Halloween (1978) is a genuinely scary, stylish and tasteful, extremely well crafted slasher/horror classic from director John Carpenter. This original film invented many of the slasher clichés and was one of the most successful independent films ever made. The central point of each of the films is one person – Michael Myers and each film delved a little deeper into the story of this psychopathic killer who seems to be supernaturally indestructible.
It all starts when a seven-year-old Myers puts on his clown costume, finds a knife in the kitchen and heads upstairs and kills his sister. He is sent to a Sanatorium and placed under the care of psychiatrist, who senses a tremendous amount of rage behind Myers’ blank stare and therefore keeps him locked up because he realizes living behind that boy’s eyes is pure and simple evil. Halloween night fifteen years later Myers escapes from the Sanatorium and returns to Haddonfield in an attempt to finish off what he started 15 years earlier – kill his sister and anyone who gets in the way. Michael kills several teenagers and attempts to kill his sister Laurie. Yet, although he is stabbed in the neck by a knitting needle, has a clothes hanger in the eye, a knife to the chest, shot several times and falls from the house’s second-story balcony, he survives. He later kills more people and is shot before being set on fire.
After these two initial films the story is taken in a different direction with the next few instalments. The Return of Michael Myers takes place over a decade later and we are led to believe Laurie was killed in a car accident it is her daughter Jamie Michael sets his sights on. Like the second film, The Revenge of Michael Myers continues from its predecessor one year later where Michael has been kept alive by a cult and once awakened, looks for Jamie and both he and she disappear. It is during this movie, when Jamie calls Michael “Uncle Bogyman” we see a lone tear run down Michael’s face. Throughout the entire franchise, this is the only remorse that we see from Michael Myers for his actions. As the franchise continues we begin to find out a little more about Myers childhood, where he spent a lot of his time alone and claimed to hear voices. When his parents went out, they would leave him with the neighbour who unknown at the time, was a member to a cult known as “The Thorn”. She would tell Michael stories of the cult, eventually convincing him to save the human race by sacrificing his family. After months of these stories, Michael was committed to their beliefs and set out of his mission.
Within The Curse of Michael Myers Jamie, who is now 15, escapes the cult with her child, but is eventually killed. Tommy Doyle (the boy Laurie sat for in the first film) hears Jamie screaming for help on a radio show and finds her baby and hides him. The people living in the Myers’ house are relatives of Laurie Strode, including Kara and her son Danny who “hears the voice” that Michael heard when he was young. Michael stalks each of the Strode family members trying to get to Jamie’s baby but with Tommy and Dr. Loomis on his heels, there is an all-out battle.
Up to his point things have made some sense chronologically, even if a little confusing at times (please ignore Halloween III). It is here that things take a side path with Halloween: H20 taking place 20 years after Michael first came after Laurie and finds she is still alive. Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role) is living under an assumed name and has a seemingly idyllic life, complete with career as a head mistress and son age 17. This night Myers kills many before he turns his attention to his sister. As you can imagine at this point, even when the bad man appears dead, that is not always the case. In Halloween: Resurrection the audience has found that as well as being vicious and homicidal, Myers was actually quite cleaver on his last escape. Since the incident three years ago, Laurie has been placed in hospital and is given another chance to kill him. However, when she tries to remove his mask as not to kill the wrong man again, Michael takes this opportunity to stab Laurie, and she falls into the bushes below – supposedly killed. You would think that after killing his sister, the only remaining members of his family would be John or Jamie’s child; however Michael goes after the Internet crew and students in his childhood home where he is eventually engulfed with flames, but as his body is taken to the morgue his eye flashes open.
In 2007 Rob Zombie produced a Halloween remake of the original film and a sequel to this coming later on. However, while this was a new beginning to the franchise, it pull to pieces the character of Michael Myers and took him to a place and to a family that did not sync in with what fans of the original franchise could comprehend. There were “prequel” elements further expanding on the reasons for Michael’s actions and his life before but this new rendition did a complete 180 on the Michael Myers we have come to know and understand (to some degree).
As the movie franchise trails on audiences are left with some questions about this particular character and what may be in store for him next. How in the world has this soul survived being shot, stabbed, burnt and hung among other means of death? Is there a supernatural element? This October we may find some of the answers to these questions when a direct sequel to the original Halloween (1978) is released. Whether there will be elements of H2O or Resurrection in there is unsure at this point as these did indeed feature Jamie Lee Curtains in her role as Laurie Strode but I for one cannot wait to see where this next family battle takes us. Will this be the end for Michael Myers? Will we finally see the man behind the mask? Will he succeed in a killing plot that he began four decades ago…head out to your nearest cinema this Halloween to find out!
Feature by Michelle Moore