For over 40 years, Michael Myers has been one of horror’s greatest icons. Created in the years 1978 HalloweenMichael’s violence and terror were only rivaled by a few such slashers. “He’s supposed to be the bogeyman, a force of evil,” says director, writer and music composer Jean Charpentier. Carpenter, alongside film producer Debra Hill, shaped Michael – creating a being that represents darkness like no other. Carpenter continues, âThe Shape, Michael Myers, is a versatile bogeyman. In other words – Godzilla was a handyman monster [â¦] You think of Michael Myers, he’s really flexible.
From that of the 1978 film, its 1981 sequel, and the non-conical film Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Carpenter stayed away from Halloween franchise; it is until entry 2018 led by David Gordon Green, written by Green, Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride. The 2018 film bills itself as a canonical sequel to the 1978 film – disregarding all of the other films. Green set out to create a new trilogy within the franchise, with the next chapter being this year. Halloween kills. Although Carpenter does not act as a director or participate in the writing of these films, his creative contributions take shape in each of the musical scores of the film.
While Carpenter is so often recognized for his cinematic achievement, the impact of his music cannot be ignored. There is an interesting story where, after sharing the original Halloween with a setting – where no music or sound was present – said producer did not like the film. It was only when the executive saw Halloween with his score he captivated them.
Through so many of his films, Carpenter has created his own scores; his passion for electronic music came to him very early on, in part thanks to his father’s musical work and the discovery of the synthesizer through the science fiction film Forbidden planet (1956). The latter point has been of great influence on him throughout his career, with electronic music making the overwhelming musical presence in his films. Even in his personal equipment, the synthesizer is a strong element of his art. It is a widely used instrument in the horror genre – its sounds overlap with tranquil, unsettling, ethereal auras. Speaking of the prominence of the synthesizer and its relationship to horror, Carpenter says, âIt’s [used because itâs] cheap, that’s why. I don’t know why this connection is there, but the synth has a unique sound. It’s like no other; I knew this very early on. “
Whether it’s making your own music or scoring Halloween kills, Carpenter works alongside his son Cody Charpentier and godson Daniel Davies. Beginning work on the soundtrack for this film, Carpenter expresses what he and his team brought to the scoring process. âWe started on Halloween movies with two things. First, we have the midi from the original score; by that, I mean, we have the original score that I did years ago – the different songs with that. Then we tend to update them, adapt them, and use parts of them here and there. Once we deal with the movie and watch it, we can work with new material – it’s all improvised.. “
Part of this update comes in the form of the overhaul Halloween theme – perhaps one of the most iconic horror songs alongside The Exorcist theme. This time around, the song kicks off with an added industrial tinted bass, an added choir-type vocals section sprinkled here and there. Compared to the late 1970s, musicians can do so much more with audio equipment today – with these new innovations inspiring Carpenter’s reinterpretation of the classical melody. “[There] are brand new sounds that are constantly being updated, âhe says, discussing the restyled version of the Halloween theme. âThis is where the inspiration comes from. New sounds, it’s amazing. We’ve come a long way since 1978. “
When you work on the music for Halloween killsCarpenter tends to approach the material knowing that a tone will be involved, while relying primarily on the presence of the visuals in front of him. “I usually know what I want to do in terms of the atmosphere [coming into a film], but we mark the movie. That’s right ; I want the final cut in my computer and then we start to mark on it. i don’t think about [particular musical ideas] ahead. âIn further discussing how he translates the image / action into music, he shares,â There is no one rule for all of this. It depends on where we are. are in the story, what the characters are involved in or generally ongoing thematic material. There are a lot of things taken into account. But there are no rules. Sometimes you can mark something counterintuitively; go the other way, go slow, quiet – sometimes it works.
Much like the previous soundtrack, the material on the Halloween kills the soundtrack displays a range of sonic intrigues; gently flowing compositions stirring from mystique, to the most fascinating of adrenaline rushes, provoking the sensation of a stalker in pursuit of his prey. One of those tracks that reflects the latter is the first single on the record, “Indestructible. ââ It was fun watching it take shape, âCarpenter says of the song’s origin.â We just went with the stage; the stage guided us.
While Carpenter’s most of the time with Halloween is now mainly based on music, the passion for his character and that of Hill is still present. Yet while Michael tends to get a lot of fan attention, Green’s films aim to uplift that of 1978’s last daughter – Laurie Strode (Jamie lee curtis). Curtis appeared in others Halloween films since the first two, however, the Laurie of this new trilogy displays new depth – a woman wounded by horrific trauma, but also empowered, ready to face her demon head-on. Considering this progression and everything Curtis has done in her career, Carpenter is beyond proud of herself. âJamie is awesome. She deserved the [Golden Lion for Lifetime] Award of Excellence at the Venice Film Festival. She has become such a beautiful actress – she is a force of nature. His character [Laurie] – it is a person.
While other iconic slashers have had their fair share of reboots / remakes over the years, Halloween was by far one of the most suitable works (for good and for bad). But for Carpenter, these tributes and interpretations bring great joy. “It is fabulous. It is all fabulous. Never expected that. It comes out of nowhere; it’s great, it’s a gift. Everything in the world of cinema is surreal. There is nothing normal about it. He expresses additional praise for Green’s vision and what he did with it Halloweenthe story and its characters. “[David] is a really talented director. He took Halloween through the throat. I am very impressed with him as a director. And these are not just fine words, because Carpenter is delighted to Halloween kills. “[The film] kick ass. This is the ultimate slasher movie. It’s a tenfold horror movie. That’s what I like !“
Despite being absent at times, Carpenter awaits with just as much enthusiasm and patience as he marks Green’s final entry into this new Halloween trilogy, Halloween ends. When it comes to potential musical ideas, Carpenter sticks to his practice. âWe will wait and see. The tone of the movie is the most important thing, where the characters go is the most important thing. We will wait and see. It will be great I tell you.
Me and Bloody Disgusting would like to thank John Carpenter for the time he devoted to this interview. You can catch Halloween kills in theaters and on Peacock this weekend.