Over the last 40 years, one of the most iconic franchises has provided horror fans sequels and remakes in which most of us have enjoyed, and some, not so much. Halloween became more than just a holiday when it premiered on October 25, 1978. The film, directed by John Carpenter, was about a 6-year-old child who murdered his own sister, Judith. He would be sentenced to the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium until 15 years later.
By that time, at 21-years-old, Michael Myers (Nick Castle) would escape and target a 17-year-old girl named, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), when he returned home to Haddonfield, Illinois. Michael’s doctor, Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence), was to either console Michael, or stop him from a killing spree.
In an interview with a fellow student by the name of William Lemus said, “The original film was the best. There was a lot of stabbing.”
Not everyone is completely familiar with the original being that there was not much stabbing in the original. The movie stands as a classic to this day with many of its silent jumpscares, and an ominous feeling, waiting what will happen next.
At first, the movie received bad reviews, but it was soon reviewed by The Village Voice critic, Tom Allen, as “Socially irrelevant, but ceded that the Hitchcock-like technique was effective and ‘the most honest way to make a good schlock film.” Soon, other critics praised the movie positively, as well. With a budget of $300,000-$325,000, Halloween received a box office success of $70 million. The movie stands as a classic to this day; with many of its silent jumpscares, and an ominous feeling, waiting for what will happen next.
This time, from Universal Pictures, Halloween II, topped it, becoming the 2nd highest grossing horror film of 1981. It was in this sequel, where Michael had withstood falling off his old house’s balcony after six gunshots at the hands of his doctor, Sam Loomis, and would eventually catch up to Laurie, who was on her way to the Haddonfield Hospital; following the events of the previous film.
Here, it was revealed Laurie was Michael Myers’ sister, which explains why he wants to kill her. First, it was Judith, now it was Laurie he was pursuing. The movie’s box office was $25.5 million. Despite mixed reviews for “uneven pace, plot holes, and muted character performances”, other critics praised the film as “genuinely scary moments that captured the spirit of the first film.”
Another student named Jose Cuevas said, “The original part two was the best one because of the bathtub scene.” It’s clear that most fans who have watched Halloween ll, even new generation kids, feel that this scene, in particular, is the most memorable one
Halloween ll became just as scary as the original. That same feeling returned, but with a new sense, realizing how creepy the film turned out to be.
An immediate sequel was made for the following year, in 1982. This time, part two was intended to be the end to the Michael Myers saga. This sequel would not involve any of the previous characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. The film was titled, Halloween III: Season of the Witch. It was about a murder that occurred in Dr. Dan Challis’ hospital that needed to be solved. It was perpetrated by Silver Shamrock owner, Conal Cochran, who wanted to murder millions of children by wearing masks while watching the Silver Shamrock commercial on Halloween night.
He would try by connecting witchcraft to the powers of the Stonehenge rocks; bringing back the ancient Celtic holiday, Samhain. Halloween III grossed $14.4 million dollars but received disappointing critical reception. One critic suggested it as not part of the series, and described it as “a fairly nondescript eighties horror flick, no worse and no better than many others.” This was not a Michael Myers movie, nor would it feature any of the other actors of the last two movies. It felt more like a Halloween movie in general. It was just another movie based off of the holiday itself.
Due to this Universal no longer distributed the series after Halloween 2 & 3. As a result, it was decided that the fourth film is titled, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Even though they helped write the story, John Carpenter and Debra Hill were uncredited after they sold their rights to Halloween to Moustapha Akkad; who had worked with them from the very beginning. Michael came out of a ten-year coma to come after Laurie’s niece, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris) after it was revealed Laurie had died from a car accident. During Michael’s pursuit, his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis still tries to stop him. Apparently, part two was ignored, as to when Loomis sacrificed himself to save Laurie by blowing himself up, along with Myers, in the hospital boiler room.
The film came out, ten years after the first, on October 21, 1988.
