Here we have another Icon of Horror, this time it is an individual which every horror fan should have heard of, due to his film, Halloween, being an amazing landmark in horror cinema. This week I am talking about Michael Myers (played by Tony Moran). The emotionless white-mask wearing, kitchen knife wielding bogeyman who has terrified audiences since 1978.Michael Myers was first introduced to us in the late 70s by the horror film directing mastermind John Carpenter. Through Halloween, Carpenter delivered a film which gave audiences something else to fear on Halloween night rather than just ghouls and goblins, and a superb soundtrack to go with it.
Although Myers was not based on a true killer, like Leather-Face, the story, acting and camera shots are what brought this killer to life. The film starts with one of the longest opening shots in horror, we (the camera) are taken around a house, before entering it and moving up the stairs to find a young woman brushing her hair. It then becomes apparent that we are looking through the eyes of 6 year-old Myers, right before he slaughters his older sister with a kitchen knife. After realising their son is a murderer, Myers’ parents stick him in a mental hospital – because where else can you get over your murderous thoughts than in a mad house. Fast forward 15 years and Myers is escaping from the loony bin and out on a murder bender with his little sister – Laurie Strode – in mind.
What follows is a magnificent tale of imaginative murder techniques, eerie long-shots and giving a reason why babysitters should not work in Haddonfield, Illinois. Although his killing methods are on top form, it is the sheer creepy vibe which Myers gives off which really makes him stand out from all others. He is constantly popping up around every corner as Laurie walks home from school, whether it’s hiding behind bushes or somehow in the car which rolls past, he is always present and watching her every move, killing the odd person on the side of course.
His main aspect which really sends the shivers down your spine though is the fact that he is so calm about everything, even whilst killing. In the process of chasing you in his blue boiler suit he just suavely walks behind and still manages to catch up with his victims. These things are not what make him a bogeyman however, as he still seems human. It’s the fact that he just won’t stay dead, no matter what you do to him, whether you shoot him, run him over or even stab him with his own knife. The latter making for the best scene in the film, after Laurie stabs him and he falls to the floor, she kneels in the doorway catching her breath. Unknowing to her – but not the audience – that in the background Myers sits up and turns his head towards her. A beautiful Scene!
Halloween and Michael Myers kick-started the Hitchcock inspired slasher genre, and after 8 films and 2 remakes, they still have the same effect on our trembling hands as they did when we first saw them.
Original Film Tag Line: The Night HE Came Home.
Film Franchise List:
Halloween – 1978
Halloween 2 – 1981
Halloween 3: Season of the Witch – 1982
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers – 1988
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers – 1989
Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers – 1995
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later – 1998
Halloween: Resurrection – 2002
Halloween – 2007
Halloween 2 – 2009