The Evolution of Michael Myers (’78-’21)

Many have widely watched the Halloween franchise and has been on our screens since its first release in 1978. The horror icon Michael Myers has evolved over time with each movie. Viewers have been hooked for years as the famous villain sets out to cause brutal revenge in memorable but terrifying scenes of death and destruction in the little town of Haddonfield.  

In the 1978 movie Halloween, Michael Myers wears the iconic navy-blue jumpsuit along with the famous white face mask. Michael, only 21 years old escapes a mental institution and returns to his hometown to carry out a bloody massacre. It is safe to say that Michel is clever, methodical and calculated, representing the “boogeyman” image. However, what sets Halloween apart from other horror movies is the reminder that fear is important. Michael preys on innocent souls and leads them down a path of danger and eventually to their death. 

“I always knew he’d come back. In this town, Michael Myers is a myth. He’s the Boogeyman. A ghost story to scare kids. But this Boogeyman is real.”

LAUrie Strode, halloween (’18)

The sequel which follows the 1978 movie is Halloween, released in 2018. Michael Myers shows he has evolved from targeting pot-smoking teenagers in the 1978 film, now ready to kill babysitters and even children. Michael no longer only represents the “boogeyman” persona but highlights how violence and cruelty can enter any ordinary life as the real world has no boundaries. 

Halloween (2018) concludes with Laurie Strode showing she is ready to fight back after 40 years. A shocking house fire leaves viewers thinking Michael Myers has finally died. The house is ablaze and Michael is no- where to be seen until the post-credits scene shows Michael to have survived, reflecting his invincibility as a vicious villain.

The new 2021 release, Halloween Kills, reflects Michael Myers as more brutal, gruesome and crazy than ever before. Original characters from the 1978 movie, Tommy Doyle, Lindsay Wallace and Marion Chambers all come together to celebrate 40 years since Michael’s arrest. The movie highlights the personal link all the characters have with Michael and the notion that evil will always remain. The ambiguity of Michael’s character and the nature of his unique supernatural qualities is the reason for his popularity. 

In talking about the new movie, director David Gordon Green said: 

He’s expressionless and emotionless and he is just going somewhere or he’s wandering somewhere. So, we tried to send some sort of beacon and in this movie, it’s his childhood home and what that means to him and what that does to him when he arrives.”

Halloween Kills definitely seems to have a more emotional and nostalgic theme running through when it comes to Michael. There is a scene where all of Michael’s victims crowd around him beating him to the ground, leaving viewers thinking he has given up. Also, as Green says, a scene in his childhood home, where it seems all of his past memories come back to him for a split second placing him back into reality. 

As a huge fan of the Halloween franchise, I think it is important to reflect on the evolution of the great villain who is Michael Myers. A character who started as a young boy, placed into a mental institute for killing his older sister Judith Myers to now a grown man, known by everybody, with an invincible power to kill but never be killed. 

It is safe to say that spooky season would not be the same without sitting back and watching a movie from the Halloween franchise. Michael Myers delivers scene after scene, leaving viewers wanting more. He is an unstoppable killer with I think so much more to give. Halloween Ends has been confirmed as the last film in the trilogy, expected to be released in 2022. The slow evolution of Michael Myers is able to continue and I am definitely not complaining.