The Night House Writers Pitched A Halloween Reboot That Kept Things Simple

Who out there has seen "Halloween Kills" already? It hits theaters and the Peacock streaming service this weekend and the response from critics has been mixed, though our own Marshall Staffer's non-spoiler review from the Venice International Film Festival last month leaned positive.

If you don't have Peacock and haven't ventured out to the theater for "Halloween Kills," what about "The Night House?" This spooky psychological thriller stars Rebecca Hall as a recently-widowed teacher who discovers that, before his death, her husband built an eerie mirrored version of their home out in the woods. As she tries to figure out the trail of cryptic clues he left behind, her own home becomes a hotspot for strange and terrifying phenomena. 

Given that "The Night House" is about a woman who finds herself being hunted through her house by a sinister shape, it's interesting to imagine what a "Halloween" film penned by the screenwriters behind "The Night House" might have looked like. Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski are also co-writing the upcoming "Hellraiser" remake with David S. Goyer. They recently spoke to Bloody Disgusting, outlining their vision for "Halloween," which they pitched to Dimension Films back in 2012. Piotrowski explained:

"We were coming out of the Rob Zombie Halloweens and all of the history of Michael Myers and 'Who is he?' The brother/sister thing, and all this mythology. So our position was, and this is the part that's going to piss the fans off, but it was just like, 'Let's get rid of all that s**t that's cluttering this up.' If you're going to reboot it, really dump out the box, look at that first movie and be like, 'Why is the first movie good?' "

Why the First Movie's Good

Piotrowski continued:

"You're watching that first movie, and you don't know why this guy [Michael Myers] is like this. He's not a sad little kid with this backstory. He is a machine. He is The Shape. So our thing was, 'We're not gonna do another version of Laurie Strode, we're not gonna do another version of Dr. Loomis, we're not even really going to do another version of Michael Myers. Our treatment doesn't ever call him Michael Myers. He's always 'The Shape.' "

I don't necessarily agree that Myers is without backstory in the first "Halloween," since the movie begins with his POV as a kid in a clown costume, murdering his sister. For me, what makes that movie work so well is the extent to which it functions as a slasher coming-of-age tale.

Everyone has their own interpretation, though, and for Piotrowski, what he and Collins hoped to employ was a back-to-basics approach. He said:

"It was really to want to get back to ... you know, I taught high school at the time, so I'm really looking at my students. 'What do my students know?' They know Michael Myers wears this outfit and he kills people on Halloween. That's all they really know about it. The people that are lining up to buy tickets, that's all they really care about. And honestly, at the end of the day, that's all that's really scary about that first movie. You don't know they're brother and sister, you don't know why he is the way he is. He's just doing this, and that's scary. Then it becomes this really suspenseful thing. That's a very simple story."

"Halloween Kills" is in theaters and on Peacock now. "The Night House" is available now on Digital platforms, and releases on Blu-ray and DVD on October 19.