Son: How Andi Matichak's New Horror Movie Was the "Perfect Transition" From Halloween

Keeping in the tradition with most entries into the Halloween franchise, one of the key figures in the narrative of the 2018 film was cast with a relatively unknown performer, only for Andi Matichak's starring turn resulting in her being afforded a number of exciting opportunities. Without being much of a horror fan prior to joining the long-running franchise, one might think she would avoid returning to the genre at all costs, only to surprise fans by starring in Ivan Kavanagh's Son. Far from being the slasher that we saw in Halloween, Son explores all-new corners of fear and terror, which Matichak found to be the perfect way to broaden her horizons after encounters with Michael Myers. Son is out now in theaters, On Demand, and Digital HD.

After a mysterious group of individuals breaks into Laura’s home and attempts to steal her eight-year-old son, David, the two of them flee town in search of safety. But soon after the failed kidnapping, David becomes extremely ill, suffering from increasingly sporadic psychosis and convulsions. Following her maternal instincts to save him, Laura commits unspeakable acts to keep him alive but soon, she must decide how far she is willing to go to save her son. recently caught up with Matichak to talk about the new film, her experiences with horror, and what to expect in Halloween Kills.

(Photo: RLJE Films) Since I assume you've been inundated with offers to join horror projects since Halloween, and since you've said you weren't a huge horror fan earlier in your career, what was it about Son that really stood out and made you want to get involved?

Andi Matichak: I would actually consider myself more of a horror fan now. Once I booked Halloween, my perspective shifted. Before, I was just too terrified to watch horror, to be perfectly honest. But then after making them and having that experience and being exposed to the horror community and how spectacular of a group of people that is, it made me love the genre in a really deep way.

And yes, I have gotten a lot of scripts. One of the things that excited me the most about doing Son was really the group of collaborators that were involved. I had met Rene Bastian, who I had long admired many, many, many of his films, and he's one of our producers on Son. And I had met him for a previous project that ended up not panning out for a multitude of reasons and then he brought Son to me.

Working with him always seemed really exciting, but it needed to be the right project. So once I met Ivan and heard about his vision for the film and also saw the movies that he and Anne Marie have made together, our other producer Louis Tisne was involved, it was just a really cool group of people that have very eclectic backgrounds in films that are out that made it just seem like such an interesting opportunity to not pass up.

I saw in another interview that you specifically are freaked out by "demon cult sh-t" and that's what this movie is about. Did this help you get over those fears?

No, it didn't. It made it worse. It made it much worse. Of course, Michael Myers is absolutely terrifying, and the boogeyman is always going to be up there with one of the most frightening things that could exist. But, to me, satanic cults and this world that Ivan had written and created is so next-level scary.

And no, it did not make me feel better. If anything, it made me feel worse because I started doing research pretty early on when I first signed on to do the film about satanic cults. And I had to stop doing that, because I wasn't sleeping anymore. There's such an interesting, intense underbelly of a world that is pretty prevalent in our world today and it's not as fictitious as you see in these films.

Well and it's John Carpenter who has talked about how there are two types of horror: those featuring a community fighting a monster outside their walls and those featuring a community fighting a "monster" within those walls, with Son and other cult movies definitely feeling like the latter.

Right, because it's also something that's so terrifying about Son is just dealing with the psychological aspect of not knowing what's happening, if what's happening is real, and if it is real, what do you do about it? Because there's really no way to stop it. And if it's not real, then dealing with your deteriorating mental state is also horrific in so many ways. So it's kind of a catch-22. There's really no way out of it with this, which, at least, with something more like an external force, there's a possibility of at least taking that force out.

And speaking to that, how did it compare going from facing a real-world, villainous figure that you could potentially run away from as opposed to the more psychological horrors of Son?

I really approached both the same, by just reading the script so many times and knowing the story itself front, back, and sideways and knowing the structure of the story front, back, and sideways. One of the biggest things with Son was to make sure that we didn't get ahead of ourselves, and Laura is a reliable narrator, while also figuring it out as we go. The trouble is to make sure the audience is along with her and not figuring things out ahead of her.

So that was something that was really interesting to toe the line with and to work on, was to just keep everybody progressing at the same rate. Also, just have Laura reacting to what's in front of her. At the end of the day, she's a single mother who's doing the absolute best she can with the knowledge and the resources that she has, which is simple enough to just take it scene by scene.

In Halloween, you play a teenager and now in Son, you're a protective mother. Not that high schoolers can't also be moms, but it seems like you matured almost a decade in between these two films. Was that part of what excited you about the project or were you apprehensive about it?

I think that was a perfect transition, because in the film you see Laura at 17 being pregnant. And then you see her present-day at 25 with an eight-year-old kid. It feels like a very natural progression. And you see both the flashbacks of when she's young mixed with present-day and yes, being a young mom, but she's still a young mom.

And so, I think that it's nice to attack a little bit of older roles at the end of the day. It felt like a good transition between playing a young mom, but also you do see her at a younger age so it still keeps that in line with the storytelling of Halloween.

We've gotten a lot of words about Halloween Kills like how it's "brutal" or "intense" or a "masterpiece," do you have any words, without giving things away, about what fans can expect from the film?

I would just say "buckle up."



Son is out now in theaters, On Demand, and Digital HD.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. You can contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter.