Its been 9 long years since torn up the silver screen.  And all that time, Malek Akkad, son of Moustapha and the person that has been part of the franchise since the original, has worked to create the greatest return to the horror franchise possible. Pure Horror fans are going to finally get the story the have wanted for years, masterfully created by the most exciting team ever assembled in the horror genre.

Malek Akkad who heads Trancas International Films, brought together a superstar team which includes John Carpenter, returning for the first time to the franchise since the original in 1978.  Returning are Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode and Nick Castle recreating his 1978 role as Michael Myers.  Also joining the team is horror master Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions.  And lets of course not forget Director David Gordon Green and writers Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley.

I was personally invited by Malek Akkad to visit the “super secret” set this year and interview the major players in the incredible movie and bring those interviews to you.  And I really mean super secret. I was not allowed to tell anyone where I was going or why I was on this trip.

Once on location, I sat down with the Actors, Writers, Producers and Director and talked about what this meant to them to be a part of the reboot of the biggest horror franchise in the history of Hollywood.

The two Interviews that where most interesting to me where Rhian Rees and Jefferson Hall because their characters have a huge impact in the film.  Its fair to say when you see the movie, you will be blown away by their roles.  Only myself and one other journalist that works for the official Halloween website had the chance to talk to these two, so it is a real honor to be able to bring this exclusive interview to our Cinema Buzz fans!

I have a lot more interviews to come as we move towards the October release of the film.   Please come back weekly as we approach opening day in October.   I promise you will not be disappointed as I take you further and further down the rabbit hole, behinds the scenes of this crowning jewel in the greatest horror franchise ever to grace the silver screen!

Please to enjoy…

Rhian Rees and Jefferson Hall play Dana and Martin, two Pod-caster Journalists in the new Halloween

Cinema Buzz: Who are your characters, and what is their entrance into the world of Halloween?

Jefferson

We are probably the closest thing to the audience, as far as characters are concerned, because we are coming in as people who have followed the case (of Michael Myers) almost since childhood. So we talk about what happened, and we want to find out about what happened, and who Michael is, and who Laurie Strode is. We are journalists.

Rhian

We are like millennial journalists from Britain. We have a podcast and a blog, so we are in touch with the audience, and definitely the younger generation.

Diva Tyler, Rhian Rees and Jefferson Hall in Halloween

Cinema Buzz: So your characters came over just to research this Michael Myers phenomena. Are you looking not just at the case but at the lore, and how kids are looking at it today?

Jefferson

We are looking at the whole idea of incarceration of mentally ill people, and juxtaposing that to real life serial killers. It’s difficult to mention all of that stuff in the film, but in doing our own research we looked at Ed Kemper, who is this huge guy who walked around breaking people’s necks and decapitating people, or Herb Mullin who went from door to door just stabbing people because of the voices in his head. There are so many serial killers from that time, the 1970s and 1980s, when it was post-Vietnam and pre-FBI analysis. Jeffery Dahmer started killing in 1978 as well, the same year Carpenter’s Halloween came out, so it’s quite interesting.

Cinema Buzz:   In that this film ignores any sequels to the original, it also lowers Myers’ onscreen body count considerably. Given that, do your characters view Myers as being lower on the serial killer totem pole?

Jefferson

Yeah, Myers is no John Wayne Gacy.

Rhian

Definitely. I think we find Michael to be a little more empathetic, and we’re obsessed with the idea of getting him and Laurie Strode into the same room together, so that they may face their fears. So that’s a whole angle, in that our characters are approaching it a bit sensationally and exploitative, and also we don’t think he’s the world’s worst serial killer, as we are coming at it from a different perspective.

Jefferson

Peter Woodcock, the Canadian serial killer, raped and murdered three little boys when he was fifteen, and he was sentenced to forty years in prison. The first time he gets a day release, he goes to a hardware store, buys an axe, a carving knife and a piece of rope and places them in the woods. Then he immediately lures a guy into the very same woods where he stabs him like fifty times. Peter then goes straight back to the facility covered in blood and says, ‘You shouldn’t have let me out.’  The crimes are very Myers’esque. There’s a dormant period.

Rhian

Jefferson was drawing a similarity to Michael Myers being more like a lion or a shark, in that he has no life behind his eyes, and I guess the mask sort of helps with that. Looking at videos of lions turning on their owners has been eye-opening.

Cinema Buzz: Tell us about working with the Director, David Gordon Green.

Rhian

He allows for a lot of freedom and trust on set.

Jefferson

We met with him and spoke on Skype a lot, and talked a lot about how this story was situated in the real world, and I talked a lot about America and the state it is in, and in how differently the English view it: gun crime and medication and all of those things add up to a very different universe to investigate than the one in which our characters come from.

David Gordon Green and Rhian Rees in Halloween

Cinema Buzz: Who did you look to as journalists in this space as a guide for what that world looks like?

