Halloween (franchise)

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Halloween: The Complete Collection Limited Edition Blu-ray box set, released September 2014.

Halloween is an American horror franchise that consists of ten slasher films, novels, and comic books. The franchise focuses on the fictional character of Michael Myers who was committed to a sanitarium as a child for the murder of his older sister, Judith Myers. Fifteen years later, he escapes to stalk and kill the people of Haddonfield, Illinois while being chased by his former psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis. Michael's killings occur on the holiday of Halloween, on which all of the films primarily take place. The films collectively grossed over $366 million at the box-office worldwide.

The original Halloween, released in 1978, was written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, and directed by Carpenter. The sequels have had various writers and directors attached to them. Michael Myers is the antagonist in all of the films except Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the story of which has no direct connection to any other Halloween film in the series. Carpenter, who had a hand in writing the first sequel, has not had any direct involvement with the rest of the films. The film series is ranked fourth at the United States box office—in adjusted 2008 dollars—when compared to other American horror franchises. The first Halloween film is credited with beginning a long line of slasher films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The franchise began when the first novel appeared less than a year after the release of the first film, and seven sequels have since followed. In 2007, the franchise was rebooted with a remake of Halloween. A direct sequel to the 2007 film was released two years later.

Films[edit]

FilmDirectorWriter(s)Producer(s)
Halloween (1978)John CarpenterDebra Hill & John CarpenterDebra Hill & John Carpenter
Halloween II (1981)Rick Rosenthal
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)Tommy Lee WallaceTommy Lee Wallace
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)Dwight H. LittleAlan B. McElroyPaul Freeman
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)Dominique Othenin-GirardMichael Jacobs, Dominique Othenin-Girard & Shem BittermanRamsey Thomas
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)Joe ChappelleDaniel FarrandsPaul Freeman
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)Steve MinerRobert Zapia & Matt Greenberg
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)Rick RosenthalLarry Brand & Sean HoodPaul Freeman & Michael Leahy
Halloween (2007)Rob ZombieRob ZombieMalek Akkad, Andy Gould & Rob Zombie
Halloween II (2009)

Overview[edit]

The original Halloween (1978), written and directed by John Carpenter, tells the story of Michael Myers as he stalks and kills teenage babysitters on Halloween night. The film begins with six-year-old Michael (Will Sandin) killing his teenage sister Judith (Sandy Johnson) on Halloween 1963 in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. He is subsequently hospitalized at Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Fifteen years later, Michael (Nick Castle and Tony Moran) escapes and returns to his hometown where he stalks Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends as they babysit. The film ends with Michael being shot six times by his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence).[1] Halloween II (1981) picks up where the events of Halloween left off. Michael's body is missing from the front lawn, where he fell when Loomis shot him. Michael follows Laurie to the local hospital, killing everyone who gets between him and Laurie. The story reveals that Laurie is actually Michael's sister: she was given up for adoption as an infant. Michael corners Loomis and Laurie in an operating room, where Loomis causes an explosion as Laurie escapes. Michael, engulfed in flames, stumbles out of the room toward Laurie before finally falling dead.[2]

Michael Myers does not appear in Season of the Witch (1982). Season of the Witch follows the story of Dr. Challis (Tom Atkins) as he tries to solve the mysterious murder of a patient in his hospital. He, along with the patient's daughter Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), travels to the small town of Santa Mira, California. The pair discover that Silver Shamrock Novelties, a company run by Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy), is attempting to use the mystic powers of the Stonehenge rocks to resurrect the ancient aspects of the Celtic festival, Samhain, which Cochran connects to witchcraft. Cochran is using his Silver Shamrock Halloween masks to achieve his goal, which will be achieved when all the children wearing his masks watch the Silver Shamrock commercial airing Halloween night. Challis contacts the television stations and convinces all but one of the station managers to remove the commercial. The film ends with Challis screaming for the final station to turn off the commercial.[3]

