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Halloween: Timelines

They Happened on Halloween

Movies reboot all the time. They ignore certain sequels or tweak the ending of the previous film. Hell, they might even do one that has nothing to do with the rest of them, and no, I don’t want to watch a YouTube fan made conspiracy theory about how Halloween III ties into any of the other films. I’m here to talk about timelines. Those bloody Halloween timelines.

For the record, I will only cover the timelines that branch out from the original 1978 movie. This means I do not cover the Rob Zombie Halloween movies as they are a reboot/remake/reimagining. Nor do I cover the third movie Halloween III: Season of the Witch because it does not exist inside the original movie’s timeline as there is a scene in Halloween III where Tom Atkins is in a bar and a commercial for the original Halloween movie is shown on the television.

TIMELINE ONE

HALLOWEEN (1978)

A young boy, Micheal Myers stands catatonic holding a kitchen knife in a clown suit
1963. Michael Myers murders his sister Judith with a really large kitchen knife.

No matter what movies you consider canon, or which ones you pretend don’t exist, or “count”, the original is a cinematic classic. It begins with a long and seemingly continuous tracking shot of a mysterious figure stalking and then killing a young woman. The figure then flees the house and runs right into the owners of the house. Then the shocking reveal, as the man pulls off the mask to reveal a young boy, his son.

“Michael?”

Many years later Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasence) and snarky nurse Marion Chambers head to Smith’s Grove to pick up Michael who hasn’t spoken a word in 15 years. Arriving at the gate during a rain storm they witness patients just wandering around outside. Loomis goes to check the gate, at which point Michael leaps on top of the car and pulls Marion out and takes off like a guy who was given driving lessons.

Meanwhile, the next morning, Halloween, we meet Laurie Strode, a straight A virgin who hangs out with her two friends Annie, the wisecracking daughter of the local sheriff, and Linda, who is totally the hottest cheerleader the high school has.

Laurie is babysitting outcast Tommy Doyle and Annie is babysitting Lindsey Wallace across the street. Michael, who has been stalking the girls all day, is close by. Laurie confides that she has a crush on Ben Tramer, but he isn’t even in this movie so who cares?

Michael proceeds to kills Lindsey’s dog. Then he kills Annie.

He then kills Bob, Linda’s zero Lothario, with a really big kitchen knife and then does his now trademark “tilt his head to one side and then the other” motion to admire his own work.

Micheal stares at Bob, who is hanging dead, pinned to the door with a large kitchen knife.
Michael probably wondering how that knife is holding him up so well.

He then decides, out of nowhere, to be a little playful. At no point has Michael shown a goofy side, yet he dons the sheet, pops on Bob’s glasses, and teases Linda with a beer before he remembers he doesn’t talk and this is as far as he can take this whole bit. Linda has enough of “Bob” screwing around and decides to call Laurie as The Shape Stalks theme kicks in and this movie shifts gears.

Linda gets choked to death with the phone cord and Laurie considers it’s just Linda making sex noises because Laurie has been neither choked nor laid, so she doesn’t realize how different those two things sound.

Nevertheless, Laurie decides to investigate across the street, which of course leads to the classic “Discovery of All the Bodies” scene where Annie, Bob and Linda are revealed to her one by one.

As Laurie cowers in a doorway, the face of the Shape slowly materializes out of the darkness in one of the coolest shots of the film. This was achieved by having a light over the mask and very very slowly brightening it. It’s such an amazing shot you forgive the fact Michael goes to stab Laurie and totally whiffs. He scratches the side of her arm and she goes tumbling down the stairs.

A long chase scene ensues and Laurie eventually overcomes Michael by stabbing him in the eye with a metal clothes hanger and in the chest with a knife. She sends the kids off to get help. Dr Loomis spots the kids screaming like hell as they run out of the house and he rushes in just in time to find Michael, apparently unstoppable, choking Laurie in the hallway.

