There are few scarier sights in cinema than the expressionless, pale and corpse-like mask of Michael Myers. For 40 years this image has been one of the most iconic in horror – not bad considering that the original Halloween used a cheap William Shatner rubber mask that they dyed white.
It’s a key element that Blumhouse’s upcoming reboot/sequel absolutely has to get right (and to be fair, it looks like they nailed it in the trailer). After all, the movie’s poised to breathe fresh life into a franchise that’s had many ups and downs. So, with that in mind, these comments from the film’s FX Makeup Designer, Chris Nelson, by way of an interview with Cinema Blend, are certainly reassuring to hear.
“I looked at a lot of forty year old masks and the various stages they were in,” he said. “I actually had a couple of old Don Post masks that were I think from thirty nine years ago, from when I was a kid and a few of my friends had them. So we looked at those masks, see how they aged, see what kind of decomposition they had. The folds and wrinkles, depending on how they were kept.”
Continuing on, he said:
We took to mind in the context of this story how this mask was stored over all these years, and talking to David [Gordon Green]. And just kind of combined all of that, accentuated it a little bit for cinematic purposes because a lot of the wear and tear on a mask probably wouldn’t show up unless it was really decomposed. Because in our minds it was kept in a bag, in a box, in an evidence room for quite a long time. Being covered and away from UV light, it was a little more protected than a mask that was just laying out would be, so we took that into account.
If this amount of thought has gone into the rest of the project, then it looks like we’re in for a real treat come the fall. Incidentally, if you’re wondering who Don Post is, he’s known as ‘The Godfather of Halloween’ (the holiday, not the movie) and created some of the first latex Halloween masks – some of which you can still buy today. It was one of his store-bought masks that was turned into the one used by Michael Myers, so doing studies of how actual latex masks decompose over the decades sounds like a perfect way to capture the time since Laurie Strode and Michael first butted heads.
At this point, everything we’re hearing and seeing about David Gordon Green’s Halloween is extremely positive. Disregarding the many iffy sequels and creating a film that’s a direct follow-up to the original classic is a simple but genius move, freeing the pic from having to deal with the slightly ludicrous fact that Laurie Strode and Michael have been battling in various states for years now. If, in this timeline, it turns out to be the first time they’ve encountered each other for 40 years, it should truly be an intense, emotional moment.
Halloween hits theatres on October 19th and if for some reason you haven’t seen John Carpenter’s original, you absolutely should. It’s one of my all-time favorite horror films and should have you gripped from that first outstanding tracking shot.