Forty years after John Carpenter's classic horror Halloween first hit the big screen,
Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode in a sequel that sees the former babysitter
attempt to turn the tables on the murderous Michael Myers.
Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers, it's Jan here, and today I'm revealing the secret truth about
the new Halloween movie and Michael Myers, including 10 freaky facts you need to know
about the film!
If you're new here, I do regular deep-dives into your favourite flicks, so tap the bell
and also leave me a comment about the movie for a chance to win one of these cool Halloween
And make sure you stay to the end of the video to find out some secret cameos in the film!
When it came to creating memorable death scenes for the inhabitants of Haddonfield , the filmmakers
behind the new movie wanted to make the kind of striking images that are still "burned
into [their] brains like terrifying postcards" many years after they first saw John Carpenter's
But just how did the new creative team go about producing spine-chilling images of Michael
Myers' victims after their deaths?
Well, once director David Gordon Green knew exactly what deathly scene he wanted to be
seared into audiences' minds, Oscar-winning Special Effects Make-up Designer Christopher
Nelson set about creating it by making life-casts of the actors whose characters are killed
with specific expressions.
The designer then re-sculpted the casts for dramatic effect, slightly over-accentuating
their expressions and stylising them "to give a terrifying inhumanity".
In fact, Nelson's creations turned out to be so freaky that when actress Andi Matichak,
who plays Jamie Lee Curtis's on-screen granddaughter, first saw one of the corpses he'd made in
his workshop, it was so horrifically real that she refused to go anywhere near it!
To bring The Shape, aka Michael Myers, back to life, the filmmakers turned to actor-stuntman,
James Jude Courtney, who impressed them with his ability to "channel [the character's]
enigmatic, methodical nature".
And Courtney found inspiration for his performance in some rather freaky places.
First of all, there was Courtney's encounter with a real-life hitman who he met many years
earlier "through a mutual acquaintance".
The professional assassin lived with the actor for a while as he "wanted his life story written".
And Courtney says he absorbed a lot "just by hanging out with [the hitman] every day".
But that's not all.
After watching a film about a contract killer that Courtney appeared in, the real-life assassin
gave the actor the low-down on how trained killers really work.
Years later, Courtney took what he learned from that experience, especially the hitman's
emphasis on the importance of stealth and efficiency, and translated it into his portrayal
of Michael Myers and the efficient way he kills his victims.
In fact, according to Jamie Lee Curtis, "something changed when [Courtney] put [Myers'] mask
"The combination of [his] lack of human response and his physical strength came out in a visceral
and emotional way."
For his version of Michael Myers, Courtney didn't just channel contract killers though;
he also took cues from cats!
Yes, to help the actor create a Myers' that was capable of emotionless rampage, director
David Gordon Green suggested he look at "cats in the wild [such as] leopards and cheetahs
[…] that don't rationalise anything other than what's in their path".
So, to get the kind of "cat-like quality to [Myers'] […] movement" which the director
wanted on screen, Courtney used the way his own cat plays and hunts as a reference.
And this isn't the first time the actor has looked to a cat for ideas about a character.
In the late 90s, Courtney appeared in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and "used a cat
to design [his] movement" for his demonic character on the show.
For Courtney, "cats are the most perfect hunting, killing machines on the planet."
"And the beauty of it is we don't judge a cat for what a cat does."
So the actor "carried that movement and the non-judgmental approach to the way [he] moved
as The Shape".
Nick Castle, who played the original Michael Myers in the very first Halloween movie, also
passed on some valuable nuggets of information to the filmmakers about playing The Shape
based on his own experience of the role in the 70s.
Castle gave advice about little subtle character traits, for example, how Michael Myers turns
or tilts his head to observe a kill and also how he sits up at a 90-degree angle without
using his hands, all of which the director found useful for the new film.
However, Nick Castle actually credits director John Carpenter as the person who came up with
the idea of the now classic head tilt back in 1978.
According to Castle, during filming, Carpenter told him to stand and look at the character
Myers had just killed, then tilt his head to the right, then to the left.
At the time, Castle didn't realise what Carpenter was trying to achieve with that little instruction,
but when he saw the final film he was blown away by the director's brilliant idea to make
it look like Myers was admiring his kill.
Most of the time you see The Shape on screen, he's being played by James Jude Courtney.
However, fans of John Carpenter's classic will be happy to hear that the original actor
Nick Castle does have a cameo in the new movie.
Make sure you look out for the first time that Laurie sees The Shape because that's
Castle under the Michael Myers mask.
Director David Gordon Green specifically asked the veteran actor to perform Myers' classic
head tilt once more, a move which apparently gave everyone on set goosebumps!
