If there is anyone who knows the pressure and expectations of creating something new in a beloved franchise, then Danny McBride is that man. Appearing in the 2017 title Alien: Covenant, a Ridley Scott feature that followed on from the 2012 disappointment Prometheus, the comedic actor now has the task of reinventing a horror classic in the form of Halloween Returns.
Reviving the slasher character Michael Myers, McBride told Empire Film Podcast this week that he needs to be as critical in the production of this installment as a fan would be from a distance.
"I'm the same way, I'll be the first person to go online and bitch about someone rebooting something, like 'why are you doing this?'" he remarks. "So for us, we were like we have to make sure that this is something we actually would want to see or else it's not worth doing. We came up with a take that we thought was cool, and then we actually went and pitched to John Carpenter, and he loved it, he was into it. It was like insane to have his seal of approval and to have him respond to where we were talking about taking Michael Myers next."
McBride: We Want To Make Halloween Great Again
Working alongside his Eastbound and Down regular Gordon Green, McBride argues that the series has diminished in quality following the 1978 original.
"Look at where the Halloween franchise has gone," he suggests. "There's a lot of room for improvement. David and I are coming from it as, we are horror fans, and we are humongous fans of John Carpenter and of what he did with the original Halloween, so I think from watching this and being disappointed by other versions of this series, I think we're just trying to strip it down and just take it back to what was so good about the original."
Myers Needs To Bleed To Create True Fear
Pinpointing one area in particular that lingers in the memory, McBride says that the central antagonist Michael Myers cannot continue the lazy horror trope of simply pursuing his victims. There has to be the element of surprise.
"I think it's much more horrifying to be scared by someone standing in the shadows while you're taking the trash out as opposed to someone who can't be killed pursuing you."
And while the 2007 Rob Zombie version had a killer who could not be stopped by conventional weapons, McBride wants his villain to be mortal.
"It was just very simple and just achieved that level of horror that wasn't corny and it wasn't turning Michael Myers into some supernatural being that couldn't be killed. That stuff to me isn't scary. I want to be scared by something that I really think could happen."