That Original Halloween Character In Halloween Kills Uses Practical Make-Up, Not CGI

There are a lot of nods to "Halloween" films past in "Halloween Kills." And one of the biggest involves recreating moments that are meant to take place in the minutes immediately following the end of John Carpenter's original horror classic. The result: a major character from that first film returns, despite the fact that the actor who plays him has been dead for several years. The immediate assumption from many seeing this character on screen again has been that he was recreated via CGI trickery. But as it turns out, the resurrection was the result of good old practical make-up effects, and the results speak for themselves. I am being extremely vague to avoid any possible spoilers, so if you've remained unspoiled until now and want to stay that way, it's time to turn back! Also, if you're trying to avoid spoilers, please don't scroll down, or you're going to be screwed. 

Welcome Back, Dr. Loomis

In "Halloween Kills," director David Gordon Green briefly takes us back to the immediate aftermath of the first "Halloween" in 1978. This enables Green to (mostly) recreate John Carpenter's shooting style. It also means that Dr. Loomis, sworn enemy of Michael Myers, gets to briefly appear. Donald Pleasence famously portrayed Loomis in "Halloween," and many of the sequels that followed. But Pleasence also died in 1995. So how do you bring Loomis back? 

Practical make-up effects, that's how! This news may shock some folks because I saw multiple people on social media stating they thought the Loomis in "Halloween Kills" was some sort of digital creation; perhaps Donald Pleasence's face digitally added over a stand-in. But that's not the case. As it turns out, that's Tom Jones, Jr., the "Halloween Kills" art director, decked out as Loomis, complete with make-up effects courtesy of Christopher Nelson. We know this for a fact because Nelson posted some behind-the-scenes pics on Instagram. Here's an example: 

As for Loomis' voice, that was provided by Colin Mahan, who also voiced (the unseen) Loomis in the 2018 "Halloween."

Practical Beats CGI

I'll admit that when Loomis popped up in "Halloween Kills," I wasn't 100% sure if I was looking at a CGI creation or not. It certainly crossed my mind, but I also thought the footage looked too good to be CGI-enhanced. And as it turns out, it was. I think CGI and digital trickery to recreate actors can be used to great effect, with a good recent example being "The Irishman." But I also think that when movies employ such a technique to bring back dead actors, it's kind of ghoulish. So I'm glad "Halloween Kills" didn't take this route, and instead created a far more convincing Loomis with make-up effects. It works because it's a brief appearance – if the recreated Loomis had been present through the entire movie, that might be a bit more noticeable and distracting. But there's a lesson to be learned here: you just can't beat good practical effects. 

"Halloween Kills" is now playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.