IMDB Summary: After being committed for 17 years, Michael Myers, now a grown man and still very dangerous, escapes from the mental institution and immediately returns to Haddonfield to find his baby sister, Laurie.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28%
Haddonfield, Illinois. October 31st.
Outside a rundown house, a forlorn pumpkin man slumps in a chair. A Kiss song plays, God of Thunder, a warm autumn breeze blows, and 10-year-old Michael Myers is in his room wearing a plastic Bozo the Clown mask and talking to his pet mouse Elvis. It almost feels like he’s about to crush the mouse’s skull in, but he doesn’t.
In the kitchen, Michael’s mother Deborah is cooking eggs while her ugly ass boyfriend Ronnie berates her and her crying baby. Obviously, Ronnie needs to die. He’s a loser and a perv, as you can tell when Michael’s hot sister Judith parades in wearing alarmingly short shorts and he makes a comment about her “nice little dumper.” Deborah screams at him and smacks his coffee cup out of his hand, burning him. (He’s right, though. She does have a great ass.)
This is the Myers family. They yell, they fight all the time and nobody pays attention to Michael except maybe the mother and she’s a fucking mess. I probably would be too if I had a boyfriend who threatened me with stuff like, “bitch, I will crawl over there and skull fuck the shit out of you.” It’s like they’re actually trying to raise a serial killer. In fact, Michael is upstairs right now in the bathroom washing mouse blood off his hands and a scalpel.
Kill count: 1.
Michael is obviously on his own in life. He comes down to the kitchen, lies to his mother about how his mouse died and then sits down at the most depressing table ever as he and Ronnie yell about how much they hate each other.
Damn. Happy Halloween. I guess.
Things at school aren’t much better. Michael gets bullied in the boy’s room about, among other things, his stripper mom, then mouths off to the principal. Deborah shows up at the school in her fabulous rabbit fur coat and is introduced to Dr. Loomis, child psychologist. Like Donald Pleasance, he’s also British but slightly more disheveled. Out of concern, the principal and Dr. Loomis show Deborah a dead cat they found in Michael’s bag along with some very disturbing photos I don’t want to talk about. She insists Michael loves animals. (He doesn’t.)
Dr. Loomis tells Deborah he wants to give Michael a psych evaluation. Overhearing this, Michael does exactly what I would do: he bolts. Running down the hall with his long hair, his ripped jeans and his Kiss shirt, he’s a rebel. He’s Matt Dillon in Over the Edge. He goes in his locker, grabs his Bozo mask and next thing you know he’s in the woods, stalking one of the bullies from earlier. A minute later he ambushes him, clobbering him over and over with a huge tree branch while the guy cries like a little bitch.
Kill count: 2.
(To be clear, I am not a psychopath. I just don’t want to be “evaluated,” thanks.)
It’s hard not to like white trash Michael. I feel like if he wasn’t a murderer he would have grown up to be Sebastian Bach or someone from The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. He’d play a guitar with a paint splatter pattern and sing power ballads about life on the road and the day he ran away from home. Chicks would totally dig him and his blond Viking vibe. Guys would grow their hair out and pout a lot. Eventually he’d end up in rehab, broke, at which point he would sell his life story to Hulu and retire to Mexico with his one-time Playboy Playmate wife Heavenlee* and their two kids, Westyn and Jax.
(*not her real name)
Anyway, back home in Haddonfield, drunk Ronnie is watching TV and giving Michael shit about his little pet killing spree. Deborah, who is acting pretty goddamn nonchalant if you ask me about the way her man talks to Michael, says she’s off to work and tells Judith to take her brother trick or treating. Judith’s not into it. After Deborah leaves, she takes her boyfriend Steve upstairs to get busy while Michael sulks out on the front curb in his clown costume.
Deborah is an exotic dancer at the Rabbit in Red Lounge. Tonight, she’s wearing the cutest outfit I’ve ever seen a stripper wear, with her platform boots and her sparkle bra. People will remember Debs but for all the wrong reasons. In the sequel, a sign by the Rabbit in Red door will read:
Home of Deborah Myers
Mother of Michael Myers
The Butcher of Haddonfield
I’m not sure I get the point here. She’s dead. You wouldn’t hang out in some bar just because the mother of Charles Manson once worked there, although I’m sure it happens. People are such sick fucks.