Laurie wrestles with Michael and manages to pull his mask off. As he gathers himself and slips it back on Dr. Loomis hits him with 6 slugs sending him flying off the balcony to the ground below.

Laurie says to Dr. Loomis in shock, “It was the Boogeyman,” to confirm that little Tommy Doyle was telling the truth all night about seeing The Boogeyman.

Dr. Loomis concurs, “As a matter of fact, it was.” He walks over to the balcony and sees that Michael is gone. Here’s the awesome part: His face doesn’t show shock. He’s not surprised he isn’t down there. You can’t kill the Boogeyman.

As we cut to different locations around the house, and then around the neighborhood, and then outside the Myers house, we hear the slow, rhythmic, emotionless breathing of something still out there.

HALLOWEEN II

This movie is a direct continuation of the first film meaning we get the end of the last movie spliced in with new footage. In this version, Dr. Loomis clearly shoots Michael seven times, and then proceeds to spend the entire movie telling anyone who will listen that he shot him six times! Also, for some reason, Dr. Loomis goes downstairs and is now shocked to see that Michael is gone. Not only that, but Michael has left a weird cartoon dent in the grass.

Micheal is gone, but there is a Micheal shaped dent in the front yard.
This shot always makes me laugh,

This movie introduces the song “Mister Sandman” into the Halloween series. We won’t hear it again until, well…Twenty Years Later.

One of the knocks on this movie is that Laurie Strode isn’t in it much. She’s still a little gimpy from that tumble down the stairs and she spends the movie mostly incapacitated. What’s worse, she’s forced to do it all in a terrible wig.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a hospital gown in an elevator as Michael approaches.
About as good as the wig looks in this movie.

The early part of the movie is just Michael wandering around aimlessly for a while, picking up a new knife and then stopping off next door for a home invasion seemingly just for kicks. He spots Loomis meet up with Sheriff Brackett, as they take off in search of Michael.

It’s not long before Dr. Loomis spots a person that isn’t Michael’s height or build, who is nonetheless wearing a Michael mask, except with blond hair, and decides he needs to kill this person. Brackett wrestles with him over the gun. The masked man sees this going down and goes to run away when he’s struck by a police car and slammed into an ambulance that promptly explodes.

“Is it him?! Is it HIM?!” Sheriff Brackett asks Dr. Loomis, who can’t tell. It’s not him.

RIP Ben Tramer. Dead. Dr. Loomis has blood on his hands. Yes, we later learn this poor victim was none other than Ben Tramer, the boy Laurie had a crush on in the first movie. Damn, these movies do not give Laurie a break. All her friends are dead. The boy she likes just got incinerated. Her step parents clearly don’t care about her. All in all, not a great day.

As the body of Ben Tramer continues to burn, we witness the arrival of Deputy Hunt, who breaks the news to Sheriff Brackett that there were three bodies found at the murder site and exclaims “ONE A THEM WUZ ANNIE!!!!” in what was apparently good enough to be the take they went with. Brackett, stunned, takes off.

Nancy Kyes (as Nancy Loomis) has a blink and you’ll miss her cameo as Annie’s corpse. If you watch the scene of Sheriff Brackett identifying her body, you’ll get the double meaning of that last sentence.

Michael surely appreciates the precious time Ben Tramer’s dental records and autopsy bought him. Were it not for Ben’s charred, unidentifiable body, Michael would never have had the time to stop off at the school and write SAMHAIN in blood and stab a drawing of the family (he specifically stabs the sister, Dr. Loomis notes). This gives Loomis the opportunity to go on about “the unconscious mind” and evil. Typical Loomis stuff.

Two deputies and Dr Loomis stare at a chalkboard where SAMHAIN has been written in blood
Dr. Loomis talks of druids and cults, as if this series of movies would ever go down that path.

