Dissecting Halloween

“Same porch. Same clothes. Same issues. 40 years later. Headed back to Haddonfield one last time for Halloween. Release date 10/19/18.” Jamie Lee Curtis announced over social media on September 15, 2017.

Jamie Lee Curtis announces Halloween 2018.

Based in Haddonfield, Illinois the 2019 recalibration of Halloween was filmed in the areas around Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Many locations around North America have played the part of Haddonfield over the last 40 years including South Pasadena, California, which became Haddonfield in Halloween 1, 2, and the Rob Zombie remake. Salt Lake City, Utah in the sequels 4, 5, and 6. British Columbia, Canada in Halloween Resurrection and Atlanta, Georgia in Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2.

Trivia Question: In total there are eleven films in the Halloween franchise. Nine of which are based in Haddonfield, Illinois. Which two films were not set in Haddonfield? Find out in the video above.  – The answer is Halloween 3 and Halloween H20. Halloween 3 takes place in Santa Mira, which doesn’t follow the Michael Myers story line. However, there are some fan theories that Silver Shamrock actually made the mask that Michael wore when he killed his sister in 1963. This is one fan theory that I happen to disagree with. While I like the novelty and the sense of connection, Halloween 3 establishes the original Halloween is a film within the film. Halloween H20 takes place primarily in Summer Glen, California, however, they do open the film in Illinois. Just not Haddonfield.

Trivia Question: In May I met one of the original stars of Halloween. Who was it? Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Keyes, or P.J. Soles? P.S. – In the video, I said Nancy Kyes’ name wrong. Sorry about that. It irritates me constantly while editing. The Answer will be at the end of the post.

Military Magnet Academy – Smith’s Grove Sanitarium 

Located in North Charleston, South Carolina is the Military Magnet Academy that became Smith’s Grove Sanitarium in the film. Smith’s Grove appears in eight out of the eleven sequels. This is the location where Dr. Sartain brings Aaron and Dana to meet Michael in the opening of the film. From this angle, Aaron would have been walking towards us to talk with Michael, who remains silent throughout the film.

Exterior of Magnet Military Academy the location used for Smith’s Grove Sanitarium.
The checkerboard courtyard where Aaron and Dana visit Michael.

Collins Road – Road to Laurie’s House

Collins Road located in North Charleston, South Carolina, is a private road only accessible from the property used for Laurie’s property in the film. As you can see in the photo below the location is barricaded off. This is the road that Aaron and Dana drive down on their way to Laurie’s house. This is also the location where Officer Richards and Francis are murdered and Allyson escapes into the woods. Honestly, I thought this location was built as a set piece for the film so finding out that it’s a real property made me all giddy inside.

In the film this was the entrance to Laurie’s property.
This is the actual entrance to the property used for Laurie’s home in the film.

O’Hare Ave, North Charleston

This is the path Allyson, Vicki, and Dave took on their way to Haddonfield High. This scene was very reminiscent of the original film when Laurie, Lynda, and Annie walk home from school. This is also the location where the exposition for the film took place, erasing the previous films from the timeline and the mythology of Michael Myers. Dave asks, “Wasn’t it her brother, who, like, cold-bloodedly murdilated all those teenagers?” Allyson responds, “No. That’s just a bit that some people made up to make them feel better, I think.” This excited me as a fan of Halloween. No longer was Michael murdering his family members he was finally restored to the boogeyman that he was in the original film.

Danny Jones Complex Armory – Haddonfield High School

There are many nods to the original film within the scenes filmed at Danny Jones. First, let’s talk about the classroom scene with Allyson. During the scene, Allyson is distracted when she realizes Laurie is watching her from the street. In the original film, Laurie had a similar experience while sitting in class; she too was distracted when she noticed The Shape watching her from the road.

In both scenes, the teachers are talking about fate and destiny.

Fun fact: P.J. Soles voiced the teacher in the 2018 film. She also played Laurie’s best friend Lynda who was strangled in the original film. I’m also going to add that there is a similar scene in the 1998 version Halloween H20. In that film, Laurie had become the teacher and Molly, played by Michelle Williams, is being watched by Michael as Laurie talks about Frankenstein. They too also talk about death and fate.

In a deleted scene of the film Cameron, Oscar, and Allyson stand outside of the school when a car full of cheerleaders pass by cheering the “We’re from Haddonfield cheer.” In the original film, this cheer can be heard when Laurie and Lynda leave school. You know something I always found funny. Lynda is a cheerleader, yet we hear the cheerleaders still practicing while she walks home with Laurie. Granted it does fit her character, after all she is a rebel.

Haddonfield High School
Haddonfield High School
To the left of the screen is where Laurie stood watching Allyson while she was in class. To the left was where Cameron and Oscar waited for Allyson after school, which became a deleted scene.

Attaway-Heinsohn Field – North Charleston

No longer a football field, this location will soon become the North Charleston Center for Advanced Studies

In the film, Laurie and Allyson had their discussion about the future and Allyson tells Laurie she needs to let go of Michael Myers. There was also a deleted scene shot here when Cameron and Allyson are talking, and the cops arrest a belligerent Cameron after taunting him for a few minutes about the dress that he is wearing.