Meanwhile, Judith is upstairs having sex with Steve. Thinking it’s cute (it’s not), Steve tells her he has a surprise for her and puts an exceptionally frightening mask on while they’re still kind of doing it. It’s super weird, but at least he’s in the Halloween spirit.
Downstairs, Michael is bored. It’s Halloween, he’s alone and there’s only so much Candy Corn you can eat because Candy Corn is gross. This is when he decides to step things up a notch. He grabs a roll of duct tape and a butcher knife, heads toward the chair where Ronnie has fallen asleep in his chair and tapes every one of his body parts to it, Dexter style. It’s an impressive sight. You wouldn’t expect a kid to be so methodical, and with no YouTube.
Right then, Ronnie wakes up to see Michael, Bozo mask on, holding a knife big enough to gut an elephant above him in slicing position. In one move, Michael slides the knife across his throat, right at the Adam’s apple, and then stands there watching as Ronnie bleeds to death.
Kill count: 3.
Just then Steve comes downstairs and helps himself to the refrigerator for an after-sex snack. (Hats off to casting, by the way. He’s pretty much identical to almost every guy I had a crush on in 1978.) As he sits down to eat, Michael, who has gone and grabbed an aluminum bat, sneaks up behind Steve, holds the bat up exactly like Obi-Wan held his light saber when Darth Vader killed him and whacks him in the head. He falls to the floor, convulsing, as Michael keep whacking him who knows how many more times.
Kill count: 4.
Bummer for him. The guy in the first Halloween split right after he had sex with Judith and lived.
Upstairs, Judith lies in bed with her headphones on listening to Blue Oyster Cult. Michael walks up there to appear at her door, finds Steve’s Halloween mask and puts it on even though it’s twice as big as his own head. Between the mask and the clown costume he looks awkward and stumpy, like a scary Toulouse-Lautrec, as he grazes his bloodied fingers along Judith’s thigh. She giggles because she’s not looking and she thinks it’s Steve. Uh, that ain’t Steve, sweetie.
Judith angrily asks Michael what the fuck he’s doing. He responds by stabbing her in the stomach. She looks at him, incredulous. Michael looks back at her like, mmm hmm, Miss Jackson if you’re nasty. She then stumbles into the hallway, whimpering, gurgling blood, while Michael keeps stabbing away at her.
Girlfriend didn’t have a chance. But you knew that already.
Kill count: 4.
Later, Deborah comes home from work to find Michael sitting on the stoop holding the baby. She asks him what he’s doing out there, not yet realizing he lost his freaking mind and murdered everyone. Then, a montage: a screaming Deborah, police everywhere, dead Judith on a stretcher and Michael sitting in the back of a cop car with zero remorse on his baby face.
Smith’s Grove. 11 months later.
After a long and expensive trial, Michael is found guilty of murder and sent to live in a sanitarium that looks exactly how I imagine Yale looks. This is where Dr. Loomis works. Today he’s talking with Michael, trying to gain insight into his warped little mind, but Michael seems to have reverted into a childlike version of himself with his orange juice and his baby talk. He doesn’t even remember murdering anyone. So he says.
Deborah’s weekly visits aren’t doing much good either. Even Ismael the janitor—AKA Danny Trejo—tries to help, telling Michael not to let his time behind bars get to him. He says he knows what it’s like. Ismael has a soft spot for Michael. Back in the 90’s, I actually had a soft spot for Danny Trejo. I thought he was hot. It must have been the voice.
Before long, Michael is wearing his creepy handmade masks all the time and looking extremely deranged. Deborah tries to talk him out of it to no avail. One day, after a visit, Dr. Loomis is walking her out when he puts the dumbest nurse on earth in charge of watching Michael. (Jesus Christ, people, NEVER, EVER TURN YOUR BACK ON A KILLER WITH ACCESS TO A FORK.) She ends up getting stabbed in the neck, all because she wanted to sit and read her stupid newspaper.
Kill count: 5.
Chaos ensues. Alarms ring, everyone is screaming and Michael isn’t sorry at all.
At home, Deborah is sad. She gave birth to a monster and now he’s out of control. One bang, and it’s over for Debs.
