Follow TV Tropes


Film / Halloween (2018)

Go To

"He's waited for this night. He's waited for me. I've waited for him."
Laurie Strode

Halloween, which was produced by Miramax and Blumhouse Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures, is the eleventh film in the Halloween franchise, released just in time for the 40th anniversary of the first film.

The film had been in development since May 2016. John Carpenter, who directed and co-wrote the original film, is an executive producer and composed the musical score, making this the first film in the Halloween franchise he has been creatively involved with since 1982's Season of the Witch. David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) signed onto the project as director as well as co-writer (alongside Danny McBride) in February 2017. It is a direct sequel to the 1978 original, which means it ignores every other film in the franchise—including Rob Zombie's remake duology.

40 years have passed since Michael Myers’ Halloween killing spree in Haddonfield, Illinois. And while Michael has been held safely in the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium ever since, Laurie Strode, still shell-shocked from the experience, has been preparing for his return for the past four decades, becoming estranged from her family in the process. But sure enough, Laurie’s fears prove to be not unfounded: when the bus carrying Michael to a new facility crashes, he starts making his way back to Haddonfield to continue what he started all those years ago…

Original star Jamie Lee Curtis returns to the franchise as Laurie. Nick Castle, who played Michael in the original movie, also reprises his famous role (for small cameos, that is — Michael's breathing sound is him and the moment Laurie first sees Michael is him, while the rest of the film has Michael played by James Jude Courtney). As for new characters, Judy Greer plays Laurie's daughter Karen while Andi Matichak plays her granddaughter Allyson.

In June 2019, it was announced that David Gordon Green would return to write the script and direct the sequel, and Curtis, Greer, and Matichak would be reprising their roles. The following month, two sequels, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, were announced by Carpenter himself, the former of which was released October 15, 2021 while the latter was released on October 14, 2022.note  These films will set an end to the saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode.

Previews: Trailer. Trailer 2. International Trailer.

Halloween contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Laurie certainly didn't intend to be and wanted to be quite the opposite, but her Training from Hell caused her daughter Karen incredible emotional distress and paranoia that lasted until her adult life. This ultimately becomes The Extremist Was Right when it allows her to save her daughter from Michael.
  • Adapted Out: Most notably, Laurie's son John (from H20: Twenty Years Later) was never born in this timeline. Laurie instead had a daughter named Karen. Jamie Lloyd, Laurie's daughter from the fourth, fifth, and sixth films is also retconned again, though Danielle Harris did express an interest in returning.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Allyson ends up trapped in the back of a police car with an unconscious Michael. Thankfully, he ends up going after Sartain first, leaving her enough time to escape.
  • Alternate Continuity: Like H20, this film ignores parts four, five, and six. Unlike H20, it also ignores the original sequel, which creates a third distinct timeline that began with the 1978 film.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Allyson has the more typical kind with her father being a Bumbling Dad. Karen has a much more serious kind in the fact her mother is a Crazy Survivalist and raised her to be a killer.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Much of what's going on with Michael. He doesn't take specific pains to try and track Laurie down, simply picking up his indiscriminate killing from where he left off forty years ago. And in the end, he's FORCED into confronting Laurie. Granted, when he does recognize her, he acts on it immediately and spends the rest of the movie doing his damnedest to kill Laurie and her family.
    • The movie puts forward theories as to why he does what he does and how that long-ago night has affected him but cements none of them, and Michael's final long stare up through the trap is open to interpretation.
    • It's left unclear if Dr. Sartain deliberately released Michael or is simply taking advantage of his escape for his twisted idea of a case study. For that matter, did Michael himself cause the crash, or was that an accident?
  • Arc Words: "Say something!" to Michael Myers, who is perfectly capable of speaking, but chooses not to. He never does.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Averted.
    • Laurie is shown having good trigger discipline and when Hawkins inadvertently sneaks up on her, she doesn't shoot him, just gives him a light Pistol Whip in case someone other than Michael was behind her. Karen is also shown avoiding Friendly Fire in a particularly tense moment where she didn't know if her mom or Michael was going to appear at the cellar entrance; she only fires when she sees Michael, not at whoever was coming into view.
    • Hawkins is shown using the Center Axis Relock stance while searching Julian's house for The Shape.
    • The only time gun safety isn't followed is in the case of the kid who grabs a rifle and shoots at a person who scares him (Dr. Sartain) without seeing if he's dangerous or not. It's justified in this case since he's a kid, and while it's implied he's gone on hunting trips with his dad before, right now he's clearly scared by the situation and his dad disappearing and is starting to panic.