Burton’s Grill – Mount Pleasant

This is where Allyson and her family have dinner after she is welcomed into the honor society. It’s also mentioned in the film that Laurie was also a part of the honors society when she was in high school.

When the scene opens up, we meet Allyson, Karen, Ray, and Cameron in conversation. Ray mentions he knows Cameron’s father Lonnie. Now for the diehard fans of the franchise, Lonnie is the same character from the original film who bullied Tommy Doyle.

Laurie shows up late to dinner. Running late due to watching Myers be loaded onto a bus to be transferred from Smith’s Grove. Now, this is the part where I would ask, “Have we not learned anything from previous films?” But then I realized, “Oh yeah… Those films didn’t happen within this timeline of events. When Laurie is asked to sit, she grabs a glass of wine and begins chugging it similar to how she does in H20.

However, the most chilling of the night’s events happen once Laurie sits down and begins to cry saying, “I saw him. The Shape.” This is a call back to the original film as Michael Myers was referred to as The Shape and Nick Castles the original Michael Myers is credited as The Shape.

Bus Crash Scene – Autonomous Drive

The scene first mirrors the events in the original film when a father and son drive up to a bus crash outside of Haddonfield. The patients of Smith’s Grove are wandering around.

Something similar happens in the original film when Dr. Loomis and Marion Chambers arrive at Smith’s Grove to pick up Myers for his transfer. When they arrive at Smith’s Grove, they too are greeted by Smith’s Grove patients wandering around.

This scene also gives a nod to Annie Bracket from the original film when the kid gets into the driver’s seat of his dad’s truck. Michael emerges from the backseat before murdering him.

Last but not least, this scene pays homage to Halloween 4. In the fourth installment, Michael, believed to be comatose, is being transferred out of Smith’s Grove. Along the route he wakes up killing the staff in the ambulance and crashes it into a ravine. This also happens a few days prior to Halloween.

Magnolia Cemetery – Charleston, SC

This is the location used for Judith Myers burial site. What I loved about this scene are all the callbacks to the original film. First, it placed us back in the cemetery and it paid tribute to Judith who we were introduced to in the original film.

Now, did you notice the similarities in the gravestone used in this film to the original? They are pretty much identical. Also, did you notice the Sinclair gravestone visible behind Aaron and Dana? Well, the Sinclair gravestone can also be spotted in the original scene with Dr. Loomis and the groundskeeper in the original.

Aside from these little nods to the original film I also loved how they had The Shape off in the distance watching Aaron, Dana, and the groundskeeper. I also loved that they kept with the purity of the original by not showing his face. Or having him talk. Not to throw shade, when he took off his mask and told Loomis to “DIE” in Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2, all I could think of was, “That’s not Michael, this is not Halloween.”

Gas Station Kills – Hanahan, SC .

This is the gas station where Aaron and Dana met their untimely demise. While the exteriors are at another location. The scenes filmed inside the gas station when Aaron finds the mechanic and clerk mutilated were filmed here, however.

This scene pays tribute to several Halloween films. Starting with Halloween 4. Just like in this film, in Halloween 4, Michael murders a garage mechanic and steals his jumpsuit changing out of his hospital uniform.

Halloween H20 is the second film that this scene gives a nod to. In H20 a mother and her daughter go into the men’s bathroom at a rest area. While they are inside Michael comes in and snatches the mother’s purse stealing her keys and fleeing. They are left unharmed, which can’t be the same for Dana and Aaron.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween Remake was also given a wink in this scene. In the remake after Michael escapes he encounters Big Joe Grizzly at a rest area. He attacks Joe, killing him before stealing his coveralls.

President Street

When Michael makes his way among the trick or treaters, he first collides with a couple of children who aren’t paying attention to where they are going. When I first saw the film, my mind went to Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 when Michael encounters a child who asks very innocently, “Are you a giant?” But after watching the film, what caught my attention was one of the kids, holding a bomb box. In Halloween 2, Michael passes a guy walking down the street holding a bomb box. That’s how he finds out that Laurie had been taken to Haddonfield Memorial.

After The Shape makes his way through the trick or treaters he walks along the side of this house, grabs a hammer from the shed, then goes inside and murders a woman before taking a knife from the kitchen. Hello, call back to Halloween 2 when he sneaks into the Elrod’s house and steals Mrs. Elrod’s knife after she becomes distracted by the television. I’m going to add Mrs. Elrod had her hair in rollers just like this Haddonfield resident did. The Shape then makes his way over to the neighbors First walking up on to the porch, then he makes his way around the house. The neighbor is first distracted by being on the phone and then decides to shut her window. She’s just heard that The Shape has escaped. She is completely distracted, missing him walking between the houses, then again as he enters into the inside where he then murders her by stabbing her in the throat. This scene for me was really brutal; however, it continues to wink at Halloween 2 as The Shape also killed the Elrod’s neighbor Alice similarly by stabbing her in the throat. She too had been distracted on the phone, and her friend off-camera tells her that there have been murders only a few streets down.