Not only does the Tramer death give Michael ample time to vandalize a school, but he manages to kill the entire night shift at the hospital. The sleazy paramedic, his lady friend who deserved to die for completely neglecting the maternity ward, the drunk Dr. Mixter, the nervous nurse, and all the other hospital staff characters whose names I forget.

Michael never kills the Jimmy character though. Jimmy manages to slip in a giant pool of blood that he clearly knew he was standing in and then passes out on the steering wheel horn of a car Laurie was hiding in. Jimmy is most likely dead, but definitely under concussion protocol.

Meanwhile, Laurie, when she’s not needlessly doped up, is forced to spend time with the clingy Jimmy, who seemingly has nothing to offer her except perhaps a flat Coke or two. Nevertheless, Laurie does find time to recall some childhood memories long enough to possibly remember she has a brother.

Marion Chambers arrives with the police, under strict orders to escort Loomis back to Smith’s Grove. While they are being driven back Marion admits to Loomis that they kept a file hidden from him, a file that reveals Laurie Strode is Michael Myers’ sister.

Marion Chambers discusses Micheal with Dr Loomis in the back seat of a police car.
Dr. Loomis discovers Michael and Laurie are siblings.

Dr. Loomis almost immediately pulls his gun on the deputy and orders him to take them all to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital so we can have our final showdown at HMH.

Loomis, Marion, and the deputy arrive just as Laurie retreats back into the hospital as Michael pursues her in a scene trying very hard to evoke the tension of the first movie.

The final chase ends inside a surgery room, where Michael promptly stabs Dr. Loomis with a scalpel. Loomis collapses to the ground, and Laurie is forced to defend herself with the gun Loomis gave her. She deadeye shoots Michael in both eyeballs which is incredible. Then Dr. Loomis and Laurie fill the room with gas, at first seemingly just to screw with Michael, but ultimately to end him for good. Dr. Loomis orders Laurie to get out of the room immediately as he tells Michael their time is up. Dr. Loomis pulls out a lighter and the room explodes so hard it breaks the walls of the hallway set. Michael, of course, emerges from the flames for one final scare but eventually breaks down and collapses to the floor.

Rewatching this movie, I realized that Loomis only had that lighter because Deputy Hunt gave it to him, along with a cigarette, earlier in the movie. Loomis doesn’t smoke, so he politely takes the lighter and tucks it into his pocket. He even lets Marion use it at one point. We’re it not for that moment, Loomis would not have had a lighter.

The real hero. Deputy Gary Hunt. Bust out your torch for Deputy Gary Hunt.

Dr Loomis sparks the lighter in a room full of explosive gases.
“It’s time, Michael.”

The movie ends with Marion Chambers loading Laurie into an ambulance, perhaps taking her to a better hospital. As it drives away, Laurie sits in the back of the ambulance sitting in dazed silence, just stacking trauma like a champ.

HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS

We skip over III as it is its own thing. Halloween 4 decides that the end of part II wasn’t as bad as it looked. Sure, the end shot was Micheal engulfed in flames laying on the ground burning to a crisp, but it turns out ten years later he’s got a few scars and burns and an Invisible Man gauze wrapping. He’s fine.

A doctor is helpful enough to explain in front of Michael that he has a niece in Haddonfield. That’s all it takes for Michael to wake up and plot an escape. Of course, Dr. Loomis, who also survived the fire and just has a few scars and a limp to show for it, is back and on the case.

Meanwhile, we meet Jamie Lloyd, who we learn is Laurie Strode’s daughter. Laurie and Jamie’s father are dead. She immediately starts having vivid dreams of things she couldn’t possibly know about her uncle and wakes up her entire foster family.

Jamie’s step sister Rachel is our co-protagonist in this movie, as she is Jamie’s protector. Sure, she is selfish at times, but she’s a high school girl with boys on the brain, and Ellie Cornell plays the “regular” girl perfectly.

The movie uses Dr. Loomis effectively, as he is even more unzipped than ever. He has seemingly been screaming for people to listen to him for over a decade now, and he actually finds some support in local sheriff Ben Meeker, who took over after Sheriff Brackett retired.

THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one scene that is rather infamous in the Halloween lore. Dr. Loomis is at the school and gets surprised by Michael, who appears behind him in a blond mask and just chucks poor Loomis out of the way. He doesn’t wear the mask before or after this one shot and it is a confirmed movie mistake. The director is on record as saying he thinks everyone was tired and somehow…inexplicably, no one noticed. I disagree, clearly the blond mask can only be seen as a tribute to beloved, and gone too soon, Ben Tramer. Haddonfield remembers.

Micheal, in a blond mask, sneaks up on Dr Loomis.
Uncle Michael’s hair turned blond overnight.

Eventually, the cops, the redneck vigilantes, Jamie, Rachel, and Michael all come together on the side of the road, where Jamie and Michael touch and have a tender moment right before he is blasted into some sort of mine shaft that is apparently so deep no one bothers to check and make sure there’s a body. Even skeptical Dr. Loomis is sated and convinced Michael is now “in Hell, where he belongs.”

THE ENDING

The ending is by the far the best part of the movie. Just when it seems like the movie is winding down, a shape stalks down the Carruthers’ upstairs hallway, a mask obscures our POV except through the eyes, where we spy Rachel’s mother starting a bath for Jamie.

Cut to the living room, where everyone is shaken by loud screaming. Dr. Loomis looks upstairs and in a fit of terror attempts to shoot Jamie, as she stands at the top of the stairs, bloody scissors in hand, in the exact same type of costume Michael wore when he slew his sister. The most disturbing part of the sequence to me was the closeup shots of Dr. Loomis just yelling, “No! No!” over and over again. The way his voice breaks, the way he breaks. This is clearly the point where Dr. Loomis is full on crazy.

Is Jamie now the new Michael? Will Dr. Loomis continue his descent into madness? Well, yes and no.

Jamie, in her clown costume and mask, covered in blood and brandishing scissors.
Jamie’s stepmom floats.

HALLOWEEN 5: THE CONVOLUTION OF MICHAEL MYERS

I know you might think that Jamie is the new Michael now since the end of 4 saw that Jamie and Michael touching seemingly transferring his “curse” to her. Nah. Jamie isn’t Michael now, she’s just in a psych ward and is also now mute. I assumed it was because she was always screaming and had lost her voice, but some people have suggested since Michael gave her his curse she doesn’t talk. However, Jamie doesn’t have his “curse”, this movie pretty much hand waves that all away.

All of that is ridiculous though because Jamie is never a danger to anyone for the entire year she is in the hospital. If she was truly taking over for Michael who was on a one-year sabbatical, she’d be killing people, right?

Sorry, I’m trying to make sense of a movie that makes no sense. There are so many things that bother me about this movie. Some of them are common complaints everyone has, and some are just like, “Couldn’t someone have just gotten the poor girl a pen and paper?” Everyone is always handing her chalk or markers. “Draw Jamie! Draw what’s wrong!”

Dr. Loomis is a full-on loony tune this entire movie. If he’s not badgering a child who has experienced severe trauma to “Write! Write! WRITE!” he’s using her as bait seemingly without filling her in on his entire masterplan. He’s gone over the edge and it’s a true delight to watch Pleasance play berserk. At the time, this was supposed to be the final film featuring Loomis.

The movie also dispatches Rachel, the likable fan favorite from the last movie, rather early, although Michael does toy with her for awhile. It’s weird how sometimes Michael is all cat and mouse and other times he can’t kill people quick enough. I always assumed Rachel’s death was more personal to him, as she helped thwart him the last time.

Which brings us to Tina.

Tina, Jamie's new friend, and Rachel (Ellie Cornell) visit Jamie in the hospital to cheer her up.
“Bup ba da! Bup ba da! Bup ba da! Bup ba da!” – Tina

Seriously, the first time we meet Tina she’s banging on the window of Jamie’s hospital room because Tina is wacky and doesn’t use doors. She comes in and proceeds to grate on every viewer’s last nerve rambling, singing, dancing, and being obnoxious. This is Rachel’s replacement?

