2018’s Halloween might ignore all the previous sequels in the franchise, but it’s an affectionate love letter to the 1978 original. Not only is Jamie Lee Curtis back on board as Laurie Strode and John Carpenter provides another chilling score, but the movie’s peppered with callbacks and references to memorable scenes and moments from the first film. And there’s one very subtle one, in particular, that director David Gordon Green wants fans to notice.
While speaking to EW, the filmmaker explained that he’s most “excited” about a song that’s played in the background of a particular scene in the movie. It’s easy to miss, but those who know the 1978 version off-by-heart might recognize that it’s a reference to a tune Laurie sings at one point. Apparently, its inclusion in the new film even gave John Carpenter a chuckle.
“The other really subtle one that I’m really excited about is when the boy and his father are driving, the song on the radio is the song that Jamie sang in the original. They couldn’t afford the rights to a song for the movie, so John and Jamie freestyled a song: ‘I wish I had you all alone. Just the two of us.’ And then we had a band write a song as if it was recorded in 1978, kind of a country song, that’s playing in the car. John [Carpenter] was just laughing out loud [when he heard it]. He was like, ‘Wait, that’s familiar. Oh wait, I wrote that song!'”
This kind of level of detail shows just how much of a fan of Carpenter’s masterwork of suspense Green really is. There are many more obvious references in the movie that’ll grab viewers’ attention, which is all well and good, but something this easily-overlooked shows that Green was basically just putting these in for his own amusement and adoration of the 1978 movie.
It’s likely this strong personal connection to the first Halloween is what’s made the 2018 sequel such a success, too. Following a lot of hype, it smashed October box office records – even coming close to beating the high bar set by Venom earlier this month. Plus, it’s not just a commercial hit but a critical one, too, as most agree that Green’s achieved his goal of giving us the best Halloween since the original.
We’d love to see what else the director could do with a further film, but it doesn’t sound like he’d be involved with the sequel that Blumhouse is planning. Nevertheless, he succeed in demonstrating that there’s life in the Halloween franchise yet and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Michael Myers.