One year later, in 1989, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, continues on with Michael’s pursuit of Jamie, with Loomis still trying to stop his path of murders. Halloween 4 had $5 million, while Halloween 5 earned $11.6 at the box office. This was without the involvement of Carpenter and Hill.
A student named George Medina stated the following, “Halloween 5 was the best one because it had a better story, and there was more action from Michael [Myers].”
This may have a had a good story and a lot of action from Michael Myers, but the movie overall wasn’t that terrifying. Plus, it features a bit of taking away Michael’s mysterious style. Part 4 received mixed reviews, while 5 had negatives; despite critics praising Danielle Harris and Donald Pleasence for their performance.
Six years later, in 1995, the next sequel was to be titled Halloween 666, but would, later on, be changed, much to the agreement taken to heart by Moustapha Akkad. From Miramax Films, distributed by Dimension Films; Michael returned, yet again in, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. This time, after killing off his own niece, a now grown-up Jamie, Michael tries to kill her baby which she had given birth to a few hours earlier. Once again, Dr. Sam Loomis looks to stop him with the help of Kara Strode, who’s a relative of Jamie; her son, Danny would end up in the middle of Michael’s pursuit of killing off the baby, and now him.
Tommy Doyle, the boy who suffered a psychological effect from Michael’s attack on Halloween 1978, looked to help out as well; after discovering Jamie’s baby in the hospital bathroom Jamie hid her baby in. At this point, it would have probably turned into a tired out series. There were some interesting elements of surprises; that being the return of Tommy Doyle, but the film overall would take away more of Michael’s mysterious roots. It earned $15.1 million; however, 6& was the approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
Heading into 1998, Halloweens 3, 4, 5, and 6, would all be ignored, as a supposed 3rd sequel would be titled, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. This would follow 20 years after the events of Halloween 1 and 2; where Michael Myers was back to kill his sister, Laurie Strode, who undertook a new identity, “Keri Tate”, but now has a 17-year-son named, John. The movie was dedicated to Donald Pleasence, portrayer of Dr. Samuel Loomis, who passed away in 1995. This felt like a classic as much as the original. It had similar suspense, and the returning Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s as if the series gets better every ten years or so. The movie appeared on August 5, 1998; two months before it’s official 20th anniversary. It earned $85 million; the highest gross in the whole series.
Rotten Tomatoes reviewed it as “Halloween: H20 is the best of many sequels, yet still pales in comparison to the original.”
In 2002, Halloween: Resurrection featured a surprisingly early ending. Soon after, Michael heads home; only to discover a group using it for a live-internet horror show. Despite negative reviews of 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, and was claimed as an unnecessary H20 sequel, Resurrection earned $37.6 million in the box office.
The rest of the movies of Halloween were great, but this one would have to be considered the most entertaining. It was frightening, but there are some interesting elements of humor; including a scene with Michael Myers.
What were supposed to be more sequels, became a reimagining/remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween; written, produced, and directed by rockstar, Rob Zombie; who has this experience from directing from directing House of 1000 Corpses. Now grown up, Danielle Harris; who played Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4 and 5, would enter the role of Laurie’s friend, Annie Brackett.
The film reintroduces Michael Myers (Tyler Mane), along with his mask, in having a severing backstory. Fifteen years later, he escapes coming after his sister, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton). With some help from Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Brad Dourif), Dr. Samuel Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) tries to stop Myers from his unstoppable force of a murderous rampage. The 2007 film was the widest release of any Halloween before, surpassed H20’s gross with over $80.2 million, but received a ton of mixed reviews. This film did feel a little similar to the original, except, there were more elements of brutal violence. There were jump scares, but without the sense of knowing how creepy it is, compared to the original. Plus, gore played a huge factor in this movie.
In 2009, Zombie’s Halloween II Michael’s pursuit of trying to reunite himself with Laurie, and his already deceased mother, Deborah Myers (Sheri Moon Zombie). After discovering Michael really was alive, Dr. Loomis tries to stop him from doing so.
Image Source: Comicbook.com
Written by Brandon Luna, Staff Writer