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Halloween: Examining Michael Myers' Motives in Every Movie

"I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason... nowhere conscience, no understanding in even the most rudimentary sense, of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and... the blackest eyes... the Devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realised that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil."

-Dr. Samuel Loomis, Halloween (1978)
Line of dripping blood.
With the release of Halloween Kills, the bloody 12th installment in the Halloween franchise, last year, and the upcoming sequel Halloween Ends, the reign of terror of the infamous slasher Michael Myers now spans over four decades of film history. While "masked maniac massacres many mortals" is about as simple of a premise as it gets, the Halloween series has a surprisingly tumultuous and fascinating history, with The Shape stalking down many a bizarre avenue in his constant struggle to keep himself afloat and interesting for just one more sequel.

Even with the many lows that the series has reached, I still personally view Michael Myers as the greatest horror movie villain of all time, aside from the sublime Pinhead (a being that laughs nightmarishly into the soul of anyone who claims that horror movie monsters have to be mute in order to be scary).

I'm sure nearly everyone reading this has seen or at least heard about the first Halloween film before, and I will save a more thorough breakdown of the events in the movie and Myers' apparent motives for the discussion of the current canon timeline later on this page, where I feel they are most relevant. Suffice to say, it centers around a maniac who murdered his sister when he was 6 years old, before escaping institutionalisation 15 years later and going on a senseless killing spree in his hometown while being pursued by his doctor.

The sheer heinousness of Michael Myers' acts, the iconic appearance afforded to him by his famous expressionless white mask, and the fascinating enigma surrounding his apparent complete lack of motives and unexplained invulnerability has inspired a litany of different sequels to the original movie, along with a dual-movie reboot.

I wrote this article rather waywardly, just infodumping on and on and seeing if I would ever come to any over-arching point, which I did not. I suppose the real meat of this article lies in my three attempts at playing "Devil's advocate": defending the much-maligned Cult of Thorn timeline, arguing for why H20 was an abysmal movie, and finally and perhaps most scandalously, arguing that the Michael Myers in the current canon timeline is not intentionally malevolent.

My main original reason for writing this was because I thought it would be interesting to analyse The Shape's shifting motives and evolution across the many different movies of his franchise, and I did a semi-good job of sticking to that premise as there were a lot of unrelated factoids I felt were worth sharing.

Animated jack o'lantern. Timeline 1: The Cult of Thorn Animated jack o'lantern.

(Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween 4, Halloween 5, Halloween 6)

Wynn: Look around you, Sam. Madness everywhere. Famine, war, a great plague. These are signs that we must restore balance to the natural order of things. We merely provide the means.
Loomis: Michael?
Wynn: We've given him the power. The gift, of Thorn. I am its deliverer. I follow it. Act as its guardian. I protect Michael. Watch over him. And, now, it's time for another. Now it's time for you, Doctor Loomis.
Loomis: I thought... Michael was a monster... but you...

Halloween 6, Producer's Cut (1995)
Line of dripping blood.

Halloween II (1981)

This timeline stands as a master class example of how horror movie franchises can completely lose their purpose with each consecutive sequel and change in directorship, and devolve into a unintentionally comical perversion of what the original movie was meant to be. The cinematic equivalent of trying to tell a goofy anecdote while drunk, realising halfway through that everyone is staring at you like you just soiled yourself, then realising you can't even remember where you were going with the tale, but still trying to find a way to somehow redeem it since you've already spent a minute waywardly babbling.

While still an excellent movie in most aspects, Halloween II can be blamed for starting the rot by casting a very unnecessary light on Michael Myers' motives. Three-fourths of the way through the movie, it is revealed that a secret file exists on The Shape that not even his psychiatrist of 15 years was allowed to see, which mentions that Laurie Strode was in-fact Michael Myers' second sister, who he had returned to Haddonfield in order to murder.

The difference this change has on the narrative is already striking. Instead of being a completely unpredictable lunatic who could strike anyone at any time, he now had a clear target that he was homing in on, with only continued plot stupidity keeping him from being stopped in his tracks.

This movie is also the one where Michael Myers started fully using his famous (oddly) nightmarish "slug attempting to navigate through molasses" gait, perhaps because he knew it was the only way he could possibly experience the thrill of potentially failing to accomplish his goals when his target was helpless and bed-bound, and everyone else was running around like headless chickens looking for him everywhere other than where he was going. Might as well meander over to her, stopping to smell the flowers butcher all of the poor little nurses on the way. You can tell that Michael never had the benefit of having someone read The Tortoise and the Hare to him as a child.

Beyond the stupid sibling story shenanigans shoe-horned in, Halloween II also added one element that would later rear its head in Halloween 6. In-between his brief quest to find another kitchen knife, and his longer quest to find his other sister, The Shape breaks into an elementary school to stab the sister in some child's drawing of their family, and then write "Samhain" on the chalkboard in his own blood. (Apparently he understood the purpose of a chalkboard but was not quite able to figure out which writing implement he was supposed to use on it. At least he didn't write on the wall like some savage!)

Regardless, as Dr. Loomis explains: Samhain is the Celtic word for the Lord of the Dead, and the Celtic Autumn festival that would later evolve into the modern celebration of Halloween.

While this minor event was later used as a seed for the plot point of The Shape being possessed by an ancient Druidic cult, Halloween II was supposed to be the final Halloween movie featuring Michael Myers, so this was clearly not intended as foreshadowing. More than likely, it's possible that Michael considers Halloween/Samhain to be a very special event as he seems to make a point of orchestrating all of his murders on that day. The grafitti he left in the elementary school can then be interpreted as a very crude manifesto establishing his intentions (murdering his sister on Halloween).

Aside from the infamous sister subplot, possibly the most prevalent criticism of Halloween II is The Shape's noticeably different appearance, made that much more glaring by the fact that the movie picks up mere moments after the first one ended. The reasons for this are two-fold: a change in actor and rapid deterioration of the original mask.

Nick Castle, the actor who played the adult Michael Myers in almost all of Halloween short of his brief unmasking scene, chose not to reprise his role in Halloween II due to being busy with other affairs, and he had to be replaced by the shorter and more muscular Dick Warlock, on whom the mask fit noticeably differently. Additionally, the Shape's mask spent the years in-between Halloween's conclusion and the start of Halloween II's filming being stored improperly under co-producer Debra Hill's bed. Along with the more obvious reasons for its decay, it also attained a yellow tint due to Hill's heavy smoking.

For the record, while I may malign Halloween II for its flaws, it is still an absolute must-watch for anyone with even a passing interest in horror. The movie's premise is rock solid - a wounded and nearly completely bed-bound woman stuck inside a nigh-derelict hospital at night with no one but her (and Loomis, who spends 75% of the movie occupied elsewhere) taking the situation seriously. All while her seemingly unkillable stalker calmly meanders towards her, butchering everyone he encounters along the way in nightmare-inducingly brutal and creative ways.

The utter barbarity of the kills in Halloween II deserves to be highlighted specifically, as it is completely unparalleled in the series (with the exception of the overly-edgy Rob Zombie reboots). In contrast to its predecessor, which was very prudish in terms of showing blood, Halloween II went all-in due to Carpenter fearing competition from bloodier slashers such as the emerging Friday the 13th series. From waterboarding and drowning a woman in boiling water to stabbing two people in the eye with a needle filled with morphine, The Shape is arguably the most nightmare-inducing he's ever been.

