The Great Adaptation of Halloween
Some of the greatest film classics are derived from other sources. These sources may be novels, comics books, television shows, plays and other movies. Filmmakers use this to help them develop ideas or so that they can re-imagine the essence of the source. Some adaptations can change or update the time of the story. A great example of this is the film, Halloween.
The first Halloween was made in 1978 and was directed by John Carpenter. This film contains sex and violence, but on a very minimal level due to the film restrictions of that time. As time went on, audiences adapted to the idea of violence and sex and soon became more prone to more graphic images. Now when audiences view the first version of the film, it does not frighten them as much as it did during the time it was released. At the time, however, the film was a huge hit, grossing $60 million worldwide. It became one of the most profitable independent films. The film had many imitators and influenced the making of many other previous horror flicks.
Because the film became a known classic, Rob Zombie decided to create a new version of the film decades later. He wanted to present the same idea, but using horror techniques that people expect today. In other words, he wanted more blood and gore as well the depiction of psychological disturbances. One event that this film is known for is when one of the inmates in Michael Myer’s asylum gets raped by two men, one of which is a security guard. Such an occurrence would never have been shown in the previous version of Halloween. Even today this portrayal was very intense for the audience. At the same time, it goes to show how much film has changed according to what it is allowed to give viewers.
As Rob Zombie knew of the popularity of the first film, he saw the making of the next version as an opportunity to make profit. This makes the new version a “presold” film meaning that it is adapted from an already successful source. Because people today know the story and still are entertained by it, there is no doubt that they would be entertained by an updated version of it. The “presold” film usually generates the audience interests because they know the story and expect it to be just as great as the first. People are drawn to what they recognize.
The problem with adaptations is that it leaves more room for viewers to be disappointed. When viewers know the story they often expect the new version to be exactly the same if not better than the original. Many filmmakers like to alter stories that are adapted to give their own personal style. This is what happened in Halloween. Although the story was basically the same, many scenes were added to create a better understanding of the life of Michael Myers. It also reflected today’s society as opposed to society in 1978. Rob Zombie’s reenactment of the film turned out to be a success. As it had a different feel than the original, it caused fear and a psychological disturbance in the minds of the viewers, which is something that everyone wants to get out of horror films.
Overall, adaptations create more films, There are only so many stories and ideas, but what makes a film unique is the way these ideas are used. If you think about it, there truly is no original film. All films are derived or influenced from other sources. They differ by what the director is willing to do with them. Thus creates a wide array of films that audiences are drawn to by their recognition and their expectation of it being a great film.