Rob Zombie’s Halloween leaked?

Like Sicko and Hostel Part II before it, the Halloween remake has been leaked onto the Internet. How does this continue to happen?

Michael Myers

Just days before its US theatrical release, the Rob Zombie directed remake of Halloween has found its way online. Perhaps most concerning is that it’s a high quality ‘work print’ version, leading to speculation as to the source of the leak.

Much like Hostel Part II and Sicko, the new films by horror maestro Eli Roth and documentary maker Michael Moore, the version of the film that has turned up on websites has most likely been leaked by someone involved in the production process. This is thought to be the case for two reasons: the first being the high quality of the pirated version of the film. The second, and perhaps most interesting, is that it is an alternative version of the film to the one (now probably smaller) audiences will be going to see on Friday.

The version of the film illegally available for download comes from before a series of reshoots. The reasons for the reshoots vary depending on your source. Some state that they were in response to the poor reaction to the film and were filmed to increase the violence and gore. However, these reports tend to contradict themselves, as it seems that in some ways the violence has been toned down, with a violent rape scene no longer present in the finished version. The official line on the reshoots, and the one given by director Rob Zombie via his MySpace blog, was that the film tested well and he was offered a chance to film more scenes based on the positive response of producer Bob Weinstein.  

One of the more frustrating elements of the leak is that it is seemingly impossible to measure the effect this kind of piracy has on a films overall box office gross, regardless of what analysts and experts may tell us (they have to justify their ‘jobs’ somehow, right?). How can you possibly know whether people you can’t trace would have spent money on seeing a movie they can now see for free? And given the level of interest in this film from people sceptical as to whether a remake could possibly stand up to the highly regarded original, the final results will undoubtedly be affected.

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How well Halloween will fare financially is now even more difficult to predict than before, but what is known is that piracy is becoming a bigger problem in Hollywood and one that needs to be brought under control. It’s one thing expecting rabid fans to ignore a dodgy camcorder version of a movie they can buy on a jumpy video cassette, but it’s quite another to convince them not to download a perfect copy.

But me? I’ll be waiting two months to experience one of the most talked-about films of the year as it was intended on the big screen, and hope you will be too.