Additionally, even with him now having a clear goal in mind, Michael manages to retain some of his enigma with his bizarre behaviours. Near the start of a movie, he sneaks into an old couple's house to steal a kitchen knife, after which he silently observes them watching television, and then peacefully disappears into the night without harming anyone. Of course, just as the viewer begins to assume that he's simply deadset on getting back to chasing The One Who Got Away, he goes into the house next door and senselessly stabs the teenage girl living there to death.

Fading red bar.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
(And the inexplicable departure of Roman numerals...)

With Laurie Strode's actress having moved on to new pastures, Halloween 4 decided to introduce Strode's seven-year-old daughter Jamie Lloyd, along with her foster sister Rachel Carruthers as the new heroines (and targets of Myers), writing Laurie Strode out as having died in a car accident.

I want to just take a moment here and remark how fantastical it is that Michael Myers is inexplicably a skilled driver in spite of being institutionalised since he was six years old, yet every other member of his family (other than Judith Myers, who Michael stabbed) has now died in a car accident despite ostensibly being competent and sane members of society. It's heartwarming to see that he managed to be the black sheep of the family in at least one positive way.

While I'm not nearly foolish enough to believe that I could convince anyone that Halloween 4 is some profound cinematic masterpiece, I do believe it is one of the most fun entries in the Halloween series, and probably the movie I would be most likely to recommend to someone unfamiliar with the franchise, (after the original movie itself of course). Following up on the scandalously Myers-less Halloween III, Halloween 4 makes a point of returning to the franchise's roots with a very over the top bang, portraying Myers as almost more of an unstoppable and inevitable force of nature than a crazed and terrifyingly resilient maniac.

One aspect of Halloween 4 that it undeniably deserves to be credited for is the beautifully ominous opening credits sequence, which is arguably the best one in the series. Although ostensibly just a montage of rural autumn scenery and Halloween decorations by the light of a setting Sun, it manages to do a sublime job of setting up genuine apprehension for what is about to befall Haddonfield, all in spite of never showing anything more threatening than a child's raggy ghost decoration, or a jack o'lantern scarecrow.

Best of all, unlike many sequels from rival horror franchises such as Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, it manages to remain genuinely frightening and engaging in spite of how ludicrous and campy some of the scenes are. The flick is genuinely scary, and the last ~10 minutes of the movie are as good as the horror genre gets. Jamie Lloyd and Rachel Carruthers are also my favourite two characters in the entire Halloween franchise, aside from Dr. Loomis and The Shape, so I suppose I am a tad biased.

In case you were turned off by Halloween 4's audaciousness, please note that the movie was originally supposed to be centered around the townsfolk of Haddonfield battling the spirit of Michael Myers, who possessed the ability to grow into a giant. Campiness is relative.

Michael's motives are about as clear as can be in Halloween 4. After spending a decade in a coma following the explosion and subsequent fire that took him down at the end of Halloween II, Michael suddenly awakens while being transferred to another facility, moments after one of the doctors mentions that he is survived by a single niece. Presumably, he would be content to lie around catatonic forever if he hadn't learned that his family tree had not yet been entirely cut down?

Either way, he then slaughters all of the people in the vehicle and makes a beeline for the closest car repair station in order to once again murder a mechanic and steal his coveralls, as well as a random white mask, before stealing a truck and driving off to Haddonfield. "Wearing black coveralls, wearing an expressionless white mask, and having all family members and relatives be deceased" apparently constitutes Michael's hierarchy of needs.

As a side-note, observant fans will no doubt have noticed that The Shape's mask in Halloween 4 is an almost embarrassing step down from the traditional mask that he donned in the first two Halloween movies. In-universe, this can be explained by the fact that his original one was destroyed in the fire that nearly ended his existence in Halloween II, and that he went for the first generic white mask he could find in order to get to his target faster.

The original mask was no longer available for use in Halloween 4 due to having been given away to Dick Warlock, Michael Myers' actor in Halloween II, after the movie's production was concluded. Since The Shape was never meant to return again, no one saw any need to keep his famous mask around. After fan reception of Halloween III forced their hand, they had no choice but to create a brand new mask to bring back The Shape, which seems to oscillate between being distinctly creepy, and downright clown-ish, depending on the lighting and the perspective of the shot.

I'm now going off on quite a tangent, but I feel it is worth adding for the benefit of anyone who watched Halloween 4 and was baffled by the fact that Loomis not only survived the hospital explosion that ostensibly killed him and The Shape in Halloween II, but that this was never even questioned in the movie. Michael Myers is an unknowable freak of nature because he survived the explosion and only went comatose for a decade, but the elderly Loomis is just a regular citizen for walking it off with some permanent burns on his arm and face?

Loomis was obviously brought back due to the sheer popularity of his character/actor, but an in-universe explanation for why this happened was actually present in Halloween 4's original script, but for some reason was never included in the movie. Apparently, when Dr. Loomis detonated the tanks of flammable gas, the explosion sent him flying out of the room and into the street outside, saving him from being caught on fire.

Michael, on the other hand, was not so lucky, and wound up being engulfed by the inferno, disfiguring his entire body and causing enough damage for him to remain dormant for the entire next decade. Incidentally, considering the speed at which The Shape seemingly "respawned" from apparent death in the first two movies, this event must have murdered him over two million times.

Fading red bar.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers

Halloween 5 brought Michael Myers from the grisly fate of being mowed down by a pickup truck slamming into him with the kind of rage that is only exhibited by a woman with a movie's worth of rage over him trying to murder her adopted sister, followed by being gunned down by a firing squad of police officers and vengeful rednecks, so that he could stalk around and stab some head-bangingly unlikeable characters (and also, unfortunately, Rachel Carruthers) before somehow being brought down by the indomitable force of an elderly Dr. Loomis beating him with a plank while himself succumbing to a stroke.

When guns, cars, explosions, and fires aren't enough, the next option is to send in a dying old man, I suppose.

Although remarkably not quite as insufferable as Halloween Resurrection, Halloween 5 is a vexing slough filled with clichés and head-scratching attempts at novelty. The kind of late-stage horror franchise movie where the director was evidently conscious of their lack of ability, and settled for the time-tested trick of making the characters so irritating that the audience could at least derive some enjoyment from watching them die.

To be fair, the movie did try to branch out and develop the franchise a bit, even if its attempts simply caused the story to become even more needlessly muddled. The most notable example of this is without a doubt the addition of the secondary villain known as the Man in Black. A mysterious miscreant wearing an all-black outfit and donning a Thorn tattoo on his wrist, identical to the one Michael is revealed to have in the beginning of the movie.

While this evildoer would turn out to be the harbinger of the infamous Cult of Thorn subplot, and the man behind the man (behind the mask), Halloween 5 merely used him as some edgy oddball who introduces himself by showing up for 15 seconds to kick a random puppy (I am not making this up) before resurfacing in the final scene of the movie to inexplicably massacre an entire police station's worth of armed officers and break Michael Myers out of captivity.