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), as the title suggests, features the return of Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) to the film series. The film reveals that Michael survived the fire in Halloween II but has been in a coma since that night. While being transferred back to Smith's Grove, Michael comes out of his coma and overhears that Laurie Strode, who died in a car accident, has a daughter, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris). Michael escapes the transport and heads to Haddonfield in search of Jamie. Fellow survivor Dr. Loomis also goes to Haddonfield after learning that Michael has escaped transfer. Eventually, the police track Michael down and shoot him several times before he falls down a mine shaft.[4] Picking up directly where the previous film ends, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) has Michael (Don Shanks) surviving the gunshots, and the fall down the mine; he stumbles upon a hermit who bandages him up. One year later, and showing signs of a metaphysical connection to Jamie, Michael tracks Jamie to a local child mental health clinic. Using Jamie as bait, Loomis manages to capture Michael. The film ends with Michael being taken into police custody, only to be broken out of jail by a mysterious stranger, all dressed in black.[5] Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) picks up the story approximately six years after the events of The Revenge of Michael Myers. The mysterious stranger who broke Michael out of jail kidnaps Jamie Lloyd (J. C. Brandy) in an effort to obtain her illegitimate child. Jamie escapes with her newborn, with Michael (George P. Wilbur) in pursuit. Michael kills Jamie and continues searching for her baby; the infant is found by Tommy Doyle (Paul Stephen Rudd)—the young boy who was babysat by Laurie Strode in the first film—who brings it home for safety. It is revealed that Michael is driven by the Curse of Thorn, which forces a person to kill their entire family in order to save all of civilization. The mysterious stranger is revealed to be Dr. Loomis’s colleague, Dr. Wynn (Mitchell Ryan), who is part of a group of people who protect the chosen individual so that they may complete their task. With the help of Kara Strode (Marianne Hagan), Laurie’s adoptive cousin, Tommy keeps the infant from Michael, who slaughters Wynn and his followers. Michael is finally subdued by Tommy, who injects him with large quantities of tranquilizers inside the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. The film ends with Loomis walking back into the sanitarium to find Michael.[6]

The events that transpire between Halloween 4 and Halloween 6 are effectively ignored in 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. This film opens twenty years after the events of the second film. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) has faked her own death so that she could go into hiding from her brother Michael. Now working as the head mistress of a private school under the name Keri Tate, Laurie continues to live in fear of her brother’s return. Her own son, John (Josh Hartnett), attends school where she teaches. Laurie’s fear becomes reality when Michael (Chris Durand) shows up at the school and begins killing John’s friends and eventually he and Laurie come face-to-face. Laurie manages to get John and his girlfriend (Michelle Williams) to safety, but decides to return to the school to face Michael once and for all. Laurie succeeds in stopping Michael, but not satisfied until she knows that he is truly dead, Laurie steals his body and decapitates Michael.[7] Halloween: Resurrection (2002) picks up three years after H20, and reveals that Michael swapped clothes with a paramedic—crushing the paramedic’s larynx so that he could not talk—and that was who Laurie killed. Unable to deal with killing an innocent man, and the fact that Michael was still out there, Laurie is committed to a mental institution. Michael (Brad Loree) shows up at the institution, but Laurie captures him. Her fear of making the same mistake twice gets the better of her, and when she attempts to remove Michael’s mask he surprises and kills her. Michael travels back to his family home in Haddonfield, but finds a group of college students filming an Internet reality show. Michael proceeds to kill everyone, until he is finally electrocuted by the only surviving student, Sara Moyer (Bianca Kajlich), and the show’s creator Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes).[8]

A remake of the original Halloween was released in 2007. This film focuses on the events that led Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) to kill his family. It also identifies Laurie as Michael’s sister early on, which was something not done in the original 1978 film. On Halloween, Michael murders a school bully, his older sister and her boyfriend, as well as his mother’s boyfriend. Committed to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, Michael closes himself off from everyone. Seventeen years later, Michael (Tyler Mane) escapes and heads to Haddonfield to find his younger sister, with his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) in pursuit. Michael finds his sister living with the Strode family, and going by the name Laurie. After killing all of her friends and family, Michael kidnaps Laurie and attempts to explain to her that he is her brother through the use of a picture that he has kept of himself and her as an infant. Unable to understand, Laurie fights back; eventually, Laurie uses Loomis's gun to shoot Michael in the head.[9] In 2009, a sequel to the remake, titled Halloween II, picks up right where the latter leaves off and then jumps ahead one year. Here, Michael (Mane) is presumed dead, but resurfaces after a vision of his deceased mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) informs him that he must track Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton) down so that they can "come home" together. In the film, Michael and Laurie have a mental link, with the two sharing visions of their mother.[10]