Fenwick Drive

Laurie is on the hunt and by using the police scanner has discovered there have been attacks on this street. She initially pulls up here telling everyone to get inside. This is where we get a glimpse of the Silver Shamrock trick or treaters. This is also where Laurie talks to Officer Hawkins; remember the line where she said, “Do you know that I pray every night that he would escape?” And followed it up with, “So I can kill him.” This is also where Laurie meets Dr. Sartain and mentions, “Oh, you’re the new Loomis.” I honestly didn’t like that and only because I felt like Laurie had become the new Loomis. She had become the only person who knew Michael that intimately and I felt like she paralleled Dr. Loomis.

Fun fact when Officer Hawkins is called to this location the dispatcher says, “Disturbance at 707 Meridian.” Well, there is no Meridian Street in Charleston, in fact 707 Meridian was the address for the Myers house when they filmed the original in 1978 before the house was moved a few blocks down near the hardware store used in the film. I initially read this on IMDb (Internet Movie Database) and checked the address via Google Earth to confirm this was accurate.

This is the house Vicky was babysitting the night she was murdered.

Vicky is honestly my favorite character. Granted it might be because she reminds me of both Annie and Lynda. More so Lynda but she’s got a sarcastic whit to her like Annie. And let’s be real Virginia Gardner is just a phenomenal actress so that might also be it.

Before we begin talking about her fate in the film let’s talk about wardrobe choices in the film. Did you notice that she’s wearing a shirt very similar to the shirt that Tommy Doyle wore in the original film?

Now as a character Vicky embodies the original concept for Halloween. The Babysitter to be killed by the Boogeyman. After all, the original title of the series was “The Babysitter Murders.” Like I stated earlier, Vicky has a sarcastic sense of humor, which gives a nod to Annie. However, her and Dave’s fate is eerily similar to Lynda and Bob. Now in the original film, Michael first kills Bob by stabbing him against a wall while Bob is “getting a beer”, then he heads upstairs hiding under a sheet like a ghost. That’s always a thing that I loved about Michael Myers. Yes, we knew he was going to kill whoever he came into contact with but by and large he gets off on the scares. In Halloween 2018 he kills Vicky first then kills Dave, her boyfriend. When Officer Hawkins finds Vicky and Dave – Dave has been stabbed to the wall, which is reminiscent of Bob’s death and Vicky has a sheet thrown over her as if she’s a ghost. Also, when they bring the bodies out of the house, we see Vicky before they close the bag. This scene also gave me the chills, reminding me of when Sheriff Bracket arrived at the Wallace’s in Halloween 2. He pulls back the sheet and we see Annie dead with her throat slashed. He then closed her eyes.

Stocker Drive

In the film trick or treaters run pass this house as the camera pans over to Allyson’s.
This is Allyson, Karen, and Ray’s house.

The Elrod House 

This is the location used where Oscar and Allyson take the “shortcut” and where Oscar is eventually murdered. The Elrod family made their first appearance in the series during Halloween 2. Alice their neighbor hears Mrs. Elrod screams and assumes that Mr. Elrod had done something to her. In reality, it was Michael Myers. In this film when Oscar sees Michael in the bushes, he thinks that Michael is Mr. Elrod before panic sets in and Michael kills him.

This is the location where Oscar was killed on the backyard gate.
The Elrod House
After Allyson finds Oscar dead she begins running through the street screaming. This is similar to the original after Laurie finds her friends murdered in the Wallace house. Terrified Allyson runs onto the porch and begins banging on the door for help and this is the house where she finally receives it. This is also the location where Officer Hawkins picks her up to take her to Laurie’s for safety.

Lancaster and Monitor Street

As Officer Hawkins and Dr. Sartain drive Allyson, who is in the back seat, might I add, to Laurie’s they see The Shape walking. Ready to end Michael’s reign of terror decides to run him down. This is a nod to Halloween 2 as Ben Tramer met his demise by being run over wearing the Michael Myers costume. Officer Hawkins and Dr. Sartain get out of the car and then, Sartain does the unthinkable by killing Hawkins, places Myers in the backseat with Allyson then takes off driving over Officer Hawkins.

Trivia Question: Earlier I stated that back in May I met one of the original stars of Halloween. Who was it? Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Keyes, or P.J. Soles? P.S. – In the video, I said Nancy Kyes’ name wrong. Sorry about that. It irritated me constantly while editing. The Answer will be at the end of the post. The answer is P.J. Soles. I got to meet P.J. at the 2019 Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival. She leads with so much love, light, compassion, and understanding and if you ever get a chance to meet her take it!

A list of the filming locations can be found on IMDb. 

As we close this article out I want to thank David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and every individual who was responsible for bringing this world back to life in such an epic way. Also thank you all for choosing to film, Halloween, in South Carolina!