For the longest time, fans were given the impression that director David Gordon Green’s upcoming Halloween reboot would be a direct follow-up to the first two films in the franchise. This strategy would have mirrored what was done with 1998’s Halloween H20, which ignored all the sequels after 1981’s Halloween II. Recently, though, Halloween creator John Carpenter – who serves as a producer on and will compose the score for the new film – revealed that Green’s reboot will essentially ignore every single Halloween entry but the 1978 original.
Carpenter’s statements caused much discussion among diehard Halloween fans, as it wasn’t until Halloween II that the franchise’s most well-known plot element was introduced. The original Halloween portrayed Michael Myers as more of a force of nature than anything, billing him simply as The Shape in the credits. Michael wasn’t targeting Laurie and her friends for any particular reason; he was simply looking to return to his hometown and kill some people, where Laurie happened to catch his eye. It was Halloween II that introduced the famous twist that Laurie was actually Michael’s sister, establishing that she was his intended prey from the moment he returned home.
While some would argue that this plot turn did indeed raise the dramatic stakes of Michael’s ongoing pursuit of Laurie, it also attached a creative anchor to the series, with the writers and producers of every subsequent film always feeling the need to have Michael be motivated by a blood connection. When Jamie Lee Curtis didn’t return for 1988’s Halloween 4, the focus was switched to Michael targeting his niece Jamie, the daughter of the now deceased Laurie. This thread continued up through 1995’s Halloween 6, which actually introduced an evil cult that controlled Michael, forcing him to impregnate Jamie with his incestuous demon seed along the way.
H20 returned the focus to Michael and Laurie’s family ties, while Resurrection spent the first few minutes of its running time killing off Laurie, seemingly convinced that it couldn’t have Michael target new victims until his sister was dispatched. The Rob Zombie-directed Halloween films also focused intently on the Myers family, and Laurie’s relationship to Michael specifically. With Halloween II now officially out of the equation, though, it’s time to free one of horror’s most memorable killers from his sequel-induced shackles. Just because Laurie Strode is back, doesn’t mean she should be Michael’s sister again.
In fact, a scenario in which Michael targets Laurie again after 40 years is arguably much scarier if no family motivation exists. Perhaps Michael has always hated that Laurie escaped his clutches, and has been biding his time looking for the right moment to strike. Even creepier still is the possibility that Michael simply happens on Laurie again by chance while in the midst of a new killing spree. After all, it’s doubtful that Laurie still lives in Haddonfield after what she went through in 1978. Plus, if the Halloween franchise continues after Green’s film, not having the chain of pursing Laurie tied around Michael’s neck would greatly open up the narrative possibilities.
In short, it’s time for Michael Myers to return to being a boogeyman, not a family man.
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