Halloween Kills director reveals how John Carpenter shaped the movie, teases Halloween Ends
Michael Myers returns to our screens once again in Halloween Kills, The Shape once again terrorizing Haddonfield in a bloodier and far more brutal rampage than we’ve ever seen from the Masked Killer before.
But this time around, the people of Haddonfield hit back. While Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is in the hospital recovering from the injuries she suffered during her Halloween showdown with Michael in 2018, her friends and family are battling The Boogeyman – including his daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), returning from the previous film, and a host of familiar faces from the original ’78 Halloween movie.
We sat down with director David Gordon Green to discuss the film, working with franchise maestro John Carpenter, the myth behind Michael Myers, and what we can expect from the Halloween Ends trio. Check out our spoiler-free conversation below, edited for length and clarity.
GamesRadar +: In Halloween Kills, Laurie is in the hospital, seriously injured, and much of the action takes place outside. Why did you decide to separate it from the main events?
David Gordon Green: Well, the Halloween franchise exists because of our good and our evil – our Laurie Strode and our Michael Myers. The idea of this film was to create a portrait of Haddonfield as a whole community. Separate [Laurie and Michael], essential pieces of DNA, and then seeing the worlds that revolve around those essential ingredients, it was basically a great engine for us to meet a lot of people and bring back characters that were inherited from the ’78 movie and reintroduce characters that we had brought to the camera in the 2018 film.
So separating them does two things: it creates these double universes to start spinning around each other, and then creates this anticipation of how they collide.
Was it important for you to show that mob justice is not a good thing that always works?
It just depends. I think some of the greatest moments in Earth history are the collective awareness of prayer and positivity, and I think bringing people together with like-minded focus and intensity can be the show. the most incredible of a species. But then he also has the other side. And what Halloween Kills is examining is misinformation and commotion from a group of people who don’t have all the facts when they jump to judgment.
Halloween Kills touches on the myth and mystique surrounding Michael Myers. What made you want to start exploring this now because it has always been a big mystery?
In my mind, Michael is a spectacular, resilient human being who does not feel pain. If you get a bullet or two in the shoulder, you’re going to fall, you’re going to the hospital. [But] Until that anchors him to the ground, Michael will get up. If something were to eliminate him completely it could, but I think what the movie is trying to say is that even though he was no more, it was the fear that he generated, l The anxiety he created from the actions he took would live on forever. I like to think the Jaws Shark kept millions of people out of the ocean in our cultural reality, because of a movie they saw in the 80s. Michael, in Laurie’s mind, went from being a simple stalker of a little boy who murdered his sister to a community event in Haddonfield. In our mythology, it has not necessarily gone national yet. But I think for her she’s just saying that even if you take her down, you can’t take her down.
In this film, you had John Carpenter come back to the score. Did you have a lot of conversations with him while you were making the movie? Did he have any advice or thoughts to offer on the direction he was taking?
Yeah, I love showing him the script. In fact, I gave him the new Halloween Ends draft a few nights ago, so I’m looking forward to his comments. More often than not, it’s inspiring and informative. He’ll say things like, in one sequence, “Slow down, take the dialogue out, let him breathe.” Or he’ll say, “Speed it up, make it relentless. His music also does these two things. Sometimes you will find that it is very methodical, slow and thrilling. Other times it’s just a synth frenzy.
And so I like to get his advice on the script. I watch him very often look at the cuts. He composes with his son Cody [Carpenter] and [musician] Daniel Davies. I show them scenes at a very vulnerable time for me. It takes a while before I’m confident in the cut, but I won’t be confident until I hear the music to some extent. I’ll know I have it structurally or the performance is good, but I won’t really feel like I’m in a Halloween movie until John Carpenter gets his hands on it.
I appreciate that, and as a collaborator it’s just amazing to think of working with someone who, if I was a 10 year old boy and you told me I was going to work with John Carpenter on a movie and that it was I was going to do the music, and that was with the Halloween characters, and Jamie Lee Curtis would put his hand on my shoulder when I was having a bad day, these are spectacular childhood fantasies that would never come true in a million years someone like me. But yet, they did.
You mentioned the end of Halloween earlier. This film deals with popular justice, and it’s a collective. Can we expect another shift in focus, back to a one-on-one showdown between Laurie and Michael, or are we moving entirely into something else?
I think the themes you allude to will be part of it, but we’re going in a very different direction for our third chapter.
You also mentioned the script, is it finished now or are you still working on it?
It’s over for now – until I wake up tomorrow and have another idea that I want to mess with. I’m always open to reinvention, I’m always open to discovery, and when we shoot this I know that one element of the cast will either be way better than I expected or not as good as I was. had hoped, and then I’m going to rotate and I’m going to do this instead. And it’s, to a degree, it’s a design, but it’s also playing jazz and being able to freestyle when you need it or there is an opportunity, and so I like be open that way.
I am delighted with the end, like the last three pages. I can see it, and I want to breathe it now. But, the boom operator can come up to me with an idea and say, “But what if this happens? And I’ll be like, ‘Oh yeah, I got all the credit for his genius.’
Halloween Kills hits theaters and on Peacock in the US on October 15, and in UK theaters the same day. In the meantime, check out our guide to major movie release dates for the coming months.