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For more than four decades, the sleepy town of Haddonfield, Illinois has stuck in our collective imagination thanks to the iconic 1978 struggle between babysitter Laurie Strode and deranged killer Michael Myers. Like Myers himself, the Halloween series refuses to die, constantly reinventing itself with the times. Ahead of Halloween Kills' wide theatrical release this October, Laurie herself — actress Jamie Lee Curtis — sat down with Variety to discuss the franchise's enduring legacy.
"There is something that John Carpenter and Debra Hill created of pure evil and pure good," she explained. "They tapped into a trope that has been worked through opera, theater, books, films since the beginning of people using words. The idea of evil and good ... The idea of pure evil and the most ubiquitous representation of good, a virginal babysitter, a young girl with dreams of romance and goodness in her heart."
A forerunner to the teenage slasher genre that would come to dominate the horror scene of the 1980s, Halloween literally changed the game with an incredibly meager budget of $300,000 provided by executive producer Moustapha Akkad. Without it, we probably wouldn't have other iconic killers like Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) and Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street). Simply put, Halloween tapped into something magical and timeless — through the story, through the characters, through Carpenter's score, and Dean Cundey's cinematography.
"Somehow, the simplicity of that theme of evil and goodness coming together on Halloween night on 1978 in Haddonfield, Illinois is the reason it has lasted all these years," Curtis continued. "That theme never dies. It’s an ongoing theme we all struggle with every day in every aspect of our lives."
When asked about Kills (directed and co-written by the returning David Gordon Green), she described the sequel to the 2018 revival as "a movie about mob violence." Somewhat inspired by 1981's Halloween 2, the film picks up in the immediate aftermath of Laurie trapping Michael in the basement of her burning home. Most unfortunately, he's inadvertantly saved by firefighters who rush to the scene, giving Myers an open field for another killing spree. It's up to the residents of Haddonfield to join forces and stop him, but they won't (at least not yet), because we've still got Halloween Ends slated to come out next fall.
The supporting cast forHalloween Kills (out in theaters everywhere Friday, Oct. 15) also features Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Thomas Mann, and Anthony Michael Hall.