Halloween

“Chaos, by its very definition, cannot be controlled. Once introduced, all order and intention is rendered useless. The outcome of chaos can never be predicted. The only certainty it brings, is the devastation it leaves in its wake.”

Michael Myers was like no other. He killed without conscience, and left a slew of deaths in his wake. He had just recently escaped from the mental facility where he grew up, and all that psychologist Dr. Samuel Loomis had to do was follow the track of breadcrumbs that lead to Michael. In his youth, Michael was always the outcast, the “other”. He was bullied for having a mom who was a dancer and was ostracized in school. Coming home was no cakewalk either, Michael had a difficult home life. Michael’s “stepdad” figure berated him every chance he got, and his sister Judith could care less. All these factored in to his inclination to chaos, and manifested in his youth as violence towards his pets. When Michael’s mother was called in the principal’s office, she gave him one day of freedom – Halloween – before strict rules were to be put in place. That was the day all hell broke loose in the Myers residence.

On that fateful day of Halloween, the ten-year-old Michael became a murderer. Sounds crazy right? How could a child, one whose smile was so sweet and whose eyes were so clear, kill the people in his life? The personification of the child as the monster is so clearly a reflection of society’s disdain and rejection for children. The child in the horror film, as Robin Wood states, is almost always going to be the “oppressed” – an element common to the horror genre. Michael Myers, with his angelic face and golden hair never grew up. In the mental facility he was treated like a child – by his psychologist, his caretakers, and the janitor – even after 15 years. His physical appearance changed, but his mental state seemed to be stunted. When Michael got out of the mental facility, he looked for the baby sister he left behind many years ago. A girl who grew up to be called Laurie. In this search, he killed many people. We can use Linda William’s article on “When the woman looks”, to show that Halloween had a typical “male gaze” where the women in the film became victims, object of the voyeur. Most of Michael’s victims were female, and he attacked them at their most vulnerable – in their nakedness. In the end, all his efforts were for naught because Michael was not able to be reunited with Laurie.

I think the character of Michael Myers is very interesting, but his “difference” also made the movie Halloween not very likeable. The story of Michael Myers is one of intrigue. Much like the documentary “The Child of Rage”, it is hard not to be curious as to why those people came to be that way but, those stories do not give comfort or pleasure to anyone reading or watching it.

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