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HALLOWEEN H20

About The Locations

For the 20th year reunion, the H20 producers once again utilized the Southland for their locations, though this time the Los Angeles area would be doubling for Northern California.

The two principle shooting locations were the small town of La Puente as the fictitious Summer Glen, California (coincidentally only several miles away from the original location of Rosemead), and a remarkable hilltop mansion in the Silver Lake area near Hollywood that was built in the 1920s for silent film star Antonio Moreno and is now on the registry of historical landmarks.

Production designer John Willet elaborates, "The design [for this film] all stems from the [Michael Myers] mask. I wanted to create a visual metaphor for it; kind of plain, a bit uncomfortable but calm on the exterior, while inside it's totally crazy, just wacko."

This motif was repeated in almost every location. "Take the school," notes Willet, "The corridors and hallways are bare, not much going on, but when you start opening doors you're assaulted by all this clutter and confusion. It's an exaggerated style that's meant to emphasize the suspense, make you wonder what's around the next corner.

While the Moreno mansion and grounds constitute the bulk of the film's setting, only two on-site interiors were used during production, specifically the main hall with its elaborate stain-glass work, and a library. This book-laden space was redressed as a class room for a sequence that echoes a similar interlude from the first film where Laurie Strode suffers through an English Lit. class. Now it's an adult Laurie Strode who is doing the lecturing, elaborating on the relationship between Dr. Frankenstein and his monstrous creation.

There are many similar subtle homages to the original HALLOWEEN throughout H20. The casting of Nancy Stevens as Marion Wittington, Dr. Loomis' nurse from the original, and the film's judicious use of the HALLOWEEN theme music are only two of the most obvious.

Also returning in H20 is the original Panavision widescreen format that director John Carpenter used to such great effect in 1978. Carpenter's utilization of the format was deft and sophisticated, his small picture inducing big scares by subtley manipulating the viewer with a low, constantly moving camera and surrounding his hapless babysitters with deep shadows from which held the promise of sudden terror striking out at any moment. This approach, as well as the Carpenter-composed and performed score of minimalistic keyboard patterns, ratcheted up the suspense to heart-stopping levels.

States cinematographer Daryn Okata, long-time Steve Miner collaborator. "With the wide frame anything can happen," avers Okata. "HALLOWEEN had a pattern of waiting; using long sustained takes where really nothing much happened. The times have changed, the audience is more sophisticated thanks to home video, but we don't want to give them all their candy at once either. So we're taking a similar approach but with more happening within the shot as it evolves. There's more variety to the shots, but they all serve to keep the necessary mood happening. It makes it more participatory for the audience, more tied to the emotional status of the story, but not calling attention to itself either. We had to be a bit more clever, I'd say.''

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