Confused by the ‘Halloween’ Franchise? Let Us Explain
Sometimes when a horror film has too many sequels, they mess up the details of the backstory. Case in point -- the Halloween franchise, particularly parts 4 - 7. Join us as we explain / make fun of the more ridiculous parts of Michael Myers' history.
SKIP TO THE BOTTOM FOR A VISUAL MAP OF THE HALLOWEEN FRANCHISE
The 'Halloween' narrative started out simple enough -- a kid who just wants to kill his family with a big ass knife. As Michael grew up, killed and was resurrected several times, the plots became increasingly more difficult to explain. Some writers tried to get a little too fancy in the later films, but it could've been worse. I remember reading in 'Fangoria' years ago that they barely rejected a script where the FBI sent Michael Myers into space (which may or may not have been recycled into the worst of the 'Friday the 13th' films -- 'Jason X').
So over the next couple of minutes, I will attempt to do what the screenwriters couldn't -- explain the plot of the 'Halloween' films.
Halloween Parts 1 and 2
The original 'Halloween' is heralded as a masterpiece of horror. Long story short, Michael Myers kills his sister on Halloween (hence, the title) and then grows up in a psych ward. On Halloween 16 years later, 21-year old Mikey escapes and returns to Haddonfield, Illinois to murder his now adopted sister, Laurie Strode. Eventually, Michael's psychiatrist Dr. Loomis shoots the crap out of him before he can accomplish his mission. That's where the original ends.
'Halloween II' picks up just minutes after the events of its predecessor, with a damaged Laurie -- who, for some reason, has different color hair -- in the hospital and Michael Myers still at large. Some people end up getting killed -- one via the most ridiculous car explosion ever captured on film -- and eventually, Mike gets to the hospital only to get both his eyes shot out and be blown up by (and with) Dr. Loomis. Laurie survives again.
Halloween Parts 3 and 4
Next is 'Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.' We don't know what the f--- they were thinking here. The movie is about Halloween, but has nothing to do with Michael Myers -- so we're skipping it (you should too).
'Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers' is badass! Unfortunately, it is also where the plot of the franchise begins to come apart. Michael apparently survived being shot in both eyes and burned to a crisp and has been in a coma for several years. During a transfer to a different facility, he escapes.
We are told that Laurie Strode died in a car accident years earlier, leaving behind her daughter Jamie Lloyd (remember this part for later). Obviously, she is the target for big Mike this time around, but not if Dr. Loomis has anything to say about it. Wait a minute, didn't he explode in part 2? Yet here he is, with only a fist-sized burn on his right cheek (see above).
After much more killing, Michael fails to murder his niece and is given the 21 shotgun salute by the police. After being shot up, Michael falls in a hole and everybody just walks away and assumes he's really dead this time. I mean, why wouldn't he be? He survived an explosion, but that 10 foot deep well he fell into is bound to kill him.
Dead Michael or not, the ordeal was so traumatizing that little Jamie straps on a mask and stabs her adopted mother a bunch of times, just like uncle Mikey! End part 4.
Halloween Parts 5 and 6
'Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers' gets pretty wacky. Jamie is in a home for troubled kids, is a mute and now shares a telepathic bond with Michael. Also, there's some guy with a wrist tattoo following everyone. I'll save you some time and say that Jamie and Doc Loomis live and Michael gets thrown in jail, only to be freed by the wrist tattoo guy. The End.
In Part 6, appropriately subtitled 'The Curse of Michael Myers,' Michael finally gets to kill Jamie, but not before she gives birth to, and hides, what might be their incest love child (that's never really made clear). He spends the rest of the movie trying to kill the baby, who is ironically found by first film survivor Tommy Doyle, who is awkwardly played by a young actor named Paul Rudd.
Due to a poorly received test screening, a lot of this film got mixed around, re-scripted and re-shot after initial filming ended. Dr. Loomis was killed off due to the fact that the actor playing him, Donald Pleasance, died before they could film the resulting re-shoots. Basically, it turned into a big turd sandwich and none of it ended up making much sense, but the baby lived if I remember correctly.
Halloween: H20 and Resurrection
Finally, we get to 'Halloween H20,' only to learn Laurie Strode was alive all this time and had entered the witness protection program with her son. Wait a minute... she has a son! WTF? So she fakes her death, leaving behind one kid but not the other? What a bitch!
Apparently, this is not the case. Although this is never definitively explained, in this film's world, parts 4 - 6 never happened. It doesn't matter though, the movie is like an hour and 15 minutes long and Michael only kills 5 or 6 people (one of them not being LL Cool J) before little sis cuts his head off.
In the next movie, 'Halloween: Resurrection,' Michael returns -- apparently Laurie decapitated a decoy cleverly planted by Michael -- and finally kills Laurie in the opening sequence. Jamie Lee Curtis reprises the role for what is little more than a glorified cameo (aka "we couldn't afford her for a whole movie"). It's not a very respectful way to end her fourth (but not final) outing as Laurie Strode. After that, big Mike goes after Busta Rhymes, who is shooting a reality TV show at the old Myers house. Guess how many Oscars this one got nominated for. Continuing the tradition set forth by its predecessor, the rapper in movie survives, but the franchise didn't... sort of.
Halloween: The Rob Zombie Years
Rob Zombie rebooted the franchise with almost the exact opposite approach to the character that John Carpenter employed. Carpenter envisioned Michael as a faceless "force of nature" in his Halloween films, but Zombie delved more into Michael's childhood and tried to humanize him a bit.
Half of the film is spent with Michael as a child, and puts on display his psychopathic tendencies. He goes from killing animals to killing a bully, his sister, her boyfriend, and his stepdad. Young Michael is committed to Smith's Grove Sanitarium, where Dr. Loomis and his mother try to figure out what went wrong. Spoiler alert -- they don't.
He starts drifting further away from everyone, starts making masks, kills a nurse, which his mother sees and later causes her to commit suicide. After that, it's basically a lightning round version of the original 'Halloween.' He grows up, escapes, and goes home to kill. They basically swapped out the hour he spends hiding behind bushes and stalking his prey in the original with backstory.
The sequel, 'H2,' went completely off the rails into what I call the "Zombieverse," which is a world entirely populated with scuzzy, white trash rocker people that actually only exist on Rob Zombie's tour bus in the real world. Both Michael and Laurie are being haunted by the ghost of their mother (a la 'Friday the 13th'), but it really just plays as an excuse for Zombie to put his wife back into the movie, despite her character's death in the previous film.
The opening of 'H2' is a terrifying dream sequence that basically remixes the events of Halloween 2. There's also a Zombiefied version of the party from Halloween 5, but really this film is just a bunch of nonsense. Rob Zombie often says the film was rushed and it shows. The plot really doesn't matter because this one ended Zombie's Haddonfield universe anyway, but Laurie kills Michael and goes crazy or something... I don't know. It's all very Halloween 4.
Halloween 2 (Again)
Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode in the latest Halloween film, which retcons every other movie except the original. I know that sounds confusing, but we mapped it out for you below. Erasing the events of every other Halloween means that Michael and Laurie are not related (that we're aware of). That plot device, which drove most of the franchise, wasn't introduced until 1981's 'Halloween 2.'
Based on the trailer Michael has been on ice since 1978, and now 40 years later (H40 anyone?) he will escape during a patient transfer (haven't seen that before) and do whatever happens in the third Halloween 2, where Laurie Strode could possibly die for the third time in the franchise. It's all getting very confusing.
Halloween (2018) opens this Friday, October 18th.