Hal­loween di­rec­tor David Gor­don Green on tak­ing the reins and do­ing John Car­pen­ter’s orig­i­nal jus­tice

Empire (Australasia) - - THE ULTIMATE SPRING PREVIEW -

If you had to guess the iden­tity of the di­rec­tor tasked with res­ur­rect­ing the Hal­loween fran­chise, chances are you’d work through most of Hol­ly­wood be­fore alight­ing on David Gor­don Green. He’s the indie wun­derkind who these days os­cil­lates be­tween daft come­dies and im­pact­ful dra­mas. Hor­ror has been con­spic­u­ous by its ab­sence. But that’s with­out reck­on­ing on the num­ber Michael My­ers did on Green as a teenager. “I was a very sen­si­tive kid, and it got un­der my skin,” he ad­mits of John Car­pen­ter’s Hal­loween. “The re­lent­less­ness of it hor­ri­fied me.”

So, when Blum­house in­vited pitches for a new in­stal­ment, Green and his long-time col­lab­o­ra­tor Danny Mcbride leapt to the head of the queue with a take that would wipe out all pre­vi­ous se­quels and re-es­tab­lish My­ers as the daddy of movie slash­ers. “There’s no Freddy Krueger fun,” adds Green. “It’s lit­er­ally a face that gives you noth­ing, that says noth­ing, that comes from nowhere. It’s a dude with a knife in your house. That’s re­ally scary.”

All that re­mained, then, was to come up with a name for the movie. Sadly,

David Gor­don Green’s John Car­pen­ter’s Hal­loween wasn’t con­sid­ered. “That would be re­ally good,” he laughs. “Hal­loween II: The Third was an­other one we sug­gested. In the end, out of sim­plic­ity, we said, ‘Let’s just call it Hal­loween.’” Sim­ple. To the point. Michael My­ers would ap­prove.

How did you ini­tially get in­volved?

Well, you can blame Ja­son Blum. [Laughs] I’d known him for a while so­cially and he’d

known that I was in­ter­ested in mak­ing a hor­ror movie. He and I are worka­holics and work crazy hours so I woke up very early one morn­ing to an email that said “Hal­loween?”. And any­one can in­ter­pret that in any num­ber of ways but I knew ex­actly what he was talk­ing about, I knew ex­actly what I was go­ing to do and I knew ex­actly that we’d be hav­ing this con­ver­sa­tion.

What was your first ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing the orig­i­nal? I heard it in­volved vomit?

Oh yeah, I barfed. I might not have even fin­ished the film. I don’t re­call. I was at a friend’s sleep­over party and I was not al­lowed to see it but I watched it any­way and then I got very ill, from guilt and fear. And vom­ited. Then I called my par­ents to come and pick me up and told them what had hap­pened. Con­fessed my crimes. That be­gan my dis­turbed re­la­tion­ship with a movie that re­ally messed me up.

The orig­i­nal had very lit­tle on screen vi­o­lence or gore. You’ve ob­vi­ously ramped that up — was that al­ways your in­ten­tion?

I didn’t nec­es­sar­ily in­tend it. But then Christo­pher Nel­son, our make-up and FX artist, was so good and we’d bring him to set and I’d be like well, let’s just film it and see how it goes. Some­times we’d have the kill off cam­era and some­times we’d be dis­creet with a sound ef­fect but then there were some de­li­cious op­por­tu­ni­ties to get a lit­tle gross. I only tried to pull that card when I thought it would be fun for the au­di­ence.

How was work­ing with Jamie Lee Cur­tis?

It was in­cred­i­ble. And she is com­mit­ted to this per­for­mance and char­ac­ter as any­one is to any­thing. I adore her for her en­ergy and her pas­sion. Her friend­li­ness to the crew — you’ve never seen some­one as iconic as Jamie is as giv­ing and pleas­ant to be around. Bring­ing cof­fee trucks up to the crew who are shoot­ing all night long. And if some­one is down, she is there to bring them back up. She re­ally mo­ti­vates the crew in a way that I’ve never seen be­fore. It’s a beau­ti­ful thing to wit­ness.

When did you first talk to John Car­pen­ter about the project?

Danny [Mcbride, co-writer] and I went to his house with Ja­son and sat down and said, “Hey, here’s an idea we have. We don’t want to make it with­out you. We want you to be in­volved. We want you to do the mu­sic. What do you think?” And got his ideas. And got his re­ac­tion. And now he seems very happy with the movie and that’s the big­gest thrill of all. That’s num­ber one, hon­estly. In a weird way, that’s all that mat­ters.

It must have been amaz­ing to have him in­volved in the process…

Yes. There’s noth­ing more sur­real! I’d be in South Carolina where I was edit­ing and I would Skype him and he’d be watch­ing the movie and com­ment­ing on it. [Laughs] It was su­per trippy hav­ing him nar­rat­ing and giv­ing ideas on how

I could tighten up the movie. And then go­ing into the stu­dio so he could present his new mu­sic to me! And like he was ner­vous? Come on! [Laughs] It was en­er­getic, lively and col­lab­o­ra­tive, as you can imag­ine. And at the same time we were us­ing mu­sic that was so in­grained in my DNA that ev­ery time it played, I just wanted to dance.

Cur­tis Here: and Jamie di­rec­tor Lee David Gor­don Green on set. Be­low: Orig­i­nal Michael My­ers Nick Cas­tle dons the mask one more time.

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