The 1978 film 'Halloween' (directed by John Carpenter) is one that has cemented itself as an iconic staple of Hollywood slasher cinema over the years.
Now, its central serial killer character Michael Myers is back in this brand new direct sequel of the same name. It's 40 years after the Haddonfield murders from the original film and sole survivor Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is living a life of solitude in a heavily fortified home, scarred by the events that occurred all those years ago.
Michael, locked up in Smith's Grove Sanitarium, manages to escape after a bus transfer goes horribly wrong. It is this escape which triggers Laurie to go after Michael. Chaos ensues and a new wave of terror washes over Haddonfield as his evil returns to the place it was born.
Putting together the direct sequel to a film released 40 years ago is no easy feat. The production team behind this year's 'Halloween' is a mixture of old and new, blessing the final product with a sense of familiarity and old-school charm and mixing it with modernity.
Producer Jason Blum (Blumhouse Productions) says this one is a good one.
“In my opinion, what makes a good slasher film is what makes any kind of film good,” Jason says. “Even a comedy or action movie! Is there a compelling story? Are the performances good? When you go into the movie theatre, is what you're seeing on screen suspending your disbelief and letting you forget what you've done that day and really getting you involved in the thing you're watching?”
“I think that's one of the unique things about Blumhouse, is that people think what makes a good horror movie are the scares and I disagree with that.”
Another one of the selling points of Blumhouse Productions is its insistence in creating low budget, high quality films. The company is behind such products as 'Paranormal Activity', 'Get Out', 'Happy Death Day' and 'The Purge', all of which were made with a budget of under $5 million.
“I don't do bigger budget movies,” Jason states. “Our rule of thumb is $5 million for originals and $10 million for sequels. 'Halloween' fell into the $10 million which is still, by Hollywood's standards, very very low budget for a sequel in a franchise like 'Halloween'. I don't plan to veer away from that any time soon.”
Image © Universal Pictures
Revisiting such a classic and well-known storyline in a new way while trying to stay relatively faithful in its presentation proved to be quite a task for all involved.
“We were trying to mix old and new, it has an old-school slasher feel but it opens with a couple making a podcast,” Jason laughs. “What I was really trying to do was bridge new stuff and old stuff and make them work together which is hard to do.
“But again, I didn't make the movie, I didn't write the movie, I didn't direct the movie. I give David (Gordon Green, Director) and Danny (McBride, Writer) the credit for being able to pull it off.”
“There are only two 'Fresh' (Rotten Tomatoes) rated 'Halloween's. John's and ours. I'm very proud of the movie.”