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It was the afternoon HE came home. Although October feels too far away to even contemplate at the moment, there’s never a wrong time for horror movies. This is especially true when the horror movie in question features two of the most iconic characters in the genre: Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. Star and legendary scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, along with director David Gordon Green, on Saturday took to Twitter for the viewing party event #HalloweenAtHome.
Joined by special guests including film series creator John Carpenter; actors Judy Greer, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle and Andi Matichak; and producers Jason Blum and Ryan Turek, the duo hosted a commentary filled with insights, secrets and behind-the-scenes looks at Blumhouse’s Halloween (2018), a direct sequel to Carpenter’s 1978 classic.
That Title Sequence
The memorable title sequence for the 2018 film, depicting a rotten jack-o’-lantern inflating and returning to its former glory, was achieved entirely through practical effects, a time lapse done by production designer Richard Wright and the art department. Curtis also had a hand in the sequence, asking that Matichak, who plays Laurie’s (Curtis) granddaughter Allyson, received the same “and introducing” credit she had received in the 1978 film.
So this opening sequence is a reverse shot of an actual pumpkin rotting. Our production designer Richard Wright had a pumpkin carved and he stashed it away in a very hot room that NO ONE COULD EVER ENTER. #HalloweenAtHome pic.twitter.com/gO3HpqFyMu
— Ryan Turek (@_RyanTurek) May 16, 2020
It’s the Time of the Season
Halloween was filmed in Charleston, South Carolina, during January and February, and as a result, all of the leaves and pumpkins were fake. Carpenter was in a similar predicament when he filmed the original Halloween in California, and had to use fake leaves. Due to their limited availability, the crew of Carpenter’s film had to regather the fake leaves after they’d been blown around the location so that they could be reused in other scenes.
Master of Puppets
Green revealed that in the sequel’s original script, co-written by Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley, Laurie’s daughter Karen Strode (Greer) was a child psychologist with a lot of puppets. There was a scene between the mother and daughter at Karen’s work, but it was cut out in order to maintain the rhythm of the film.
During the scene in which Laurie breaks down sobbing in her truck as Myers’ prison transport bus leaves, the entire crew stood in a line off-camera wearing nametags that said, “We are Laurie Strode.” Curtis called the moment one of the most moving of her entire creative career.
One Good Eye
Courtney — who portrays Michael Myers for most of the film’s runtime, sharing the role with original portrayer Castle — had to wear a prosthetic eye during the shooting of his scenes. This dead eye is a callback to Myers’ injury in the original film in which Laurie hits him in the face with a hanger. Courtney said that due to the difficulty of being blind in one eye because of the prosthetic, he had to rehearse all of his fight scenes with an eye patch on.
— Andi Matichak (@andimatichak) May 16, 2020
These Go to 11
The one-take sequence of Michael Myers on Halloween night, moving from house to house and racking up a body count, took 11 takes. Green and Turek attributed the success of that scene to perfect timing and a day of rehearsal. Another interesting, and strange, bit of info to come out of that sequence: The baby’s screams that stop Myers momentarily were performed by Curtis herself.
Man in the Mirror
There’s a cool moment midway through the film when Laurie sees Michael in the window and shoots, hitting only his reflection in the mirror. Courtney revealed that Castle played Myers during the window shot and he played Myers in the mirror, allowing the two actors to share a scene in a passing-of-the-torch moment.
Who Called the Cops?
The night the cast and crew were shooting Oscar’s (Drew Scheid) death scene, production got shut down by the police due to the late-night screaming and chaos. Green said it was the most difficult night of the shoot, made more difficult by rain, and they were only able to get limited footage. Despite all of that, the scene still managed to be one of the highlights of the film.
I’ll just leave this here! pic.twitter.com/vhSX2YCyce
— Andi Matichak (@andimatichak) May 16, 2020
The Bad Doctor
Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) has obvious parallels to Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) in the original film, but early drafts of the script depicted a very different character. Turek revealed that Sartain was originally a corrupt police officer rather than an evil psychologist out for glory.
There is an alternate ending to the pic that was tested before Green decided to go back and shoot a new ending five days later. While the original conclusion remains unrevealed, Green said he made the right choice with the theatrical ending.
The Halloween series is far from over. Green revealed that he is finishing a new installment, Halloween Kills, which is currently set to bow Oct. 16 — barring a release date shuffle due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He also is fine-tuning the script for the second sequel, titled Halloween Ends, currently set for an Oct. 15, 2021, release. As for any clues about Halloween Kills, Green did confirm that that sequel will return to where it all started: the Myers’ House.
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