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Danielle Harris of Halloween 4 and 5 Interview
by Tony Farinella

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National CineMedia's FATHOM is digging into the infamous "Halloween" vault and bringing psychotic murderer Michael Myers back to the big screen in a double-dose of horror with "Halloween 4 - The Return of Michael Myers" and "Halloween 5 - The Revenge of Michael Myers." Digitally remastered in High-Definition, the "Halloween" double feature will be presented by NCM's FATHOM and MONSTERS HD, the first-ever and only 24-hour channel exclusively devoted to horror, on October 30th in 250 movie theatres around the country.

The "Halloween" special in-theatre event will take place on October 30th at 7:30 p.m. local time in 250 AMC, Cinemark, Georgia Theatre Company and Regal Entertainment Group movie theatres located across the U.S. Tickets for this special one-time-only event can now be purchased for only $10.00 at presenting theatre box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of presenting theatre locations, please visit the website (theatres are subject to change).

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle Harris in a conference call with other journalists, and we talked about her time on Halloween 4 and 5. This column features only my questions.

TONY: As we look back on the Halloween films that you were invovled in, how do you think they hold up in 2007 compared to recent horror films?

Danielle Harris: Well, I think it's twenty years later, so a lot has changed since then, but I think that the fans sort of love the old, classic 80's horror movies. I think that the gore and the special effects now days kind of ruins it. There's something kind of campy about movies in the 80's that they're laughing. I think sort of in the beginning of 2007, there's more recent films that are starting to kind of rear its head, like Hatchet, actually, directed by Adam Green, who's a friend of mine, which I thought was wonderful, because it sort of brought back the humor and the enjoyment of actually going to the theaters and cheering for the bad guy, where most of them, including my Halloween that I just did with Rob Zombie, are really brutal and violent and disturbing and kind of difficult to watch. But it seems like this generation isn't scared by much. So, I think that they've changed, but I personally prefer old-school.

TONY: When you were working on
Halloween 4 and 5, how much did your parents help you and guide you though Hollywood?

Danielle Harris: You know, my dad passed away when I was younger, so it was just my mom and I, but it didn't really faze us. It didn't really seem like it was changing my life or impacting me in a negative way. The entire cast and crew made it a point, because I was so young, of making sure that it was fun and I knew that it was make-believe. I never really had nightmares, or it never really affected me as a child. At least not that I'm aware of! (laughs) Maybe some issues will come out later, but as of now, I'm OK.

TONY: From hearing some of your answers in this conference call, it seems like you really enjoy the horror genre. I'm sure it's hard to describe, but what do you enjoy about the horror genre?

Danielle Harris: I think that it's something that's really familiar and safe for me. I feel at home on a horror movie set, because it's what I grew up with. I'm actually getting ready to do two more horror films this month, actually, the month of November. And there's another one possibly in December. And then, most importantly, I'm actually going to be directing a feature film in April, and it is of the horror/thriller genre. It's more contemporary and using and utilizing a lot of my friends that I've made in this business along the way, from celebrities that aren't in the horror genre to very famous celebrities that are from the last 20 or 30 years that I'm going to be able to put into my little masterpiece. But after I do that, I probably won't do any more horror films for a while. This could be my career. I think my career is at a point right now where it can go one way or another. Either, I can do horror films, or I can do everything else, and I just love them so much. I mean, I could do it with my eyes closed. And a lot of these horror films are from first-time directors, and I think they sort of trust me to roll with it.

TONY: It seems like we have so many talented horror directors in 2007, from Eli Roth to Darren Lynn Bousman and so many others. Who would you like to work with in the future?

Danielle Harris: You know, Adam Green is a friend of mine. He directed Hatchet, and I love what he did with it. He had so much fun, and I think that the main part about making these
movies is you have to have fun while you do it, because otherwise they take such an emotional toll on your spirit and your body, that you have to be able to shake it off and have a good time while you do it, because it is fun. You're covered in fake blood, and you're pretending someone's coming after you. I mean, it's Halloween for god's sake, literally, every day when you're working. So, I think that he's got a great sense of humor, and he and I are quickly becoming friends, and we'll see what he comes up with. But, Eli Roth is also a friend of mine. I've known Eli since before he was directing anything through a fellow actor friend of mine, Michael Rosenbaum, who's on Smallville. And Eli was talking to me for months and months and months. We were talking about movies, and we were talking shop. And it was mostly about horror movies. So, there's a lot of directors that I want to work with. Most importantly, I want people to want to work with me.

TONY: When you go back and watch Halloween 4 and 5, what's it like to watch yourself on screen again?

Danielle Harris: It's fun. I mean, I kind of have these memories that are attached to them. It's like, "Oh, I remember that day. That was my birthday, and the giant lobster costume guy came and delivered me my birthday cake at three o'clock in the morning on set." So, I've got memories like that. I remember coming home still covered in blood and pretending with Greg Nicotero in the elevator that he was my abusive daddy, because there was this older couple that wouldn't stop staring at me. We're in Park City, Utah, and it's eight in the morning, and I'm this little kid covered in blood. So, I just had fun with it the whole time. So, all of the memories that are attached to those movies are fun childhood memories, like when you guys go, "Oh, I remember when I first learned to ride a bike, and I ate my first ice cream cone from an ice cream truck." For me, I remember those things, too, but they're usually associated with working on something.

TONY: When you were shooing Halloween 4 and 5, did any of the actors ever pull you aside and give you advice and take you under their wing?

Danielle Harris: All of them. Everyone from make-up artists and wardrobe stylists to fellow actors and producers, everyone raised me. My mom was always there.

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Tony Farinella
Tony is an Oak Lawn, IL based film reviewer and columnist looking to have fun and share his unique views on film with everyone. Tony also has an unhealthy obsession with Vanessa Lengies, but that is neither here nor there.

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