ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

Everyone is digging up the Halloween vibes as our favorite spooky holiday looms closer. What better way to get into the spirit of the season than watching and learning more about some classic horror films. In this article we'll get to learn a bit of an inside scoop from famous horror auteur, John Carpenter,

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, John Carpenter discussed the classic 1978 film that launched one of the most iconic horror franchises in cinematic history: Halloween.

1. The movie's intention was to create a character that was entirely evil

It was a movie where the main character, the guy in the mask, really isn’t altogether human. He has no characteristics. He's, uh, almost like a machine. He was just pure evil. That was what I intended to do. It's evil out of nothing, evil from no background, which completely creeps me out as a human being, that evil could arrive at my doorstep without a purpose, without a past, without an origin. So that's the idea behind it. It was put together to scare you. That’s all.

2. 'Halloween' was originally panned by critics

I remember one memorable review: "Carpenter does not work well with actors." And I thought, "Oh my God, I'm being put down across the country." But then it kind of got rereviewed. This was all over a long period of time, and it was a word-of-mouth movie, so I didn’t really feel the success of it for quite a while. I was on the sidelines.

3. John Carpenter can't watch the 'Halloween' movies anymore

They’re all unwatchable to me. I can’t see them anymore. God! I can’t stand it. I cannot take it.

4. Jamie Lee Curtis was a shoe in for the role of Laurie from the beginning

I wasn’t aware of her as an actress at all. She came into the offices, very pretty girl, very nice. She just nailed the part in terms of the hard part, which is the dialogue sounding real. I thought, she could do this. She was just great. And everything came easy to her: the tension, the screams, all that. Fun. Fun and easy for her, so I made the right choice.

5. Michael's hand in the opening scenes is actually a woman's

It was actually [Halloween producer] Debra Hill’s hand, opening the drawer, holding the knife.

6. He wrote the score inspired by learning the bongos as a kid

My father taught me 5/4 time on the bongos. He gave me a set of bongos for Christmas one year. I must have been maybe 13 or 14. And he taught me the 5/4 time: BA ba pa BA ba pa BA pa BA ba pa.… And so I just took that and used some octaves on the piano and came up with it.

7. They used the Captain Kirk mask because they couldn't afford to make their own

There was a choice we had to make, because we didn’t have any money to make a mask. It was supposed to be Captain Kirk. It looked nothing like William Shatner, nothing like anybody, really. It was just a strange mask, which was perfect for us. So we spray-painted it, altered the eye holes and just did a couple things with the hair — and there you had it. I like to think it’s Shatner, but it’s not really.

8. His favorite shot in 'Halloween' is one of the more simple scenes

You know, frankly, it’s a shot near the beginning of the movie of an empty street and some leaves just sort of dropping in the foreground, and I think it says “Haddonfield, Illinois” or something like that. I love that shot. There’s nothing to it.

Spawning novels, comic books, and video games, the ten Halloween movies prove that John Carpenter's work has stood the test of time. Now I suddenly have the urge to watch some classic horror. Who's with me?

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)


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