The Doyle House
This private residence located in Los Angeles, California played a predominant role in the 1978 horror classic, Halloween. Located at 1530 North Orange Grove Avenue, the house and the street were actually made to represent the fictional city of Haddonfield, Illinois in the film. The name of Haddonfield was actually taken from the city of Haddonfield, New Jersey where co-writer/producer Debra Hill grew up.
The story involves an escaped mental patient by the name of Michael Myers who has returned to the city of Haddonfield to continue a killing spree that began 15 years earlier with the murder of his older sister. Once in the city, he becomes fixated on the character of Laurie Strode and begins picking off her friends until only she is left. Now a horror icon, Halloween's Myers is depicted as pure evil that seemingly cannot be destroyed no matter how much punishment he takes.
In the film, the house doubled as the home of Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) and is where the character of Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) spends the evening babysitting as the mayhem ensues. It is also the setting of Halloween's climax as Laurie tries to fend off the attack of Myers when the character of Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence) comes to her assistance.
Only the exteriors of the house are featured in Halloween, while the interiors were reportedly shot in another home located on Orange Grove Avenue. The Wallace House, where the majority of the murders take place, is located across the street and a few doors down (see Halloween (1978): The Wallace House) - or in close proximity to "...only three houses away" as Laurie describes earlier in the film. The sequence where Laurie becomes suspicious and walks across the street to that other house (where Myers awaits) has been called "...the longest walk in Hollywood," as Carpenter intentionally drew out the scene to build up the tension.
The scenes in the house feature a couple of homages to other movies, as is fairly typical for a John Carpenter film. For starters, the name of Tommy Doyle is taken from the character of Lieutenant Detective Thomas J. Doyle in the classic Alfred Hitchcock film, Rear Window (1954). The film that Tommy and Lindsey Wallace (Kyle Richards) are watching on television is none other than Howard Hawks's The Thing from Another World (1951), which is reportedly one of Carpenter's favorite films and one that he would later remake in 1982 as The Thing.
The production crews went to work on Orange Grove Avenue in the month of April 1978. In order to simulate the fall setting of the film, they were forced to spread artificial leaves on the street and reportedly struggled to find pumpkins for the shoot. As a sign of how relatively low budget the film was, the crew had to rake and re-bag the leaves to use again at the next location. While Orange Grove Avenue get a lot of screen time in Halloween, it is actually located near West Hollywood and is separated from the rest of the "Haddonfield" that is seen on the screen. The rest of the movie, including the house that doubled as Laurie's home (see Halloween (2007): The Doyle House).
Halloween II (1981)
The house would also make an appearance in the 1981 sequel, Halloween II - this time directed by Rick Rosenthal. Following the box-office success of the first movie, a sequel was somewhat inevitable. At the time, Halloween held the record as the most financially successful of any independent film in the history of movies. The action in the sequel picks up immediately after the events depicted in the first film. Indeed, the film opens with a replaying of the last few minutes of that movie.
The house is seen immediately as Dr. Loomis rushes in and shoots Myers (as many fans now point out, his six-shot revolver actually fires seven shots in Halloween II). Interestingly enough, the sequel depicts Myers as being knocked off the front balcony by the shots, while he appears to fall into the backyard in the first film. Regardless, the new action picks up with Loomis running out the front of the house to examine where Myers fell and not-quite-so-reassuringly telling a neighbor, "You don't know what death is."
The house is seen again later on as Laurie is brought out in a stretcher and taken to an ambulance to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital where Myers resumes his attempt to kill her - now revealed to actually be his sister. As with the first film, only the exterior of the house is seen in Halloween II.
Although Halloween II was supposed to represent the end of the Michael Myers storyline (Halloween III: Season of the Witch involved a completely different plot), Myers and Loomis (at least for a few) would again re-emerge for several more sequels, starting with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988). In fact, Rosenthal would again direct the eighth entry in the series, Halloween: Resurrection (2002).
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
1530 North Orange Grove Avenue would again resurface in the 2006 first-person horror film, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. The film is a satire/homage of the slasher genre shot primarily in mockumentary-style that follows a would-be serial killer, Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel), as he carefully plans a killing spree that involves utilizing several standard horror tropes. It is his goal that the crimes will elevate him to the status as such infamous serial killers as Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees (the Friday the 13th films), or Freddy Krueger (the Nightmare on Elm Street films), who are presented as real-life characters in the film.
The house appears in an opening sequence of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon that explores the background of those infamous horror icons. The clip features a pan of Orange Grove Avenue with a particular focus given to this house, as well as a quick look at the home that doubled as the Wallace house across the street. The houses and street are again made to represent the fictional Halloween city of Haddonfield, Illinois in the film. The preceding segment includes a shot of the house that doubled as the home of Nancy Thompson in 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street - the setting of the murders perpetrated by killer Freddy Krueger in Springwood, Ohio. In reality, that home is only a few blocks away from this location (see Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): The Thompson House).
The House Today
The house still bears a striking resemblance to its big-screen appearance in the two Halloween movies with a few minor alterations. The door on the balcony that Myers falls out of in Halloween II has since been renovated and is now only a small window. Similarly, the hedges out front have been grown to completely seal off the front yard, though the characters were seen to pass through them unabated in the first film. These changes had been made by the time Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon was filmed on the block and can be seen in that film. Those interested in seeing the house for themselves need to remember that it is a private residence and should respect the owner's right to privacy and not trespass.