A true horror classic, infamous director John Carpenter’s Halloween brought the wonderful villain of Michael Myers to life, terrorizing audiences for over 30 years now. And with the launch of Halloween Kills this October, we have provided an easy-to-understand history of one of the greatest horror movie franchises of all time.
When the original Halloween hit the silver screen in 1978, it terrified audiences with its masterful tension and truly terrifying killer. The story was simple yet utterly effective. Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night in 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again. Alongside the instantly recognizable theme, this movie introduces us to Michael Myers as a sociopathic child who kills his older sister, for which he is committed to a sanitarium. At age 21 Myers escapes, in order to find his sister, Laurie Strode, played by the scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis. Halloween instantly established itself as a true horror classic and would go on to influence numerous modern classics we know today.
Halloween 2 (1981)
The anticipation for the sequel to one of the best horror movies was through the roof, especially with Carpenter returning to write the script. However, like most sequels, Halloween 2 suffered from trying to up the ante and make everything bigger and scarier. The sequel loses the incredible tension of the original, instead of focusing more on the uber violence of Myers. Many of the deaths are there more for shock factor than actual story implication, which does lessen the impact of the murders themselves. After failing to kill sister, Laurie, and taking a bullet or six from former psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael Myers has followed Laurie to the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, where she’s been admitted for Myers’ attempt on her life. The institution proves to be particularly suited to serial killers, however, as Myers cuts, stabs, and slashes his way through hospital staff to reach his favorite victim. Although the movie lacks the tension of the original, it is still a horror classic, with arguably the best Myers “death” in the franchise history.
Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch (1982)
With the huge success of the previous two outings, studio greed crept in, with the decision to turn the franchise into a yearly anthology, with a new installment released every year. This backfired dramatically and was the first sign of the wheels coming offfor the horror classic. Fans were left stumped and furious at the notion of removing Michael Myers from the movie. A Halloween movie without the notorious and infamous slasher makes no sense on paper and it made eleven less sense on screen. The story itself is a dramatic departure as well, seeing Hospital emergency room Dr. Daniel “Dan” Challis and Ellie Grimbridge, the daughter of a murder victim, uncover a terrible plot by small-town mask maker Conal Cochran, a madman who’s planning a Halloween mass murder utilizing an ancient Celtic ritual. The ritual involves a boulder stolen from Stonehenge, the use of Silver Shamrock masks, and a triggering device contained in a television commercial, all designed to kill millions of children. As a stand-alone horror flick, Season Of The Witch is actually a fun watch, with some really neat ideas and wonderful kills, but as a chapter in the Halloween series, it fails dramatically.
Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)
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