Halloween | 2007
- DIRECTOR |
- Rob Zombie
Each generation seems to be appalled by the horror films of the next. Audiences used to the atmospheric restraint of Universal’s Thirties black-and-white classics were revolted by the garish colour and explicit gore of Hammer films in the Fifties. Yet when John Carpenter's Halloween introduced the urban slasher genre, fans looked back with affection to the cosy Gothicism of Dracula and Frankenstein. And so now, Rob Zombie’s grungy, foul-mouthed update has devotees of the original howling with outrage.
The new version has the grubby realism of a crime scene photograph, and demythologises Michael Myers by getting too bogged down with the backstory. But maybe that was the intention.
Although there’s no mix of Hollywood this time, the ‘Haddonfield’ neighbourhood returns to South Pasadena, where the reboot kicks off with Michael’s childhood at the Myers house. It’s only a few blocks south of the old Myers house (which is now seriously smartened up), at 1110 Glendon Way, between El Centro Street and Monterey Road, south of Mission Station (Metro Gold Line).
The exterior of young Michael’s (Daeg Faerch) elementary school is no longer a school, but is the Administration Building of South Pasadena School District, 1020 El Centro Street. The interior is a functioning establishment. It’s Eliot Middle School, 2184 North Lake Avenue, Altadena, which – on-screen – doesn’t seem to specialise in turning out model citizens; this was where Brad Renfro attended school in Bryan Singer’s disturbing 1998 Apt Pupil.
The woods, in which Michael takes his bloody revenge on the school bully, are the familiar filming site of Griffith Park.
It’s north of Los Angeles to find the ‘Rabbit In Red Lounge’, where Michael’s mom earns a crust pole-dancing, which is the Country Girl Saloon, 31602 Castaic Road, Castaic. The town is about 40 miles north of LA, on I-5 north of Santa Clarita in Castaic Canyon, a few miles from the Santa Clarita Valley.
‘Smith’s Grove Sanitarium’ is the US Veterans Hospital, 16111 Plummer Street, North Hills West, in the San Fernando Valley west of the San Diego Freeway. The sanitarium doesn’t appear to offer the best in mental health care, but from the size of the grown-up Michael Myers (Tyler Mane), you certainly can’t fault the diet. The same facility had previously provided the exterior of 'Haddonfield Memorial Hospital' for 1981's Halloween II.
Back in Los Angeles itself, to East Hollywood, for ‘Webster Hall’, where Dr Loomis gives a lecture to plug his book The Devil’s Eyes, which is Los Angeles City College, 855 North Vermont Avenue, south of Santa Monica Boulevard. Not a bad place to launch a career – Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman are among the college’s former alumni.
A stone’s throw from the Country Girl Lounge, back in Castaic, is the truck wash at which Michael gets himself a trucker’s outfit, which is Castaic Truck Wash, 31557 Castaic Road, Castaic, off Golden State Freeway, Hwy5.
The home of the unfortunate Strode family is 1002 Highland Street, South Pasadena, north of the Pasadena Freeway, off Orange Grove Avenue.
Laurie Strode’s (Scout Taylor-Compton) school, ‘Haddonfield High’, is South Pasadena Library, 1100 Oxley Street. ‘Haddonfield Cemetery’, where Dr Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) is directed to the grave of Michael’s sister, Judith, by Rob Zombie regular Sid Haig, is Mountain View Cemetery, 2400 Fair Oaks Avenue, Altadena (last resting place of Fifties TV Superman George Reeves), to the north of Pasadena.
The office of Sheriff Lee Brackett (Brad Dourif, with a nod to veteran screenwriter Leigh Brackett) is the Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum (the old Highland park Police Station), 6045 York Boulevard, west of North Figueroa Street in Highland Park (which is just west of South Pasadena). It’s open to the public, Monday to Friday (admission fee).
This time around, Laurie babysits in the Doyle house at 1960 La France Avenue, South Pasadena, between Maple Street and Huntington Drive. Across the street, where Michael murders the couple, is the Wallace house at 1937 La France Avenue.