Since 1978, and his first appearance in the John Carpenter classic, psychopathic killer Michael Myers has spread terror in eleven films, including one without his presence. As it almost always appears masked, several actors, and even some stuntmen, held the role in all discretion. On the sidelines of the release of “Halloween Kills”, return to one of the most distressing figures of evil on the big screen. And to get your bearings, at the end of this large format, each of the episodes of the saga is rated from 1 to 10.
Haddonfield, Illinois, 1963. On Halloween night, eight-year-old Michael Myers murders his sister Judith with an XXL kitchen knife. Interned in a mental asylum under the supervision of Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance), the mutic killer escapes fifteen years later and returns to the scene of his first crime.
Hidden behind a white mask, he walks the streets of Haddonfield, watching for his future victims: three babysitters including Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), the only survivor of the future massacre.
>> To listen, the program “Traveling” tells the behind the scenes of the film of John Carpenter: Collection Cinema / Photo12 – AFP Traveling – Published on July 29, 2021
Originally titled “The Baby-Sitters Murders”, John Carpenter’s “Halloween”, released in 1978, became an instant classic and imposed one of the most iconic figures in horror cinema. A cold killer, hollowed out of all humanity, a sort of croquemitaine from a cruel tale, the embodiment of a pure concept, Absolute Evil carried by a single certainty: no bullet or bad consequences will succeed in killing Michael Myers.
Faced with the historic commercial success of this first installment ($ 75 million in revenue for a budget of $ 300,000), John Carpenter and his producer Debra Hill agree to co-sign the screenplay for a second episode.
A direct and more basic sequel, “Halloween 2” takes Laurie Strode to a hospital where Michael Myers is raging. With a new idea: Laurie is Myers’ other sister, adopted after the accidental death of her parents. A controversial parentage as it turns Michael Myers into a killer driven by family revenge, while his inexplicable acts, without specific motives, made him all the more terrifying in the first film.
A family track that would determine the direction of the “Halloween” franchise until 2009, with a first wave of sequels bordering on artistic disaster. We will rule out the beautiful anomaly proposed by “Halloween 3” (1983), which, in order to initiate an anthology of horror films revolving around Halloween folklore, excludes Michael Myers, Laurie Strode and Dr Loomis for focus on a mad scientist fascinated by witchcraft and Celtic myths.
It was not until “Halloween 4” (1988) to witness the returns of Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis. With actress Jamie Lee Curtis no longer wishing to star in horror films, Laurie Strode is held dead and it is her eight-year-old daughter, baby Jamie Lloyd, that Michael Myers is now targeting. In this fourth episode, Myers collapses, riddled with bullets, in a mine shaft as Jamie, as if possessed by his uncle’s murderous instincts, stabs his foster mother.
A year later, in “Halloween 5” (1989), Michael Myers runs away from the mine. Mute, Jamie is treated in a psychiatric ward and communicates telepathically with his uncle. Directed by Swiss director Dominique Othenin-Girard, the film marks the decline of the franchise which ends with “Halloween 6”, (1995), Donald Pleasance’s last appearance as Dr. Loomis. A grotesque part where a sect holds hostage Michael Myers and his niece, Jamie, who has just had the latter as a baby by in vitro fertilization. Jamie ends up being killed by her uncle and Myers tricks scientists who seek to exploit her evil nature. At this point of futility, the “Halloween” franchise required a hell of a shock not to be forgotten. Especially since Harvey Weinstein’s company, Miramax, which bought out the rights to the franchise, was not going to remain on such a failure.
While the wave of neo-slashers hit the mark in the mid-90s, with “Scream” and other “Remember last summer”, the idea of celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the franchise “Halloween” is essential with a seventh part which will make a clean sweep of previous errors.
If John Carpenter refuses to return to the post of director of the excellent “Halloween: 20 years later” (1998), Jamie Lee Curtis agrees to take back his character of Laurie Strode, a teacher in a private high school under the name of Keri Tate. His daughter, Jamie, is erased from the saga’s genealogy, replaced by a son, John, crushed by his mother’s obsession with safety. The heroine is fascinating in the way she wants to step out of her role as a victim to face the object of her fears and ends up beheading Michael Myers.
But there! In “Halloween: Resurrection” (2002), Laurie Strode is taken to a mental asylum after discovering that she has beheaded, that’s nerd, an innocent man. Myers kills her at the start of the film, then slaughters the participants of a reality TV show organized at her family home in Haddonfield. Burned and electrocuted, Michael Myers opens his eyes to the morgue, promising future sequels.
