Graveyard Shift

All The Ways Michael Myers’s Character Has Changed Throughout The 'Halloween' Franchise  

Jacob Shelton
19.1k views 15 items

Over the course of 11 Halloween films, Michael Myers stalks his way through ten of them. Each time he wears his trademark mask and jumpsuit (or wildly variant versions of this costume, anyway), but every filmmaker who handles the character does something a little differenent with Michael Myers and the Halloween franchise. We're tracking how Michael Myers changed over the course of 40 years, what each new film added to his mythos, and just what Halloween 2018 holds for this piece of modern Americana. 

The Halloween franchise makes a lot of fascinating choices, and the directors who work on these films swing for the fences - but that doesn't mean that everything they've added to Myers's backstory is pure gold. In many case, the changes to the character muddy up something that was simple and clean from the start. Keep reading to find out which films added the craziest pieces of backstory, and which directors did their best to keep the history of Michael Myers intact. 

Michael Myers Began As A Straight Up Killing Machine
Michael Myers Began As A Strai... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list All The Ways Michael Myers’s Character Has Changed Throughout The 'Halloween' Franchise
Photo: Anchor Bay/Amazon

Michael Myers is summed up perfectly in 1978's Halloween when Dr. Loomis describes him as a blank slate, saying, "there's nothing there." Myers gets very little backstory – aside from the beginning of the film when he kills his sister – and from there on he's simply a killing machine who doesn't want to do anything but murder teenagers. This is the purest form of the character, and it proves that simplicity is best when dealing with a horrific murder machine.

Michael Becomes More Brutal In The Sequel
Michael Becomes More Brutal In... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list All The Ways Michael Myers’s Character Has Changed Throughout The 'Halloween' Franchise
Photo: Shout! Factory/Amazon

Things change in a big way for Myers in the 1981 sequel to Halloween. Most notably his kill count goes way up, and the way he kills people changes. In his initial outing Michael Myers either choked or stabbed people with a kitchen knife, but this film sees Myers stabbing people with syringes and scalding them to death in a hot tub. Halloween II isn't the film with the highest body count for Myers, but it's the one where he starts thinking outside the box. 

He Became Laurie's Brother
He Became Laurie's Brother is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list All The Ways Michael Myers’s Character Has Changed Throughout The 'Halloween' Franchise
Photo: Shout! Factory/Amazon

A major change in the mythos of Michael Myers is his relation to Laurie Strode. In the first film Laurie is just a babysitter who's in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the follow up changes all of that. The John Carpenter and Debra Hill penned script states that Myers and Strode are actually brother and sister. But that's not the craziest thing added to the Michaels mythos. While riding back to Haddonfield, Dr. Loomis explains that "Samhain" isn't a pagan holiday, it's "the unconscious mind," and "the dark inside ourselves." It's also a curse that lives inside Michael Myers that drives him to kill everyone in his family, which is why he's after Laurie Strode. 

 

 

 

The Return Of Michael Myers Gives The Killer A Niece 
The Return Of Michael Myers Gi... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list All The Ways Michael Myers’s Character Has Changed Throughout The 'Halloween' Franchise
Photo: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Amazon

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers picks up 10 years after the climax of Halloween II, in which Michael and Dr. Loomis burn up together in a hospital room. This film retcons that ending, revealing that Loomis escaped with his life, albeit with extensive scarring. Michael also survived, but he's in a coma. Upon transfer to a new facility, he hears that his sister, Laurie, is dead but that she left behind a daughter, Jamie. This wakes Michael and gives him a new reason to kill. Is it because of the Samhain curse? Maybe. Is it because Jamie Lee Curtis wouldn't return for a another film? Definitely.