movies

"The thing I said to Jamie Lee Curtis at the Halloween premiere that I really wish I didn't."

You know when you have those moments in life when the world seems to freeze, because you have embarrassed yourself so profoundly that you’re oblivious to anything else happening?

Yeah, that was me last night, meeting Hollywood royalty Jamie Lee Curtis at the premiere of her new film, Halloween.

It was a night I was so looking forward to, being a massive fan of Curtis, and the Halloween franchise. I’m a fan of every movie Curtis has ever been in – from Trading Places to You Again to Freaky Friday to True Lies – the actor nails each role, and is just a joy to watch.

She’s also been a fixture in the vast cinematic experience of my life – so she’s held a nostalgic, and special place in my heart for a while. Which is why I should have known better to say what I did.

I’m also an eternal fan of the Halloween films; the franchise has 11 of them, the first one was released 40 years ago, in 1978 and is of course, the best.

In the movies, Curtis plays Laurie Strode, a woman who spends her life evading psychotic serial killer, Michael Myers (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney). She’s strong, and badass, and evades him many times, making her the ultimate heroine, and what’s known in horror films as the ‘final girl’ – the last woman standing.

So, last night.

I arrived at the premiere, and was innocently standing on the curb outside the event when a black car drove up – and out popped Rickard Wilkins, and god damn Jamie Lee Curtis!

The actor was wearing a rose gold glitter pants suit and I have never seen a woman look more glorious in my life.

The awaiting throng of fans was silent, in reverence, as the icon made her way to the black carpet. Curtis stopped to sign someone’s Michael Myers mask, simply because they had called her over. I was watching, stunned, and then my brain decided to act on its own.

“Hi Jamie,” I called out into the silence. To my utter amazement, she turned around, walked over to me, and held out her hand. How I functioned enough to shake it is something I will never know.

“What’s your name?”, she prompted. In utter disbelief that she wanted to know, (and that I hadn’t thought to introduce myself like a socially-equipped person), I told her.

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And then, feeling like I needed to contribute something to the exchange, I said this:

“I love you,” I gushed, like a teenager.

“And Trading Places was the best movie.”

Trading Places – a movie she made in 1983 that had nothing to do with why any of us was there last night.

And I said I love you. Sheez. Way to make an impression with original thoughts.

When faced with one of my idols, this was the best I could come up with? I didn’t ask her about the film she was there to promote. I didn’t say something gracious like “Welcome to Australia.”

“Yes, it was a funny film,” Curtis politely agreed, and then she moved on.

What I meant to say was, “Trading Places was your most important film, because it was such an excellent social commentary.” But, no. My brain couldn’t even muster a proper sentence to explain my randomness.

As I made my way into the premiere along the black carpet, I thought, “Please, Michael Myers, end me now.”

And then I thought, okay, it’s not so bad, at least I got some great video. Once seated in the theatre, I hopefully looked at my phone. Instead, what I found was footage of my shoes, with audio of the words I regretted as the only thing to concentrate on.

In that moment, I dramatically resolved that video would never see the light of day. (And then I texted it to my son, sister, and best friend, and alluded to it in an Instagram post.)

Here’s the Halloween trailer. Please note it’s rated MA15+ in Australia. 

In case you were reading this for an actual movie review, and not just because you were curious about my awkward story, I’ll give you my impressions.

This latest – and probably final – instalment of the Halloween franchise delivers all the nostalgia that fans want, reprising characters such as Dr. Loomis, and referencing scenes, from the original films.

Unfortunately, it also repeats a few stereotypes – like the use of black people for comic relief – but then it also has a trilogy of three strong female characters who all save the day in some way.

We are introduced to Laurie’s adult daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), who both prove that there’s nothing like family – when you need to unite against a mass murderer.

The film also delivers in the slasher genre, with shocking moments that give the audience a thrill. It is more violent and gory than the earlier films (as I recall them) – but it’s also possible that I’ve simply lost my edge in my old age.

Alas, last night proved that I may have lost my edge in a number of ways. A younger Nama would have been more on the ball – she would have had a question prepared. But the 2018 Nama is a tired parent who works full time – and wasn’t thinking about much else than #yolo.

I think my 11-year-old son summed my night up best when he texted his response to the video I sent him:

“Cool. Not you, but she’s cool.”

Halloween will be in cinemas from October 25th.

Do you love horror films? Tell us in the comments.

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