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SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains minor spoilers for David Gordon Green's Halloween. If you have not yet seen the film, you may want to bookmark this page and save the read for after your screening.
One of the most amazing sequences in 2018's Halloween tracks Michael Myers as he travels between two houses killing multiple people -- and right smack in the middle is one of the tensest moments in the movie. As the psychopathic killer makes his way through a living room, you can hear the sound of a baby crying, and for a moment you wonder if the knife-wielding monster will kill it. Thankfully he doesn't -- but what's awesome is that the surprises don't end there, as David Gordon Green recently revealed something extra fantastic about the scene: the sound of the baby was created by star Jamie Lee Curtis. Said the filmmaker,
The baby idea happened on set. Why would a baby crib be in the living room of the house? But the art director had that idea at the last minute. He's like, 'There's this blank space. We need some narrative there. What's the story?' And so we scrambled and found a little mobile. And beautiful note, which you should ask about: the sound of the baby crying? Jamie Lee [Curtis]. I can't believe I haven't said that yet.
David Gordon Green dipped a bit into spoiler territory last month doing roundtable interviews at the Los Angeles press day for Halloween, specifically when talking about the fate of the baby. I asked if the script always had Michael Myers walking past the baby, and in addition to revealing that the whole thing was basically improved, he added the special detail about provided the sound of the crying child.
How exactly does this all work? It turns out it's just a special skill that the Halloween star possesses. While it's a touch hard to explain, she does it by cupping her hands over her mouth and moving them as she makes the crying noises -- and I know this because Jamie Lee Curtis actually did it during the roundtable interview that followed our group chat with David Gordon Green. Discussing it further, the director noted that the entire scene doesn't feature Curtis' specific baby cry, but added it's definitely in there, and was basically an ad lib addition on set. Said Green,
When we got really close we used a real baby cry, but for as you hear it coming around you can hear a baby's cry softly in the background that's her. But that was just a last minute idea. A perfect example of something we'd rehearsed and thought we had it all figured out, and in the last minute we're like, 'There's this boring gap here.' It was going to be her husband asleep on the sofa, and it's like, 'Who gives a shit about her husband asleep on the sofa?' But a baby crying, you're like, 'Oh, there's an ethical choice here.'
All in all it's a behind-the-scenes detail that actually manages to enhance the particular sequence. It's a brilliant bit in the film as it is, but now that you know this story it will forever change the way you watch it -- and I'm willing to bet that it will always put a smile on your face.