  • Asshole Victim: Very pointedly defied: the film avoids the sex-obsessed teenagers and inept lawmen of previous sequels that often had viewers rooting for Michael. Here, while many characters (particularly the Aaron/Dana pairing, Dave, and Oscar) may have some negative qualities, the film makes sure to show enough positive elements — Dana's Nice Girl status, Aaron and Dave rushing to defend their partners (especially when Aaron knows how dangerous Michael actually is), Oscar's genuine regret at misreading the situation with Allyson — to make sure that their brutal deaths at Michael's hands are NOT viewed as deserved in any way. That said, Dr. Sartain definitely counts...
  • The Atoner: Hawkins was the first deputy on the scene for the 1978 murder spree and apparently stopped Loomis finishing Michael off. He now regards this as a grave mistake and looks to make sure this time out Michael dies for good.
  • Badass Family: Strode women are survivors.
  • Bald of Evil: Michael's hair is noticeably thin on his head, with a high forehead, and he's lost none of his lethality or malice.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Laurie states she's prayed for years that Michael would one day escape so she could kill him for good. Given that they're standing outside a house where Michael has killed two teenagers for the fun of it, Hawkins even lampshades what a stupid thing that was to wish for. Even worse, he ends up threatening Laurie's daughter and granddaughter.
  • Beard of Evil: It can be hard to notice sometimes since the movie pointedly avoids showing his face in focus, but Michael has grown one since his incarceration.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted horrifically. Twice.
    • When Michael attacks Dana in the gas station toilets, Aaron bursts in with a tire iron to save her. Michael flat-out No Sells getting hit in the face by it and proceeds to brutally smash Aaron's head into the wall and then the door of Dana's stall, leaving his head a bloody, ruined mess before snapping Dana's neck in front of him in his last moments of life.
    • Instead of fleeing with Julian, Dave goes to confront Michael to try to save Vicky. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't stand a chance against Michael. His death isn't even shown onscreen.
  • Big Good: Laurie Strode has become this at the time of this movie after she Took a Level in Badass.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Strode women outfight and outsmart Michael, trapping him in the basement of Laurie's house, which they then set on fire. Separately, Dr. Sartain is stopped and killed by Michael. However, Karen's husband Ray is dead (and his body destroyed by the fire) and Allyson is thoroughly traumatized by the night's events. On top of that, the final shot of Laurie's basement (wherein Michael is nowhere to be seen) and a post-credits scene (wherein Michael's breathing is audible) imply that Michael survived once more, which is confirmed in the opening of Halloween Kills. Also, Hawkins (until Kills reveals he didn't actually die) and many other residents are still dead.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Completely averted, as there are black people with speaking roles in the film and not one of them dies.
    • Sheriff Barker is nowhere near Michael throughout his screen time.
    • When it seems that Michael is preparing to kill a black couple going to a costume party, he instead turn his attention to a woman alone in her house. By the point of this scene he had already killed 5 or 6 people, none of them black.
    • Julian escapes becoming one of Michael's victims after he kills Vicky.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Although still not as bloody as some of its contemporaries, the movie still features some shocking bits of gore (i.e. a severed head being hollowed out to resemble a jack-o'-lantern), whereas the original featured very little blood at all.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: At various stages, Aaron and Dana, Laurie and Dr. Sartain all speculate on Michael's motives and why he's doing what he's doing, but the film never lends credence to any of it, leaving the reasoning behind Michael's murderous habits a mystery to all but The Shape himself. However, this ends up defied by Laurie Strode herself, who just says Michael is evil and he's not particularly deserving of special treatment or sympathy because of it. Also defied with Sartain, as he's a sycophant who sets Michael free as a means of studying him.
  • Call-Back: Several, to Halloween (1978).
    • Laurie waiting for her granddaughter outside her school recalls Michael stalking Laurie outside her school in 1978. Also, the teacher is talking about fate both times.
    • Dave's death — impaled on a knife against the wall in the house where his girlfriend is babysitting — recalls Bob's death in the original.
    • Michael throwing Laurie off her balcony and looking down to find that she's disappeared recalls the ending of the original film.
    • Several scenes in Laurie's house involve slatted fitted closets of the exact type that Laurie hides in in the original film. They're even full of wire hangers!
    • The reveal of Karen's husband's corpse is similar to the reveal of the various corpses Laurie finds while trying to escape Michael in the original film.
    • In the original film, Laurie attempts to trick Michael into thinking she’s jumped out of a window while she actually hides in a closet. In this film, Michael does something similar when Laurie gains the upper hand during their showdown.
    • Laurie emerging from the shadows behind Michael recalls the way he emerges from the shadows behind her in the original film.
