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[The following interview contains spoilers for Halloween Kills.]
After the Strode family seemingly defeated Michael Myers at the end of Halloween (2018), most people expected Myers to take his revenge in Halloween Kills, especially since it’s the middle chapter of David Gordon Green’s planned trilogy. But Green still made the audience and his characters think that Michael would finally stay down for good after Judy Greer’s Karen and Haddonfield’s townspeople ganged up on him. Alas, Michael still managed to get up and make his way to his childhood home, where he killed Karen in the exact same spot as his sister, Judith, in 1963. While Greer is disappointed to say goodbye, she understands the decision.
“Well, I was bummed to see the ending. I thought it was a good idea, though,” Greer tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought it was really beautifully written, and it felt like a dance, like an opera, kind of. But it was also a little bit of a bummer, mostly because I like to play with my friends.”
Andi Matichak, who plays Karen’s daughter Allyson, adds: “I was gutted in a lot of ways. … You feel like you get out unscathed, you feel like you get out triumphant, and then you get crushed in a lot of regards. It’s a really beautiful ending in a lot of ways, and I agree with Judy. It’s, unfortunately, the right move, which sucks, but they really made it pretty poetic and pretty powerful.”
In a recent conversation with THR, Greer and Matichak also discuss wearing the same costumes from Halloween (2018) for the entirety of Halloween Kills, as well as the family environment on Green’s set.
So when you put your Christmas sweater and Clyde Barrow costumes on at a certain point in Halloween (2018), did the two of you have any idea at the time that they’d also be your wardrobe for the entire second movie?
Andi Matichak: No, actually.
Judy Greer: Who does that? I’ll give you an exclusive scoop! We have not covered how poor Dylan Arnold has to wear a skirt for the whole movie.
Matichak: The whole movie! He is such a trooper. He was so into it. The combat boots, the skirt. He did lose the heels, thankfully, because that would be brutal. I remember at one of the fittings for Halloween (2018), they had a heel option for me, and I was like, “Not a chance!” (Laughs.)
Greer: That’s probably the only sexist thing about this movie. I feel like if it was one of us, we would’ve had to wear the heels in the whole second one, too.
Matichak & Greer: (Laughter.)
Matichak: Probably. He got a cool sweatshirt, too. (Laughs.)
The two of you had challenging roles in this as your characters had to reconcile the fact that Laurie’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) forewarnings not only came true, but they also cost them their loved one (Toby Huss’ Ray). So did it feel a bit daunting to step back into these heavy circumstances?
Matichak: It was really refreshing to just jump in right away and pick up exactly where we left off. There was no gap, so we knew exactly what was happening. What was really nice was that David did allow for those quieter moments and for the moment with Karen and Allyson mourning Toby, or Ray, and moving forward from that. We have to stop saying [Toby]. People are going to think —
Greer: Poor Toby! He’s dead!
Matichak & Greer: (Laughter.)
Greer: He’s not! I was with him all week last week. He’s good. He’s thriving!
Matichak: He’s thriving! (Laughs.) And there are more than just our moments that are quiet in the movie. And because there are multiple quiet moments between characters, it helps those more elevated moments not only stay more grounded but also become way more real — and people become more invested.
Karen spent her whole life denying that the world was as evil as her mother, Laurie, made it out to be, but now she’s washing blood off her wedding ring.
Greer: I know. It was hard and it wasn’t. It was important to take those silent moments, and it was important that we show them for the characters, the storytelling and the audience. But it was like, “How’s this going to work with all the crazy rage that’s happening around us, and what’s going to be appropriate when they get into the editing room?” But it ended up being really beautiful, I thought. You can tell David Gordon Green is someone who really loves actors because he does give a nice send-off to his cast, even when he kills them viciously. But it was nice that it picked up right where it left off because that helped make it a little easier.
I have to compliment Andi Matichak for a minute. There’s an incredible moment where Allyson is sitting in the backseat of a car, and you seamlessly turned her laughter into crying. What were the particulars of that moment?
Matichak: Well, thank you, first of all. That’s incredibly kind. I think it’s a testament to David Gordon Green, as a director, who allows actors to really breathe and let the moment be quiet and settle into it in any way. When we were filming that, it was Dylan Arnold (Cameron), Robert Longstreet (Lonnie), myself and David in this car, and we basically just drove around this neighborhood for 45 minutes, replaying the scene. We allowed the weight of everything to settle, and David never rushed it. And that was the thing that was so beautiful. For a movie that’s so technical, so action-packed, and takes a lot of time to film, he still gave just as much care and attention to those quiet moments to make sure that they really work and land. But that moment in particular, I don’t remember exactly which take or how that unfolded. I just remember that the entire experience of filming the scene was pretty unique.
[The remaining questions contain spoilers for Halloween Kills.]
The last 10 minutes of this movie are unbelievably brutal, to say the least. Can you share your first reactions upon reading those pages and/or watching those moments unfold?
Greer: Well, I was bummed to see the ending. I thought it was a good idea, though. I thought it was really beautifully written, and it felt like a dance, like an opera, kind of. But it was also a little bit of a bummer, mostly because I like to play with my friends. I learned a lot about the way that they shot that final fight scene with Michael Myers and the townspeople. Listening to David talk about it was really interesting, and it was cool to watch it knowing technically how they did it and how they made it look so special. So I watch it now and I’m in awe of our crew.
Matichak: I was gutted in a lot of ways. (Laughs.) Especially because you almost have three finales back to back to back. You feel like you get out unscathed, you feel like you get out triumphant, and then you get crushed in a lot of regards. It’s a really beautiful ending in a lot of ways, and I agree with Judy. It’s, unfortunately, the right move, which sucks, but they really made it pretty poetic and pretty powerful.
Judy, you mentioned the “nice send-offs” that David gives his actors on-screen, but is there also a ritual or ceremony of some sort off-camera?
Greer: Do they do that, Andi?
Matichak: No, don’t worry.
Matichak & Greer: (Laughter.)
Matichak: You were saying that he makes an emotional, sweet send-off regardless if he kills you brutally or not, and I think that’s just the set that he runs. He makes it very much a family, and everybody is very much invested in making these movies. One of the things that I feel like he’s done so well is that a lot of times in horror movies, you have characters so you can kill them. But in our movies, you just happen to really like them all, which doesn’t happen quite often in horror, and that’s one of the things that’s quite special about both Halloween (2018) and this movie. He makes you like them, and then he will viciously kill them. (Laughs.) That’s kind of the way the crew would feel, too. It’s a bummer. I remember when Drew Scheid, who plays Oscar, was impaled on the fence in Halloween (2018), it was horrific and so sad because it was the last thing left to shoot. But I think it’s a testament to the family environment David puts into his sets.
Halloween Kills is now playing in movie theaters and is available on Peacock.
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