Rhian

Personally I looked at Phoebe Judge who does a criminal podcast, which actually focuses on a different story every month, and she’s fascinated by crime, but manages to keep it entertaining. There’s a subtle sense of humor in her reporting, so that’s who I looked to.

Cinema Buzz: Your characters, from what I understand, have come into possession of Myer’s mask, and when you display it, it triggers him.

Jefferson

Yes. There are also some other influences into the reactivation of Myers into a maniac, and I think that we have the mask is a huge provocation. He wants his face back, as you would.

Cinema Buzz: Because that is his personality? Is that who he is?

Jefferson

Well, I think, yeah. Speaking psychologically, he can’t kill without it. He has to hide his face. Ed Kemper (for one) had these weird glasses that he wore, and he couldn’t kill anyone without wearing them.

Jefferson Hall shows Michael Myers his mask.

Cinema Buzz: So your characters visit Michael Myers in an insane asylum and sneaks his mask in to show him?

Jefferson

Yeah, but you won’t see his face. And it was an incredible set.

Rhian

It was really chilling.

Jefferson

It was a military institution, and it had this huge courtyard surrounded by buildings, with barbed wire around the top and dudes with machine guns. The courtyard was a huge checkerboard, red and white. In the middle, we got your man (Michael) and around him were a whole bunch of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest nutcases chained to bits of concrete, and they all start losing their shit, while Myers just sits there, still. And we start asking him rote questions while his back is to us and he starts to rise, and everyone starts to scream.

So we filmed the courtyard scene at that location, and then we went to an actual prison to film others, and the inmates were lined up watching us film from the other side of a chain-link fence.

Cinema Buzz: How did the role come to each of you?

Rhian

I live in Los Angeles, and I had just signed with a new agent, and this was my first audition. I’m going to keep him I think. I didn’t know that it was a Halloween film at the time. I thought it was a film called Night Blade. I got a call back a couple of weeks later, and when I came back in I knew that it was Halloween and that’s when I met with David, and then three weeks later we Skyped, and he said, ‘Maybe you should come down and be part of the project.’ But I didn’t know if he meant that I got the part or if he was just trying to be polite.

Jefferson

I sent in a tape from London, and when I got a call back and Skyped with David, he said, ‘It’d be cool if you could come down to South Carolina and just play with us,’ and I’m on Skype trying to look cool, saying, ‘Yeah, maybe. Let me see what’s going on.’ And I’m like the biggest McBride fan, so I was just stoked.

Rhian Rees, Miles Robbins and Nick Castle – Halloween

Cinema Buzz: David has said today that they are shooting the violence in an effort to allow it to be edited to deliver two separate results, one gory and one rather bloodless.

Jefferson

We did see a really incredible and intricate piece of prosthetic work that the guys did that was really not that pleasant to look at. But I don’t think they hardly shot any of it. It was (purposefully) a little out of focus and a little out of frame, and all you saw was the blood running down.

Cinema Buzz: How many days are you shooting?

Jefferson

I believe eight or nine in total.

Cinema Buzz: Do you have long monologues or is it snappy and back and forth?

Jefferson

We are pretty close to the audience, and so we have exposition for those who have never seen the (original) film. So we are the guys that are saying, ‘He did this. This happened. We are looking for him.’ So we provide the background for the audience. As an actor, you never want to do any exposition, but here I think it’s written quite gracefully and well down.

Cinema Buzz: Are your characters the type of journalists that will make the story happen by twisting the truth a little bit?

Jefferson

What’s interesting is that you have the established world of Haddonfield that everyone knows about, and then you have these two characters who are fucking fiddling with the bars on the lion’s cage, and people go, ‘But lions kill people,’ but these characters don’t just want to see a lion sitting in the zoo. They want to see it bite. They want to see it eat meat. And that’s essentially what we are doing is rattling Michael’s cage.

Rhian

And horribly naively as well. Our ideal is that Michael can be rehabilitated as they do in Scandinavia, and given a job.

Cinema Buzz: Do you ever wonder as journalists why Laurie, her daughter and granddaughter are still in Haddonfield?

Rhian

Yes. Big time. She’s as mad as Michael. Can I say that she’s a recluse? Because she is.

Cinema Buzz: Does Laurie talk to you?

Rhian

Yes. We try.

Jefferson

For our characters, Laurie is as interesting as Michael, and we think Laurie and Michael complete each other in a way. Like Jaws and Quint.

Rhian

Laurie isn’t overly receptive to us, but our characters are very interested in her, because we’ve been researching the victim mentality for years leading up to this, and it’s so entertaining, because we are potentially going to get an interview with the victim, and with Michael Myers coming together, and this could be the first conversation they’ve ever had. I mean, he doesn’t talk to anyone, and she could be the key.