Back in 2018, the long-dormant Halloween franchise came back in a big way thanks to its latest installment. Simply titled Halloween, the new movie ignored every sequel and remake that came after John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic and continued where it left off. After almost a decade, the original slasher killer Michael Myers returned to stalk his onscreen victims and instill fear in audiences.
As simple as the premise of a masked man on a murder spree may be, the Halloween series is actually more complicated than expected. With its loose continuity, countless retcons, and a remake series to boot, numerous theories about the story’s inner workings have sprung up over the years. So before Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends arrive, here are the 5 best and worst Halloween theories that the fanbase has come up with.
10 Worst – The Mask Is Cursed
The story behind Michael’s iconic William Shatner mask remains one of filmmaking’s most famous happy accidents, which is why any attempts to explain its in-universe origins fall flat and feel forced.
The theory is partially inspired by Halloween III: Season of the Witch, where Silver Shamrock Novelties uses masks laced with ancient magic to spread their evil. Thanks to one of their masks, a young Michael is supposedly possessed by an ancient evil and turns into an unstoppable killer. This idea doesn’t just ruin Michael’s mystique but is also an incredibly weak cop-out for such an iconic menace.
9 Best – Michael Myers Is A Silver Shamrock Cyborg
Silver Shamrock Novelties is an ancient cult that uses advanced technology – such as uncannily human-like cyborgs – to conduct a nation-wide human sacrifice. As misplaced as this movie may feel, it could explain Michael’s invulnerability in the following movies.
Fans think that the Silver Shamrock group replaced Michael – who burned to death in Halloween II – with one of their cyborgs to continue the human sacrifices after the original plan failed. This doesn’t just explain Michael’s endurance, but it also finds a way to include the series’ most misunderstood entry into the mainline canon.
8 Worst – Anything To Do With The Cult Of Thorn
According to Halloween: The Curse of Michael, Michael is an unstoppable enforcer of the mysterious Cult of Thorn. His murders are actually sacrifices meant to usher in the Cult’s version of utopia, and they hope to continue the cycle through Michael’s son.
Saying that this explanation wasn’t well-received is an understatement, as both fans and critics savaged the sixth Halloween for giving The Shape a needless and convoluted backstory that only watered down his impact. The fact that Paul Rudd stopped Michael by placing some Thorn runes around his feet didn’t help matters.
7 Best – Michael Myers Is A Tethered
With the way he relentlessly pursues his victims and his lack of verbal skills, Michael didn’t only define the modern slasher killer but he also inspired the Tethered from Us. Because of their undeniable similarities, fans concluded that Michael is actually one of the doppelgangers from Jordan Peele’s sophomore effort.
Bolstering the theory is Michael’s Tethered-like outfit, his strange tics, and the underground passages beneath the Myers’ residence shown in Halloween: Resurrection. It’s believed that the Tethered Michael either killed or switched places with his counterpart and hasn’t stopped killing since 1963.
6 Worst – Michael Myers Is The Conservative Agenda Incarnate
A common hypothesis for slasher movies in general is that their respective murderers are manifestations of a conservative culture violently lashing out at a liberal youth, with the likes of Michael killing teenagers for daring to indulge in sex, drugs, and other immoral vices.
The idea of Michael being a murderous moral guardian isn’t just laughably draconian but, more importantly, false. According to John Carpenter and producer Debra Hill, the only reason why the promiscuous teenagers died in Halloween was because they were distracted – not because Michael represented celibacy and really hates premarital sex.
5 Best – Michael Myers Has CIP
One of Michael’s trademarks is his inability to feel pain. No matter how many gunshots, stabs, and vehicles are aimed at him, Michael simply stands up and resumes the hunt. In reality, this imperviousness could actually be explained by science.
Michael exhibits the symptoms of Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP): a rare condition where the patient simply feels no pain. While the Halloween movies present an extreme depiction of the disorder, it at least provides a logical reason for Michael’s ability to walk off all kinds of punishment that’s more plausible than whatever the Cult of Thorn wanted.
4 Worst – Michael Myers Is Autistic
Because of his lack of communication, emotions, and empathy, some suggest that Michael is actually autistic. Michael seemingly exhibits some of the condition’s well-known symptoms such as an apparent disregard for the Theory of Mind: the idea that other people are sentient beings with thoughts and feelings.
Given today’s more in-depth understanding of autism, this theory comes off as uninformed at best and insensitive at worst. It may explain bits of Michael’s personality and some of his peculiar mannerisms (like his ritualistic behaviors and a specific fixation for Halloween), but it doesn’t justify the murders and brutality.
3 Best – Dr. Loomis Is The Same Loomis From Psycho
Being a big fan of horror movies himself, Carpenter named Michael’s psychiatrist after Sam Loomis, a prominent character in the genre-defining classic Psycho. This, however, may be more than just homage.
In Psycho, Sam Loomis confronts evil in Norman Bates. The theory posits that encountering Bates sparked a desperate need to comprehend and stop such inhumanity, leading him to become a psychiatrist. Years later, Dr. Loomis is assigned to a patient who would haunt him forever: Michael Myers. His failure to stop the child’s murderous instincts would turn into an obsession driven by guilt, as seen in the succeeding movies.
2 Worst – Dr. Loomis Is The Real Villain
In the franchise, Dr. Loomis goes from being a concerned psychiatrist to a relentless vigilante. This led some to think that Michael is the victim of the obsessed Dr. Loomis, who supposedly conditioned him into a mass murderer for his own gain.
Owing to stories like Moby Dick where humans are the real monsters, this subversive theory falls apart when Dr. Loomis’ understandable if extreme goal of stopping Michael’s murders is acknowledged. The theory is, however, more applicable to the remake's inconsiderate Dr. Loomis or the delusional Dr. Sartain from the 2018 sequel.
1 Best – Laurie Strode Freed Michael Myers
Traumatized by the original massacre, Laurie Strode became a paranoid recluse waiting for her chance to kill Michael. She gets her shot when Michael’s prison bus crashes, but it’s possible that she set him loose in the first place.
As Michael’s being put on the bus, Laurie is seen watching from a safe distance. The next time the prison transport is shown, it’s off road and the inmates are free. For all we know, Laurie engineered the accident so that she could kill Michael herself, showing just how big a toll that one Halloween night took on her.