With the sequel to this movie only arriving six years later, fans of the franchise spent over half a decade wondering who this strangely sinister scoundrel was. Incidentally, so would the people working on the franchise, as the Man in Black was haphazardly pulled out of Moustapha Akkad's posterior during the movie's filming, with no thought put into his character besides having an excuse for Michael to escape jail, and having a hook for the sequel. Don Shanks, the actor who played The Shape in Halloween 5, actually also played the Man in Black as well.

Halloween 5 also featured two bizarre scenes meant to showcase Michael Myers' humanity -- one in which he came close to surrendering his knife to Loomis after the latter offered to take him to Jamie Lloyd, who would "take away his rage" (actually just an attempt to bait The Shape into a trap), and another where he took his mask off after Jamie referred to him as "uncle" and asked to see his face, and then shed a single tear after she remarked in surprise that he's just like her.

Although this would all make slightly more sense after the sequel revealed that The Shape was being controlled by some evil Druid cult, within the context of Halloween 5, it seems to give the bizarre implication that Myers would've perhaps held back from murdering dozens of innocent people if only his mother had given him a bit more affection as a child.

Incidentally, the desire to humanise The Shape is allegedly the reason that Halloween 5 once again has him acquire a brand new mask, now with a more expressive and angry look. The movie itself tries to imply that it's the same one by showing him limping away barely alive from the beating he took at the end of the previous movie, before collapsing at the feet of an elderly hermit and reawakening a year later to retrieve his (mysteriously mutated) mask, stab his saviour, and continue onward.

One can hypothesise that the hermit replaced Michael's mask (the man lives in a hut with no companionship, save for a parrot, and no possessions -- creating a new mask for his newfound "friend" may have been a much-needed creative activity to help him pass the time), and that this is the reason Michael murdered him, although you would think that he would take some time to look around for his original mask instead of grabbing and putting the first white object he saw on his face immediately upon waking up. Perhaps he just feels nude without a mask on at this point.

Interestingly, the kindly old hermit did not exist in the original version of Halloween 5. In a long-lost scene that has only resurfaced in 2021, Michael Myers is shown to have died, only to be resurrected a year later by an occultist, who also gives him the mark of Thorn. Michael Myers predictably repays his act of kindness by killing the occultist with a stalactite. Ironically, this scene was replaced because Moustapha Akkad felt it veered too far into occult territory, which the movie's sequel wound up going full-bore into.

I want to briefly point out how despite the movie using Michael Myers' home as a central location for the plot, they chose to use a Victorian mansion that did not even vaguely resemble the typical suburban home that was repeatedly used in the franchise. The official explanation was that no one involved in production was able to track down where the original house was. Presumably, finding another basic suburban house was also somehow more difficult for them than finding an English mansion, in spite of filming taking place in the United States.

All-in-all, this is disheartening because the gloomy, dilapidated manor actually proved to be a hauntingly sublime setting, and almost every memorable scene in the movie took place inside of it. You just have to turn your brain off and pretend it's not the polar opposite of The Shape's original home.

All-in-all, Halloween 5 is a disappointing and obviously rushed mess with a few small bright spots. In spite of everything, however, I daresay that it's worth a watch just for Danielle Harris and Donald Pleasence's excellent returning performances as the traumatised Jamie Lloyd and the aging yet still vibrant Dr. Loomis, respectively, if nothing else. You might have to get a little drunk to tolerate some of the others actors until they finally get their well-deserved death scenes, and to help yourself pretend that a lot of this movie makes any sense, however.

Fading red bar.

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

Halloween 6 continues the story with a ludicrous mess of a movie about Michael Myers chasing after the baby of the soon-to-be-deceased Jamie (thank Bast this ended before he started perusing genealogy websites for targets) that, by the time of its release, is more slashed up than Judith Myers was. Perhaps The Shape transcended and moved up to murdering his own movies. This movie underwent a series of drastic reshoots after the original version was completed, which significantly muddled the plot.

There's a scene in the movie where a DJ mentions Loomis during a discussion about Michael Myers, and states that he believes the doctor to have passed away. While Loomis, who happens to be listening to the broadcast, laughs this claim off while remarking that he is only "very much retired", his venerable actor, Donald Pleasence, did indeed pass away during the filming of this movie. This also happens to be part of the reason the ending of the movie is so incoherent, even by this flick's piddling standards.

Likely the most glaring reason for Halloween 6's problems, is the fact that Donald Pleasence had fallen ill before the reshoots, and as a result his scenes were either cut out, or very awkwardly copy and pasted into brand new scenes. The worst case of this proved to be the ending scene. Loomis played a pivotal role in both endings, but since the new one was completely different, the director wound up settling for using a clip of Loomis screaming off-screen due to lacking the man's physical presence, which made the intent of the scene completely incomprehensible.

After Myers turns on the Cult of Thorn in the theatrical version and slaughters them, Tommy Doyle lures him into a trap and ostensibly defeats him after injecting him with an unknown substance and bashing his head with a pipe until he starts bleeding green-black blood (???). Tommy and friends leave Smith's Grove while Loomis stays behind, saying he has some business he needs to attend to.

The camera then cuts to a suspiciously dry-looking Myers mask with an empty needle next to it, and Loomis screaming off-screen, before cutting to a brief scene of a jack o'lantern. If you can't scare them, confuse them. Or alternatively, give them a seizure, as seems to be the intention of the theatrical version's thoroughly unpleasant and discordant way of showing violent scenes, apparently done to make them more dramatic.

This brings me to my next point -- (the theatrical release of) Halloween 6 doesn't even feel like a Halloween movie, so much as a shoddy crackpot conspiracy documentary that might've been created about Michael Myers by someone in the Halloween universe. There is a definite difference in tone between all of the Halloween movies, but the gulf between Halloween 6 and its predecessors (and really any other Halloween movie) is truly staggering. I vividly remember how glaring it was when I would marathon the Halloween movies every year on the Sci-Fi channel as a child. It is the proudly insane, drugged out uncle of the franchise.

However, between the terrible and decidedly un-Halloween-ish music, the terrible flashing events that serve as the horror equivalent of a laugh track, the painfully out-of-place supernatural lore sprinkled all over the place, and the increasingly unintelligible plot, there is something unintentionally charming about this whole affair. Just remove Loomis' character and it could easily be the in-universe creation of some tinfoil-hat-wearing crackpot who sees conspiracy theories about The Shape written in their toast.

As has become the tradition, Michael Myers also once again dons a brand new mask in this movie, presumably given to him by a member of the Cult of Thorn. Opinions on the quality of this particular are incredibly divisive, and for good reason. The actual shape and details of the mask are closer to the original look than in any other sequel, short of Halloween (2018) and Halloween Kills. Lamentably, this comes at the cost of the mask looking comically rigid, almost as if it was made out of clay. It is also unusually large, which has led to some fans deriding it for making Myers look like a bobblehead.

Incidentally, Dr. Loomis was originally fated to have died from his stroke in Halloween 5, a plot point that was introduced to allow Mr. Pleasence to retire from Halloween, and in retrospect, should have remained in place. Not to imply anything bad about the man's performance in H6, but it's painful watching the physical effort he was clearly putting into playing his part in such an otherwise mediocre movie, especially knowing that he passed away while it was still being filmed, and that so much of his performance would either be removed or ruined.