    • The original film had Michael disappear between lines of washing on clotheslines between takes. There's several fakeouts early on which involve clotheslines.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Michael ambushes Dana as she's using one of the stalls in a dirty gas station bathroom. She's forced to crawl on the floor to try and escape, she hits her head on a toilet in the process, and Michael ultimately strangles and kills her up against the wall of a stall.
  • Cape Snag: Oscar’s costume gets caught on a gate as he’s climbing over to escape Michael. It gets him killed.
  • Car Fu: Hawkins, well aware that a direct confrontation with Michael is asking for death, rams him with his police SUV when he spots him.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower:
    • Even as a near-senior citizen, Michael seems capable of feats of strength that even much younger men would have problems doing, and shrugs off physical attacks that should cripple him.
    • Laurie Strode can survive being thrown off a second-story window without difficulty and has developed near-supernatural stealth abilities.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • During Dana and Aaron's recap of the events of Michael's attack forty years earlier, footage from the original film (of the opening sequence, where Michael attacks and kills his sister via P.O.V. Cam) is seen.
    • Aaron and Dana also listen to an audiotape of Loomis (played by Colin Mahan instead of Donald Pleasence, as the latter passed away years earlier) talking about Michael's nature and trying to convince the authorities to execute him a year after the events of the original film.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Michael has no possible way of knowing where Aaron and Dana went after they visited him in Smith's Grove. The first place he stops at after his escape is his sister Judith's grave, where Aaron and Dana happen to already be conducting research for their podcast when he arrives. This allows him to follow them to a gas station, where he kills them and steals his mask back.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In between the barbed wire, floodlights and security cameras, Laurie Strode also installs retractable gates into the doorways of every room in the house (ensuring that if she's searching for intruders, they can't double back to an already cleared room) and outfits her panic room with blades that can close off the entrance to stop anyone getting out, and it and the rest of the house with gas valves - so when they're finally able to seal Michael down there, they pump in the gas and turn the whole place and him into an inferno. Maybe.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Laurie Strode has become one of these since the events of the first movie.
  • Creepy Dollhouse: Laurie has built a replica of the original Myers home. It burns when she eventually apparently kills Michael Myers.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Aaron lands a hit on Michael with a crowbar in his attempt to save Dana. Michael shrugs it off and easily kills Aaron, but it's still better than anyone not named "Strode" manages to do in a straight fight with Michael.
  • Darker and Edgier: This Michael is far, far more brutal than the original film's Michael. While the original saw him stalk his prey before acting, following people around town for hours, watching people through windows, and being voyeuristic on the sexcapades of teenagers, all before killing anybody, this film has him waste no time murdering as many people as he can as quickly and efficiently as he can. Gone are the days of creeping suspense; this movie is sheer brutality.
  • Death Glare: Combined with Kubrick Stare, Michael's final shot in the film is him staring with hate back at Laurie and her surviving family while surrounded by fire.
  • Death of a Child: Michael's murder of the pre-teen kid in the car.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The beginning focuses mostly on Aaron and Dana. They end up being brutally killed off, with the main protagonists of the film truly being the Strode family.
  • Dented Iron: Co-writer Danny McBride stated that part of his intention is to show that, while Michael Myers is a nigh-unstoppable killing machine, he is still just a man with weaknesses. He's blinded in the eye Laurie stabbed him in with a coat hanger in the original, avoids head-on confrontation throughout the film until he's forced to confront Laurie in the finale and takes noticeably longer to recover from getting hit by Hawkins' SUV than similar incidents in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, where he's up again in a matter of seconds.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The movie takes this attitude with most of the victims in the movie. Even two random cops who have less than five minutes of screen time are given a conversation about their lunch.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Allyson denying that Michael is Laurie's brother, a plot twist that is still something of a cause for a invokedBroken Base in the fandom, seems to be directed at the part of the fanbase that didn't like the idea.
    Dave: Wasn't it her brother who, like, cold-blooded murdilated all those teenagers?
    Allyson: No. That's just a bit that some people made up to make them feel better, I think.
  • Distant Sequel: The movie is set forty years after the original Halloween (1978), by which point Laurie Strode is old enough to have a granddaughter.
  • The Dreaded: Michael, as ever, especially to Laurie and Hawkins. Interestingly, Dr. Sartain theorizes that Laurie herself is this to Michael, postulating that Laurie's role in his first defeat shook his image of himself as an unstoppable predator, and that now that Michael is out, both are now locked into a vicious circle of having to kill the other to avoid becoming prey. It's more than likely this is false, as Michael didn't seem to even recognize Laurie when they encountered each other in this film.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: During the 40-year time skip, Samuel Loomis passed away (his actor, Donald Pleasence, invokeddied after filming The Curse of Michael Myers) and his role as Michael's psychiatrist was taken over by Dr. Ranbir Sartain.
