Nothing fills a body with fear more than the mention of ‘the Boogeyman.’ The Boogeyman is an old middle English tale a mother used to scare her children into behaving. If a child didn’t listen, then ‘the Boogeyman’ would get them. It hides under the beds of children at night, waiting for the child to act out. Then it would pull the wayward child from the bed and whisk him/her away to its domain, never to see their families again.
The one movie that incorporated the Boogeyman’s embodiment in all of its fearful personifications was Halloween. Halloween made its debut in 1978 when Michael Myers filled the screen with his eerie presence—scaring every viewer. We watched in breathless fear as Myers stalked hapless babysitters to their doom. Michael Myers became the physical representation of the Boogeyman.
John Carpenter put a face to the elusive and mythical creature parents scared their children with through Michael Myers. Hell, he even scared me. The story about how Halloween came to be is fascinating as well. The movie almost didn’t make it to the screen because critics didn’t think it was scary enough. When Carpenter first created his masterpiece, it didn’t have a music score, and it flopped.
Carpenter didn’t give up though, he went home and fiddled with the keys on his piano. In the process, he created the simple but haunting theme song for Halloween. Just by adding a music score turned Halloween from a boring film into the icon movie of horror that it is today.
The bad thing with great movies is that producers and directors try to keep that momentum going with sequels. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too impressed with the sequels, and neither were the moviegoers. The only sequels that did well at the box office were the ones starring Jamie Leigh Curtis. Halloween III—Season of the Witch, didn’t even fit the original franchise. So, I stopped watching the ensuing sequels until Halloween H20 made its debut in 1998. As the title suggests, it came out on the original Halloween’s 20th anniversary.
Jamie Leigh Curtis came back in her original role of Laurie Strode. Strode, still haunted by events twenty years earlier, was in hiding at a posh school. The plot was that Michael Myers was after Laura’s eighteen-year-old son, portrayed by Josh Hartnett. Curtis kicks ass in this movie, protecting her son from her brother Myers and even chops Myers’s head off. It didn’t stop him from showing up in another sequel, though.
There are currently eleven Halloween movies with different plots and themes. They ranged from Myers stalking family members to an ancient Celtic curse. None of them make much sense. The thinly veiled schemes were simply vehicles to allow the machinations of movie producers a reason to create more Halloween movies.
Until 2018, when in a daring move, Halloween with Jamie Leigh Curtis in her original role of Laurie Strode hit the screen. The movie is a direct sequel to the 1978 film and erases all the nine sequels in between. The plot is much stronger than the other sequels. In this sequel, Laurie Strode is traumatized by the events that happened forty years before. She spends the ensuing years preparing for the inevitable return of Michael Myers.
Myers is locked away in a mental institute during those forty years. Laura is obsessed with the idea Myers will escape. This fear turns into an obsession that has alienated Strode’s daughter Karen and drives a wedge between Strode and her granddaughter, Allyson. Everyone keeps telling Laura that she has become obsessed, and it is ruining her life and relationships.
In the movie, Allyson conversing with friends, we learn there is no brother-sister relationship implied by the other sequels. Further, in the film, Myers does get loose in Haddonfield, Illinois, and goes on a killing spree. He isn’t just after Strode and her family. This sequel goes back to the horror roots of the first Halloween. It is scary because you don’t know what Michael Myers is. He doesn’t act human.
That’s what makes the movie spine-chilling. Michael Myers puts this otherworldly mask on and instantly changes into the Boogeyman. He just starts killing people. There is no rhyme or reason as to how he chooses his victims. There is no emotion, no empathy. He doesn’t listen to cries or pleas—he just stands there staring at his victims as they struggle to draw in a breath. Michael Myers never says a word through the entire movie and seems impossible to kill.
The perfect Boogeyman personification. It is the indestructible Michael Myers that makes the movie terrifying. Adding John Carpenter’s original soundtrack doesn’t hurt either, and the new soundtrack in the 2018 Halloween is just as eerie and creepy as well.
Hell, the music was scaring me more than the movie at times. Now, coming in 2021, there is going to be a third movie connected to the original. Halloween Kills.
I won’t spoil the ending of the 2018 Halloween movie, but suffice to say Myers lives, if Halloween Kills is coming. In this sequel, the entire town joins forces to ensure that the Boogeyman dies. If you loved the 1978 Halloween, then you need to see the 2018 Halloween. It is as scary if not more so than any of the nine other sequels. It goes back to the roots of what made a genuinely scary movie.
Slasher movies like Halloween are popular because people like the blood and gore. In the 978 Halloween, Myers stabbed and slashed his way through the film, but there wasn’t a lot of gore. You saw him stab his victim, then blood, and then the scene quickly pans to Myers’ sinister masked face. The following sequels got bloodier and gorier with each proceeding film.
I am not into the gratuitous blood and gore. It is the music and lighting that creates the chilling atmosphere that causes viewers to jump and gasp in fright. The 2018 Halloween movie follows the formula of the original classics of more suspense and less gore. I’m hoping Halloween Kills follows that formula too.
I love and write horror stories, and I miss the classic horror movies of old like Vincent Price in the Tell-Tale Heart, or The Haunting of Hill House. These movies were terrifying without any blood and gore. I’m hoping Halloween Kills follows its original roots and scares us once more under the covers – terrified of the Boogeyman.