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RSVP / Into the Night

Premiere Was Truly a Scream

July 29, 1998|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Monday's premiere of Dimension's "Halloween H20" at the Village theater. A party followed at the Geffen Playhouse. The film is the sixth sequel to the genre classic "Halloween" and marks the 20th anniversary of stardom for that knife-wielding, masked maniac who takes sibling rivalry to new heights.

Who Was There: The film's star, Jamie Lee Curtis; co-stars LL Cool J, Janet Leigh and Michelle Williams; director Steve Miner; executive producer Kevin Williamson; and 1,000 guests including Christina Ricci, Wes Craven, John Ritter and Matthew Lillard.

The Buzz: How can a horror movie that causes the audience to begin screaming before the lights dim not be a hit?

Numbers: The original "Halloween" cost $300,000 and grossed $90 million worldwide (making it quite possibly the most profitable indie film ever). That time Curtis got $8,000; this time, $3 million. "Inflation" was her comment on the raise.

The Party: The Geffen's brick walls and wrought iron lit with hundreds of candles and red lanterns created a classic horror film venue. Halloween masks were handed out to each guest. Jeffrey Best, who designed the party, said he wanted "kitsch and style mixed together--like it was a wedding reception for Elvira and Cary Grant."

Quoted: Said Curtis, "In the coming back, the thing I harped upon was the theme of showing the reality of what this really would be and giving the heroine a chance to turn it around. I knew if we built that into the movie, I knew as I stand here knowing I look good in this dress, I knew that would work."

Overheard: Said one local screenwriter, "For a movie that glorifies ax murder and justifies fratricide, it left me with a surprising feeling of nostalgia."

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