Thankfully, the original version of the movie has been fully preserved in the form of the Halloween 6 Producer's Cut. Although this version is still far from being the best movie in the series, it's such a staggering improvement over its successor that I can only conclude that everyone involved in refilming it into the grotesque Frankenstein monster of the theatrical version had to be completely insane.

Not only does the Producer's Cut feature an actually pleasant and genuinely Halloween-ish soundtrack, but it is free of the disastrous seizure-inducing edits that plagued the final version, and features many additional scenes with Dr. Loomis. Moreover, the entire abysmal ending sequence of the theatrical version is absent, replaced with a more coherent and riveting sequence that culminates in Tommy, who previously discovered that The Shape is being controlled by the runes of Thorn, defeating Michael by surrounding him with runes and incanting "Samhain".

After the heroes leave, Wynn shows up and finds Michael, asking him what happened, before Michael suddenly regains control and balls his hand into a fist. Loomis then walks into his final scene in the Halloween franchise, and sees Michael Myers lying on the ground, seemingly dead. Loomis remarks in what appears to be a curious mix of jubilation and melancholy (stopping The Shape was his life obsession so it's understandable that he would have some regrets) that "it's all over now" and unmasks The Shape, only to find Wynn behind the mask.

Wynn remarks in shock that Michael is gone and grabs Loomis' arm, telling him "it's your game now, Dr. Loomis", before transferring the mark of Thorn onto Loomis' wrist. As Loomis screams in despair and recognition, Michael Myers is shown elsewhere in Wynn's Man in Black outfit, disappearing into the night.

Is Wynn dying? What will become of Dr. Loomis now that he has the mark? Is Michael Myers still under the control of Thorn, or did he just walk out of Smith's Grove as a free man for the first time in his life, at least since early childhood? Most intriguingly, where is he going? If he's still evil, we can assume he's off to attempt to murder Jamie's baby again, but if not, where exactly would be the first destination of a 38 year old man who has been the mind controlled slave of a pagan death cult from his early childhood up until 5 minutes ago?

Some evidence for the former would be that Michael's hand is shown to still be covered in the burn scars from the inferno that he succumbed to in Halloween II, apparently unable to regenerate from them. While there's nothing supernatural about burn victims, The Shape has been shown to have taken on a myriad of mortal wounds throughout the series, and it's unknown how many he was able to physically regenerate from. It's very likely that he would either be dead or handicapped (as Sheriff Meeker declared him to be in Halloween 4) if his supernatural powers were actually removed from him.

Alternatively, the very last scene in the movie cuts to the Myers house, and then to a jack o'lantern (the recurring symbol of the Halloween series and Michael Myers himself) sitting on one of the windowsills. Just before the movie cuts to the credits, a gust of wind puts out the fire inside the jack o'lantern. This could be interpreted as symbolism for the rage and evil in Myers finally being extinguished due to the removal of the curse of Thorn, either via Tommy's runes, Loomis becoming the new leader of the cult of Thorn, or a combination of both.

If I were a guessing cat, I'd assume that The Shape is still under Thorn's control, and that the hypothetical Halloween 7 would feature Dr. Loomis taking him down once and for all by mastering the magical powers of the Cult of Thorn. However, it's fascinating to imagine a "de-Thorned" Michael Myers disappearing without a trace and attempting to start a quiet life for himself somewhere deep in a forest, or perhaps in a small town.

One of the original proposals for Halloween 5 involved a dead Michael Myers being struck by a lightning bolt that simultaneously resurrected him and cleansed him of his evil, after which Loomis fought to protect him from misguided townspeople who tried to end his life, and perhaps this would be similiar to where a hypothetical Halloween 7 would have went. Or, if Dr. Loomis was instead mind controlled into becoming an evil entity by Thorn, Michael Myers could have reemerged to return the favour and rescue the doctor who had sacrificed so much in order to save him.

Either way, the world will most likely never know. For the first and only time in Halloween history, as he stalks off into the dark night in Wynn's fittingly sinister black robes and fedora, Michael Myers' motives are truly and utterly shrouded in abject mystery. As they should be.

Whether or not it was intended to be the definitive end of the road, the original Halloween 6 is a fine final entry to the Cult of Thorn timeline and does a masterful job at the end of replicating the gripping mystique of the original movie's ending, when considering all of the baggage that the other sequels forced it to take on.

Very few people are fans of the Cult of Thorn plot point, which is understandable due to how it destroys The Shape's vaunted mystery and replaces it with silly supernatural lore, yet in Halloween 6's defence, the writers' hands were tied by all of the lore that the previous entries in the series haphazardly introduced. As mentioned earlier, there was absolutely no plan behind the introduction of the "Man in Black", the Thorn symbol, and Michael's apparent humanity and vague reluctance to murder in Halloween 5.

Taking into account the harebrained plot points that it was forced to work with, I personally feel that Halloween 6 (the Producer's Cut anyway) did a truly phenomenal job tying everything together, and even incorporating the Samhain/Halloween lore from the second movie into the climax. "Everything understood, is everything forgiven", as the saying goes.

I also feel the need to add my personal defence for the idea of The Shape being defeated with magical runes here. After everything Michael has survived, I would wager that it is the only remotely plausible option for doing so, short of perhaps nuclear weapons or shooting him into outer space. Being that this was the 90s, the latter options would surely just prove to be an excuse for either a B-movie sequel about Michael Myers as a radioactive mutant with four arms, or a cyborg slashing people in space a la Jason X.

As much as people now want to deny it, Michael Myers has been entangled to some degree in pagan Celtic mythos since the very beginning. Beyond the aforementioned reference to Samhain in Halloween II, the 1979 novelisation of the original movie explained that Michael's murder of Judith was preceded by the young boy being haunted by voices and visions of the festival of Samhain, very likely something that may have helped inspire the Cult of Thorn plotline.

Michael's defeat via runes may be silly, but it's delicious, shameless fan-service for hard fans of the series, and I won't deny that I squeed inwardly when I first watched the Producer's Cut and heard Tommy incant "Samhain" during that scene.

For all of its flaws, I think the Cult of Thorn storyline is a great deal more palatable now than it was when it first came out, because it now co-exists with multiple other timelines instead of being the one definitive Michael Myers storyline. Michael Myers deriving his powers from a pagan cult and being vulnerable to runes does nothing to diminish or erase any other version of himself, no more than it would cause a person any pain if another version of them in a different timeline slipped and broke a bone.

For me, the true cardinal sin of Halloween 6 is not only shamelessly killing off Jamie Lloyd (which happens in both versions of the movie, although not quite as early on in the Producer's Cut), but also replacing her actress. Danielle Harris was originally supposed to play Jamie in the movie, and even paid to get emancipated to do so, but wound up changing her mind after the production company offered her a paltry amount of money and insulted her as not being important to the movie. Her reward for all of her hard work in carrying the two previous movies, I suppose.

Regardless of one's sentiment for how the original movie played out, I think the vast majority of people can at least come to agreement that the ending was an improvement over the preposterous theatrical version's spectacle of a giggling Tommy Doyle subduing the so-far indomitable Michael Myers, in what by all accounts appears to be a budget 90s-style UFO control room (that is inexplicably nested inside of a sanitarium, may I add!), by hitting him with a pipe. Until he starts gushing sewer blood from his head, no less.

Animated jack o'lantern. Timeline 2: Season of the Witch Animated jack o'lantern.

