DVD Review: Halloween: Unrated Director’s Cut (2007)

Halloween Unrated DVDRob Zombie’s remake of Halloween comes to DVD this Tuesday, including Halloween: Unrated Director’s Cut, a two-disc special edition DVD.

Those of you who have read my full Halloween movie review know that I actually thought this new version was great, and a second viewing cemented my opinion that this movie kicks ass. I was horrified when I heard that the John Carpenter classic was being remade, but as it turns out, Zombie has made a riveting horror film that actually builds on the original. I’m not saying one way or another that this version is better or worse than the original, but the best part of the movie is the first half hour where we see Michael as a child. Some were concerned that giving Michael too much of a human side would detract from the nature of the character, but Zombie figured out a way to develop the serial killer and make him scarier in the process.

But beyond that, this Unrated Director’s Cut adds about ten minutes to the film. The new scenes don’t really add much to the film, but it’s nice to see what was cut, et cetera. More interesting are the special features, which provide some good insight into the creation of the movie. There’s nothing incredible here, but you can view an alternate ending (which, as Zombie points out in his commentary, leaves Laurie Strode with very little to do) and some deleted scenes. Again, interesting to see what was removed, but none of the scenes are especially impactful.

For such a serious movie, it’s nice to see some bloopers included.

On top of those standard features, there’s a feature commentary with Rob Zombie (I didn’t listen to it) and several featurettes, including:

  • The Many Masks of Michael Myers
    A look at the creation of the different masks used in the film. I found the psychological element to the masks – which wasn’t present in the original – to be one of the best additions to the story.
  • Re-Imagining Halloween
    Rob Zombie talks about how he decided to tackle the remake, including his decisions to add more to the story, to not remake the movie scene by scene (I think directors have learned after the Psycho remake) and so on and so forth. There’s nothing too surprising here, but it’s good to see Zombie talking about this thought processes.
  • Meet the Cast
    One of the better featurettes on the DVD, this is a compilation of interviews with the different actors in the film.
  • Casting Sessions
    If you like seeing actors off-camera, this one offers audition tapes of most of the main characters. Sort of fun to watch.
  • Laurie Strode Screen Test
    I think this one speaks for itself.

All in all, fans of Zombie’s Halloween should certainly pick up this DVD. Those of you who were hesitant about watching the remake should also consider buying this one without renting first – if you’re serious about horror movies, Halloween is one of the best to come along in a long time – and certainly one of the best slashers in a while.

By Erik Samdahl
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