Total Film

FAMILY TIME

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Judy Greer, Jamie Lee Curtis and Andi Matichak play three generation­s of Strode women (above right).

Hospital fighting for her life after taking a knife to the gut in the first film, Kills opens up “opportunit­ies when heroes can shine, and others can show their true colours and fall” according to Green. One of the characters who has already ascended to hero status is Laurie’s daughter, Karen, whose ‘gotcha’ moment at the film’s climax blew the roof off that Toronto screening. For Judy Greer, a supporting actor extraordin­aire, it was a rare moment in the spotlight she won’t soon forget, and one that feeds directly into Karen’s mindset in Halloween Kills.

“Imagine being me, sitting in that audience, seeing that for the first time! That’s a moment I hope I remember for the rest of my life,” says Greer with a burst of energy down the phone, adding that “she’s still in that moment [in Halloween Kills]. The adrenaline is still coursing through her veins. It’s not like Karen has a couple of months to be like, ‘I’m awesome. I’m a badass!’ David Gordon Green said to me, when we were shooting, ‘I want this to be like Mad Max where we’re just going. We’re going, going, going, going.’” While Karen comes to terms with her newfound badassery, and mourns the death of her husband, her daughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) channels her anger into hunting down Michael. “When we met Allyson in 2018, she was a very relatable, lovely girl-next-door type of character,” Green says. “Allyson here, she is ignited. She is, in some ways, leading the charge, and is one of the more bloodthirs­ty of the group. Whereas Karen, who has dealt psychologi­cally with her mother more intimately, is trying to resist those temptation­s.”

In Halloween Kills, Michael Myers’ reign of terror extends to every corner of Haddonfiel­d. As Curtis explains, “The great device that David and Danny came up with is: trauma didn’t just affect Laurie Strode; trauma has concentric circles. Anybody who had a near-miss with Michael Myers is traumatise­d.” This allowed Green and McBride to explore Haddonfiel­d and its inhabitant­s to a greater extent than ever before, bringing characters who may have had near misses with Michael Myers in their first film to the forefront, and checking in on some familiar faces from the original Halloween.

“I was revisiting the original film, and just wondered about who was up to what in the world,” Green recalls. “I was

thinking, ‘Charles Cyphers is a retired actor, but what would Sheriff Brackett be doing right now? And could I somehow sweet talk him into joining us again?’” Alongside Cyphers, both Nancy Stephens, who played nurse Marion Chambers, and Kyle Richards, one of the two children Laurie found herself looking after on the night he came home, will reprise their roles in Kills. As for returning characters from Halloween 2018: “There’s a couple that is going off to a Halloween party dressed up like a doctor and nurse, who narrowly escape death when Michael’s going door to door. They really made an impact on me, because I thought about them having been so close to an encounter with him, and could we bring them face to face with Michael in a way really interestin­g level of conflict that happens early on. It’s very intense, and really ramps up.”

Doyle was previously played by Paul Rudd in 1995’s The Curse Of Michael Myers, one of the actor’s earliest roles. Green, who previously worked with Rudd on Prince Avalanche, even approached the Ant-Man actor to reprise his role in Kills. Scheduling prohibited what Green calls a “novelty” idea, but Rudd did pass a message along to his successor. “A couple of weeks into production David called me and said he had just spoken to Paul Rudd,” Hall recounts. “I admire Paul’s work a lot, so he gave me his blessing on the film, which was a nice of him to do. But my take [on the character] is quite separate.”

controllin­g Michael’s image – a task easier said than done, as some of the goofier depictions of the character in the past have proved. “My obsessive impulse is to be very protective of how we see The Shape. So less is more – and, yeah, I don’t always win those battles, but I’m always fighting them!” One of Green’s recent battles was over the film’s trailer, which appears to give away a significan­t amount of the film’s kills and plot beats. “There’s a fuck-load of spoilers, huh?” Green sighs. “That was… yeah. That was a long journey!”

Spoiler or not, the trailer does tease what’s set to be a major moment in Halloween Kills – Karen removing Michael’s mask. “I was so excited! I thought it was really cool,” Greer says of first hitting Karen’s big moment in the humour, with irreverent skits featuring Bánh mì sandwiches and potty-mouthed pre-teens serving as “tension breakers” between the film’s frights. Halloween Kills won’t do away with the chuckles entirely, but the shifting tone means that the gags, naturally, won’t be as prevalent this time around. “The second chapter gets dark and aggressive. We’ll see if [audiences] are able to take that shift!” Green remarks. “Personally, I feel like it’s respectful to those characters to let them have an outlet for their outrage, rather than to try to soften it with more comfortabl­e invitation­s to the frustratio­ns and tragedies of their evening.”

In a similar vein, John Carpenter’s score – an inarguable highlight of Halloween 2018 – will go beyond the

Ends at the same time,” McBride confirms. “We wrote them both so that we had a clear vision of where everything is going, and we weren’t just doing a greatest hits each time, but that it was going to be a journey. I really do feel like each of these films is completely distinct and unique, and they all connect to each other in a way that I don’t feel is repetitive – but it just makes for an epic, bigger story. Which I thought was exciting.”

Initially planned for late 2020, filming on Halloween Ends is now unlikely to start until the new year. And while the pandemic played havoc with Kills’ release plans, the

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