The screams that rang out through Haddonfield the night that Michael Myers bloodied their streets has been with audiences since the film’s release in 1978.
Michael Myers is one of the most iconic horror antagonists of all time. Wearing a white, haunting mask with expressionless, black eyes. Always silent with an unwavering determination, he stalks and kills his victims. He is an intoxicating “monster”.
Halloween was made in 1978 by John Carpenter. It was by no means his first dip into the murky waters of the horror genre. He created various horror/sci fi short films from as early as 1962.
However, Halloween is arguably the film that us take note of his artistic direction, and the command he has in creating a chilling, immersive tale.
Looking back on the film now, with eyes that have been subjected to all sorts of predictable jump scares of modern horror, some of the effects can seem dated and clunky. But, in many ways, it only adds to the eerie charm of the film.
After all, even to this day, Halloween is a franchise that isn’t ready to draw its last breath.
Since that fateful night in Haddonfield, audiences have come together time and again to see what else Michael Myers has in store for his victim. The franchise has morphed into a beast that simply cannot be killed.
Where is Michael Myers?
When Michael Myers was removed entirely from the (questionable) story of Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, made in 1982 by Tommy Lee Wallace, fans still stuck around to see whether these deadly Halloween nights could lead them somewhere better.
The intention, according to sources at the time, was that this deviation from Michael Myers was to show that the Halloween franchise was more than its lead antagonist. That the films could focus on what happens during this holiday rather than on a single bout of evil.
Yet, that decision was soon put to rest when the outcry of frustration from fans rolled in – we want the blood curdling screams that only Myers can rip from our lungs.
We want – no – we demand gore
The answer to our demands came six years after the third instalment. Michael Myers returned to wreak revenge on Laurie Strode’s daughter, a homecoming that had fans and critics split on whether Halloween was a worthwhile tale anymore.
What gripped audiences us in the 1970s was now turning into a potential snoozefest, with formulaic scares, and less believable characters.
It would be unfair to conclude that Halloween 4: Return of Michael Myers, made in 1988 by Dwight. H Little is a bad film. Especially when you compare it to Rob Zombie’s failed attempt at remaking the first two Halloween films.
However, the fourth film simply didn’t have the power that the original did.
Even when Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, made by Steve Miner and released in the late 90’s, with Jamie Lee Curtis back to reprise her role as Laurie Strode, a feat she hadn’t done since the first two original films, the franchise didn’t look like it could be saved.
At least not easily.
Halloween H20 completely dismissed everything that had happened since the first two Myers outings, resulting in a weird void being created that we couldn’t help but acknowledge, especially as H20 is the seventh film of the series.
Curtis gave it her all, as did the cast that supported her, but the audience, sadly, never felt the terror we felt when we first watched her tangle with Myers, although the nostalgia that enveloped H20 certainly kept audiences mildly entertained.
As a result, and likely surprising to some who thought this film a mistake, H20 is the highest grossing film of the entire franchise so far. But with a new film ready to drop into our laps this October, that could be about to change…
We have waited years for this film. Diehard fans have their eyes locked on every piece of news that comes their way.
Similar to H20, this new film is going to ignore everything that has gone before it, even the second film that was released in 1981.
In doing so, it will see Strode back in Haddonfield, ready and waiting for Myers to return.
Although it’s sad to see a lot of its history simply cut away, such as Strode being Myers’ sister, there’s no denying that this David Gordon Green film is sending horror fans into a frenzy.
Even more so than normal because John Carpenter is getting back into bed with Halloween, this time acting as the executive producer and composer.
Will Halloween re-ignite a fire under this franchise?
I certainly hope so, as do many others out there. Myers has been done an injustice over the years, arguably when the fourth film was created. It’s time he was given a role deserving of the terror he inflicts.
One thing we can all be certain of is that on 19 October, fanatics of the genre will flock to their local cinemas.
We will witness the unstoppable reign of Michael Myers, and the piercing wails of his unwitting prey.
Hopefully, this time Laurie will finally be ready to face her tormentor in a battle of wills for which we’ve waited over 40 years.
By Emma Flint
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