Development[edit]

After viewing John Carpenter's film Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) at the Milan Film Festival, independent film producer Irwin Yablans and financier Moustapha Akkad sought out Carpenter to direct for them a film about a psychotic killer stalking babysitters.[11] Carpenter and Debra Hill began drafting a story titled The Babysitter Murders, but the title was changed at Yablans' request, suggesting the setting be changed to Halloween night and naming it Halloween instead.[12] Moustapha Akkad fronted the $300,000 for the film's budget,[11] even though he was worried about the tight schedule, low budget, and Carpenter's limited experience as a filmmaker. He finally decided to finance the film after Carpenter relayed the entire film to Akkad, "in a suspenseful way, almost frame for frame", and opted not to take any fees for directing the film.[12] The low budget forced wardrobe and props to be crafted from items on hand or that could be purchased inexpensively; this included the trademark mask worn by Michael Myers throughout the film. Production designer, art director, location scout and co-editor Tommy Lee Wallace created Michael's mask from a William Shatner Halloween mask, purchased for $1.98.[11] The limited budget also dictated the filming location and time schedule. Halloween was filmed in 21 days in the spring of 1978 primarily in South Pasadena, California. An abandoned house owned by a church stood in as the Myers house. Two homes on Orange Grove Avenue in Hollywood were used for the film's climax.[13]

"We investigated a number of 3-D processes [...] but they were far too expensive for this particular project. Also, most of the projects we do involve a lot of night shooting – evil lurks at night. It's hard to do that in 3-D."
 — Debra Hill (writer/producer) on putting Halloween II into 3-D.[14]

Following the success of Halloween, Yablans and Akkad began working on Halloween II, which boasted a much larger budget than its predecessor: $2.5 million. Irwin Yablans and Moustapha Akkad invested heavily in this film, even though John Carpenter refused to direct. Most of the film was shot at Morningside Hospital in Los Angeles, California, and Pasadena Community Hospital in Pasadena, California.[14] There was initial discussion about filming Halloween II in 3-D, but the idea never came to fruition. After Halloween II was released, Carpenter and Hill were approached about creating a third Halloween film, but they were reluctant to pledge commitment. The pair agreed to participate in the new project only if it was not a direct sequel to Halloween II, which meant no Michael Myers.[15] Most of the filming for Halloween III took place on location in the small coastal town of Loleta in Humboldt County, California. Familiar Foods, a milk bottling plant in Loleta, served as the Silver Shamrock Novelties factory, but all special effects involving fire, smoke, and explosions were filmed at Post Studios.[16]

After Halloween III was released, Michael Myers was brought back into the franchise with 1988's The Return of Michael Myers, where he has stayed for the remainder of the series. Four more sequels would follow, between 1988 and 2002, before the series would take a break for five years. On June 4, 2006, Dimension announced that Rob Zombie, director of House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, would be creating the next installment in the Halloween franchise. Bob Weinstein approached Rob Zombie about making the film, and Zombie, who was a fan of the original Halloween and friend of John Carpenter, jumped at the chance to make a Halloween film for Dimension Films.[17] Before Dimension went public with the news, Zombie felt obligated to inform John Carpenter, out of respect, of the plans to remake his film.[18] Carpenter's request was for Zombie to "make it his own [film]".[19] Zombie's film would combine the elements of prequel and remake with the original concept, with considerable original content in the new film.[20] Zombie also wanted to reinvent the character, as he felt Michael, along with Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Pinhead, had become too familiar to audiences, and as a result, less scary.[21] Zombie delved deeper into Michael Myers's mythology. Michael's mask was even given its own story to provide an explanation as to why he wears it, instead of having the character simply steal a random mask from a hardware store, as in the original film.[22] Zombie wanted to bring Michael closer to what a psychopath really is, and wanted the mask to be a way for Michael to hide.[18]

In 2008, a sequel to the 2007 remake was announced, with French filmmakers Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Muary in negotiations to direct.[23] Instead, Zombie was resigned to write and direct the sequel, with the film taking place directly after the end of his remake.[24] In an interview, Zombie expressed how the exhaustion of creating the first Halloween made him not want to come back for a sequel, but after a year of cooling down he was more open to the idea. The writer/director explains that with the sequel, he was no longer bound by a sense of needing to retain any "John Carpenter-ness", as he could now do "whatever [he] wants to do".[25] Instead of focusing on Michael, Zombie chose to look more at the psychological consequences on Laurie after the events of the remake. As Zombie explains, after Michael murdered her friends and family, Laurie became a "wreck", who continually sinks lower as the film moves forward.[26]