It was then that the historic producer of “Halloween”, Moustapha Akkad, died with his daughter in an attack in Jordan, marking a temporary pause in the saga.
Inheriting the franchise started by his late father, Malek Akkad contacts filmmaker and rocker Rob Zombie (“The Devil’s Rejects”) for a serious homecoming. The idea is to start a remake of the first “Halloween”, but carried by a singular vision.
Tough, brutal, realistic and sticky, the “white trash” version of Rob Zombie contrasts with its predecessors by adopting the point of view of the psychopathic killer, more humanized, while bringing back Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) and Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor -Compton), again posed as her sister.
Rob Zombie completes his approach with a grandiose “Halloween II” (2009) that focuses on the relationship between Michael Myers and his mother’s ghost, appearing in stunning surreal visions. And it’s not a bullet in the face or two bullets in the buffet that will stop the killer, even if he will have to wait almost a decade to return to the screen.
As the Weinstein brothers struggle to launch a new “Halloween”, hesitating between sequels and reboots, the arrival of the king of horror, producer Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity”, “Get Out”, “Insidious”, ” Sinister “), speeds things up. Filmmaker David Gordon Green makes a new homecoming, ignores all the sequels and imagines a story that takes place 40 years after the events of the John Carpenter classic.
>> Watch the trailer for “Halloween”, a homecoming by David Gordon Green:
Escaped from the asylum in which he is interned, Michael Myers, 61, is instrumentalised by his new psychiatrist who seeks, by all means, to confront him with Laurie Strode. Portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis, Laurie is no longer Myers’ sister, but a survivor who prepares to face the killer, joined by her daughter, Karen, and granddaughter, Allyson.
Somewhat hesitating between a new vision and an overly marked respect for Carpenter’s masterpiece, this new “Halloween” divides, but develops a post-MeToo treatment far from uninteresting.
Its direct sequel, still by David Gordon Green, “Halloween Kills”, leaves more in the scenario and aesthetic anything, even if it announces a tragic dimension which should, logically, mark, in the last chapter of this trilogy, “Halloween Ends”, the passing of Laurie Strode.
Because if Michael Myers has escaped death for more than 40 years, no one can escape the bogeyman.
– 1977: “Halloween – The night of the masks” by John Carpenter. Budget: $ 300,000. World revenue: $ 75 million. Quality of the movie: 10/10
– 1981: “Halloween 2” by Rick Rosenthal. Budget: $ 2.5 million. World revenue: $ 25.5 million. Quality of the movie: 6/10
– 1983: “Halloween 3 – Blood of the Sorcerer” by Tommy Lee Wallace. Budget: $ 2.5 million. World revenue: $ 14.4 million. Movie quality: 7/10
– 1988: “Halloween 4 – The Return of Michael Myers” by Dwight H. Little. Budget: $ 5 million. World revenue: $ 17.7 million. Quality of the movie: 6/10
– 1989: “Halloween 5 – The revenge of Michael Myers” by Dominique Othenin-Girard. Budget: $ 3 million. World revenue: $ 11.6 million. Movie quality: 2/10
– 1995: “Halloween 6” by Joe Chappelle. Budget: $ 5 million. World revenue: $ 15.1 million. Movie quality: 2/10
– 1998: “Halloween, 20 years later” by Steve Miner. Budget: $ 17 million. World revenue: $ 75 million. Quality of the movie: 8/10
– 2002: “Halloween: Ressurection” by Rick Rosenthal. Budget: $ 15 million. World revenue: $ 37.6 million. Movie quality: 3/10
– 2007: “Halloween” by Rob Zombie. Budget: $ 15 million. World revenue: $ 80 million. Movie quality: 5/10
– 2009: “Halloween 2” by Rob Zombie. Budget: $ 15 million. World revenue: $ 80 million. Quality of the movie: 9/10
– 2018: “Halloween” by David Gordon Green. Budget: $ 10 million. World revenue: $ 255.6 million. Movie quality: 7/10
– 2021: “Halloween Kills” by David Gordon Green. Budget: 20 million dollars. World recipes: in use. Movie quality: 3/10
– 2022: “Halloween Ends” by David Gordon Green. Budget: ??? millions of dollars. Recipes world: ??? millions of dollars.