I read an interview once with Rob Zombie where he was asked what scares him in life, and he answered, “nothing scares me.” Maybe Rob Zombie should watch his own movie. He’ll want to scratch his fucking eyes out. Michael was a 10-year-old psychopath with no humanity and no conscious, running around killing everyone all willy nilly for no other reason than just because. I don’t care what they say in Halloween 6 about the Cult of Thorn. I never even saw Halloween 6. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 9% rating. Just sayin’.
Ok, on to the second half!
Fifteen years later.
At the sanitarium, an older Danny Trejo and some hillbilly new guy are on their way to fetch Michael for a session with Dr. Loomis. Michael has clearly lost it. He’s been hunched over a table for 15 years making papier-maché masks and hanging them all over the walls like some kind of frightening art. I can almost smell the Elmer’s Glue.
Michael stands up so they chain his hands and feet. He’s gigantic. (This is not movie trickery. The guy who plays him is 6’9”.) Mask on, hair a mess, he shuffles down the hall to meet with Dr. Loomis who tells him he won’t be treating him anymore. Dr. Loomis has done all he can. Michael hasn’t even said a word in 15 years. Besides, he has lectures to give for his new book:
These eyes will deceive you. They will destroy you. They will take from you your innocence, your pride and eventually your soul. These eyes do not see what you and I see. Behind these eyes one finds only blackness, the absence of light. These are the eyes of a psychopath. Michael was created by a perfect alignment of interior and exterior factors gone violently wrong… a perfect storm, if you will.
~Dr. Samuel Loomis, The Devil’s Eyes: The Story of Michael Myers
Dr. Loomis’ whole life has been about Michael, and after 15 years he’s choosing to walk away. The night before Halloween. Now everyone’s going to die. Way to go.
The security guards at Smith’s Grove have it easy. They’re in the breakroom, playing cards and talking shit, when they get the call that it’s time to move Michael back to his cell. As they do the perp walk down the hall, one of the guards makes a crack about how slow chained-up Michael is. Big mistake. He breaks out of his chains, whips one guard in the face with them, bashes the head of another into a door, uses a third as a human shield when he gets shot at and punctures the throat of a fourth with just his thumb.
Kill count: 6,7,8 & 9.
Just then, Danny Trejo shows up and sees nobody is around, including Gloria, the woman who is supposed to be answering the phone. Turns out, Gloria is there, sitting on the floor, all bloody and on the verge of death. Obviously Michael has gotten to her.
Kill count: 10.
Double digits, baby. And we’re not even halfway through.
Danny Trejo starts to worry. He walks around a corner to find two of the security guards dead on the floor and Michael just standing there, like ‘SUP. He’s a tall, angry lamppost. Michael stares down Danny Trejo, who was good to him, but it wasn’t enough. He throws him across the room, almost drowns him in the sink and then slams a TV down onto his face.
Kill count: 11.
Saw that coming. Danny Trejo dies in every movie.
Michael is now on the loose. He’s also wearing pajamas and a dirty old Yoda robe, which pretty much screams “hi there, I just broke out of the sanitarium.” He needs to find some clothes ASAP. The truck stop restroom seems like a good place to look, so Michael creepily goes in and knocks on the stall door, where a large, muttonchopped man named Grizzley is on the toilet looking at porn.
Grizzley whips out a knife, but it’s no use. He’s overpowered by Michael and left for dead in a bloody heap on the putrid looking bathroom floor, minus his coveralls.
Kill count: 12.
And with that, he’s going back to Haddonfield.
Haddonfield, Illinois. October 31st. Halloween.
Laurie Strode is a lucky girl. She’s a normal, well-adjusted teenager who lives in a big house with her real estate dad and the mom from E.T. As she breezes through the kitchen getting her schoolbooks together and making pedophile jokes, you can’t help but think she has no clue how depressing her life was as a baby and that her maniac brother is out there murdering everyone.
Like a homing pigeon, Michael has somehow found his way back to the house he grew up in. He trudges up to the attic and starts tearing up the floorboards looking for his old his Halloween mask. He pulls it out, gazes at it like, hello lover and slides it on over his head and face like a second skin.
The scary Halloween music plays. It’s on.
This is of course right when Laurie walks up to the door to drop off her dad’s paperwork and does the oh-no-my-hand-is-stuck-in-the-mailbox-help-it’s-Michael-Myers thing to freak out Tommy Doyle. Seriously, nobody needs to do this. You’re just asking for it.
Later, at the school library, Laurie is trying to study science but all her friends want to do is talk about sex. Laurie is a virgin who doesn’t get it, so she starts gazing out the window and sees Michael weirdly standing there having a staring contest with her all by himself. When she looks back 10 seconds later, he’s gone.
Dr. Loomis is at a loss. Michael has escaped, and the idiot hospital guys erroneously assume two road blocks and an APB will stop him. He’s also dressed like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face so I’m not really sure how seriously they’re taking him.
School gets out, and Laurie and her friend Lynda walk home. Lynda says she’s been suspended from the cheerleading squad. for suggesting they “rock it commando and flash some snatch” when they were asked to learn three new cheers. She’s awfully mouthy for a high school girl. I start to wonder how fucking long I have to put up with this chick and when exactly is she going to die. Pj Soles wasn’t this annoying. I don’t think I’ve wanted anyone in a movie to die this much since Heather from The Blair Witch Project. Josh! Mike! We’re lost! Wait—You threw the map away?? ICAN’TCLOSEMYEYESICAN’TOPENTHEM blah blah blah. Hey Heather, guess what, MIKE THREW THE MAP AWAY ON PURPOSE BECAUSE YOU WOULDN’T SHUT UP ALREADY.
Annie catches up with the girls and calls Lynda a slut over the cheerleading incident even though, by definition, this makes no sense. Michael is across the street watching them because of course he is. He’s been stalking Laurie all day.
The cemetery guy in Haddonfield is disgruntled. He and Dr. Loomis are walking around trying to find Deborah Myers’ headstone, but it’s gone. Stolen. Because it’s Halloween, he blames kids for it and for the mangled coyote carcass he found tied to a stick.
Kill count: 13.
Lynda and her boyfriend Bob pull up to the Myers’ house to break in and have sex. Too bad they don’t notice the homicidal freak in a mask standing on the upstairs deck watching them go in.
They do it. She’s very bossy. Afterward Lynda rates his performance a zero (because she’s annoying) and then demands he go get her a beer. With Bob gone, Lynda then calls Laurie to talk about Annie’s slut comment, which, I’m sorry, seems a little fitting considering she just had sex with her boyfriend on the floor of an abandoned murder house. In another room, Bob has draped a sheet over himself and put his glasses on, presumably because it looks funny but I secretly hope he’s just trying to piss Lynda off. On his way back to her Michael suddenly emerges out of some kind of closet and attacks him. He shoves Bob against the wall, lifts him up by the throat and stabs him so hard he ends up pinned against the wall.
Kill count: 14.
Aww. He was cute.
Lynda doesn’t hear any of this, probably because she’s been yammering away on the phone and listening to Blue Oyster Cult. Just then Michael appears, draped in the sheet, glasses on and everything. It’s chilling. Thinking it’s Bob, Lynda sits up and shows him her boobs. Somehow she doesn’t notice Michael is at least a foot taller than Bob and it’s obviously not him.
Lynda asks him to hand over her beer. He responds by strangling her to death.
Kill count: 15.
Dr. Loomis is at the gun store, hurriedly purchasing a .357 Magnum. This makes me wonder how Donald Pleasance happened to have a gun on him in the original. What am I forgetting??
At the Strode house, Laurie is sitting on the porch with her parents giving out Halloween candy when Annie comes to picks her up to go babysitting. As they drive away, Michael comes out of fucking nowhere and knifes the dad before he throws the mom onto a glass table, snapping her neck.
Kill count: 16 & 17.
At the Doyle house, Tommy, whose face is painted like a Mexican sugar skull, is obsessing on the boogey man. Across the street, Lindsey home watching TV, unaware Michael is menacingly standing right behind her.
Dr. Loomis is talking to Sheriff Brackett about the dead coyote and the missing headstone. The Sheriff thinks it was just a Halloween prank, but Dr. Loomis insists “evil is here.” Hyperbole gets him nowhere. Sheriff Brackett thinks he’s just trying to sell books.