Music[edit]

John Carpenter composed the music to the first three films. For Halloween, Carpenter chose to use a piano melody played in a 5/4 time rhythm instead of a symphonic soundtrack. Critic James Berardinelli calls the score "relatively simple and unsophisticated", but admits that "Halloween's music is one of its strongest assets."[27] Carpenter stated in an interview, "I can play just about any keyboard, but I can't read or write a note."[12] In the end credits, Carpenter bills himself as the "Bowling Green Orchestra" for performing the film's score, but he did receive assistance from composer Dan Wyman, a music professor at San Jose State University.[11][28]

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John Carpenter's theme for the original Halloween, which was reproduced for the sequels

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The score for Halloween II is a variation of John Carpenter's compositions from the first film, particularly the main theme's familiar piano melody played. The score was performed on a synthesizer organ rather than the piano used for Halloween.[29] One reviewer for the BBC described the revised score as having "a more Gothic feel". The reviewer asserted that it "doesn’t sound quite as good as the original piece", but "it still remains a classic piece of music".[30]

Music remained an important element in establishing the atmosphere of Halloween III. Just as in Halloween and Halloween II, there was no symphonic score.[31] Much of the music was composed to solicit "false startles" from the audience.[32] The soundtrack was composed by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, who had also worked on the score for Halloween II. The score of Halloween III differed greatly from the familiar main theme of the original and its first sequel. Carpenter replaced the familiar piano melody with a slower, electronic theme played on a synthesizer with beeping tonalities.[33] Howarth explains how he and Carpenter composed the music for the third film:

The music style of John Carpenter and myself has further evolved in this film soundtrack by working exclusively with synthesizers to produce our music. This has led to a certain procedural routine. The film is first transferred to a time coded video tape and synchronized to a 24 track master audio recorder; then while watching the film we compose the music to these visual images. The entire process goes quite rapidly and has 'instant gratification', allowing us to evaluate the score in synch to the picture. This is quite an invaluable asset.[34]

Box office[edit]

The Halloween franchise, when compared to the other top-grossing American horror franchises—A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play, Friday the 13th, the Hannibal Lecter series, Psycho, Saw, Scream, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—and adjusting for the 2011 inflation,[35] is the fourth highest grossing horror franchise in the United States at approximately $557.5 million.[36] This list is topped by Friday the 13th at $687.1 million,[37] followed by the Nightmare on Elm Street series with $592.8 million.[38] The Hannibal Lecter film series closely follows in third with $588.7 million.[39] Following Halloween is the Saw series with $457.4 million,[40] Scream with $442.9 million,[41] Psycho with $376.3 million,[42] The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with $304.6 million,[43] and the Child's Play film series rounding out the list with approximately $203 million.[44]

FilmU.S. release dateBudgetBox office revenueReference
United StatesForeignWorldwide
1. Halloween (1978)October 25, 1978$325,000$47,000,000$8,000,000$55,000,000[45][46]
2. Halloween II (1981)October 30, 1981$25,533,818$25,533,818[47]
3. Halloween III: Season of the WitchOctober 22, 1982$14,400,000$14,400,000[48]
4. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael MyersOctober 21, 1988$5,000,000$17,768,757$17,768,757[49]
5. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael MyersOctober 13, 1989$5,000,000$11,642,254$11,642,254[50]
6. Halloween: The Curse of Michael MyersSeptember 29, 1995$15,116,634$15,116,634[51]
7. Halloween H20: 20 Years LaterAugust 7, 1998$17,000,000$55,041,738$17,958,262$73,000,000[52]
8. Halloween: ResurrectionJuly 12, 2002$13,000,000$30,354,442$7,310,413$37,664,855[53]
9. Halloween (2007)August 31, 2007$15,000,000$58,272,029$20,829,296$80,249,467[54][55]
10. Halloween II (2009)August 28, 2009$15,000,000$33,392,973$5,312,275$38,705,248[56]
Total$80,325,000(A)$308,522,645$58,370,799$366,893,444
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.
  • (A) indicates an estimated figure based on available numbers.

