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Jamie Lee Curtis highlighted the surprising real-world relevance of her hotly anticipated horror sequel Halloween Kills when she met the international press Wednesday ahead of the film’s world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
In the new film, Curtis reprises the role that began her career 43 years ago in John Carpenter’s horror classic Halloween (1978), bringing back to the screen her iconic character Laurie Strode as she’s once again pursued by the merciless and purely malevolent Michael Myers. Produced by Blumhouse and distributed by Universal, the film is a sequel to director David Gordon Green’s franchise reviver Halloween (2018), which proved an enormous success, earning $255 million from a reported production budget of just $10 million to $15 million.
Curtis said she believed the 2018 film was such a hit because of the way Green and his co-writers Danny McBride and Scott Teems sought to “go deeper” with the film’s story and its relationship with real-world events. “It was prescient, because what David and Dan and company figured out was that we were on the verge of a wave of women coming into their own understanding of trauma.” She attributed the film’s resonance to this “collision” between her character’s trauma and strength in the face of brutality with the growing momentum of the #MeToo movement at the time.
Curtis went on to add that she suspected Halloween Kills might benefit from a similar sensitivity to its times. “There’s a line in Halloween Kills that goes, ‘The system is broken,'” she explained. “Well, you know, the system is broken all over the world and people are rising up all over the world in collective rage against the machine and unjust systems.”
She marveled over how Green’s storytelling “prescience has continued,” joking that she’d like to go with him to Las Vegas sometime because she would “probably win a shitload of money.”
Of Green’s forthcoming third and final Halloween film, Halloween Ends, Curtis said she had just read the script for the first time on the flight to Venice, teasing that it “amplifies” the first two movies’ themes “on a sort of existential level.”
In addition to walking the red carpet for Halloween Kills, Curtis is in Venice to accept the festival’s lifetime achievement award — an honor that she said she has mixed feelings about. “First of all, it’s very hard for me to wrap my mind around this as some sort of achievement, because that seems to be somewhat closed, whereas I’m working more and feel more creative today than I have since I was born,” she said. “So it’s odd for me — and yet I’m of course I’m incredibly honored.”
Asked by a journalist what three films from her career she would like to be regarded as her legacy, she replied: “I would say quite simply Halloween (1978), A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and True Lies (1994) — and a couple others.”
“And then there were a couple of pieces of shit that I did, that I’d be happy to also talk to you about,” she added, drawing a big laugh from the crowd.
Curtis was later asked what she makes of the fact that despite her Halloween character’s countless traumas and courageous moments of survival, pure evil — in the form of Michael Myers — remains on the loose in the new movie. Is the message that there is not much hope in the world?
“I mean, look at the news every day,” Curtis replied. “You know, there’s not much hope in many, many places in this world right now, and it’s an incredibly difficult time.” She also acknowledged that history is littered with dark eras, but that Halloween Kills “speaks to the times that we’re in.”
“We’re a divided world, and in America, we’re a divided country — and I think evil is seemingly winning a bit lately,” she went on. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to always happen, but evil has seemingly won many times throughout history. And I hope that this film is as much a mirror to the world as it is an entertainment for people who love movies.”
Halloween Kills is scheduled for release in the U.S. on Oct. 15, after having been delayed by a full year by the pandemic. Green’s franchise closer, Halloween Ends, is currently pegged for October 2022.
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