There are a lot of things I really enjoyed about Halloween (2018), but David Gordon Green’s undoubted reverence and affection for the original Halloween and its subsequent sequels rank right up there at the top of my list.
***SLIGHT SPOILER WARNING***: While no actual plot points are divulged here, the following does discuss some specifics about a scene in Halloween (2018), so if you want to go into the film knowing as little as possible, you might want to read this article after you get a chance to see H40 for yourself.
During the recent press day for this latest chapter in the franchise, Green discussed some of the homages in his sequel, including a song that directly tips it hat to Halloween (1978), why he almost recreated the ending of the landmark original film for his Halloween, and how Carpenter talked him out of it.
There are some wonderful moments and nods that you guys do for fans in this film from the first two Halloween movies and of course, there are the Season of the Witch masks, too. Were there homages that you guys maybe thought about doing, but then realized you should pull back because it can be a really tricky line to walk?
David Gordon Green: Yeah, I'm sure there are. The one that jumps out to me is not even an homage, really, but we had a setup even in the script going into production, we were going to re-film the end of the original film from a different perspective. It had this very complicated overhead view of Loomis shooting the gun and then Michael going over, assuming everybody was going to need a little bit of getting back up to speed with where we are, if they haven't seen the movie in a long time or they've never seen the movie. It was a question of how do you invite everyone to the party?
And then when we were shooting, we kept pushing it off and off. So, this is interesting. We rebuilt the bedroom from the climax of the original film, so we have the bones of this room. But budgets are getting tighter, the schedule's getting tighter, we are trying to jam this movie in to finish it up. Then we're like, "Screw it, let's not do that," and if we need it later we can always rebuild it. We ended up turning the set of the house into Laurie's bedroom. So, the scene during the climax with all the mannequins is, to the square inch, a rebuild of that original bedroom. The closet is in the same place, the balcony is in the same place—everything.
Had you cast a Loomis double?
David Gordon Green: We cast a Loomis double, who was our art director. He looks exactly like Loomis. There was that conversation of utilizing footage from the original film and digitally altering it, but all of that stuff starts to cost money. When you look at what we're trying to do, do you need the gimmick, do you need the exposition, do you need the setup? It was actually Carpenter who calmed me down on set because I was like, "Nobody's going to know what's happening or where we're coming from." And he was like, "Just trust the audience, leave them alone and let them figure it out." I thought that was kind of cool, and he was right, of course.
So, in the scene with the dad and his kid driving along and they find the bus with Michael on it, the song playing on the radio is a version of "I Wish I Had You All Alone,” which of course was from the original Halloween. Did you guys actually record a full song for this film?
David Gordon Green: Yes, that is the song that Laurie sings in the original film, and we did this version as if it was a 1978 song. That’s another perfect example of making a low-budget movie. We can't afford a real freaking song. We had a Patsy Cline song in the temp version of the movie and we go to look at it, and it's forty thousand dollars and we have one thousand dollars, so what do we do? Well, John and Jamie wrote this song for the original Halloween, I have a friend that's in a band and they can put it together and do the thing for a thousand bucks, so boom! Now we've got a real innovation rather than just a placeholder song that everybody knows, and it becomes something that's clever and cool and adds a mystique and a layer. I like to think that it was a smart move, but it was really a reaction to this being a smaller-budgeted movie.
Stay tuned to Daily Dead in the coming days for more interviews with the cast and crew of the new Halloween, and in case you missed it, check here to catch up on all of our previous Halloween (2018) coverage!