You can probably take it as a good omen when a horror movie’s own writer is afraid of the film’s lead killer, which is just what Halloween scribe Danny McBride realized when he wandered onto the set of the upcoming slasher sequel.
While the original 1978 film’s star Nick Castle shows up for a quick cameo under the Michael Myers mask, most of the silent killer’s screen time comes courtesy of actor James Jude Courtney, who even managed to get in one good scare before filming on his scenes had commenced. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, McBride recalled how Courtney struck a chilling presence when he first donned the mask.
“That day, they were testing the mask [with] James for the very first time. They weren’t even shooting with him. They had brought the mask onto set and were doing lighting tests inside the house. We creeped in early to see that… and there he was at the end of the hallway, just sort of lit from a little bit of light coming in from a bedroom shining on the Shape standing at the end of this hallway, just looking at us. We were all like, ‘That’s incredible! I don’t want to go back there. I know what happens when you go back there!’”
While we’re sure that Mr. Courtney is a perfectly harmless and upstanding citizen, McBride’s caution suggests he would probably last a little longer in your average slasher flick than many of Michael’s victims over the years. Besides, anyone who isn’t at least a little nervous around Michael after watching the original John Carpenter classic probably wouldn’t be the right scribe for the job anyway.
Since production wrapped, Nick Castle has gone on record recalling how he sensed a lot of reverence for the first movie on the set of the new Halloween, with director David Gordon Green even taking a few pointers from Carpenter himself on how best to do the series justice.
The team’s efforts may well have paid off, since the new Halloween has so far garnered the best reviews of any installment in the franchise since the 1978 original. And you can decide for yourself if the film lives up to the hype when it hits theaters on October 19th.