And actually, Castle also got to pass the Michael Myers torch on to new actor James
Jude Courtney in that same scene.
"When Laurie sees the Shape, that's Nick and I in the same scene."
"So he's in the first shot in the reveal."
"And I'm the second part of that shot."
"And then I carry the torch from that point forward."
"So it's literally handing the baton, man, it was beautiful."
Now, while Castle's on-screen time as Myers is short, that's not his only contribution
to the new movie.
Listen carefully for any scenes where you can hear Myers breathing because the sounds
you hear are actually Nick Castle who recorded The Shape's breathing in post-production!
An absolutely crucial part of the Halloween movies is Myers' creepy mask, which actually
started out life as a store-bought William Shatner Captain Kirk mask before its eye-holes
were made bigger, its hair was altered, and it was spray-painted white, all of which gave
it the iconic look we know today.
For the new movie, rather than put their own spin on the mask, the filmmakers decided to
try to recreate the original's strange, soulless mannequin-like face and, most importantly,
the feeling it inspired in audiences.
But it wasn't nearly as simple as it sounds because four decades have passed since Michael
Myers first wore the mask and the latex would have changed shape after so long in evidence
Fortunately, the movie had Special Effects Make-up Designer Christopher Nelson on board
to get the right look.
Nelson has a real grasp of the history of both the franchise and the mask as he's been
a fan of the series since he saw the first movie when he 10 years old.
The designer researched how 40-year-old latex decomposes and studied how it looks when it
gets brittle, wrinkles, warps, and sags, all of which was essential for how he created
the new mask while still keeping the expression and form of the original one.
For Nelson, another vital element of the mask from the original film was that it looked
different in each shot; so he channelled that feeling into the new film making the new,
deteriorated mask look different at every angle, to give a sense that the mask was constantly
According to Jamie Lee Curtis, her "[unofficial] godson" Jake Gyllenhaal was so keen for her
to work with director David Gordon Green that he "tracked her down while she was on vacation
in the mountains".
Gyllenhaal was really enthusiastic about the amazing creative experience he'd recently
had working with Green on the Boston marathon bombing film, Stronger.
And that convinced Curtis to speak with the director about his ideas for a new Halloween
However, when she signed on to return to the screen once more as Laurie Strode, Curtis
assumed the movie would focus more on Laurie's daughter and granddaughter.
And it was only once she started working through her character's psychological trauma in rehearsals
that she realised the real depth of the work she'd taken on.
Not only was the shoot emotionally moving with plenty of tears, but it was also physically
draining in terms of stunt work, and Curtis ended up with a cracked rib after shooting
the film's final sequences.
In fact, she says "it took a good month [to recover]" afterwards.
Given the story's late-October setting and several memorable moments in the original
movie including its opening credits, it's hardly surprising to see jack-o'-lanterns
on display in the new film.
But getting hold of the hundreds of fresh pumpkins that were needed in time for the
movie's mid-January shoot in Charleston, South Carolina, proved to be rather tricky.
Set decorator Missy Ricker ended up having to bring in truck-loads of them from North
Carolina, and she also had to ensure she had many dozens of pumpkins of the same size and
shape so they could be used for any scenes that needed to be filmed many times over.
On top of that, the set-decorating team also had to work out how to preserve the pumpkins
so they were always camera-ready throughout the shoot.
The key to that particular problem turned out to be dipping them in vats of a bleach
Nick Castle isn't the only star of the original film who makes a brief return in the new movie.
Actor Donald Pleasence's character Dr Samuel Loomis has been a major part of the Halloween
franchise since it began, and while Pleasence passed away in the 1990s, Dr Loomis still
gets a vocal cameo in the new film.
Although it's not the voice of Pleasence himself, the filmmakers are pretty pleased with the
result of the sound-alike voice actor they found for the role.
Of course, this isn't the first time that Dr Loomis has been recreated by a voice actor
as that also happened in the 1998 film, Halloween: H20.
And, I'm going to talk more about Loomis in my Halloween Deleted scenes video, which you
can tap here to watch.
By the way, in this new film, listen out for P.J. Soles who played Laurie's friend Lynda
in the 1978 movie, and who makes a brief appearance [here] as a teacher.
Now, if you've seen Halloween, what did you think?
And where do you rank it against the other Halloween movies?
Let me know what you think in the comments below and remember to subscribe for a chance
to win one of these cool Halloween merch packs.
Tap left to watch my new Halloween ending and twist explained video or tap right for
my full horror playlist.
If you enjoyed this, I really appreciate a thumbs-up and a share.
Thanks for watching and see ya next time.
Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers!