Halloween Kills Producer Jason Blum On Why Sequels Are Difficult [Interview]

In 2018, Blumhouse surpassed expectations with "Halloween," David Gordon Green's sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 slasher classic. Surpassing expectations wasn't anything new to Blumhouse, but the production company delivered a hit reboot that most audiences weren't expecting. Not just a hit, but more importantly, a well-liked return to the world of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. Three years later, the horror icons return in "Halloween Kills."  "Halloween" is one of the bigger Blumhouse titles. A $15-20 million budget for a hit sequel, of course, is big by Blumhouse's standard. Nonetheless, there still wasn't enough time or resources while making "Halloween Kills" as producer Jason... The post Halloween Kills Producer Jason Blum on Why Sequels Are Difficult [Interview] appeared first on /Film.

Halloween Kills Producer Jason Blum On Why Sequels Are Difficult [Interview]

In 2018, Blumhouse surpassed expectations with "Halloween," David Gordon Green's sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 slasher classic. Surpassing expectations wasn't anything new to Blumhouse, but the production company delivered a hit reboot that most audiences weren't expecting. Not just a hit, but more importantly, a well-liked return to the world of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. Three years later, the horror icons return in "Halloween Kills." 

"Halloween" is one of the bigger Blumhouse titles. A $15-20 million budget for a hit sequel, of course, is big by Blumhouse's standard. Nonetheless, there still wasn't enough time or resources while making "Halloween Kills" as producer Jason Blum told us ahead of the release of the highly anticipated sequel. Recently, the producer talked to us about making David Gordon Green's sequel, the trick of delivering a good sequel, and more about the inner-workings at Blumhouse. 

"I've Never Seen Someone Get Killed In Their Armpit."

For some people, David Gordon Green was a surprising choice for "Halloween," but given his independent spirit, does he just gel well with Blumhouse?

Yes, we are kindred spirits. He's been a great business partner. We're doing the three "Exorcist" movies with him, so that'll make six movies. There's a seventh movie we're talking about doing. I love working with him, and I know he loves working with us. It's been a great partnership with him, for exactly the reason that you say. We do best with directors who are very entrepreneurial, and he is that. He thinks outside the box, and that's our kind of person.

The budget was bigger this time around, though, right?

Yeah, but by Hollywood standards, the budgets are still tiny. If Hollywood has a movie that does $260 [million] worldwide, the sequel of that movie is going to cost $70 million dollars. Ours was $15 or 20 [million], whatever it was. So, it's still very tight. And if you talk to David, he'd say was very, very tight. People who love movies, whatever the budget is you're always trying to be good at your job. You're always trying to fit twice as much story into whatever the budget allows for. David is definitely no exception to that rule. I think it was very tight. There was not enough money and not enough time.

I enjoyed watching you and John Carpenter disagree on that, with him saying, "More money and time, the best."

Oh yeah, we did. We have a very different point of view, John and I, on that one, that's for sure.

What's an instance of David Gordon Green really stretching the resources he has on "Halloween Kills"?

Well, all the kills are very complicated because you get to do them once. It takes an hour and a half, two hours to set it up. A lot of those are done practically, and if you screw it up, you probably aren't going back. The pressure builds on the set, and David is good at not tearing his hair out. Someone else might.

Do you have a personal favorite in the movie?

Well, my favorite kill is the armpit kill. I've never seen someone get killed in their armpit. That was a highlight for me.

"It Is Risky To Do, But If You Can Pull It Off, It's Great."

Obviously, you have a lot of experience making sequels, what's usually the trickiest part of making them?

It's always the same, which is to make it relate to the first movie enough that people don't feel like it's... It merits the two in the name, right? But also, to make it original enough that it doesn't feel like you're retreading or repeating the first movie. I think people often make mistakes with sequels when they think, "Well, the first movie works. Let's just do more of what we did on the first movie." And that's always when fans are let down. You've got to, kind of, do both. I think David has kind of walked that line so well, with both movies. I should say, in fact, with all three movies. Because the first movie had to do that too. The first movie is also, technically, a sequel. So he had to kind of walk that line three times. I just think he did it elegantly.

Would you say the next one will have a slightly different tone then, too?

Yeah, I think that's true. I think the second movie is tonally a little bit different than the first and I think the third is tonally a little bit different than the second. It is risky to do, but if you can pull it off, it's great.

You and David, at one point, considered shooting two of these back to back. But then you realized that's crazy. When did you both realize it was a crazy idea?

We did. We were going to shoot two to three, back to back. You have to ask David to confirm this, but I think the real issue was, we didn't want to do that unless we were madly in love with both scripts. David felt like he wanted to work more on the third script and wasn't ready to do that. So we broke it back up into one at a time, which I'm happy about. You don't want to do that unless you're feeling both scripts are perfect. I think the third movie will be better because we waited.

You usually don't visit sets unless something is going wrong.

That's true.

"Halloween Kills," though, being the big franchise that it is, do you visit the set more?

In fact, the opposite. With David, he's so capable. I try and be where I'm having the most impact on the company, on the movies, on the shows. If I'm super active on set, I haven't done my job very well. Meaning, the people who work for me are not doing something right. Or the director I've chosen is not doing a terrific job. Hopefully, I've made all the right choices, so I don't have to spend so much time on set. And that's not true on every movie, but on "Halloween" it was. And so, I don't.

"People Went Bananas For The Movie."

How much does Blumhouse usually test screen?

We test screen a lot. Much to the horror of some directors... Not all directors, a lot of directors like to do it. I love to test screen movies. Not so concerned about the scores, but I'm very concerned about watching a movie play with an audience and making tweaks after you do that. "Paranormal Activity," we test screened that movie 50 times.

It wasn't always recruited with 300 people in the audience, but we would screen it and tweak, and screen it and tweak. Even if it was five people, or 10 people, or 20 people. You can't listen to everything the audience says, because they don't all agree. I think the more you show a movie to an audience in a rough cut, and the more you tweak it, the better it gets.

How's David Gordon Green with test screenings?

David definitely embraces it. Let's think, who else here?

How about Scott Derrickson?

You made me think of Scott. Scott Derrickson was kind of in the middle. He doesn't hate it, but he doesn't love it. Leigh Whannell, he thinks it's important, but he hates doing it. So that's true of a lot of the directors, too. They hate doing it, but they know that it's important.

What's the best and worst experience you've had testing a movie?

Well, "Paranormal Activity" was the best. That was by far the best because people went crazy. When we first screened the movie in a real movie theater, in a mall, people went bananas for the movie. That was the best, most memorable test screening I ever had. The worst one, I think, was probably the first "Purge" movie.

The first version of the movie scored very low, and I didn't know what we were going to do to fix it. It was one of the first movies I had made with my new deal with Universal, so we had pressure to deliver a good movie. I was very frustrated with how low that movie scored, but we all turned it around, and we're six movies in now. That story has a happy ending.

"It Hasn't Changed From When We Were Going To Release It Last Year."

Did "Halloween Kills" change at all during the last year or was picture locked for a while?

No, I think we got to spend a little more time with it, but the movie that you saw existed 12 months ago. It hasn't changed from when we were going to release it last year.

Any scenes hit the cutting room floor?

I doubt there was much. I mean, one of the great things about working with someone like David, who's got so much experience, is he's loath to waste money. Wasting money means shooting things that don't wind up in the movie. I would say his ratio of what you shoot to winding up in the movie is very high.

Do Blumhouse's movies usually not end up with many deleted scenes?

I would say compared to other studios, there's way less. Like animation, we try and do the cutting before we start shooting. I try and never shoot a script that's over a hundred pages for that reason.

Any movies that radically changed in the editing room?

They all change a lot, but yeah, "Ouija" radically changed. We shot an additional 10 days on that movie and it was completely different. Mike Flanagan came in and redid 10 days of photography on "Ouija 1," which completely changed in post-production. Mike did such a good job that we hired him to direct the second movie.

Do you ever talk to John Carpenter about maybe making a movie for Blumhouse?

You know, we've danced around the conversation. I think he's very happy doing music. Obviously, he does music for all the movies and having a great time doing that. I don't push it.

"Halloween Kills" is now playing in theaters.

Read this next: The 11 Scariest Scenes In The Halloween Franchise

The post Halloween Kills Producer Jason Blum on Why Sequels Are Difficult [Interview] appeared first on /Film.

Source : Slash Film More   

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Halloween Kills Ending Explained: Haddonfield Has Had It With The Boogeyman

Michael Myers has once again returned to terrorize the citizens of Haddonfield, Illinois in "Halloween Kills." This latest entry in the iconic horror franchise serves as the sequel to 2018's smash hit "Halloween," which completely revamped the series by serving as a direct sequel to John Carpenter's original 1978 horror masterpiece. So, this is essentially the third entry in what will be a four-movie arc, as "Halloween Ends" is still on deck for director David Gordon Green and the cast. That means, we know for sure we're getting another installment in this iteration of the neverending Michael Myers vs. Laurie Strode saga. With... The post Halloween Kills Ending Explained: Haddonfield Has Had It With the Boogeyman appeared first on /Film.

Halloween Kills Ending Explained: Haddonfield Has Had It With The Boogeyman

Michael Myers has once again returned to terrorize the citizens of Haddonfield, Illinois in "Halloween Kills." This latest entry in the iconic horror franchise serves as the sequel to 2018's smash hit "Halloween," which completely revamped the series by serving as a direct sequel to John Carpenter's original 1978 horror masterpiece. So, this is essentially the third entry in what will be a four-movie arc, as "Halloween Ends" is still on deck for director David Gordon Green and the cast.

That means, we know for sure we're getting another installment in this iteration of the neverending Michael Myers vs. Laurie Strode saga. With that in mind, we're going to take a look at the ending of "Halloween Kills" and break down the whole thing, as there is much to discuss. So, for those who haven't seen it, now would be a good time to avert your eyes, because we're taking a trip to spoiler country.

A Brief Refresher

The sequel (for all intents and purposes) picks up right where "Halloween" left off, though we do get a significant flashback to the events of 1978 involving a young Officer Hawkins (Will Patton/Thomas Mann). And yes, "Halloween Kills" absolutely deals with the consequences of Hawkins' actions, or inaction for that matter, but the movie largely is concerned with Halloween night in 2018. After word gets out that Michael Myers managed to escape Laurie Strode's (Jamie Lee Curtis) house and slaughter nearly a dozen first responders, in addition to the other bodies that are now showing up on the news, the people of Haddonfield -- including those who encountered Michael all those years ago -- decide they've had enough.

Rather than cower in their homes, Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall), Lonnie Elam (Robert Longstreet), Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards), and Marion Chambers (Nancy Stephens) decide to rally the townspeople to take up arms and go hunt Myers down. This results in utter chaos with mob mentality taking over, as people storm the hospital and end up sending another one of the escaped convicts from the bus crash in the previous movie to his death, as he was wrongfully identified as Michael Myers. The police essentially lose control over the situation, with Officer Brackett (Charles Cyphers) not helping matters by siding with the mob. "Evil dies tonight," as it were.

Meanwhile, Michael is still out roaming the streets and stacking up more bodies, with Allyson (Andi Matichak) among those out looking for him, along with Lonnie and his son, Cameron (Dylan Arnold). After the wrongfully identified inmate jumps to his death, Karen Nelson (Judy Greer) and Tommy set aside their differences and head to go find Michael. Meanwhile, despite her desire to get in the fight, Laurie's injuries are too debilitating and she's left to recover in the hospital alongside Hawkins.

Showdown At The Old Myers House

As it turns out, Michael was making a beeline to his old home the whole time. Lonnie manages to piece this together by looking at the trail of the dead, taking Allyson and Cameron with him to finish the job. But when they arrive, Lonnie insists that the other two stay in the car, as he can't bear the thought of anything happening to them. As it happens, this was stupid, as Lonnie is dispatched by Michael within mere moments. Allyson and Cameron hear the scuffle and decide to head into the house, guns locked and loaded, to end Michael's reign of terror.

Allyson discovers the bodies of the house's current (former?) owners, Big John (Scott MacArthur) and Little John (Michael McDonald). Meanwhile, Cameron makes the discovery that his dad, Lonnie, has been brutally murdered by Michael. (shocking, we know, as his plan seemed so full-proof.) At this point, Michael emerges and, unsurprisingly, gets the best of Cameron in a hurry. Allyson makes a good go of it, but Michael pushes her down the stairs and hurts her badly. Meanwhile, he proceeds to brutally, and slowly, kill Cameron, despite Allyson's protests. That only lasts so long, as Michael then begins to make his way downstairs to finish off Allyson.

When all seems lost, Karen shows up to save the day. She manages to pull Michael's mask off after stabbing him with a pitchfork, which irritates him something fierce, leading him to chase Laurie out of the house and into the neighborhood. But this was exactly what Karen wanted, as they find themselves in the street, with the townsfolks pulling up to block Michael in -- weapons in hand. They are ready to finish this, once and for all. Michael picks up his mask and places it back on. Let them fight.

Michael Lives, Michael Kills, Halloween Continues

In any real-life situation, with a normal killer, this would be beyond over. Michael is outmatched, outgunned, and hopelessly surrounded. Tommy and everyone else begin to whip Michael's ass with a feverish fury. Stabbed. Shot. Clubbed. It seems, for a brief moment, that this is actually going to be the end for the Haddonfield Boogeyman. Karen had already stabbed him with a pitchfork once, and after the mob beats him to assured death, she stabs him right in the back, nice and deep. Yet, foolishly, despite all of the "evil dies tonight" talk from just about everyone, they decide to leave him in the street, assuming the job is done (spoiler: it's not done).

We then cut to Laurie, who is recovering in the hospital and speaking to Hawkins. She begins to monologue about the nature of what Michael truly is, suggesting that he is not just a normal man. That he is pure evil and that, even if they try to kill him tonight, it won't be the end of it. He will escape, and show up to terrorize people once again, be it tomorrow, or several years from now. Not that I'm the king of gleaning deeper meaning from stuff, but this almost feels like a commentary on the franchise from David Gordon Green.

Sure enough, as this monologue rings over the movie's final minutes, Michael gets up and begins taking out the mob, one by one. Despite his grave injuries, the killing seems to fill him with life. Even Tommy bites the dust, or seemingly so, getting stabbed in the stomach and beaten with his own bat. It's brutal and, not to downplay the violence, kind of silly. How on earth that many people, that well-armed, let that happen is downright maddening. But this is a horror movie after all, and a sequel must be justified somehow.

Michael Myers, More Human Than Human?

Perhaps the most shocking bit comes at the very end, when Karen feels compelled to look out the window of Michael's sister's room -- the room the killer seems to be so infatuated with. This proves to be a mistake, as Michael (after killing about 75 more people) also decides to head back to his old haunt. And, you guessed it, he murders the s*** out of Karen. Meanwhile, Laurie is laid up in the hospital having no idea that her daughter was just murdered by the monster that she failed to kill earlier that night.

This, in essence, sets the stage for what will come in "Halloween Ends." It has already been confirmed that the movie will have a significant time jump, taking place in the present day and addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Seemingly we are going to get a revenge flick, with Laurie surely out for blood. Whereas she was scared and somewhat in hiding in 2018's "Halloween," she no longer has anything left to lose. Perhaps we'll see Laurie join in the hunt next time around.

But the main point "Halloween Kills" seems to be getting at is that mob mentality was futile, which certainly has some relevance in today's world. Beyond that, it truly gets at the nature of Michael Myers. Is he really just a man? There is nothing (at least, not explicitly) supernatural about him, but those final minutes make one wonder. What man could survive that, and seemingly thrive beyond that? Michael may well be, to quote the great Rob Zombie, more human than human.

"Halloween Kills" is now in theaters and streaming on Peacock.

Read this next: The 20 Best '80s Horror Movies Ranked

The post Halloween Kills Ending Explained: Haddonfield Has Had It With the Boogeyman appeared first on /Film.

Source : Slash Film More   

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