Future[edit]

On June 21, 2011, it was announced that a new Halloween film, at the time titled Halloween 3D, would be released on October 26, 2012. At the time of the announcement, there was no director or writer attached to the project. Originally, Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer were labeled as writers but dropped out due to their occupancy on the Hellraiser reboot. There was no confirmation if a new script had been written or if any cast or crew members from previous films in the series would be involved.[57] The film was dropped from the release schedule on March 7, 2012, as no work had progressed on the film.[58] On April 30, 2014, The Weinstein Company announced that they're still going to do the third film.[59]

Documentary[edit]

25 Years of Terror is a DVD released on July 25, 2006 featuring a documentary on the Halloween films, narrated by P. J. Soles and featuring interviews from many of the cast members as well as filmmakers of the Halloween films and a lot of footage from the series as well. It has panel discussions with members from the casts and crews of most of the Halloween films, plus other celebrities and filmmakers such as Rob Zombie and Clive Barker as well as film critics. All of the panel discussions took place at a 25-year Anniversary convention in Pasadena, California (one of the filming locations of the original Halloween) in October 2003. It also has extended versions of interviews featured in the documentary, and much more.[citation needed]

In 2010, The Biography Channel produced a television special titled Halloween: The Inside Story, which premiered on October 28, 2010.[60]

Literature[edit]

Novels[edit]

When the original Halloween was released in 1978, a novelization of the movie followed just a year later. Written by Curtis Richards, the book follows the events of the film, but expands on the festival of Samhain and Michael's time at Smith's Grove Sanitarium.[61] Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and Halloween 4 each received novelizations as well. Jack Martin would write Halloween II, which was released alongside its film counterpart. Martin included an additional victim of Michael's in this novel.[62] Halloween IV, released in October 1988 and written by Nicholas Grabowsky, also followed the events of the film in which it was adapted from.[63] As of August 2010, no further films have been novelized.

Over a four-month period, Berkley Books published three young adult novels written by Kelly O'Rourke; the novels are original stories created by O'Rourke, with no direct continuity with the films.[64] The first, released on October 1, 1997, titled The Scream Factory, follows a group of friends who set up a haunted house attraction in the basement of Haddonfield City Hall, only to be stalked and killed by Michael Myers while they are there.[65] The Old Myers Place is the second novel, released December 1, 1997, and focuses on Mary White, who moves into the Myers house with her family. Michael returns home and begins stalking and attacking Mary and her friends.[66] O'Rourke's final novel, The Mad House, was released on February 1, 1998. The Mad House features a young girl, Christine Ray, who joins a documentary film crew that travels to haunted locations; they are currently headed to Smith Grove Mental Hospital, where they are confronted by Michael.[67]

Comic books[edit]

The first Halloween comic was published by Brian Pulido's Chaos! Comics. Simply titled Halloween, it was intended to be a one-issue special, but eventually two sequels spawned: Halloween II: The Blackest Eyes and Halloween III: The Devil's Eyes. All of the stories were written by Phil Nutman, with Daniel Farrands—writer for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers—assisting on the first issue; David Brewer and Justiniano worked on the illustrations. Tommy Doyle is the main protagonist in each of the issues, focusing on his attempts to kill Michael Myers. The first issue includes back story on Michael's childhood, while the third picks up after the events of the film Halloween H20.[68] These comics were based on Daniel Farrand's concept for Halloween 8; he had been approached by the producers to pitch a follow-up to Halloween H20. His idea was to have Tommy Doyle incarcerated at Smith's Grove for Michael Myers' crimes, only to escape and reunite with Lindsay Wallace. Together, they study the journals of Dr. Loomis and find out more about Michael's childhood. The movie would have explored Michael's time at Smith's Grove and relationship with Dr. Loomis, before returning to Tommy and Lindsay, who are attacked by the adult Michael Myers. Upon defeating him and removing his mask, they discover Laurie Strode, who has taken over her brother's mantle. Farrand's logic was that, since Jamie Lee Curtis was contracted to cameo in Halloween 8, they should make that cameo as significant and surprising as possible. Although the studio did not follow up on his pitch, Farrands was able to tell his story in comic book form.[69]