  • Drop the Hammer: Michael kills a woman with a claw hammer during his one-take kill spree, then swaps it out for a knife on the counter.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Although the Strode women succeed in their plan to seal Michael in Laurie's basement and set her house ablaze around him, not only does the final image of the burning basement show him to have disappeared, but at the very end of the credits, his breathing can be heard, implying that he survived. Kills confirms not only his survival but his complete No-Sell of the fire.
  • Enemy Rising Behind:
    • Amazingly not a Michael moment. Laurie gets to subvert the original's famous scene of him coming out of the darkness behind her after she's discovered her friends' bodies, doing the same to him after Karen shoots him.
    • Not long afterwards, Michael gets to do his classic "sit-up" as Allyson and Karen climb out of the basement.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Maybe. Michael may be willing to kill pre-teen kids, but he simply walks past an infant baby when he's on a killing spree after pondering it for a second. This being Michael, it may have less to do with moral qualms and more to do with his twisted whims; perhaps he didn't kill the baby because he just didn't feel like it, or because the infant would be boring prey — no running, fighting back or even fear.
  • Evil All Along: Dr. Sartain is revealed to have orchestrated Michael’s escape for the purpose of having him face Laurie (confirmed by Word of God), although it's also been interpreted that he was simply taking advantage of Michael's escape to try and study his subject with a more... hands-on approach.
  • Evil Counterpart: Sartain is one for Loomis. It's even spelled out as, while Hawkins prevented Loomis from killing Michael, Sartain incapacitates Hawkins to prevent him from correcting that mistake.
  • Evil Old Folks: At 61, this is the oldest incarnation of Michael Myers to appear in the series - and he's just as deadly and brutal as ever to his helpless victims. Dr. Sartain also counts.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Dr. Sartain, even in his last moments, fails to understand that Michael Myers simply can't be studied or understood.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Essentially applies to Laurie in the end, as Michael's escape vindicates all the training she put herself and her family through to try and prepare them. In addition, when she goes to warn Karen about Michael escaping, she breaks into her house and rants at Karen for not having any security measures. Later, when Michael starts his killing spree in Haddonfield, he kills four people who left their doors unlocked and had no visible security measures. invokedAnd Karen's house could've been one of them...
  • The Faceless: Glimpses of Michael's real face are shown, but never entirely. We can see that he's missing an eye from when Laurie poked it with straightened wire hanger in 1978. There are also shots of him walking about in broad daylight where his face is in full view of the camera, but it's either too blurry or far away to make out.
  • Feeling Their Age: Michael being forty years older is shown on his M.O. here, as he rarely attacks his victims head-on anymore, using instead subterfuge to give him the upper hand in almost every situation. It is also shown when it takes him considerably longer to recover from being hit by Hawkins' SUV, whereas in similar incidents in previous films, he just walks them off in mere minutes. invokedWord of God is that this was meant to show that, unstoppable killing machine or not, Michael is still a physically normal man with no supernatural powers and has weaknesses.
  • Fingore: Laurie blows two of Michael's fingers off with a point-blank shotgun blast in the final confrontation. When she confronts Michael later, she escapes him choking her by biting the stumps of said fingers.
  • Foil:
    • Dr. Sartain is essentially this to Dr. Loomis, as both of them are clearly obsessed with Michael beyond what is expected or healthy for a doctor/patient relationship. However, while Loomis was obsessed with keeping Michael contained while adhering to the letter of the law, Sartain is so obsessed with understanding Michael's warped psychology that he not only may have contributed to Michael's escape but later incapacitates a police officer who was about to kill Michael so that he can try to understand how Michael might feel when he kills, followed by Sartain attempting to take the unconscious Michael to Laurie's house so that he can see what happens when they face off again.
    • Vicky can also be seen as this to Annie in the first film. Both initially appear as not the least bit interested in their charges, instead aiming to use the empty house to host her boyfriend and friends to get high. But unlike Annie, Vicky genuinely cares about her charge Julian, even telling him he's her favorite kid at one point, and stopping making out with her boyfriend to make sure he's alright after she hears noises, in sharp contrast to Annie's self-interested attitude towards Lindsey. When said noises turn out to be Michael, she even tells him to run before Michael stabs her to death.
  • Foreshadowing: Sartain letting Aaron antagonize Michael with his mask is shockingly unethical for someone of his profession and while talking to Hawkins in the police cruiser, he seems more concerned with Michael's well-being instead of everyone else's.
