What scarier than a knife-wielding killer? Carefully choreographed blocking and minimal cuts.
Michael Myers has gone through phases, right? The initial evil turned into a need to kill family members and anyone in his way, leading to the killing of anyone in or around his house. The producer’s cut suggests that he impregnated his niece through evil, which did not occur in either of Rob Zombie’s films.
Many have noted that Michael Myers is a great villain for a standalone film but not a series. Before writing Halloween II, John Carpenter believed the story had reached its natural conclusion and struggled to write a sequel (his uncredited co-writer was Budweiser). Myers’ lack of motivation to kill Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) makes him scary in the 1978 film. They were unrelated and had no connection.
She erred by approaching his front door when he was home, analogous to The Strangers. Sequels have the drawback of giving him a reason to kill. However, that makes him boring and loses his scariness. He resembles the Jaws shark. He kills out of instinct without pleasure or malice (except when he admires how ordinary kitchen knives can hang people from walls and pantry doors), so giving him targets makes him dull and like any other slasher villain. Which is where Halloween (2018) comes in.
Back to Basics
Despite its weird side characters, tonal shifts, and that peanut butter line that the great Toby Huss couldn’t save and even fans never defend, the 2018 film nails Michael Myers as an intimidating monster and grounds him again.
Rather than targeting siblings or nieces, he targets the person in front of him.except when he doesn’t. The fan-favorite three-minute continuous take (actually two) of Michael killing people perfectly illustrates this concept.
The film’s most popular moment is the long take, and the climactic confrontation between Michael and Laurie, where Jamie Lee Curtis teaches us not to mess with the Freaky Friday mom. The video has nearly seven million views on YouTube, with few negative comments compared to positive ones about Halloween Ends. The sequence is fun because it shows Michael’s inhuman need to kill without reason.
Setting the Scene
He runs into a pair of kids he could easily defeat but kills a woman who decided to go to her shed while making a ham sandwich (a normal set of priorities). He gets a hammer from the shed, enters the house, and beats her to death.
This continuity highlights Michael Myers’ lack of artistic skill in his killings. Not Jason Voorhees. Michael kills teens out of rage and moves on, except when he has time to craft with the corpses. He exchanges the hammer for his signature kitchen knife. He is like Butch in Pulp Fiction, focusing on the most efficient means of completing tasks.
He passes a crib-bound baby on his way out of the woman’s house and leaves it. Because even though this film shows that Michael has no qualms about killing kids, he may not do so, adding to his unpredictability.
Even his mannerisms when scouting a target are cold. Everyone acts with conviction. His head turns suggest he can sense his next target, and he walks confidently like the Terminator. Leaving the house, he walks down the sidewalk toward a couple getting in their car. Unfortunately, his slowness or indifference lets them escape.
He turns from the couple driving away to a woman giving candy to trick-or-treaters to end the scene. In Haddonfield, no one has ever heard of locking a back door, so Michael easily slips through and stabs her in the throat, killing her instantly. Not much is said about how he kills her. Completes the task and moves on. Before he kills her, she receives a warning about a fugitive, stoking her fear that a killer like Michael could be anywhere (even passing by on the street). As the tagline of Unhinged states, he can happen to anyone.
Michael Myers reprises his role as The Shape in this scene, with a revamped Halloween theme and camerawork reminiscent of the original film beginning. The sequence makes him feel like the classic boogeyman that made him so terrifying in movies again.