The Arizona Republic

Halloween

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“Halloween II,” which continued Laurie’s nightmare night with Michael hunting her down at the local hospital. “They started having to add reason behind it all, when in fact there was no reason,” Curtis says. The films thereafter wrote in “more and more characters, more and more history that didn’t exist, and by the end of it, you have something that feels fairly heavy.”

Green is quick to point out he enjoys the other sequels “but they get far out.” Out of loyalty to Carpenter, he wanted to acknowledg­e that second “Halloween,” and they entertaine­d the idea of carrying over the reveal of Laurie as Michael’s sister. However, “it distanced the potential victims from the perpetrato­r. If he’s just after his bloodline, then why am I scared?” Green says. “He just has this essence of evil and he’s driven to kill, and the more explaining we did, the less we liked it. So we just stripped it all down.”

‘Halloween’ is heavily influenced by the horrors of reality.

Green felt the need to acknowledg­e the cultural perception of violence “because slasher movies are not all the rage these days.” He wanted to emphasize “the simplicity of intimacy in horror“rather than jumping on the trend “of being more epic and more disastrous (just because) headlines are more epic and more disastrous.”

McBride wants his characters to have relatable levels of humanity, which is why Laurie wasn’t going to be “a frightened target” this time. “Especially now, where it seems like there’s tragedy after tragedy, mass shooting after mass shooting. The world has produced so many more Laurie Strodes, people who survived horrendous things.”

Green also worried about the new film seeming dated, and the script had British documentar­ians visiting Michael in the asylum until the director decided to make them podcasters at the last minute. “I got weirded out when I saw all the cameras,” he says. “Technology is going to be so quickly evolved that at least with an audio recorder, we’re pretty safe for about 10 years.”

Michael Myers’ true nature is still a mystery.

Is he an unstoppabl­e supernatur­al force? Or just a really focused normal dude who’s pretty much the worst of us? Carpenter was purposeful in having “The Shape” walk that fence in 1978, says Nick Castle, the man who wore Michael’s mask in the original film (and has a cameo in the new one). “That makes it even scarier.”

That’s what’s so great about Myers, Carpenter adds. “He moves like a person moves, but wait a minute, this is unnatural. What’s going on here?” And it was important for Green to maintain Michael’s enigmatic roots 55 years after he murdered his older sister Judith when he was 6: “I’m not really scared by supernatur­al stuff. It could startle me or be creepy, but I don’t relate to a lot of that.”

Part of cleaning the slate is to return to “a raw primal essence of fear on earth, of the man with a knife,” Green says. “That is terrifying.”

Laurie has always been a fighter, then and (especially) now.

While the seed of Green’s film began with imagining what would Laurie be like in 2018, after years of preparing for Michael’s inevitable return, a line in the first film also proved integral: Before her final confrontat­ion with the villain, Laurie finds the two kids in the house and instructs them to go down the street to a neighbor’s place and call the police. “Do as I say,” she tells them.

“There’s a real authority to that,” says Green, who talked with Curtis about subtly infusing that into the new film, too. “That’s our Laurie, the one who transition­s from the victim to the protector. “The more we explored what our character’s journey was, the more we wanted her to step up, the more we wanted someone who wasn’t going to accept life as a victim. She isn’t the final girl, she isn’t the scream queen here.”

But all the women get their chance to fight back.

Swept up in Michael’s latest rampage is Laurie’s estranged daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaugh­ter, Allyson (Andi Matichak). And spreading strength around was a conscious effort, McBride says. “These are all the descendant­s of Laurie Strode, so that sort of tenacity is present in all of them, whether they realize it or not.”

The script predates the current wave of female empowermen­t “but I can’t imagine it was ignored on a subconscio­us level,” Green says.

He allows that the new “Halloween” is “interestin­gly timed” and happening “in the middle of that boiling cultural tide turning.” Or, as Carpenter puts it, “It’s the #MeToo generation vs. Michael Myers.”

 ?? RYAN GREEN/UNIVERSAL ?? “Halloween” director David Gordon Green, left, talks with co-writer Danny McBride on the set of the new sequel.
RYAN GREEN/UNIVERSAL “Halloween” director David Gordon Green, left, talks with co-writer Danny McBride on the set of the new sequel.
 ?? SHOUT FACTORY ?? Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) stood her ground against pure evil in the 1978 “Halloween.”
SHOUT FACTORY Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) stood her ground against pure evil in the 1978 “Halloween.”

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