WARNING: Major spoilers for Halloween.
Halloween 2018's ending brings a stop to 40 years of Michael Myers - or does it? David Gordon Green's reboot-sequel is a scary, funny return to the father of the slasher genre, and there may just be more Halloween sequels to come.
Halloween 2018 follows on from the original movie, picking up decades later. Laurie Strode has cut herself off from Haddonfield in a tricked-up armored house, her daughter Karen resents her for raising her as a warrior, and granddaughter Allyson is trying to live a normal teenage life burdened with that legacy. Meanwhile, after a visit from two podcast journalists, Michael Myers is transferred from Smith's Grove and breaks free. He stalks Haddonfield once more, killing anybody unlucky enough to cross his path before locking in on Laurie and Allyson, setting the stage for a cross-generational showdown.
Related: Our Halloween 2018 Review
The ending of Halloween 2018 had a lot to do. It needs to serve as a cap to a story that's had many tellings over the past four decades while also leaving the closet door ajar for more sequels down the line. Thankfully, David Gordon Green and co-writer Danny McBride achieve that with the ease of Michael caving in his doctor's skull. Here's what happens, what it means, and what could be next for Halloween.
What Happens At The End Of Halloween 2018
The third act of Halloween 2018 is kicked off when police officer Frank Hawkins (Will Patton) comes across Michael Myers and runs him down with his cruiser. When inspecting the body, his companion Dr. Ranbir Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) attacks: after years studying Michael in captivity, the psychiatrist wants to study the killer in the wild. Sartain kills Hawkins (who identifies himself as a survivor of the original Halloween), hauls Michael into the cruiser with Allyson and drives to Laurie's house. Of course, things don't quite go to plan for him - Michael curb stomps Sartain and heads to the house unmonitored.
At the house, Laurie hides Karen in her basement and begins trying to lock an invading Michael in. He eventually comes out of the shadows, they fight, then she falls off the balcony to the ground below, disappearing unseen just as The Shape did in the original. Allyson arrives in the house and Michael switches focus, breaking into the basement to attack her and her mother. The three generations of Strodes fight back - Karen shoots in him a shotgun, Laurie pushes him down the stairs and Allyson stabs him with his knife - and Laurie springs her real trap: the basement is a cage for Michael, the house a bomb rigged to explode.
The three women escape as the house goes up in flames, although a cut back to the basement shows no sign of Michael. Halloween 2018 ends on Laurie and her family hitching a ride in a pickup silently recovering from the ordeal.
Related: Halloween's 5 Timelines Explained
Did Michael Myers Survive Halloween 2018?
The big question intentionally left by Halloween 2018 is whether Michael Myers is really dead or not. The last time we see him, Michael is trapped in the cage just as Laurie's house starts to burn. However, when the film cut back to the flames, the room appears empty. Did he escape? There are no clues provided for how - the bars to the cage remain unbroken - but the movie makes a point of suggesting he's not where he was stood eerily still just moments before. Things are further darkened by the end of the credits, where Michael's unmistakable heavy breathing can be heard. This could be just for atmosphere, but in the spirit of post-credit scenes feels like a massive hint that he survived (IT played a very similar trick with Pennywise's laugh last year teasing IT Chapter Two).
For all intents and purposes, Michael Myers is both dead and alive. A sequel to Halloween is looking likely - Blumhouse is already in the early stages of development, and this movie's predicted box office will leap over the cheap $10 million budget almost immediately - and that will need Michael Myers to return (Halloween 3: Secret of the Witch is the only entry to not feature the killer, and it was a box office failure as a direct result). This Schrodinger's Killer situation is thus a very smart move; Halloween 2018 gives Laurie her long-awaited victory over evil, but at the same time is considering the future of the franchise.
This allows the rebooted Halloween timeline to neatly sidestep a long-standing issue with not just Michael Myers, but all slasher franchise villains. Every movie wants to have their icon's ultimate defeat, but as a result any sequel has to spend far too long bringing them back (see A Nightmare On Elm Street for particularly strained examples). Indeed, Halloween 4, Halloween 5, Halloween: Resurrection and Halloween II (2009) all had to contrive ways for Michael Myers to have survived an unambiguous, brutal death in the previous entry, in many cases undoing the narrative and thematic closure in the process. Halloween 2018 avoids needed any such problems by not reveling in his defeat.
Is Laurie Killed In Halloween 2018's Finale?
It's not just Michael Myers' fate that's in question at the end of Halloween 2018. Laurie Strode is injured during their final confrontation, and in the final shot of her in the truck is shown to still be bleeding rather profusely. Although the film doesn't spend much time on this aspect before cutting to the credits, the possibility of the series' hero dying is very much on the table.
And, all things considered, this would be a rather fitting end to Laurie's journey. Her life has been defined by her first run-in with Michael Myers, and now she's finally put him down - at immense cost. Even though Halloween 2018 retcons the brother-sister relationship between Michael and Laurie, the pair are still intrinsically linked, and this shared death day would be the ultimate underscoring of that.
Of course, the fact it's unclear may just be more sequel considerations, with preparations made for Jamie Lee Curtis to be written out as Halloween continues beyond Laurie (presumably with Allyson now the lead). This wouldn't be the first time this has happened. Halloween 4 killed Laurie offscreen when Curtis didn't return, while Halloween: Resurrection's opening sequence saw Michael finally get her before spending the rest of the stalking a dot-com bubble reality show (the 2000s were a weird time). If the Halloween reboot timeline does go this route, hopefully, it'll be done with more grace and weight than either of these cases.
On the other hand, Laurie's injuries may not be fatal at all, allowing for her to return in a supporting role in the Halloween sequel. Like many things with the character, it surely depends entirely on Curtis' interest in the franchise.
- Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 19, 2018