There are a lot of reasons why I love Halloween (2018), but there was one scene in particular that hit me the hardest, which is something I asked Jamie Lee Curtis about at the recent press day for the sequel.
***SLIGHT SPOILER WARNING***: While no actual plot points are divulged here, the following does discuss a specific 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.
In the film, Michael Myers is getting transferred out of the Haddonfield psychiatric hospital that has been his home for nearly four decades, boarding a bus alongside several other patients who are being transported to another facility as well. As the bus and its inhabitants ready themselves to leave, Laurie Strode sits in the distance, inside her truck, waiting, watching, ready to explode as she chugs some booze and her gun lays in her lap.
To me, this standout scene in Halloween (2018) is a beautifully sad moment that’s so essential to what the film and the character of Laurie Strode is trying to explore about trauma and how it can hang over us, constantly gnawing away at our insides, regardless of how much time has passed. Laurie has spent all of her adulthood fixated on what Michael Myers did and what he represents—the physical embodiment of evil—and while she will never get back everything she has lost, she knows that she might be the only person out there who understands and is truly prepared to handle everything that Myers is capable of if he were to get out of custody.
As mentioned, this scene in particular in Halloween (2018) was like a gut punch for me (which is something I’ll be diving into at a later day), but I wanted to hear from Curtis about how that scene affected her on a personal level. And, as it turns out, it was an emotional experience for her as well.
“I have a story that goes with this scene,” Curtis explained. “It's a movie about trauma, no question. Generational trauma, but it can't be all heavy, because it is a horror movie. This is a Halloween movie, so it can't be heavy and laden with this psycho-drama. Do you know what I mean? It has to be judicious. David and the writing were very clear that we just want to see a little bit of it. We have to see enough of it.”
“That scene that you're talking about was actually the last thing I shot on the movie. And the entire movie I was very isolated because I left my home. I'm a homebody, I'm a mom, I'm a card-carrying friend. Do you know what I mean? I buy a lot of birthday presents. I'm that girl. So I just left, and I went to make this movie and I was very isolated. From the moment I began the movie, the trauma just all came back, and the first time I walked on set, I was very emotional.”
“Then, the last scene we shot was her alone in the truck. It's written in the script, ‘Laurie sits in her truck. There's a gun. There's alcohol and basically 40 years of trauma come back.’ What do you do? We were out in the middle of nowhere in Charleston, on a street called Ashley Phosphate Road in a truck, in a parking lot. As I was preparing, they said, ‘Jamie, they're ready for you.’ It was at night. I walked to the set, and you need to know in advance that when I make a movie, I like crews to wear name tags. I like to know who you are because I don't know everybody’s names. So, for the first few days of the movie, I had everyone wear name tags.”
“But on this last day of the movie when they said, ‘Jamie, we're ready for you,’ as I came out of my trailer and I approached the set, there was the entire crew, and they were all wearing a name tag. Their name tags all said, ‘We are Laurie Strode.’ The entire crew was saying, ‘We are with you. We are all in this together and we believe in you.’ Needless to say, it was an incredibly emotional gift for them to give me. Then, I got in the truck and relived these 40 years. It was very cathartic and it's a very small scene, but we shot for half an hour.”
“It was interesting, though, because that scene was still with me two days later, and I called David and asked him about it. I said, ‘You know, it'd be really interesting that the only time I scream in the movie is there.’ So that's the only time Laurie ever screams in this new movie. But you just highlighted something that for me was the underpinning of the whole thing. It was emotional, and it was a beautiful experience.”
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!