At least Rachel took Jamie trick or treating, Tina ditches Jamie at almost every turn. Sure, she ultimately sacrifices her life so Jamie can escape later in the movie, but from what I’ve read, audiences cheered her death in theaters.

Wendy Foxworth, the actress who played Tina, is aware of the derision most fans show for her character, and she is a very good sport about the whole thing, so I won’t pile on Tina too much, especially when we need to talk about a few other things first.

STRANGENESS ABOUND

Halloween 5 was directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard, a foreign director who, much like Renny Harlin when he directed Nightmare on Elm Street 4, had some interesting takes on a horror franchise.

So many odd choices in this movie, whether it’s the Michael mask that is always untucked, or the fact Michael’s face is shown (and has no burn scars at all), or the fact Michael is Native American and cries a single tear (Iron Eyes Cody reference?) when Jamie asks to see his face.

Or how about the fact that the Myers house, which was always a small two story dwelling, is now a sprawling Gothic mansion?

No, forget all of that. Let’s talk about The Man in Black and the Thorn. We have to.

When Michael awakens from his year long slumber, his arm moves and we spy a Thorn tattoo on his arm, that was never there before. Later, in the Myers house, Loomis passes a wall with the Thorn sign on the wall. We don’t know what any of it means, and we won’t until the next film – because the people who made this movie had no idea what it or The Man in Black were.

The Man in Black (played by Michael Myers actor Don Shanks), is a mysterious figure who is decked all in black. We know he’s evil because he gets off a bus and immediately kicks a dog. He’s also the shadowy figure who busts Myers out of jail at the end of the movie by slaughtering the entire police station. He’s a bad man.

Also, his boots make the sound of spurs jingling, even though he isn’t wearing spurs. Evil…

THE END OF DR. LOOMIS?

Dr. Loomis finally gets to take down Michael himself in this movie, using a tranquilizer gun, a chain net, and a giant wooden board. Pleasance actually broke actor Don Shanks nose hitting him with the board.

At the end of the movie when Loomis collapses on top of Michael, it’s implied that Dr. Loomis dies. That was supposed to be the plan, but once Loomis was made integral to the plot of the next movie, Pleasence played Loomis one last time.

Loomis collapses on top of Michael at the end of Halloween 5.
With Michael incapacitated, Loomis collapses on top of him and seemingly dies.

The movie ends on a downbeat note as a traumatized Jamie wanders the ruins of the Haddonfield police department seeing that Michael is free and out there somewhere.

HALLOWEEN 666: THE ORIGIN OF MICHAEL MYERS

At one time, this was the title of this entry in the series, before it eventually became Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Well, this is where this timeline ends, and for good reason. This movie rings a lot of unringable bells. Laurie’s daughter, and series heroine Jamie gets captured, tortured, and ultimately raped and murdered by her uncle Michael. That’s some dark shit. One movie ago they were crying in the attic about how not so different they were. Now this?

And we catch up with Dr. Wynn from the first movie, who last we saw took quite a tongue lashing from Loomis for possibly giving Michael driving lessons. Luckily, that’s all in the past and he’s there to get Loomis to return to Smith’s Grove because that would somehow beat drinking in peace. You would be forgiven for not remembering Dr. Wynn since he was in one brief scene in the original movie and was never named outside of the end credits.

Meanwhile, Tommy Doyle from the first movie is now a peeping tom with extensive knowledge in runes. He watches over the old Myers house. Which goes back to being a normal house again.

Tommy Doyle (Paul Rudd In his first role) is shown in front of lit candles
(Stephen) Paul Rudd

I won’t sugar coat this movie because it’s a mess. The editing is jarring, there are so many senseless cuts meant to disorient the viewer simply because the movie was chopped up so poorly in editing.

