michael died in the ambulance explosion, and believes that he is responsible for multiple unsolved murders that have happened throughout the last twelve months – with each unsolved murder circling around the location of the J. Burton Institute.
Michael, indeed alive, manages to get a new mask at a local Halloween store, killing the stock boy in the process.
At the institution, Josey sits in on a session with Laurie and Dr. Kibner, where we learn that she believes that she had shot and killed Michael a year earlier. We get a glimpse of the previous scene at the Dam from her perspective, where she see’s Michael approaching her, and not Brackett. Kibner then drops the bomb on her that she had shot Lee Brackett in the face, and not Michael, just as she had stabbed Loomis at the abandoned shack. This sparks an emotional outburst of remorse, guilt and regret.
Cooper, following up on his investigation of Michael’s whereabouts, confronts an orderly from the institute who is off duty and at home with his wife. This orderly just happens to also be fucking Laurie, and Cooper knows it. Michael shows up just after Cooper leaves, killing the orderly and his wife, but because he forgot his phone at the orderly’s home, Cooper returns, and just barely misses Michael.
The following day, the 31st of October, Cooper visits Amy and Josey at the institution. They all believe that Michael will be coming to the institution to kill them and to free his little sister, but Cooper has a plan involving C4 hidden in the Urn containing the ashes of Deborah Myers. Later, Michael does make his presence known, and all hell breaks loose with Michael taking out Dr. Kibner, Nurses, Orderlies and anyone who is in his path. Cooper tries to get Amy out of there, and Josey is severely wounded and nearly killed. Meanwhile, Amy’s group of crazy friends in the institution mount their defense by taking Laurie hostage and tying her to a chair as bait while they await with their makeshift weapons. This, of course backfires on them as Michael takes them all out and frees Laurie.
Michael and Laurie leave the institution, heading into town. Cooper and Amy race after them, looking to execute Cooper’s plan. Michael and Laurie get separated in a crowd of people in town, where a big event was to happen at Plissken Park. Amy catches up to Laurie and handcuffs her to herself, needing to draw her in to Cooper and Michael at the great pumpkin stage in the park. Laurie and Amy fight while cuffed together just as Michael and Cooper fight. Michael slashes Cooper’s stomach open, and Cooper hands Michael the Urn with the C4. Back on Amy and Laurie, Laurie claims that she does just want it to be over with and quickly grabs the cleaver that Amy dropped – Laurie then chops off her own hand, freeing herself. This gets Michael’s attention, and he moves from the stage to Laurie, who is bleeding to death, carrying the Urn with him. Amy moves away from the both of them and approaches the stage looking for Cooper, but Cooper stops her, revealing that the C4 and detonator are stuffed in his stomach; the explosion goes off, killing Cooper and sending Amy flying into the chairs in front of the stage. Back on Laurie and Michael, Laurie grabs the hand with the knife, puts it against her chest. Understanding of what she wants, Michael pulls her close and embraces her as the knife penetrates. Laurie dies, and Michael vanishes from the scene as police and a banged-up Josey arrive.
My biggest problem with this script is the treatment of Lee Brackett. A lot of the stuff with him and his need to protect Laurie early in the story was really good, and considering that this is the Lee Brackett as played by Brad Dourif, who was easily the strong point of both Rob Zombie movies, it’s a shame that he was taken out so early into this story. I do like the idea that Laurie truly believed that she was killing Michael, but I wish it was a different character all together.
Considering the relationship and dynamic established between Cooper Goodman and Amy, I really can’t help but think that there was a huge missed opportunity here. Everything between them could have easily been Brackett and Laurie, and honestly it would have made this script that much better; giving a solid conclusion to the Rob Zombie films with Brackett and Laurie both dying at the end, while keeping it open to continue in a new direction with new characters as Myers is now truly alone with no more family to pursue. This alteration would require a re-calibration of certain scenes, but would have been worth it in the end.
I would have at least liked a redemption arc for Laurie in this story. There are times where it seems that she’s recovering, but those are taken away with moments where she goes back to being crazy. I was not a fan of crazy Laurie in Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween 2’, and I would have liked if the goodness of her character emerged by the end. There are hints of it, but not enough as she’s put on the back burner in favor new characters. It could have been interesting thematically and visually if there was a focus on the duality of her character; the madness of Angel Myers and the goodness of Laurie Strode. If Amy’s arc had been turned into Laurie’s, this would have been a worthy and satisfying end to the Rob Zombie saga. They could have even kept the handcuff/chopping off the hand scene, but with Laurie and Angel cuffed together, and in the end the Laurie Strode side prevailed, severing her hand with the cleaver as a sign of symbolism.
Overall, though, I found this to be a fun and fast paced read, and I appreciated the attempt to take the Michael as established in Rob Zombie’s films and transition him into the ominous presence known as The Shape. I also like how Michael acquires a new, clean, pure white mask and that he doesn’t have the great big bushy beard as he did in Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween 2’; it’s clear to me that Farmer and Lussier were trying to do right by Myers with their vision. I think they also had a lot of interesting visuals planned for this movie, not only with the 3D aspects, but also with the kills and how they were going to frame certain moments. In a way, I wish this movie was made in the nine-year gap between ‘Halloween 2’ and ‘Halloween’ (2018).
If you couldn’t tell from some of the location names, there are tons of Carpenter references scattered throughout the script, and there’s even a nice shout out to ‘Halloween 3: Season of the Witch’ placed in here too, which I loved.
This script can be found online for those interested in reading it. Unfortunately, with the site I found this, I had to subscribe with payment information before I could read the entire thing, but on the plus side there is a 30-day free trial and I can cancel my membership at any time.
If you love, like or don’t outright hate Rob Zombie’s films, this is worth a read. If you loathe them, there’s a 50/50 chance of you might like or hate this.