One Good Scare was released in 2003; it was written by Stefan Hutchinson and illustrated by Peter Fielding. The main character in this comic is Lindsey Wallace, the young girl who first saw Michael Myers alongside Tommy Doyle in the original 1978 film. Hutchinson wanted to bring the character back to his roots, and away from the "lumbering Jason-clone" the film sequels had made him.[70] One Good Scare came about because Hutchinson wanted to produce a comic book to celebrate the series' twenty-fifth anniversary; it was to be sold as a collectible at a Halloween convention in South Pasadena. Due to the positive reception to One Good Scare, Hutchinson hoped to use the comic as a "demo" for getting a distribution deal, but was unable to due to rights issues.[71]

While waiting to acquire the rights to publish more Halloween comics, Stefan Hutchinson worked on the documentary Halloween: 25 Years of Terror with Malek Akkad. Together, they developed ideas for possible Halloween stories that would be "connected into a larger tale, so the idea was that it would use the serial aspect of comic books to create different storylines than would be possible in the films."[71] On July 25, 2006, as an insert inside the DVD release of 25 Years of Terror, Hutchinson released Halloween: Autopsis. Written by Hutchinson, and artwork by Marcus Smith and Nick Dismas, the story is about a photographer assigned to take pictures of Michael Myers. As the photographer, Carter, follows Dr. Loomis he begins to take on Loomis's obsession himself, until finally meeting Michael Myers in person, which results in his death.[72]

"A lot of readers found in the comic books what they had been missing from the films in the later sequels. Our books are very faithful to the source material, and by that we mean the original film itself. In our stories, Michael Myers is very much again "The Shape" — the undefined bogeyman of 1978, rather than the family killer of the 80s and 90s."
 — Stefan Hutchinson on the fan support of his Halloween comic book series.[71]

Rob Zombie's reboot of the film series ensured that any Halloween comics would not be contradicted by upcoming films, allowing Hutchinson creative freedom. Malek Akkad was approached by Devil's Due Publishing with the possibility of producing a line of Halloween comics, and he and Hutchinson worked to make them a reality. Hutchinson was convinced by the strong support of One Good Scare that the comic books would have an audience.[71] In 2008, Stefan Hutchinson released the first issue of his new comic book, Halloween: Nightdance. This is a four issue mini-series, and it does not contain any characters—other than Michael—from the films.[73] The four issues are titled, "A Shape in the Void", "The Silent Clown", "A Rainbow in One Color", and "When the Stars Came Crashing Down".[74] The first issue, "A Shape in the Void", takes place on October 31, 2000, so that it falls between Halloween H20 and Halloween Resurrection. Issue one follows Michael as he stalks Lisa, an eighteen year-old girl with insecurities and "a chronic fear of darkness".[73] Hutchinson explains that Nightdance was an attempt to escape the dense continuity of the film series and recreate the tone of the 1978 film. Michael becomes inexplicably fixated on Lisa, just as he did with Laurie in the original Halloween, before the sequels established that a sibling bond was actually his motivation for stalking her.[75] The aim was to once again establish Michael Myers as a "credible and dangerous force".[71]

August 2008 saw the release of Devil's Due's Halloween: 30 Years of Terror to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Halloween franchise. This comic book one-shot is a collection of short stories inspired by John Carpenter's original. "Trick or Treat" features the MacKenzies, unseen characters from the first film who Tommy and Lindsey run to for help. "P.O.V." shows a murder from the point of view of both Michael and his victim, "Visiting Hours" sees Laurie Strode reflecting on how her life could have been had her brother never found her in 1978, while "Tommy and the Boogeyman" reveals that Tommy Doyle grew up to write comic books featuring Michael Myers. In the final story, "Repetition Compulsion", Dr. Loomis tries to predict where Michael will strike next on Halloween, 1989. Writer Hutchinson explains that H30 came about because, unlike previous decades, there was no Halloween film coming out in 2008 to acknowledge the occasion.[76][77]