(Halloween III)

Line of dripping blood.
This timeline is comprised of Halloween III: Season of the Witch and... has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Evidently, John Carpenter originally intended to make Halloween an anthology series, with every movie focusing on a different sort of evil menace and being set in its own universe. Needless to say, the absence of Michael Myers caused this movie to perform quite poorly, and the mass-murderer was aggressively brought back in the next movie.

Animated jack o'lantern. Timeline 3: H20 Animated jack o'lantern.

(Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20, Halloween Resurrection)

Line of dripping blood.

Halloween H20

Despite what a critical and financial disaster Halloween 6 turned out to be, various proposals were made for yet another hypothetical sequel to the series. These ultimately wound up being canned as the 20 year anniversary of the first movie came around, and Laurie Strode's actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who had previously refused to return to the series for Halloween 4 due to seeking greener pastures, decided that she wanted to be the center of attention of the franchise again. Thus, a new timeline was born, wherein Laurie Strode faked her death in a car crash after Halloween II and started a family under a new name far away from Haddonfield, only for The Shape to track her down once again.

Many fans who derived some enjoyment from the Cult of Thorn movies hold Halloween H20 in contempt for throwing out that continuity, but this was not the original intention. At one point, H20 was meant to include a scene of Laurie Strode learning about the death of her daughter Jamie Lloyd and vomiting into a public toilet in anguish. Halloween 4 mentioned Laurie dying in a car accident after all, which is the exact cause of death that she used as an excuse to change her identity in H20.

If the Halloween franchise was a religion, I would surely be burned at the stake for saying this (especially after committing the heresy of defending Halloween 6), but Halloween H20 felt like one of the weakest entries in the series to me. An all-around bland, goofy, and exceedingly out-of-place flick. The root of the problems with it, from my perspective, is that H20 isn't a Halloween movie; it's a Laurie Strode movie.

The void left by Dr. Loomis' absence is certainly a factor in this, as is the complete inability of Laurie Strode and the other insipid characters to replace him, but nothing about the movie even feels like an entry in the Halloween series so much as a Scream movie. The music is almost blasphemously out-of-place and not remotely frightening or memorable, the movie takes place far from the traditional setting of Haddonfield, and even The Shape is a clumsy and clown-ish imitation of his regular self.

Despite being one of the most well-received sequels to the original Halloween movie, H20 features what is nearly-universally considered the worst mask that The Shape has ever donned. Not only does it look almost nothing like the original mask, notably completely exposing Michael's eyes and making him seem like a regular human, but there were actually four different masks used throughout the movie, one even being imposed on Michael's face with the best CGI that the 90s could buy. Apparently in the 17 years between II and H20, The Shape never happened across a single decent white mask anywhere he went.

The issues with the mask could be forgiven if they were all that was wrong with this movie's Shape. There's nothing odd about a penniless drifter that is wanted for countless murders not being able to procure a perfect wardrobe for himself, after all. The bizarre, almost squirrel-esque jerky mannerisms that he consistently exhibits throughout the movie, coupled with his perpetual clumsiness and vulnerability completely break any semblance of believability, however.

H20 implies on multiple occasions that Michael Myers just got up and walked away while no one was looking, after being caught in an explosion and burned alive in Halloween II, yet shows this previously indomitable juggernaut struggling over and over to deal with regular humans, even unarmed ones. The jarring differences in The Shape's behaviours do make me wonder if there was some intention originally to make the main villain a completely different person masquerading as Michael Myers, ala Jason Voorhees' copycat in Friday the 13th V: A New Beginning.

The clumsiness and general stupidity extends to the rest of the cast to a lesser extent. Notable examples being Laurie's lover, Will, somehow emptying half a dozen rounds into Laurie's (unmasked, black) security guard before realising he wasn't Michael Myers, and Laurie deciding to confront Michael Myers at night by standing in the most brightly lit area she could find and repeatedly screaming his name at the top of her lungs instead of using the element of surprise. Some of the scenes, notably the kitchen fight scene between Michael and Laurie, genuinely benefit from being overlayed with the Benny Hill theme due to how silly they look.

H20 seems to have been made with the assumption that Laurie Strode was the conductor driving the Halloween train, and has, in my opinion at least, unintentionally revealed that she was a mere stowaway. The Cult of Thorn had many undeniable faults, but the characters of Dr. Loomis, Jamie Lloyd, Rachel Carruthers, and others were able to breathe enough life into it to keep it at least somewhat entertaining to the bitter end. The same cannot be said for H20.

It's all moot in the end, however. Because much like The Shape's mask in the Cult of Thorn timeline, this timeline just kept getting worse...

Fading red bar.

Halloween Resurrection

I haven't watched nearly as many movies as the average person, so this statement may be a tad irrelevant, but nonetheless I can confidently say that Halloween Resurrection is the worst movie I have ever had the displeasure of seeing. A frustrating slough featuring a pitiful, discounted Party City version of The Shape slashing morons who decided to lock themselves in his house for Internet attention, before battling a third-rate rapper who makes fourth-rate attempts at mimicking kung fu skills in order to dispatch him.

Halloween 6, generally considered by most fans to be the previous low point of the franchise, was at least oddly fascinating in its sheer incoherency, in about the same manner as a drugged-out lunatic engaging a parking meter in a feverish debate about space alien conspiracy theories is. When it comes to Halloween Resurrection, you would probably be better served spending an hour and a half on the loo suffering from constipation than wasting time on this drivel. At least then you'll only have to worry about bleeding out of your anus instead of your brain.

I should add for contexual reasons, that I am actually a big fan of so-called "B-movies" overall. There's always something charming (and fascinating) about an enterprise that draws dozens of people (and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars) together to create a work of art, yet somehow fails to produce anything beyond the level of a child's experimentation with psychedelics. The insane Chinese Kung Fu flick Drunken Wu Tang is one of my favourite movies, precisely because it makes so little sense that it may actually be of benefit to anyone watching it if they are severely intoxicated.

Unlike many "so bad it's good" horror movies that are remarkable for their creativity and audaciousness however, Resurrection is nothing more than tired garbage. No soul, no novelty, no redeeming value whatsoever. An absolute disaster spawned by people whose creative vision apparently started and ended with "I want money".

Resurrection doesn't pull any punches, immediately letting the viewer know what kind of a trainwreck they're in for by beginning the movie via introducing a ludicrous retcon of The Shape's death at Laurie's hands in H20. Apparently, after being stabbed by Laurie, Myers attacked a random paramedic, crushed their larynx, swapped clothing with them, and disappeared into the night, leaving Laurie to mistakenly behead the poor mute bystander. The unintentional bright side of this load of codswallop is that it at least resolved the plot hole of "Michael" being put into the body bag in H20 without anyone checking his pulse.

As universally loathed at this retcon is, it needs to be pointed out that it's not Resurrection's fault. Executive producer Moustapha Akkad had mandated that writers are not allowed to kill off The Shape, and the writers of H20 thus needed an "out" that could be used to create additional sequels. Thus, the paramedic retcon was invented and even partially filmed during H20's production.

Anyway. Michael Myers finally succeeds in murdering Laurie Strode at the start of the movie, after which he once again returns to his childhood home. We don't get to find out what the next part of his master plan is, as his attention is summarily diverted by the aforementioned irritating Internet-fame-seeking dimwits who have invaded his home and once again provided him with a purpose.