  • For the Evulz: Much more pronounced with this version of Michael Myers, who had no reason to pursue Laurie originally and engages in completely pointless killings much more frequently.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some of the trick-or-treaters are wearing the Silver Shamrock masks from Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
  • Genre Savvy: Laurie's arsenal consists mainly of high-caliber firearms: magnum revolvers, hunting rifles, and shotguns, all of which are powerful enough to wound Michael.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: The other characters have no ability to understand why Michael does what he does. Laurie and Hawkins don't even try. As Dr. Sartain demonstrates, even lesser evil cannot comprehend evil; Sartain drove himself mad trying to understand Michael and dies knowing him no better than he did at the beginning.
  • Gorn: While the movie is substantially more violent than the original, the violence isn't over-the-top most of the time. One clear exception happens with the death of Dr. Sartain, when the character's face is graphically stomped in, which is far and away the most violent death in the film.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: In contrast to H20, Laurie here has the same hairstyle she wore back in the 70s. It shows how she really hasn't moved on from what happened to her.
  • Head Crushing: When Dr. Sartain is wounded and at Michael Myers' mercy, Sartain shouts at Michael, "Say something!", only for Michael to respond by crushing the doctor's head under his foot with one firm stomp.
  • The Hecate Sisters: The climax features the three female leads corresponding to these roles. Laurie's granddaughter Allyson is the Maiden, her daughter Karen is the Matron and Laurie herself is the Crone.
  • He's Back!: An evil variant. The unbroken shot where Michael goes house-to-house killing the inhabitants, with the POV focus on him and the sudden return of the classic Halloween theme for the first non-credits time in the movie, serves as this for the Michael we know — mask, jumpsuit and all. Notably, it's the point where the soundtrack ceases referring to him as Michael and starts calling him "The Shape" instead.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: When Michael finds the journalists, he's still wearing his pure white sanitarium outfit and nobody but Dana notices him. On top of that, he's hiding behind a tree that only covers his face; that's the equivalent of a grown man hiding behind a lamp. It may be justified because it's Halloween day and people simply assume Michael is wearing a costume.
  • Hope Spot: Aaron's bursting in with a crowbar on Michael's attempt to kill Dana. It initially at least offers the possibility that Dana might get away — but instead, Michael shrugs off a crowbar shot and brutally uses Aaron's head as a living battering ram to smash through the door of the stall she's in. He's left to die from his wounds while Michael breaks her neck.
  • Hysterical Woman: Actually subverted in a weaponized form. When Michael rips off the door to Laurie's panic room but stays away from the entrance to try and scare the women more, Karen lowers her gun and starts sobbing to Laurie that she can't do it. Michael steps into view, after which Karen immediately stops crying, levels her gun at Michael and almost headshots him, catching him in the cheek.
    Karen: Gotcha!
  • Inexplicably Awesome:
    • Michael, as ever - his incredible strength, stealth abilities and ability to survive fatal wounds over and over are always just enough to leave the viewer uneasy about how he does it, but are never overplayed compared to, say, Jason Voorhees. Special mention has to go to his somehow waking up and remasking himself in the police car with Dr. Sartain and Allyson without them noticing when both are less than two feet away from him.
    • Laurie, as well. Badass she may be, but her somehow acquiring some of the Shape's characteristics is truly out of the ordinary, culminating in her pulling a Stealth Hi/Bye on Michael near the end that seems to catch even him off guard.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Aside from you-know-who being very insane and very violent, this trope is averted by the mentally disturbed people who are set loose after a bus accident, with several of them being difficult to round up (offscreen) but otherwise not bringing harm to themselves or others.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: After murdering a woman in her house, Michael hears a baby's cry and wanders over to stare at it. He ultimately leaves without harming it, though.
  • Irony: When Oscar is alone in the backyard and spots Michael (who he believes to be the homeowner), he starts waxing on about his fight with Allyson, wondering if Michael has also had a girl he's always wanted but never managed to get. Michael does — in a way.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Both Laurie and Hawkins refer to Michael this way. Even Aaron and Dana, who seek to portray Michael in a more humanizing light in their podcast, refer to him as a caged animal on their way to Laurie's house.
  • Jump Scare: It wouldn't be a Halloween film without it:
    • Julian asks his Vicky to close his closet door before tucking him in. She does so, but the door won't close all the way, and she tries without success... three times. She opens it to see what's jamming it. And guess who steps out with a knife raised?
    • Karen receives one from Laurie, in an attempt to reprimand her for a lack of home security.
  • Karma Houdini: Allyson's boyfriend Cameron cheats on her, refuses to apologize for it, and destroys her phone. Oddly enough, he's the only member of Allyson's group of friends who isn't killed. Subverted in a deleted scene, where he does feel bad for destroying her phone and tries to apologize before he's arrested by the cops for foolishly mouthing off to them (a scene which did make it into the novelization). This was a deliberate choice by the creators, since they wanted to use Cameron in the sequel.
