It's Labor Day weekend, and you know what that means: Halloween! Rob Zombie's retelling of the 1978 horror classic hits theaters today, and we'll find out for sure if Tuesday's BitTorrent leak affects ticket sales. Vulture took a minute to talk to the upbeat, horror-obsessed metalhead about casting Michael Myers, hating gore, his theories on what makes a movie scary, and why Fall Out Boy didn't make the soundtrack.
Was there anything that you wanted to put in the movie that was too gory or over-the-top for the studio?
No, because I fucking hate gory bullshit. That's not my thing at all. I hate gory movies. I don't mind violence, but I like violence that's kind of real and that's part of the story. And the studio just let me do my thing. They were very supportive. There were no boundaries for me at all; I could have changed every single thing if I wanted to.
Since teens make up most horror moviegoers, did you consider making a Top 40 soundtrack with bands like Fall Out Boy instead of Rush, Nazareth, and Blue Oyster Cult?
No. I think that's the problem with most movies these days. You feel like they're trying to say, “Let's make sure we put this in because we think this is what's popular.” But look at all these big movies with soundtracks of hot bands and nobody buys them. People only buy soundtracks if they feel like it re-creates the movie for them.
Everyone thinks the original score is really creepy and compelling. What's the score like for this one?
There's a classic score that Tyler Bates did. He created a lot of brand-new cues, and he re-created some of John Carpenter's classic cues, but that record still hasn't come out yet.
Are you working on any new music now?
How did you cast the film?
I always loved Malcolm McDowell, so I knew what he was all about. I'd seen him in a billion movies, and I always really loved him and I thought he would be perfect for the new Dr. Loomis. And as far as young Michael Myers, I knew I wanted to find a new kid, an unknown actor who had just a different type of quality. And this one [Daeg Faerch] just had a different look and feel than the other kids and was special.
Why'd you pick a former wrestler for the adult Michael Myers?
Well, Tyler Mane played Sabretooth in X-Men, and he played Ajax in Troy, and I used him in The Devil's Rejects. The reason I wanted to use him is because he's a big guy; he has a big physical presence, but he's also a really, really good actor.
The trailer looked pretty frightening. What should people expect on the scariness index?
I think the movie is really scary. First of all, there's a really good story and there are really good characters that you get caught up in. And I think when that starts happening, when people sink deep into the movie, that's when they get really scared. —Elizabeth Cline