Considering The Shape, after everything he has been through, somehow manages to be injured to the point of near-death by the brainless simpletons that function as this movie's "protagonists", I'm going to assume his goal was simply to die so that he could escape the dreadful mistake this timeline has turned out to be. The man can be faulted for a great many horrific things that he has done, but I'm sure anyone who had the displeasure of seeing this movie can sympathise with this particular decision.

Animated jack o'lantern. Timeline 4: Rob Zombie Animated jack o'lantern.

(Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009))

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Michael Myers has been a recurring special interest of mine since I was in elementary school, but not nearly enough to make me want to watch two edgy reboots that systematically rip away all of the mystique that made The Shape so great and foolishly attempt to replace it with mindless over-the-top gore.

From all that I have read, the two movies in Rob Zombie's Halloween reboot series - Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009) - portray Michael as a man who was routinely bullied by other children and his mother's live-in boyfriend as a child until he snapped. In direct contrast to his original self, who was frightening largely because there was never any established motive for his heinous deeds. We first see him as a cute blonde-haired six-year-old boy living in a typical house in a typical quiet suburban neighbourhood... who just stabbed his elder sister to death with a kitchen knife for no discernible reason.

The original Halloween plunged a bloody blade into the horror genre's heart because of its inherent message that the spectre of lunacy and senseless violence could strike anyone, anywhere, for no reason. In contrast to most previous horror giants such as Dracula and Frankenstein, who haunted locations such as the Europe of centuries past, Michael Myers stalked the seemingly safe suburbs that Americans were migrating to enmasse from the cities in order to have a sanctuary to raise their children without fear of anything happening to them. Moreover, the monster of this movie starts his rampage off as one of those kids.

Another complaint I have is that, by all accounts I have read, the Zombie reboots are the two most ridiculously gory movies in the entire Halloween franchise. I am certainly not even remotely a prude when it comes to graphic violence, but I do take umbrage with directors overusing it in a desperate attempt to create fear, in the absence of an actually compelling plot. In contrast to Rob Zombie's movies, the original Halloween featured almost no blood or special effects whatsoever. This was partially due to the shoestring budget, but also because the movie itself was so masterfully crafted that it did not require any fancy sprinkles to make it frightening.

Perhaps one day I'll get bored and update this part with an actual analysis, but don't hold your breath.

Animated jack o'lantern. Timeline 5: Halloween Kills Animated jack o'lantern.

(Halloween (1978), Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills, Halloween Ends)

Officer Hawkins: He's a six-year-old boy with the strength of a man, and the mind of an animal.
Laurie Strode: I know; I've seen his face. I looked in his eyes when I took off his mask.
Officer Hawkins: Did you know that when he was a little boy, he used to stand in his sister's bedroom and... stare out the window? My partner died, the night he stood on that same spot. But for an instant, before his death, he knew. Maybe he wasn't looking out. Maybe he was looking in. At his reflection. At himself. Who knows what makes him kill, what motivates him? But in his heart, it always seemed to me, he wants one thing.
Lonnie (elsewhere): He's going home.

Halloween Kills (2021)
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The new Halloween timeline, which encompasses the original movie, as well as Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills, and the upcoming Halloween Ends, reboots the franchise once again, tossing out every single sequel and revealing that Michael Myers was apprehended by police soon after the events of the original movie and sent to Smith's Grove Sanitarium, where he spent the next 40 years in captivity.

The sequels in the new timeline is notable for the return of many of the people responsible for the original movie, including John Carpenter himself, who is again responsible for the music, and who the director ran all of his storyline ideas by. Nick Castle also returns as Michael Myers for the first since the original movie (!), with the actors for Laurie Strode, Lonnie Elam, Marion Chambers, Leigh Brackett also returning to the fray. On top of all of this, the new movies feature the most faithful and accurate mask that The Shape has ever donned in a sequel.

I have refrained from covering the original Halloween movie up until this part of the page because, once we completely ignore every trace of the other movies, The Shape's motives can be interpreted in a very interesting and unique manner. What if, and please hear me out before judging, everyone completely misunderstood Michael Myers' intentions, and he was never actually anything resembling the force of pure evil that everyone painted him as?

Before I start to explain, I have to point out that the current trilogy of Halloween sequels was never firmly intended to be a full three movie deal. The reason for The Shape's ambiguous fate in Halloween (2018) was because the director was waiting to see how the sales for the first movie would look like, before committing to making the other two movies. Why this is important, is because this sheds light on why the 1978 scene of Michael Myers being apprehended by police immediately following the events of the original movie was put into Halloween Kills, instead of into Halloween (2018) where one would logically assume it would belong.

I am sure I am not the only person who was befuddled by why Halloween (2018) started off with the now-sexagenarian Myers being visited by curious podcasters in the sanitarium where he has being housed for the past 40 years, and why the sequel Halloween Kills suddenly went back in time to show just how his rampage was ended back then. My analysis below sheds some plausible light on this creative decision.

Halloween (1978)

Despite his reputation as being a single-minded murder machine, Michael Myers' first night of freedom in the original Halloween movie seemed to show a man who was anything but. He started off by escaping the car that Loomis and the unnamed nurse were driving him in, forcing the nurse out of the car without murdering anyone, and driving 150 miles away back to Haddonfield. Driving 150 miles without any apparent incident despite never having been taught to drive, I should add; a feat that alone disproves the notion of him being incapable of reason.

He then murdered a mechanic for his coveralls (the only outfit that The Shape seems comfortable wearing), and proceeded to burglarise a hardware store for his trademark mask and some other items. Finally, he went straight to his childhood home and proceeded to take up vigil at the front window, until the sudden appearance of Laurie Strode prompted him to begin stalking her.

Judging by his movements, The Shape took interest in Laurie the moment after he saw her deposit the key to his house under the door at the request of her realtor father, after which he immediately walked out and began his prolonged stalking routine, silently following Laurie to school and then to her home.

Some fans believe that The Shape's interest stems from Laurie being brave enough to walk to his front door, which is supported by Tommy Doyle remarking in shock that everyone stays away from the Myers house. I will propose however, an arguably more convincing and fascinating explanation for this behaviour, which is backed by a number of Michael's acts in the original Halloween movie, as well as his acts following his escape from Smith's Grove 40 years later.

To start off, aside from murdering a mechanic for his clothing, Michael's initial actions following his escape from Smith's Grove hardly seem llke the behaviour of a single-minded murder machine. One could claim that he went back to his childhood home in order to murder his parents, but the fact that he remained in there after noting that it was abandoned, and stood around staring out the front window for an unknown period of time conjures up a very different mental image; one of a confused and lonely child that is waiting for their parents to return.

Like any other child, the young Michael was surely observant enough to be aware of the basic fact that his parents were the (likely only) owners of the keys to his house. Having become aware of his home's vacantness and noticing that Laurie was now in possession of the keys, it can be postulated that The Shape came to the conclusion that the teenager was the only person who could offer him any insight as to where his parents are now. Lamentably for everyone involved, his attempts at an enquiry about this were about as deranged as one would expect from someone who murdered their own sister as a small boy.