  • Kill It with Fire: Laurie traps Michael in her basement and sets her house ablaze in a bid to kill him once and for all. Ultimately subverted, though, in that the ending of the credits implies it doesn't take.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • Michael offs both the mechanic and service attendant of the gas station Aaron and Dana are at, although you do see hints of his actions as a Meaningful Background Event.
    • Dave goes to confront Michael with a knife. Next time we see him, his corpse is pinned to a wall.
  • Left for Dead: Michael is left for dead in the house fire, but he's never explicitly shown to be dead, the film shows no sign of his body even as it shows the basement burning, and the Strode women escape before they can check.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: Michael uses the motion sensor on a yard Oscar gets left alone on, which shuts the lights and turns them on again when it detects movement, to silently move closer to him several times before attacking him.
  • Made of Iron: True to form, over the course of the film Michael shrugs off multiple lethal attacks that an ordinary human, let alone a 61-year-old man, would be unlikely to survive. This includes surviving the initial bus crash, taking a crowbar swing to the face, being shot in the arm, being rammed by a full-speed SUV, having two fingers taken off with a shotgun, getting shot with a hunting rifle, and finally being stabbed. The film ends with him being set on fire, but even then doesn't show the body. There's some vague implication in the end credits that he may have gotten out from the burning building he was trapped in. God knows how...
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Guess who.
  • Mauve Shirt: Unique among slasher films, this one devotes a good chunk of its runtime to fleshing out otherwise disposable characters, making their inevitable demise all the more distressing.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: When the podcasters pull out Michael's mask to show to him, he doesn't move save for a slight head turn, but the inmates and guard dogs around him start going nuts as if he (or perhaps simply the thick tension in the air) is having some strange effect on them. Michael's almost supernatural ability to survive damage is also shown multiple times throughout the film. invokedWord of God states it was a deliberate choice to portray Michael this way, leaving the nature of his ability to survive injuries that would kill anyone else ten times over ambiguous.
    Director David Gordon Green: It's a tricky question because I don't really know the answer to it. We were trying to find the line where he's still living as a creature on Earth, but he's got fantastic recovery. But I don't ever want to look at him as supernatural. But he doesn't really comfortably live in the natural world. So maybe he is.
  • Meaningful Background Event: A whole slew of these when Michael comes to get his mask back from Dana and Aaron.
    • First, Michael is seen pulling up behind them as they refuel their car.
    • Then as Aaron is distracted by a woman in another car, Michael (identifiable by his white prison outfit) can be seen walking towards the garage.
    • Finally, Michael can be seen killing a gas station attendant in the background when Dana asks where the bathroom is.
  • Meaningful Echo: At the beginning of the film, Allyson tells her grandmother Laurie to say goodbye to Michael. And she does just that, although under very different circumstances than Allyson meant.
  • Mirror Character: A running theme of the movie is that Laurie's experience surviving Michael may have acted to make Laurie something like The Shape, something backed up by the fact that many of the film's recreations of famous Michael shots from the original use Laurie instead. As the finale shows, she's even somehow acquired his ability to Stealth Hi/Bye.
  • Mythology Gag: So many that they have their own page.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailer made it look like Michael Myers would kill Hawkins after the former popped out from behind a doorframe, unseen by the latter. That scene isn't in the actual movie; instead, Hawkins is (seemingly) killed by Dr. Sartrain.
    • The trailers also imply that, like in previous incarnations, Michael has a particular interest in Laurie, and returns to Haddonfield specifically to finish her off after all these years. In the film itself, Michael goes to the town with no clear target in mind and proceeds on a random killing spree. It's only after he's brought to Laurie's rather isolated house by events outside his control that he tries to kill her. This calls back to the original film note , however, where Michael had no real reason for pursuing Laurie and began hunting her on essentially a whim.
    • Likewise, some of the trailers use footage of the scrapped original ending, which sees Michael and Laurie engaging in a knife fight outside of Laurie's house.
    • More subtle, but some of the trailers showed Allyson getting attacked by Michael in the back of the police cruiser. While Allyson and Michael do end up in the back of a cruiser together, Michael instead ignores Allyson and chooses to focus his ire on Dr. Sartain.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Aaron bringing the mask back to Myers was probably not the best decision to do. Even if Michael was still locked up and hadn't escaped in 40 years.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Michael pulls this against Laurie when their fight gets to the room filled with lookalike dummies.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Dr. Sartain and the podcasters both speculate this is the case between Laurie Strode as well as Michael Myers. Laurie maintains they're Not So Similar.
    Laurie: Michael Myers slaughtered five people, and he's a human being who needs to be understood, but I have two failed marriages and I'm a basket case?
  • Nothing Is Scarier: As is tradition for the series:
    • We never receive a clear view of Michael's face, though we do get glimpses of his gray beard and damaged eye.