The movie basically leans heavily into explaining the reason Michael kills and why he can’t be stopped, you know, basically all the things that make him scary. I suppose this movie had no choice but to explain who the Man in Black is and what the curse of the Thorn was, and if they had gone with the famous “Producer’s Cut” it may have even worked out.

I won’t go into the “Producer’s Cut” here, but I have seen it and it makes far more sense than this version. Part of this choice was done due to the fact that Donald Pleasence died shortly before the movie came out, which is understandable. The other reason the movie was retooled is that the director, Joe Chappelle, found the Dr. Loomis character boring—which is unforgivable. Loomis was the glue that held this series together and to disregard his importance was a terrible misstep.

Nevertheless, the movie is a slapdash effort of half baked ideas (little Danny being groomed to be a Michael Myers like killer; The Man in Black/Dr. Wynn’s ultimate plan). It’s all a mess.

The worst part of this movie is taking the character of Jamie and recasting her with J.C. Brandy, who had the thankless job of replacing Danielle Harris. Not only that, but the character is treated worse than Rachel was in the previous movie. For the record, Brandy is also another actor who takes fan derision with good humor, and is also on good terms with Harris as well. This is important to remember in an age where fans are needlessly hostile towards actors for their fictional roles.

In the end, all the main characters converge on Smith’s Grove which is now the Cult of the Thorn’s main HQ. Tommy beats Michael “to death” with a pipe after incapacitating him with a syringe full of…something. When I saw this scene, in my head, all I could see was a room full of producers where one guy just goes, “What about we kill him with a pipe?” and everyone just sort of shrugs and goes, “Yeah, ok.”

Dr. Loomis tells Tommy to go on without him, and we cut to reused audio of Loomis screaming “No!” as we see a large syringe and Michael’s mask laying on the ground. I suppose you could say that is ambiguous, but the movie is immediately dedicated to Donald Pleasence, so I think we know Michael got off the pipe, killed Loomis who had kind of had enough of the whole thing anyway and went about his business happily ever after.

Timeline. Fin.

The Michael Myers mask and an empty syringe lay on the floor of Smith's Grove
Neither the ending we want nor deserve.

Halloween; Halloween II; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers; Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers; Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

 

TIMELINE TWO: THE JAMIE LEE CURTIS ONES

HALLOWEEN H20: TWENTY YEARS LATER

This timeline keeps Halloween 1 & 2 in tact and disregards 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Known for the return of Jamie Lee Curtis, and the overly long, extraneous title, Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, much like Halloween 4, treats the explosion at the end of II as no big thing. However, Dr. Loomis has still died in the subsequent years so the mandatory, Scream era, pre-credit special guest victim role goes to Marion Chambers, the snarky nurse from parts I and II who had been taking care of Sam in his remaining years.

Honestly, when you think about her character, she gets little to do in these movies, but she’s always that salty character full force and I always loved her. Even here, she shows common sense and her trademark wit right up until she still ultimately falls victim to Michael Myers, who is still around, just straight up killing it, committed more than ever to that mask and coveralls look.

I remember really liking this movie when I saw it in the theater. Hell, the audience applauded at the end of it! I hadn’t seen that happen since E.T.

I also remember rewatching it and hating all the Dawson’s Creek moments and horror movie homages that reached maximum overload in one Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh scene where Leigh references being maternal to a character played by her real life daughter, while the movie simultaneously manages to work in about four or five Psycho references. We get it. In the name of Sam Loomis, we get all the references, Kevin Williamson.

In this timeline, Laurie doesn’t have a daughter Jamie, but she does have a son named John, played by Josh Hartnett, whose real hair manages to out-awful Curtis’ wig from part II. Laurie has lived her life hiding under an assumed named at the private school in Summer Glen, California, where she is the functioning-alcoholic head mistress.

