Why HALLOWEEN (2018) is the Perfect Bookend to the Original
At this point, everyone and their sister have weighed in on 2018’s Halloween. Besides being a hit with fans and critics, it was a welcome return-to-form for the franchise. Still, there’s one element that doesn’t garner enough discussion: the ending. No, not the cat-and-mouse chase between Michael and Laurie, the badass final girl trifecta, or even the applause-worthy “gotcha!” moment. I’m talking about what happens to Michael Myers. It may not be that cut-and-dry (sure, pun intended).
What DID happen to Michael Myers? It’s a question as old as the franchise itself, ever since John Carpenter’s iconic ending to the original. Loomis shoots Michael off the balcony while Laurie struggles with the complete and utter loss of her shit. When The Shape disappears and Carpenter shows us the places he’s been, 3 things become apparent: He’s gone, he could be anywhere, and he is EVERYWHERE…goodnight everybody!
How do you top that Lovecraft-inspired brilliance? David Gordon Green’s answer, thankfully, is that you don’t. You show us the exact opposite.
In 2018’s Halloween, the Strodes trap The Shape in the basement and set Laurie’s house on fire. Our heroines escape into the night (has the Halloween theme ever sounded that “hell-yeah” positive?), and we end on a note of hope and respite.
So…what happened to Michael Myers?
The last interior shots we see are of the burning basement with Michael is nowhere in sight. It’s an obvious nod to the original ending, while giving the Akkads the usual slasher sequel set-up, right? Pretend for a second that it’s not, and you’ll see what Green and his co-writers concocted: Laurie Strode’s total victory and the death of Michael Myers.
Laurie spent the past 40 years isolating herself in her trauma, but not without purpose. While everyone thought she was a crazy mannequin lady, she was calcifying her fear and rage into a giant funeral pyre. The original Final Girl destroyed the last remnants of Halloween night, 1978. It’s so perfect; it’s less a trap than a cleansing ritual (no Thorn cloak required). Plus, after 4 decades becoming a benevolent Jigsaw, do you really think she’d skimp on the most important room in the house?
At the end of Carpenter’s Halloween, Michael Myers is everywhere. At the end of Green’s film, he’s NOWHERE. No matter how many sequels come after this last entry, 2018’s Halloween is the perfect bookend to Carpenter’s original.
…That said, they absolutely have my money.