    • The moments during The Oner where it looks like Michael is about to kill a baby or a couple are as suspenseful as, if not more so than, his kills throughout the movie.
    • Though we get many shots of Laurie's home being engulfed in flames, we never see what becomes of Michael's body.
  • Off with His Head!: Happens to a cop thanks to Michael. Then he turns the guy's head into a freakin' jack-o-lantern.
  • Oh, Crap!: Alyson has an understandably massive reaction in this vein when she finds Oscar's corpse and sees Michael for the first time. As one YouTube comment put it, "Little Red Riding Hood's grandchild has suddenly realized that her grandmother's stories about the big bad wolf are true."
  • The Oner: In a single extended shot, Michael kills a woman with a hammer inside her house, steals a kitchen knife, inspects her crying baby, walks past another home and notes that the parents are leaving, spies on another woman in the third home, walks around the back of the house, and kills her with the knife.
  • Police Are Useless: While none of the officers in the film are idiotic in any way, Hawkins is the only member of the Haddonfield Sheriff's Department who doesn't underestimate Michael Myers. After the town's most notorious mass murderer escapes on the 40th anniversary of his rampage, the police fail to implement a curfew, allow a high-school party to proceed as scheduled, and to boot, the Sheriff saddles Hawkins with an injured civilian to "assist" with the investigation. When the deputies go against Michael himself, he butchers them with ease despite them having both guns and numbers on him.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Downplayed. Laurie breaks into her daughter's house to chastise her for the lack of decent security there, but doesn't explain that Michael's escaped before they kick her out (she mentions a bus crash, but gives no context). Fortunately, they find out before he comes after them anyway, thanks to Laurie warning the police after she and Hawkins catch Michael red-handed at another murder scene.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Happy Halloween, Michael."
  • Rasputinian Death: Michael is shot multiple times, including having two of his fingers blown off by a shotgun. He's hit in the face with a crowbar, rammed with an SUV, stabbed, and finally set on fire. AND the tag at the end of the credits implies that he even survived that.
  • Reconstruction: Of the Halloween movie franchise, acting as a direct sequel to the original and stripping every non-essential aspect down to the original concept: knife-wielding maniac with no personality viciously stalks and kills people during Halloween night. This is best symbolized in the soundtrack, which was composed primarily by John Carpenter himself.
  • Red Baron: While "The Shape" has been used as a name for Michael since the credits of the original, this film contains the first instance of Laurie using it in-universe when she's breaking down about seeing his bus. The novelisation uses it constantly when describing scenes from Michael's POV.
  • Red Shirt: The two cops sent to protect Laurie's family might as well be wearing red uniforms.
  • Retcon: Retcons the entire Halloween franchise all the way back to the ending of the first film. Michael did not actually escape at the end of the first movie but was simply apprehended and sent back to the psychiatric hospital. A throwaway bit of expository dialogue towards the beginning of the film implies that at least some of the other movies were actually urban myths and legends about the Babysitter Murders, including the previously-established "fact" that Michael is actually Laurie's brother.
  • Revenge:
    • This seems to be the reason Michael goes after Laurie so tenaciously following his escape, either for the wounds she inflicted on him 40 years ago or the simple fact that she got away. (Never mind the fact that she was simply defending herself and he tried to kill her first.) Dr. Sartain hypothesizes that this defeat shook Michael's own perception of himself as an apex predator and that killing Laurie is the only way he can escape his own fear of becoming prey.
    • However, it’s also hinted in the movie that this is merely a motivation everyone projects on Michael to make him more human and/or to understand his mind. For the most part, Michael appears unconcerned about Laurie — when he gets his mask back, he immediately goes on a killing spree unconnected to her. It takes time for him to seemingly recognize her when they meet again for the first time, and only goes after Laurie when, for the most part, outside forces he has no control over bring him near her household.
    • Considering Michael's out-of-character behaviour after Laurie takes a potshot at him — he flees immediately, not even bothering with his usual stealth techniques, and notably doesn't kill Hawkins despite his being distracted by uncovering Vicky's corpse — there's a chance Sartain's theory was correct, in that if Michael considers Laurie as much The Dreaded to him as he is to her, he was actually fleeing the one person he knows can hurt him rather than confront her directly.
  • Revisiting the Roots: The film has a much more stripped-down, Nothing Is Scarier approach similar to that of the first movie. Maybe not compared to other slasher films of today, but certainly compared to all the Halloween sequels.