Surprisingly, the movie treats Laurie’s alcoholism very realistically. She’s undergone trauma she has clearly never recovered from, and according to her son John, her life choices are textbook self-destructive behavior. He does this because witty 90s teens were little armchair psychiatrists. Could they be any more obnoxious?

FAVORITE WEIRD MASK SHOT

Many Halloween movies have weird mask inconsistencies and H20 gives you a lot of them, but no mask shot is more puzzling than this one, which looks like he got it airbrushed at a Haddonfield Harvest Festival t-shirt booth.

A shot from a scene where Micheal's mask expression is completely different.
“What do you think? I’m trying something new out.”

THE SHOWDOWN

As much as I like this movie and find it very well done, it’s all just one big preamble to the moment Laurie and Michael come face to face.

Laurie Strode comes face to face with her brother, masked killer Micheal Myers, as they stare at each other through a circular glass hole in a door
That’s the trailer.

Once it’s Laurie vs. Michael, and all of Michael’s victims have been dispatched, the movie kicks into overdrive. This movie has the best battle between Michael and Laurie since the original. Sure this one is a bit more action oriented, and don’t even get me started on why and how he was hanging from that pipe in that one scene, but when Laurie sends everyone away and smashes the gate controls locking herself inside the school it’s a cathartic moment. Laurie’s decision to turn the tables and become the hunter may be what some jaded critics called “fan service”, but I found it to be fantastic.

“MICHAEL!” Laurie screams at the top of her lungs, axe in her hands. She is no longer afraid, no longer on the run. She’s in charge.

Even when the standard, boiler plate end finally comes and the cops and coroners come to take Michael away, Laurie already knows how this will all play out so she goes “steal a cop’s gun” crazy and demands they load Michael’s corpse into the van, which she then commandeers. She’s gonna finish this.

Again, this is another moment where you as an audience member go, “Yeah!” because you know if he been sent to a coroner’s office, his eyes would pop open in that final frame. Laurie Strode is having none of that.

As she drives the ambulance, filled with vengeance and looking downright exhilarated, she cautiously checks the rear view mirror, not surprised when the body bag starts stirring. After a struggle and a massive car wreck, Michael is pinned against a tree and the coroner’s van.

Laurie stares him down as he looks confused. He reaches out his hand to her and she begins to reciprocate until she sees a certain glint in his eyes.

Micheal Myers reaching out his hand with a devious look on his face
If only he looked slightly less coy.

Laurie, in an instant, rejects his sympathy ploy and with one swing chops Michael’s head clean off. The final shot is of a triumphant Laurie standing there, finally rid of her tormentor.

That bold choice isn’t even what I find so brilliant about this ending. It’s not anything visual at all, it’s the sound. At the end of the first Halloween, as Loomis stands dejected knowing Michael is still out there, and Laurie is in the hallway traumatized, you hear Michael breathing, as we see different locations from the movie. The implication being He is still out there, and can be anywhere. H20 ends with only one person breathing heavily, the victor, Laurie Strode.

HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION

Of course, they went and made another movie, and since a movie about evil masks, Stonehenge, and killer jingles was a one time only deal, that means in order for there to be another Halloween movie we need to do some serious retroactive continuity, or what we call a retcon in order to bring Michael back into the fold.

The title is misleading as no one is actually resurrected. As far as retcons go, I actually don’t think this movies way of undoing the ending of H20 is all that bad from a horror-movie-logic standpoint, I simply hate the fact that it was undone at all.

Jamie Lee Curtis fulfills her contractual obligation to be in this film and is killed off early in the first act. I know from a story perspective it’s disappointing to see Laurie’s triumphant moment in H20 completely wiped away, but the Akkad family is always down for more Halloween so I suppose it was inevitable.

Laurie Strode is in a psychiatric hospital under strict supervision. The script helpfully gives us a new nurse that needs all the backstory on Laurie as possible in order to administer her meds.