In case this is sounding awfully contrived, I will analyse the machinations behind the murders that The Shape wound up committing later that Halloween night for clues supporting this theory. In the midst of murdering two babysitters and a boyfriend, Michael purposefully lulled his final victim, Lynda, into a false sense of security by dressing up in a ghost costume and putting on her boyfriend's glasses, before strangling her after she called Laurie but before she could say anything, all apparently to lure her into the Wallace house.

Upon arriving at the Wallace house to check up on her friend, Laurie is confronted by a macabre display made from the corpses of her friends, and their vicious murderer himself, who proceeds to savagely assault her by... creeping up behind her and stabbing at the air next to her arm, giving her a small cut in the process?

Possibly the most perplexing aspect of the original Halloween is how much time The Shape spends stalking Laurie, and how he consistently fails to go for the kill with her, all the while he swiftly and efficiently butchers every single other one of his intended victims. It starts to seem as if he never actually intended to murder her, but instead was attempting to communicate with her, in a way that only a savage and silent madman would think to communicate. If this is true, then what information could he have possibly been trying to express?

Going back earlier in the movie, Dr. Loomis visited a cemetery and learned that someone had snuck in and absconded with the headstone of Judith Myers. The doctor correctly assumes that her brother was the culprit, and the headstone later resurfaces in the Wallace house, situated on the end of a bed behind the splayed out corpse of Lynda. The common assumption is that Michael was making a grotesque shrine to (or recreation of) his first murder, yet this set-up seems to be conveying some different and very specific information.

The "Samhain" incident aside, Michael Myers does not seem to be any more capable (or willing) to communicate via written word than he is via spoken word. As such, Judith's tombstone may have been the most accessible and reliable method he could find to communicate his identity.

He already learned from hearing the young Tommy Doyle's reaction to Laurie walking up to his door that his childhood misdeeds are well known, and rightly assumed that pairing Judith's tombstone with a teenage girl's corpse would make his identity quite clear to anyone who came across the scene. Even moreso considering he chose a bedroom (where Judith's murder occurred) with a glowing jack o'lantern (a reference to the day of the murder) in it, to display his shrine.

As discussed earlier, after the traumatised Laurie stumbled out of the bedroom in shock, Michael appeared behind her and famously stabbed his knife down next to her, cutting her arm in the process. The suspicious incompetence of this assault, which is quite out-of-character compared to the vicious finesse of his other attacks in the movie, seems to imply that this too was meant to be part of his attempt to express himself to Laurie. Specifically, to clarify his involvement in the Judith affair, as the stabber (just in case his previous acts had somehow not made this obvious enough).

For some reason, Laurie does not react to all of this very pleasantly, rudely opting to flee in terror and eventually even more rudely repeatedly stabbing Michael Myers with various objects instead of taking the time to help him track down his parents. Dr. Loomis shows up to save her from being strangled by an increasingly frustrated Shape by shooting him six times, and eventually (as shown in Halloween Kills), the police force finally shows up and apprehends the deranged serial killer.

Fading red bar.

Halloween (2018)

Fast forward to the much-heralded reboot/"recalibration", Halloween (2018), and the now-quite-aged Michael Myers has been lying dormant in Smith's Grove for the past 40 years, under the care of a doctor, Dr. Ranbir Sartain, who has covertly gone insane from how much time he has spent attempting to understand the enigmatic maniac's motives and behaviour.

Aside from a chilling opening scene where a journalist shows Michael his old mask and repeatedly beseeches him to say something, causing every inmate in the asylum (and a guard dog) to suddenly have feverish meltdowns despite The Shape ostensibly not saying a word, the man has apparently been completely unresponsive since his incarceration.

Incidentally, this is quite in line with Loomis' description in Halloween II, of Michael spending his 15 year incarceration in a catatonic state, which ultimately lured the staff members watching him into a massive false sense of security. History repeats itself across timelines, as Michael soon hijacks the prison bus he was placed on in order to be transferred to another facility, steals a car, and yet again zooms off towards the nearest car repair station to murder some poor mechanic for his black coveralls.

As a side note, at some point, you would think Haddonfield and its outskirts would just normalise mechanics dressing up in cute pink Hello Kitty outfits to try to put an end to these recurring tragedies.

Anyhow, after the coveralls, the next item on Michael's hierarchy of needs is of course his white mask, which he last saw being held by the two jounralists, who happen to show up at the repair station soon after Michael does. Demonstrating that his methods of communication have only gotten more deplorable after 40 years of living in a nuthouse, he proceeds to follow the female journalist into the bathroom, bang on her stall, and drop some bloody human teeth over the door. The situation quickly turns violent, and The Shape winds up retrieving his mask from the deceased journalists' car.

Night soon falls, and Michael begins making up for lost time by murdering two random women and a dim-witted rapey creep before being sighted and ran over by Officer Frank Hawkins. Hawkins is in turn severely injured by a Dr. Sartain who has now completely dropped any pretense of sanity, graduating from eyebrow-raising one-sided rants about wanting to understand what The Shape feels when he kills, to embarking on an active investigation on the matter, even briefly donning his muse's mask and muttering in a monster voice. It is beyond me how so many people apparently disliked this eccentric lunatic's character, as I personally feel this movie would have been quite poorer without his presence.

Sadly for the loveably deranged doctor, his lunacy causes him to become confused over which timeline he's in, and he swiftly drives the unconscious Michael over to Laurie Strode's Happening Bunker where she and her daughter have holed up, thinking he's motivated by a desire to murder her. Michael wakes up and politely expresses his disagreement by crushing Sartain's head underfoot like a grape.

On another note, considering Laurie also believed that Michael Myers was after her, it would have been quite amusing if Sartain's gambit never happened, and she simply spent the entire second half of the movie sitting in her compound with her daughter, growing increasingly bored and confused.

I mean no offence to any elderly and/or short people when I make this quip, but I cannot help but feel that this movie unintentionally confirmed that there is a direct link between insanity and super-strength during the Sartain debacle. The fact that Dr. Sartain, a diminutive elderly man with one broken arm was not only able to quickly haul the bulky unconscious Michael Myers into the back of Officer Hawkins' cruiser, and but do so too fast for the terrified Allyson to make any effort to escape, is either a plot hole or a thinly veiled explanation for one of the Shape's enduring mysteries.

After some more iconic deaths and a thrilling fight scene, Laurie and co lock Michael in the basement before setting it and the entire compound on fire in a truly sublime scene that somehow manages to feel exhilarating in spite of being the third Halloween movie to end with Michael Myers being burned alive. I suppose the fact that one of the other ones was Halloween Resurrection helps a lot, but so does the glorious optimistic yet still strangely haunting remix of the original Halloween theme ("The Shape Burns") that plays during the entire scene.

All in all, Halloween 2018 proved to be one of the absolute best entries in the series, and the most compelling Laurie Strode has ever been. Replacing her insipid and irritating H20 self with a traumatised yet defiant prepper who is determined to stop at nothing to protect herself and her daughter from The Shape at any and all costs. Despite how unlikeable the former was at the start of the movie, Laurie's daughter Karen and granddaughter Allyson also prove to be a compelling and superior replacements for her son John in H20.

Fading red bar.

Halloween Kills

So Michael Myers survives the fire, in part due to the misguided firefighters that show up to not only put out the inferno in Laurie's compound, but even accidentally pull Michael Myers out of the basement. He then proceeds to embark on the most aggressive and prolific rampage that he has ever gone on in any movie, surpassing even the bloodbath in Halloween 4.

