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The Halloween franchise and the never-ending chase by Michael Myers

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Contributed by Irene Alegria, LFS Intern

Since 1978, Michael Myers has been tormenting Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. And now, decades later, the chase continues. The success of Halloween (1978) lends itself to a plethora of sequels being planned. Even now, existing and new characters are utilized in order to further the suspenseful story that is Michael Myers.

An October staple, the Halloween franchise has a strong and loyal fan base with a 40 year plus series of films. The association of the film with the month of October brings a yearly expected rush in viewers.

This is helped by the number of movies that have been made since the original. Everyone can pick their favorite, or favorites, and watch on a yearly basis to get into the spooky mood.

The simple and obvious title of the original film lends itself to be a Halloween classic. Due to the low budget of the first film, the simplicity of the scares that can be found in the film is more realistic and lends itself to viewers being able to insert themselves into the plot. The genre of horror or thrillers is often based on maximalism depending on cheap jump scares in order to get a quick reaction from the audience.

There is no devil coming out from under the groups to grab you and drag you down to hell. Instead, he is a ghostlike presence that is always close by but just far enough to give the viewer a temporary sense of relief until he makes himself known.

Instead, in Halloween (1978) director John Carpenter utilized anonymity and the inability to always keep the viewer’s eyes on the killer for a lasting build-up in the film. The fact that Michael Myers is never seen running and instead slowly chases his victims and watches from a distance is something that is both impactful and chilling.

Due to the budget given in the initial film, $325,000, the original film depended a lot on the psychological aspect of horror and thrillers rather than using fancy effects in order to achieve cheap or predictable reactions from viewers.

The fanbase that has formed around the Halloween franchise is one that has been going strong since the late 70s. Even now, when the films continue to follow Laurie Strode, the addition of her daughter and granddaughter adds a new aspect to the plot.

Furthermore, it adds to the psychological aspect of horror where Laurie is now not just fighting to stop Michael for herself, but for the safety of her family. These additions to an otherwise worn-out and predictable plot refresh the franchise and give itself to possibilities even after Laurie Strode either defeats the evil or evil catches up to her.

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