As it turns out, Laurie didn’t decapitate Michael, she decapitated a paramedic Michael switched places with. When the new nurse asks Nurse Exposition why the guy didn’t speak up, Nurse E. explains, “His larynx had been crushed.”

So whatever, what’s done is done. This is one of those Halloween movies I choose to ignore in my own personal canon because it negates the awesome ending of the previous one.

Pretty soon Michael shows up, new mask and all. He kills a security guard doing the whole “hanging down from a pipe” thing from H20 again. Apparently, in those 20 plus years he was gone he worked some new moves into his repertoire.

I forgot about Michael’s ability to smash through doors (last seen in Halloween II when he bulldozed into the hospital), which he does here to get into Laurie’s room. However, Laurie’s got a plan, although it’s a very dicey plan. She lures Michael to the rooftop to trap him. Now, he had to stand in a very specific spot for that to work out, but it does—and he drops his knife to boot! But guilt is terrible and Laurie has to take off the mask to be sure. This is when Michael grabs Laurie, they hang off the side of the building, and Michael kills Laurie.

Laurie kisses Michael’s mask and tells him she’ll see him in Hell as she falls to the ground below. Roll credits.

I will not deign this movie with any more of a recap. Laurie Strode is dead. Michael gets electrocuted by Busta Rhymes and is “killed” once again, but does a Mr. Furley-esque eye open at the end of the movie. Yeah, his eyes open at the end. What an original ending don’t you think?

Timeline 2. Fin.

Halloween; Halloween II; Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, Halloween Resurrection

TIMELINE THREE:

HALLOWEEN (1978), HALLOWEEN (2018)

The most recent Halloween movie simply titled Halloween picks up where the original Halloween ends—but 40 years later.

This movie had everything going for it, and I felt nothing but underwhelmed by it. I’ve never wanted to love a movie more and been so disappointed.

My issue is not with them disregarding the “Michael and Laurie are siblings” angle, although it does make his fixation on Laurie, or her oddly-correct assumption that he would be obsessed with her after all those years and would eventually seek her out very random, in a bad way.

My issue is that it borrows good parts of previous movies, and adds absolutely nothing. For one, Laurie is portrayed as a survivalist, evoking memories of Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, but for all the badassery this movie wants us to see in Laurie, it’s simply a retread of what we saw in H20. Sure, H20 was a flawed movie, but Laurie was a flawed character in that movie, and that made her vengeance at the end that much more satisfying.

There are callbacks and references to previous movies in the 2018 Halloween and at this point, I’d prefer for a movie in this series to create their own new moments, instead of relying on nostalgia at every turn.

In the end, this is just another movie where Michael escapes just in time to return to Haddonfield for Halloween. Again.

Not to mention the movie ends on such an anticlimactic note, you almost expect a James Bond-esque “But Michael and Laurie will be back in Halloween Kills (tentative title) and Halloween Ends (tentative title)!” title card in the credits.

Laurie Strode lies on her back with a gun pointed at Michael Myers in Halloween 2018

HALLOWEEN ENDS

Jamie Lee Curtis is indeed signed on to do two movie Halloween movie, thus continuing this specific timeline in the future, and despite the fact the final movie is currently titled Halloween Ends, I can’t imagine that will be the end of this franchise.

You can’t kill the Boogeyman.


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Written by Johnny Malloy

Johnny Malloy is the Assistant Editor of Gaming and Staff Writer here at 25YearsLaterSite, and is a crafty arranger of words.
A gamer since childhood, he enjoys indie games and considers The Binding of Isaac to be a subversive masterpiece. He has also written an extensive series of articles about the Castlevania series.
He enjoys writing fiction, be it screenplays, scripts, or novels. His favorite TV shows are Twin Peaks, The Leftovers, It's Always Sunny in PA, and Workaholics.
He has one of those faces. Sorry about my face. It can't be helped.
He's @mistercecil on the Twitter. Follow him if you like wild tangents and non sequiturs.

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