Devil's Due released three-issue mini-series Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode in late 2008. Written by Hutchinson with artwork from Jeff Zornow, the story bridges the gap between Halloween II and Halloween H20 by focusing on Laurie Strode in the aftermath of the 1978 murders. Hutchinson explains that Laurie is "trying to get better and trying to repair, but where do you even start after going through such horror? How do you even try to resume normality when you don't know what that is anymore?" Although Michael appears in the series, it is not clear whether he is real or if the traumatised Laurie is seeing things. Hutchinson is not a fan of the revelation that Laurie and Michael are siblings and took steps to address that problem in the story. He wanted to avoid the "bloodline plot of the middle sequels", which he felt demystified the character of the Shape, and approach the story so that "it becomes almost incidental that she's his sister". Hutchinson believed that Laurie Strode's evolution into Keri Tate was fertile ground for a storyline; he says, "it's not the faking of the death that's interesting at all, but it’s the fall that leads to that happening. The faked death is just simple mechanics and can be covered in a sentence, but the state of mind and events leading to that are full of rich character and dramatic potential."[78]

Online stories[edit]

All of Stefan Hutchinson's Halloween comic books take place in the Halloween H20 timeline, which retconned Halloween 46 from continuity. Hutchinson comments that, while the retcon was unpopular with "a lot of fans" for ignoring previous movies, he preferred the "simplicity of this storyline, over the needlessly convoluted mythology that the last two films had created". However, he admits that one of the downsides of the H20 timeline is that fans do not know exactly what happened to Dr. Sam Loomis after Halloween II. To remedy this, Hutchinson pitched Halloween: Sam as a way of paying tribute to the character.[71] Written by Hutchinson and featuring illustrations from Autopsis '​s Marcus Smith, Sam is a prose short story available exclusively for download at the website HalloweenComics.com. It explores the life of Dr. Loomis, including his backstory and relationship with Elizabeth Worthington, a journalist he met during World War II. In 1995, Michael Myers visits the ailing Dr. Loomis in hospital, and murders Elizabeth in front of him. Loomis attempts to stop him, but dies of a coronary failure.[79]

Merchandise[edit]

In 1983, Wizard Video, who had also released a video game version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, released a Halloween game for Atari. In the game, the player was a babysitter who had to protect her children from Michael Myers, who had managed to get inside the house. Although the game was called Halloween, and featured the film's theatrical poster as its cover art as well as the movie's main music theme, the game itself never refers to any characters, including the killer, by their names in the film.[80]

The Halloween franchise has also seen profitability through various merchandise like toys, dolls, statues, model kits, bobbleheads, snow globes, movie posters, masks, T-shirts, hats, and more. Michael Myers has made appearances in the form of dolls and toys from McFarlane Toys, Sideshow Collectibles, and NECA.[81] Even Dr. Loomis has been immortalized in plastic alongside Michael Myers in a two-figure set produced by NECA.[82]

The Michael Myers mask has been reproduced over the years by Don Post, the mask company responsible for the creation of the masks from several of the Halloween films (the Silver Shamrock novelty factory seen in Halloween III was actually shot on location in one of Don Post's factories).[83] While Don Post reproductions of the Michael Myers mask are still commonly found in costume stores every Halloween, the license to produce Michael Myers masks has since been given to Cinema Secrets, the company commissioned with the creation of the Michael Myers mask for Halloween: Resurrection.[84] As of 2012, Universal Pictures has granted license to Trick or Treat Studios to produce two versions of the Michael Myers mask from Halloween II, one "clean" version and one with the famous "blood tears".[85]

The Halloween series also lives on in DVD form. Many versions of the original Halloween (often including special extras like free merchandise or additional footage missing from previous DVD releases of the film) as well as several of its sequels have been published by Anchor Bay Entertainment, Universal Studios, and Dimension Films. On October 2, 2007, the original Halloween was released on Blu-ray for the first time by Anchor Bay Home Entertainment. In December 2007 there were reports that the Producer's Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers might get a DVD release in the future.[86][87]

Following the first Blu-ray release of the original Halloween, all other films in the series were subsequently released to Blu-ray, as well.[88] Home video distributors Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory released Halloween: The Complete Collection to Blu-ray on September 23, 2014. This box set brings together all ten Halloween films released to date.[89] Two versions of The Complete Collection were released: a standard 10-disc set featuring the first eight original films of the series and Rob Zombie's 2007 and 2009 remakes,[90] and a "Limited Edition" 15-disc set, containing the ten films on ten discs, and five extra discs featuring the television versions of Halloween and Halloween II, the television version, the never-before released Halloween 6: The Producer's Cut, a bonus disc to Rob Zombie's Halloween, and a bonus disc containing all-new special features from all ten films.[91]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]