What The Cast And Crew Behind ‘Halloween’ Thinks Of The Horror Series
Photo: Halloween / Anchor Bay

What The Cast And Crew Behind ‘Halloween’ Thinks Of The Horror Series

The first Halloween film reinvigorated the horror genre and started a wave of slasher movies that followed by example. While they picked up on the formula of a guy with a mask chasing teens around, the films that came after never matched the foreboding gloom of the 1978 original. There has been a slew of sequels, reimaginings, and reboots of Halloween, some of which are decent and the rest of which are absolutely bonkers. 

Regardless of which film in the franchise they worked on, the cast and crew of the Halloween films all have great memories, and they each hold the series in high regard. Even members of the Halloween extended family whose movies weren’t universally loved still think the series as a whole is important.

  • John Carpenter Thinks The Sequels Are Awful

    John Carpenter Thinks The Sequels Are Awful
    Photo: Nathan Hartley Maas / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    If anyone gets to have a negative opinion of the films that followed the original Halloween, it's John Carpenter, the writer and director of the first film and one of the screenwriters of the 1981 followup. Aside from producing Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Carpenter washed his hands of the franchise until the 2018 reboot.

    While stumping for the Blumhouse's 2018 sequel to the original Halloween, Carpenter said that he doesn't like any of the sequels and that he was asked to have an active role in Halloween 2018. Jason Blum's decision to include Carpenter by having him create the score and visit the set wasn't just a savvy way to get fans hyped, it was a way to give the film a little bit of the magic of the original. Carpenter told Daily Dead, "[Jason Blum] challenged me to not sit on the sidelines and criticize, which is very easy to do with these sequels that have been coming out. They're just awful. They've been awful."

  • James Jude Courtney Thought The First Film Was A Game Changer

    James Jude Courtney Thought The First Film Was A Game Changer
    Photo: Halloween (2018) / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

    When James Jude Courtney took on the Captain-Kirk-faced mantle of Michael Myers in the 2018 reboot, he knew what he was doing was important to horror fans. He realized that there were major expectations on him, but he wasn't as worried about what people were thinking as much as living up to his own memories of the original film. While talking about his memories of '78's Halloween, he said that even though he was on a date, the film was the only thing he remembered

    I was always an avid film fan, and I made my own films with my dad’s camera. My brothers and I would spend time in theaters watching different films, but I was an undergrad in North Carolina when the original [Halloween] came out. I can’t even remember my date but I remember the film though. I knew it was a game-changer. 

    Once Courtney took on the role of Michael Myers, he threw himself into the character with the confidence of someone who knew he was the focal point of the film. He explained

    From the moment I did my tape for my first audition until now, it was the most perfect experience of my career... I just didn’t think about it. I just showed up and did my job, and I knew that I was hired because David and Ryan and Malek and Rawn Hutchinson, all the guys looked at me and went ‘He’s the guy.’ 

  • Jamie Lee Curtis Considers Laurie Strode To Be Smart, Not Tough

    Jamie Lee Curtis Considers Laurie Strode To Be Smart, Not Tough
    Photo: Halloween / Anchor Bay

    Even though she's moved onto award-winning work, Jamie Lee Curtis doesn't look back on her time with the Halloween franchise with regret. In fact, she recognizes that Halloween is the movie that made her a star. She's appeared in almost as many of the films as Michael Myers, and fans want to see how Laurie will outsmart Myers. 

    Curtis has put a lot of thought into the character of Laurie Strode, and even though she's the girl who's gone toe-to-toe with Michael Myers five times (seven if you count the Zombie films), Curtis thinks her greatest strength is her wit. She told Collider:

    Laurie isn’t a bada**, she’s smart and she survived, and in that she’s bada**, but you know, her poking the guy with the thing was just an instinct [...] She’s not Linda Hamilton, I don’t have those arms. She was strong because she was smart, education I think gives you strength, it’s not muscles, it’s brains.

  • Donald Pleasence Grew Accustomed To Playing Dr. Loomis

    Donald Pleasence Grew Accustomed To Playing Dr. Loomis
    Photo: Halloween / Anchor Bay

    Aside from Michael Myers, Dr. Loomis links John Carpenter's original idea to the bonkers magic mythology of Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers. Pleasence dealt with criticism about just showing up to pick up a check, but he provided the series with a much needed Van Helsing-esque character who gives the film series a more gothic tone than its slasher contemporaries.

    Pleasence took his role as Loomis so seriously that he often took offense with the way writers and directors wanted to change his character. He didn't feel that Loomis should be too much of a goof, and he told Fangoria that when he felt a director wanted him to do something out of character, he twisted their notes until he could make it work. After playing the character for more than a decade, he really should be full-stop on how the character should act. He said:

    It's hard to play a continuing character like Loomis for nearly 11 years and simply wash your hands of him. It seems a pity... I've tended to play Loomis with a light touch - not totally comedic, but in a manner that fit with these films' attention to suspense and tension. To play Loomis totally heavy, the way the director [Dominique Othenin-Girard] on this film is trying to get me to do, seems to be at odds with the way the character was set up. But I have no problem taking their money and dancing their dance. As long as I can twist their dance away from them. I'm doing that on this film, right now. They just haven't realized it yet.

  • Nick Castle Had A Different Personality When He Played The Shape

    Nick Castle Had A Different Personality When He Played The Shape
    Photo: Halloween / Anchor Bay

    Michael Myers, The Shape, whatever you want to call him, is the boogeyman of Haddonfield, Illinois. He's been played by many different actors since 1978, but the person that's looked to as the Rosetta Stone of characterization for the character is Nick Castle. Even though he's only in the first film - and he makes a cameo appearance in the 2018 sequel - Castle can still provide an interesting insight into what happens to actors playing masked villains. 

    He noted that even though the mask was the same, it affected the actors behind it in different ways, allowing them to transform into different versions of the same creature. Castle told Collider, "[You] have different personalities behind those masks, because you’re just a guy walkin’ around with a suit, and a rubber face. That was great." 

  • Danielle Harris Didn't Know How Important The Franchise Was

    Danielle Harris Didn't Know How Important The Franchise Was
    Photo: Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers / Anchor Bay

    After the commercial and critical failure of Halloween III: Season of the Witch, executive producer Moustapha Akkad wanted to get back to basics with the next film and give the audience what they wanted - Michael Myers chasing young people around Haddonfield. Danielle Harris was cast as a foil for Michael Myers in Halloween 4, and at 10 years old, she didn't realize the importance of the role. 

    Harris may have been young, but she's spectacular in the film, and she even manages to anchor the sloppy follow-up, Revenge of Michael Myers. While speaking with IGN, she said that she didn't know how important the films were to fans until a decade after her role as Jamie Lloyd. Her appreciation for the films is likely why she returned to the series to play Annie Brackett in Rob Zombie's iterations. She said: 

    Being 10, I had no idea that this was something that people really were cultish about, which is kind of what it is, because Halloween fans are so, so devoted. I don't think I knew what I was getting into. I don't think I really realized it until I got older. I didn't really do conventions or that stuff until maybe 10 years after I did the movie. It's still shocking to me that people shake when they come up to me or go 'Oh my god, I grew up watching you!' It still kind of freaks me out. I don't think I realized it was as big a phenomenon as it was, but I'm well aware of it now.