Despite ostensibly reducing The Shape to nothing more than a walking abattoir, Halloween Kills also seemingly stops to offer more evidence than ever of him being a misunderstood lunatic that is lashing out in confusion. Looking at the movie from the perspective I have presented thus far, Michael appears to be akin to a wounded, livid beast continually striking out at anyone who crosses his path.

By far the most divisive aspect of Halloween Kills is that, in spite of the villain's ever-escalating atrocities, the movie repeatedly takes pains to remind the audience that no one involved in the affair is innocent, and that regular, well-meaning people are just as capable of horrific deeds as the dreaded Shape. Officer Tobias summed it up pretty well when he said "Just because your intentions are good, doesn't mean things always work out".

Michael Myers' main foes in Halloween Kills are the ragtag band of furious louts that assemble after a rabble-rousing adult Tommy Doyle hears about Michael Myers' rampage on television at a bar and decides the townsfolk need to take things into their own hands. Not only do they utterly fail at their one mission, but they also drive Tivoli, an innocent escaped mental patient who came into the hospital Laurie was in to seek medical treatment, to suicide after mobbing him due to mistaking him for Michael Myers.

This message also rears its head in the now-fleshed-out backstory of Officer Hawkins, and his involvement in the arrest of Michael Myers following his rampage in 1978. The wonderfully shot flashback at the start of the movie reveals that Hawkins was unintentionally responsible for the shooting death of his partner, Officer McCabe, after attempting to free him from Michael Myers, who was strangling him to death. Hawkins then intervenes and stops Loomis from executing The Shape during his arrest, due to not being able to bear to see any more death, an incident he would grow to carry heavy guilt over. More on Hawkins soon.

After escaping Laurie's compound and butchering the firefighters responsible for his survival, Michael Myers breaks into a random old couple's house and proceeds to stab the woman in the throat with a broken light bulb, before turning her husband into a gruesome pincushion display using a set of kitchen knives. Yet, as observant viewers may have noticed, there is a subtle clue that suggests Michael never had any intentions of harming the house's occupants when he originally broke in.

In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment between the husband turning on the bathroom lights, and Michael smashing the light fixture, the killer is shown to be in the process of bandaging his wounds from his previous altercation with the Strodes. Also of note is that he does not do anything to harm the occupants until the old man screams at his wife to call the police. Given how silently and discreetly The Shape snuck into the house, it can be postulated that he was planning on leaving just as quietly until this development caused him to fear for his safety.

Michael's next on-screen appearance involves him beheading a boy who got too close to him, before a group of vigilantees from the bar show up to confront him. Michael slaughters the entire group (aside from Lindsey Wallace, who barely manages to escape), before dressing up their bodies in Halloween masks and continuing onward.

As Lonnie (correctly) predicts by mapping the trail of dead bodies that are piling up, The Shape's ultimate destination turns out to be his childhood home, where he stabs one member of the gay couple that has moved into it, and juices the other one's head like a lemon. Michael then appears to once again take up his post at Judith's bedroom window, staring out into Haddonfield until his attention is again diverted by the arrival of the remaining members of the lynch mob, who he systematically butchers.

Just before the movie cuts to the credits, we see Karen wandering into Judith's bedroom to investigate what appeared to be an appearance of Judith's ghost at the windowsill. Believing The Shape to have been killed by the lynch mob, she closes her eyes and breathes a deep sigh of relief, before being brutally butchered by the very-much-alive slasher in a scene obviously reminiscent of his very first kill 55 years beforehand. Having murdered all of his foes (aside from Allyson and Laurie), The Shape once again returns to ominously staring out of his beloved window.

Returning again to Hawkins for insight, while scouring the streets for signs of the Shape, the police officer learns that his soon-to-be-deceased partner knew Michael Myers when the two of them were children. Hawkins asks if he exhibited typical serial killer behaviours such as plucking the wings off of butterflies, to which McCabe responds that he never saw anything like it, only that Michael would ignore him when he came over, and that he spent all of his time staring out of Judith's bedroom window.

It's implied that Hawkins seems to have a better understanding of The Shape's psyche than possibly any other character, as he correctly predicted that Michael Myers was seeking to return to his childhood home, and understood that he had no desire to go after Laurie Strode and only ran into her because of Sartain's meddling. For this reason, I consider Hawkins' remarks about Michael's motivations (as quoted at the start of this timeline's section of this page) to be perhaps the most fascinating part of Halloween Kills.

Hawkins seems to believe that Michael is still a six-year-old boy deep down, and this is the exact same age that he was when murdered Judith and was institutionalised. The novelisation of the movie states that his parents left Haddonfield after this occurred, likely out of despair, which means that Michael almost certainly never saw them again. As such, he has been stuck in a state of arrested development ever since that fateful day, desperately attempting to return to his caregivers and unable to understand why they're gone.

What does any of this have to do with the murders of Judith and the dozens of Michael's other victims? Aside from the people that he murdered out of self-defence, Michael Myers is most likely a violent schizophrenic, and we can only guess as to what drove him to suddenly snap and slice his sister up. Hawkins himself, as sympathetic(-ish) as he appears to be in that scene, remarks that The Shape has "the mind of an animal". Many of his kills likely had no more coherent reasoning, or genuine malice, behind them than a grizzly bear or a rabid dog mauling someone.

Regardless of how accurate this theory is, I doubt we'll ever actually get to see Michael Myers reuniting with his parents, who very well may not even be alive anymore. Especially considering Michael himself will be 65 years old by the time Halloween Ends rolls around.

I was unable to find the name of the actress who played his mother, Edith, in the 1963 flashback in the first movie, but George O'Hanlon Jr., the actor of Michael's father, Peter Myers, was born in 1953 and was 25 years old when his (1963 flashback) role in the movie was recorded. Being 25 in 1963 would put him at 84 years of age in the upcoming final movie. Plenty of people do live this long, although it's quite possible that the anguish of effectively losing both of their children could have severely shortened the life expectancy of both parents.

The obvious main problem with this theory is that it changes The Shape from an unknowable force of pure evil, to a mentally ill adult child that just wants his mother back, which is taking a far too massive (ram)page from the book of his competitor, Jason Voorhees. Still, I think it's interesting to think about. After this many movies, and Michael surviving so much damage that Laurie outright states that he isn't just a flesh-and-blood human, and that he cannot be defeated with brute force, I would prefer for the series to end with something more substantial than a very overkill death scene.

I feel the need to clarify, just because this entire page is significantly darker than what my usual work, that this is one of my autistic love letters to subjects that interest me, and nothing more. I appreciate Michael Myers as a fascinating and monstrous, yet thankfully fictional figure, whose many diverse appearances offer a plethora of food for thought. Oodles of horror movies have traversed all sorts of diverse, and often excessively extravagant, avenues towards tackling the fundamental fear of death, but arguably none other has done so well with so little as the original Halloween movie has.

Most of The Shape's acts are horrific, but I think most of us can find some understanding and even desire to "copycat" his 15 year period of going completely catatonic in between his 1963 murder-genesis and his 1978 rampage. Or at least, this prolonged period of utter inactivity is something that has frequently entered my head upon hearing my alarm go off in the morning.