When it comes to iconic films such as the 1978 Halloween, they are just too good to let them live and die on their own without also becoming a franchise. Since his debut, the murderous knife-wielding Michael Myers has appeared in all but one of the sequels, including the upcoming direct sequel to the original coming out next week. It turns out director John Carpenter wasn't expecting The Shape to be lurking in the shadows on cinema screens 40 years later, much less again at all. In his words:
Michael's disappearance at the end of the first film makes you gasp, and I wanted to leave the audience that way. I didn't want any sequels. Boy, was I wrong, huh?
While the conclusion of the 1978 cult classic may have seemed like a wink at his inevitable return, for John Carpenter, it was a clever ending meant to send chills down moviegoer's spines. The original's ending had Dr. Sam Loomis saving Laurie Strode from being strangled to death by "The Shape" by shooting repeatedly at him, sending him out an upstairs window. Michael Myers is only seen on the floor for a short time, as a second look has him nowhere to be found.
The franchise's most beloved star, Jamie Lee Curtis, also said during an NY Times interview that no one involved in the first Halloween anticipated a sequel while they were working on the modestly $300,000 budget original. Curtis returned for a few sequels, but there's something clearly special about the new Halloween sequel that felt nostalgic and full circle for her and her tormented character. Crafted by superfans of the original, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, the film seeks to call back to the first movie and draw heavily from the source material in a way the nine other sequels couldn't.
When the upcoming Halloween was announced to be a direct sequel ignoring all others, it somewhat seems to compromise the ending of the original. While at the end of the classic, Michael Myers mysteriously disappears, in the new sequel he was taken into custody shortly after the incident. This definitely takes away from mystifying ending of the first Halloween, but like many other horror properties, it begs to live on.
Nowadays, a horror film rarely ends with one film, and Halloween is no exception, nor should it be. Thus far, most would tell you that none of the Halloween sequels have lived up to the original, but if 2018's does, it could bring longevity for the franchise in a way that's never been seen. The sequel's success perhaps rides on the heavy nostalgia it's bringing from the first film. Bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis as a badass grandma, armed and ready to fight her nightmare, is a compelling development in the franchise. Blumhouse Productions is definitely game to keep it going in some way after this year's release. Sorry, John Carpenter. Halloween hits theaters on October 16.