Always thought of as innocent, children seem to make the most terrifying murderers. In the past few months, there have been quite a number of shootings in U.S. schools, the shooters being 15-year-old teenagers or somewhere around that age. You would think that only old men who have no purpose in life would do such a thing. With the advent of such murders, there’s already that thought on how we don’t know how to handle our children anymore, or worse, that we don’t know who our children are despite raising them “well.” Children make the most horrifying pictures of evil because they hold no perverse thoughts, or have little experience with evil. The writers of Halloween understood this irony.
When 10-year-old Michael cleans out a bloody knife at the start of the film, I thought he had been cutting himself — something that troubled kids do sometimes. He seemed like the sweet middle child who was typically awkward at his age. I start to see the oddness in Michael when he starts being aggressive towards some bullies and then against the principal of his school. The psychologist shows Deborah (his mom) the pictures of his murder victims, little animals that she thought Michael actually loved and cared for. This part reminded me of Dexter, the TV series of the ‘good’ kind of murderer. Michael just liked killing, I guess, so he killed those who have wronged him. He killed the bully, he killed his mother’s good-for-nothing boyfriend (which I enjoyed), and he killed his mean older sister. He kept his little sister safe, however, and this part was puzzling throughout the film. It begs the question: does Michael kill because he loves killing, or does he kill because he thinks his victims deserve to die, in that case is he just a kid with the worst anger management issues?
I think the answer is all of the above. Years later, when he’s around 30 years old, he gets out of his cell because some guys rape a girl in his cell, touching all of his home-made masks (another idiosyncracy of his). He kills these guys and he then kills the janitor who has cared for him since he entered this prison. It is here that I thought he killed for pleasure. Then he seeks out his little sister and I don’t know what he intends to do here because she kills him before we really find out.
Michael brings out the killer in all of us, I must say. Some people in the film “deserved” to die (on Michael’s terms, of course) and some people didn’t. We all say “I’m going to kill you” in our heads at one point, but we never really do it — Michael does that. He doesn’t even think about it anymore, and he doesn’t feel guilt. With his case, we feel a certain chill in the thought that if we didn’t have certain values that we grew up with, would we be doing exactly the same thing?
As a Psychological thriller, this movie is bound to make everyone scared of troubled 10-year-olds and the environments they grow up in. We never really know what affects the little kids until they do something this crazy.