The main character is an actual boogeyman, he loves large kitchen knives, wears a white William Shatner mask, can’t be killed, and he has scared audiences since 1978. That character is the famous fictional supernatural movie serial killer Michael Myers, of the Halloween franchise.
Since 1978, the Halloween films is one of the most famous horror franchises in the world, and what eventually inspired the making of the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street films. There have been ten films in the series, although one of them, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, has nothing to do with Michael Myers, and eight, not counting Rob Zombie’s films, were produced by Moustapha Akkad before his death in 2005 in Jordan by a terrorist attack.
The series began when John Carpenter co-wrote, with Debra Hill, and directed the original film, originally called The Babysitter Murders, with a very small budget, a largely unknown cast, including Janet Leigh’s daughter Jamie Lee Curtis and, because of the small budget, Donald Pleasence could only work for a few days, and financed by an independent company. In the end, Halloween became one of the most influential films of all time, itself influenced by past cheaper horror films like Psycho. The franchise is also famous for its musical theme made by Carpenter himself that appears in all of the films.
Halloween begins with a six year old Michael Myers murdering his older sister in 1963, being put into a sanitarium, not saying anything for 15 years, escaping, being pursued by his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis, played by Pleasence who loved the role so much that he reprized it four times, Michael returning to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois killing what seems to be random teens and going after Curtis’s character who gets saved by Loomis after he shoots him six times and falling out of a second story window while strangling her character of Laurie Strode. The film ends with Laurie asking if Michael was the boogeyman and Loomis, after seeing if she was okay, is not surprised that Michael’s body is suddenly missing. Unlike most horror films, Halloween was famous for not showing too much blood and gore, instead relying on shadows.
The second film, Halloween 2, was made and came out three years later and starts where the first left off, with Michael missing. Carpenter and Hill returned only as writers and producers, with a new director for the film, and this one actually showing more blood and gore. The film has Laurie being put in a hospital, where it’s later learned that she’s Michael’s baby sister, with Myers killing and searching for her and Loomis trying to find and stop him. It ends with at a part of the hospital where Loomis fills a room with hydrogen gas and ignites a lighter setting him and Michael in a ball of fire.
The third film, released in 1982, has nothing to do with Michael Myers, instead focusing on a man selling masks that kill its wearer. Because of this change many people weren’t happy and so Michael returned in the fourth film 1989s The Return of Michael Myers, where after learning that Laurie died after the events of the second and that she had a daughter, Jamie, living in Haddonfield, Michael, who didn’t die and was in a coma, he wakes up from a coma and continues his murderous rage. Pleasence returns as Loomis who also didn’t die but was scarred from his experiences still going after his former patient. Michael at the end gets gunned down in a cemetery and presumed killed, but after the events she suffered Jamie nearly kills her stepmother in a similar way that Michael killed his sister in 1963.
The Revenge of Michael Myers in 1989 has him survive the shooting and after being carried by a river is taken cared by a hermit and then wakes up a year later still wanting to get his niece. After the events of Return Jamie is put in a children’s psychiatric ward, becomes mute from the trauma, and somehow has a link to Michael every time he kills. Loomis uses this to his advantage in order to find and capture him at the end of the film where he’s chained in a jail cell. At the same time, a mysterious stranger in black with the same marking on his arm as Michael kills the police officers and frees Michael with Jamie inside of a police car, after hearing the gunshots stop, goes inside the station to find the officers killed and Michael’s cell blown open and him missing.
The Curse of Michael Myers, released six years later, explains the whole reason why Michael is killing his family, is invincible, and who helped him escape. It all starts with Jamie, who was taken by the cult who are behind Michael’s supernatural origins, escaping as a 15 year old who was impregnated by the cult to control Michael and tries to hide the baby from Myers in Haddonfield. Tommy Doyle, the kid Laurie babysits in the first film, played by Paul Rudd finds the baby and finds Loomis to help him along with Kara Strode and her son who are related to the family that adopted Laurie and whose family now lives in the Myers home. They learn of Michael’s reappearance and what the cults plan is and that it’s to appease a demon by choosing a child and put a curse to have it kill anyone related to them on the night of Samhain, or Halloween, which also explains his supernatural abilities. They then plan on taking the curse out of Michael and unto someone else once he kills Jamie’s baby but before that happens Michael kills all of the cult members, thus making him invincible forever. After killing the cult, he goes after Tommy, Kara, and her son who have the baby. After tricking Myers, Tommy beats him with a lead pipe until Michael is unconscious, and outside, Loomis tells the three to go on and that he has a little business to attend to. The next shot is of Michael’s mask lying on the floor, Michael missing, and Dr. Loomis’s screams echoing loudly. The sixth film was Donald Pleasence’s last film before he died a short while after making the film and the movie is dedicated in his memory.
The next two Halloweens skip the events of the last three films and continues where the second one had left off. In 1998s H20: Halloween 20 Years Later Michael, who went missing after the events of Halloween 2, finds all of the files of Laurie, who faked her death to fool her brother, that used to belong to Dr. Loomis and finds out where she is. Laurie, now under a new name, is still traumatized from the events of 1978, always seeing Michael in reflections, is a school teacher at a boarding school which her son, played by Josh Hartnett, attends. When Michael finds her, during a weekend break, both of them start fighting until Laurie knocks him down, looking dead. When the police arrive, Laurie, knowing full well from her experiences, takes the coroner’s van that has Myers and when she sees Michael’s body bag moving crashes it down a cliff. Laurie gets out before it crashes and when she sees Michael pinned underneath the van and reaching for her, she decapitates him.
Four years later, in Resurrection, which is set three years later, Laurie is in a psychiatric hospital after learning that Michael switch clothes with a paramedic and crushed his larynx right before “Michael’s” body was put in the van, so Laurie killed the wrong man. At the start, Laurie sets a trap for Michael, but he tricks her and finally kills his sister and can finally come back home. A year later, six college students take part in an internet reality show where they spend the night in Michael’s home, unaware of his presence. Myers kills them one by one while a live feed is going on and in the end one of the students and the producer of the show beat Michael while the room they’re in is on fire. The two escape, while Michael is presumed dead, put in a body bag, and sent to the morgue where once his bag is opened by a coroner his eyes open and a scream is heard.
Plans for another sequel eventually died after the death of producer Moustapha Akkad and another Halloween wasn’t made for another five years. Musician turned director Rob Zombie remade Halloween in 2007 with a modern back story explaining Michael’s anger before he killed his mother’s boyfriend, sister’s boyfriend, and her sister at ten years old. It shows his time at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, his escape, being looked for by Loomis, this time played by Malcolm McDowell, and killing various people to get to his sister, played by Scout Taylor-Compton, but not trying to kill her. The film ends with Michael running towards Laurie and falling down a railing and Laurie trying to use Loomis’s gun until it finally shots him just when he grabs her.
Zombie’s Halloween 2 in 2009, starts where the last one left off with Laurie, Loomis, and one of Laurie’s friends, played by Danielle Harris who played Jamie in 4 and 5, surviving their attacks and Michael being put in ambulance truck before it accidentally crashes and Michael wakens again. It skips to a year later, with Laurie having nightmares and visions of Michael’s murders and their mother in the same way as Jamie in 5, and later learns from a book published by Loomis that Michael is her brother. At the end, Michael and Laurie face in a shed, with Michael just wanting to recreate a family and Laurie, after Michael was shot and impaled with farm equipment, stabs him repeatedly and coming out wearing his mask and later transitioning to a psychiatric ward and Laurie seeing visions of her mother in white.