The Monster Status of the Michael Myerses

My original intent for this article was a simple follow-up to my Monster Status of Jason Voorhees article, but as I rewatched the Halloween series (minus Halloween III since it doesn’t involve Michael Myers) I discovered that it wasn’t a question with a clear answer because even following the criteria I had set for myself, there were at least three different versions of Michael Myers with an additional Michael Myers if you take the Rob Zombie movies into consideration and there’s a different answer for every version. That criteria, by the way, is using only the theatrical versions of the films to discover when the slasher becomes a monster. We’re discounting anything not explored on screen.

You’d look like this, too, if you knew the mess that was about to happen.

Three of the four timelines start with the original 1978 Halloween, in which Michael Myers kills his sister and is sent to the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium for fifteen years under the care of Doctor Loomis. He escapes to kill a few more people, ultimately being stopped when he goes after Laurie Strode. In this movie, Michael is shown to perform some incredible feats of strength and durability but probably can’t be considered a true inhuman monster.

I just realized that most of the screengrabs are just like this one.

Two of the four timelines continue with the second movie, where Michael continues his pursuit of Laurie to the hospital. Not a lot of evidence is given one way or the other but there is a reference to Samhain that seems like it might be important later. Once again, he’s stopped, this time in an explosion caused by Loomis in an act of heroic self-sacrifice. Originally, this was going to be the end of Michael Myers but capitalism had other plans. While Loomis would definitely disagree, we’ll still have to chock Michael up as “still human”.

Timeline One: The Thorn Branch

OH NO IS THIS A PERTINENT THING?
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Halloween II (1981)
  • Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
  • Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
This Jamie, Michael Myers’s niece. These kids are being mean to her because her mom is dead.

The first branch, which we’ll call the Thorn branch for reasons which will become clear later, continues with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. In this branch, Laurie Strode died after the second movie but left behind a daughter named Jamie. The most important thing to happen in this movie is the survival of Doctor Loomis: if he could survive an explosion, then Michael Myers could easily do the same. Since Loomis is an aging doctor, we can assume that most of Michael’s feats of durability aren’t all that special in this world. Considering this, the most supernatural thing Michael has done is correctly know when it’s Halloween (and therefore time for him to go killing again) and to know he has a niece when he’s been locked up since Halloween II. Neither of those things are really all that monstrous, and so we’ll still consider him human.

The file names for these got really screwed up, but I think this is from Halloween 5.

This branch continues with Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Michael gains a thorn tattoo on his wrist, though its importance isn’t explored in this movie and we’re supposed to believe he’s had it the entire time. Jamie, on the other hand, gains a psychic link to her uncle which allows her to help track him down. This does no one much good as both members of the Myers bloodline are captured at the end of the movie.

It’s just like looking in a mirror, except not like that at all!

The last entry on this branch of the timeline is Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. We’re going off the theatrical release for the purposes of this article, but in this movie we learn early on that he’s been cursed the entire time which technically grants him retroactive “monster” status for this entire branch, though this is the first we’re hearing of it. The effects of the curse supposedly grant him immortality and power that a group called the Cult of the Thorn want to use for nefarious purposes, but since this is the last we see of any of this it’s a moot point.

Timeline Two: H20 Branch

Someone’s a tired boy from all that killin’
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Halloween II (1981)
  • Halloween: H20 (1998)
  • Halloween Resurrection (2002)

The second timeline, which we’ll call the H20 timeline for simplicity’s sake, begins twenty years after the events of Halloween II. In this timeline, Laurie Strode faked her death and teaches at a boarding school where her son, John, is a student. While it’s initially possible to think that this might have meant that Laurie’s death between II and 4 was a ruse, we also learn that Michael Myers disappeared that night and hasn’t been seen since. The events of 4-6 present Michael as a well known entity, so this (plus John’s existence, which doesn’t entirely mesh with the timeline of Jamie’s birth and Laurie’s death) means that we’ve embarked into a brave new universe.

The third movie in this timeline is Halloween H20, and since we’ve backtracked the curse of the thorn, Michael’s monster status reverts to “uncertain, maybe not?” and he’s generally treated as a human who’s exceptionally unkillable but still mortal in some way.

Who says romance is dead? No, that’s super gross, they’re siblings in this one.

The only other movie in this timeline is Halloween: Resurrection which is an ironic title considering the series went dormant for years afterward. The only thing this movie really did is kill the franchise, which is bizarre since it was generally ahead of its time since it concerns a live webcast of a group of teens staying the night in his old abandoned house. It does cement that Michael Myers is a legend in this timeline, with news of his exploits reaching even devotees in the sanitarium. While Michael himself doesn’t do anything different, we’ll grant him monster status for this one. He deserves it.

Timeline Three: Rob Zombie Branch

The third timeline is the Rob Zombie timeline. We’re going to ignore the Rob Zombie timeline for now, even though Weird Al Yankovic makes an appearance in the second movie for some reason.

Timeline Four: Reboot Timeline

  • Halloween (1978)
  • Halloween (2018)

The fourth timeline is the Reboot timeline, which only takes the first movie into consideration and continues from there. In this, Michael Myers was captured and quiet for forty years before escaping the sanitarium and continue his pursuit of Laurie Strode. Since there’s no familial connection in this version, this just gives Michael an obsessive personality but he’s hardly monstrous. He kills a lot of people but he doesn’t build a murder trap in his basement or anything like that, though he does manage to escape that murder trap so maybe he can teleport or something? He might be a monster? We’ll have to wait for the other movies (of which two are planned) for the final verdict for this timeline.

So what have we learned from all of this? One Michael Myers is a cursed being and therefore a monster. One Michael Myers could be considered a monster for his legendary status. One Michael Myers is best left ignored. One Michael Myers is yet to be decided, and we’ll probably be revisiting all of this at one point or another because I have a lot more thoughts on all of this.

Peekaboo!

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