Annie drops Lindsey off at the Doyle house with Laurie and tells her Ben Tramer thinks she’s hot and that she needs to get laid already. (I could say something here about the whole “virgins don’t die” thing, but this isn’t really true, no matter what Randy says in Scream. Virgins Die all the time.) Just then Annie’s boyfriend Paul shows up and the two of them go back to the empty Wallace house to have sex on the living room couch. One guess who stands there watching them.
Fact: Michael is sexually repressed. This is why he stabs people. (Think about it.) Not only that, he stabs them right after they have sex, or in this case, during. He can’t get past the fact that his sister blew him off on Halloween to get it on with her boyfriend, and now anyone having casual sex has to die. It seems a little unfair. Normally you’d just get herpes.
If you ask me this is all Judith’s fault. This whole thing could have been avoided if she had just paid more attention to her brother instead of leaving him alone with his anger and his processed sugar. I’m surprised more people don’t get murdered on Halloween.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Michael just got to Paul.
Kill count: 18.
Annie tries to fight off Michael, but he’s a better stabber than she is a fighter and Michael wins.
Kill count: Still 18. (She’s not dead.)
Sheriff Brackett is in the car with Dr. Loomis on their way to the Strode house to make sure everything’s OK (it’s not) when the Sheriff admits the Strode’s adopted daughter Laurie is actually Michael’s baby sister. Honestly, I always felt like this was a really lazy explanation for what motivates Michael. I’m glad they dropped it when they made 2018’s Halloween. I’m not glad they gave it the same name. So stupid.
Laurie takes Lindsey back to her house and finds Paul hanging by the neck with a pumpkin jammed onto his head and Annie lying in a bloody heap. Michael, who is creepily hiding in a corner, goes after Laurie. The scary music plays as she runs back to the Doyle house where the kids are. She goes in and locks the door behind her, which doesn’t do anything because Michael walks right through that shit. Everyone is screaming their heads off.
The cops arrive. Michael stabs one of them to death.
Kill count: 19.
…Then the other one.
Kill count: 20.
He then yanks Laurie out by the hair and carries her away.
Sometimes I have to remind myself this is just a movie. It’s pretty violent. If my husband walked in me right now he’d probably flip out. I don’t normally watch horror movies when he’s home, but luckily he’s busy outside trimming the trees and not paying attention whatsoever to what I’m doing.
Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Brackett show up to the Wallace house to find a bloody, half naked Annie lying there. Outside, Lindsey and Tommy run up to Dr. Loomis and tell him what happened, and he runs off in the general direction they came from.
Laurie comes to in the Myers’ dirty basement next to dead Lynda and tries to get her to “wake up.” Ain’t gonna happen, babes. Just then Michael appears, knife in hand, seemingly ready to carve Laurie into hamburger meat. Instead, he drops the knife, kneels down and shows her a photo of them as kids, but Laurie has no clue what he’s getting at because he won’t fucking talk. She stabs him in the shoulder and gets the hell out of there.
Michael follows her to an abandoned pool. Dr. Loomis finds them there and shoots Michael. He takes Laurie to the squad car and she asks if that was the boogey man, at which point you assume it’s over but Michael smashes the car window and yanks her out. He then grabs Dr. Loomis by the head and makes his eyeballs explode by pressing on them with his thumbs.
(As awful as this is, it’s not the worst .. I’ve ever seen in a movie. That would have to go to the “curbing” thing in American History X with Edward Norton. And that’s not even a horror movie.)
Laurie runs back into the Myers house and hides. Michael immediately finds her because he awesome at this and she sucks at hiding. She ends up crashing through the ceiling and thanks to all the blood on her face it looks for a second there like she’s lost all her teeth. But she does have Dr. Loomis’ gun, which she points at Michael, and since nobody likes having a gun pointed at them he charges at Laurie and they both go tumbling over the balcony.
On the ground, Laurie straddles Michael and points the gun at his face. She pulls the trigger once, twice, three times, but it doesn’t go off. Michael grabs her wrist. She goes for it one more time. Disco.
Sounding legit terrified, she screams. And screams. And screams. Louder than sirens, into the void. 🔪🖤
Read Halloween (1978)
Read Halloween II (1981)