  • Revolvers Are for Amateurs: When Michael shows up, Laurie gives Ray a revolver, presumably because he lacks the firearms training that Laurie and Karen have.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Laurie believes so, preferring them over semi-automatic handguns because they don't jam. Her old-fashioned gun preferences seem to extend to rifles and shotguns as well, with her substantial arsenal being dominated by bolt-action rifles and pump-action shotguns with no semi-automatics (such as AR-15s or AK-47s) in sight. This was because Jamie Lee Curtis is a staunch supporter of gun control in real life, and felt that, if the film was going to have Laurie save the day using guns, then it shouldn't glamorize the sort of rapid-firing, high-capacity weapons that have become associated with mass shootings.
  • Scars are Forever: Laurie's arm still has the scar from where Michael cut her forty years earlier, while Michael's eye is still scarred from her defense with the coat hanger, and his neck still bears the scar from the knitting needle she jammed into it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • When Julian witnesses Michael attacking Vicky in the bedroom, he immediately flees out of the room, past Dave and out of the house.
    • Interestingly, this is used by Michael himself when he is faced with a situation where Laurie is standing outside a house with a shotgun and Hawkins is searching around Julian's bedroom after finding Vicky's body. Whereas the character is known for pulling the Stealth Hi/Bye maneuver frequently, he is actually shown walking quickly past Hawkins down the stairs, out the back door and away from the house, at which point Laurie sees and fires at him before he disappears.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Brought up In-Universe by Dave, who notes that Michael murdering five people now seems quaint given the real-life horrors of the 21st century. A mass murderer who killed only five people would barely even register in 2018.
  • Series Fauxnale: The film, as well as some promotional materials, gives the impression that it contains Michael and Laurie's final battle. In the actual film, though, their battle is fought to a stalemate. Michael stabs Laurie in the stomach and throws her off a balcony, but she manages to survive, sneak back into the house, and then, with the help of Karen and Allyson, traps The Shape in the basement, which she sets alight after filling it with gas, intending to burn Michael to Hell. The moment is framed as climactic and cathartic, but befitting Michael's character, the final moments of the film implicitly confirm his survival. The point is, the saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode isn't over...yet, as it will continue on in Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.
  • Serious Work, Comedic Scene: This is a serious horror movie, but it has some comedic moments to break the tension.
    • The scene in which Vicky is babysitting Julian has several humorous lines from the latter, whose actor was allowed to improvise much of his dialogue.
      Julian: I hear you telling your friends to come over here and you're gonna smoke some weed.
      Vicky: No, no.
      Julian: That alakazam?
      Vicky: Julian, I'm talking about like, a... you know, like a magic trick. Abracadabra!
      Julian: I know you're talking about smoking weed. Don't lie to me. That's against the rules, I'm telling my mom.
      Vicky: Well, I'm gonna tell your mom about your browser history.
      Julian: You better not.
    • Later, there's a short scene that sees two officers talking about what they brought for dinner that offers some genuine laughs.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Oscar and Ray, the Plucky Comic Relief characters in the film, are both killed by Michael. Also, Officers Richards and Francis are gruesomely Killed Offscreen following their light-hearted conversation about the dinners they packed for themselves.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spanner in the Works: The luckless child that Michael kills right after the bus crash shoots Dr. Sartain before he's murdered. If that hadn't happened, Sartain might have been able to deliver Michael straight to a face-off with Laurie, sparing quite a few people in Haddonfield. Then again, given how little control Sartain actually has over Michael...
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Laurie dies in two of the other timelines: first, she died offscreen in a car crash before the events of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, and second, she is killed at the beginning of Halloween: Resurrection. Since neither of those films happened in this timeline, she is alive and well after the 1978 murders and has outlived either of her other counterparts. She ultimately survives this film.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: With the film taking a more stripped-back approach that jettisons the supernatural aspects of prior sequels, there's a lot of this throughout.
    • In the first film, Michael got speared in the eye by Laurie with an unraveled coat hanger. In the 4-6 and H20 continuities, this is treated as a minor injury and Michael can see fine. (Both continuities also keep the second film canonical, which has another infamous Eye Scream moment happen to Michael, namely him getting shot in both eyes by Laurie.) However, in this reality, Michael is permanently blinded in that eye.
    • In this film, one of the major changes to the film's continuity is that Michael was caught shortly after getting shot off the the balcony at the end of the first film. He's incarcerated at Smith's Grove again, but the people at Smith's Grove have now taken heed to Sam Loomis' warnings and have had Michael heavily guarded for 40 years in order to prevent another massacre.
    • Laurie's decision to give Karen The Spartan Way of childhood is an attempt to protect her in the event of Michael Myers breaking out. Do the authorities accept this? Absolutely not. Karen is taken away from Laurie, as understandably, teaching a young child how to fight and kill a person, even if that person is a psychopathic Serial Killer, immediately results in child welfare agents taking Karen away. Karen grows to have a severe love/hate relationship with her mother because of this.
    • Laurie goes to see Michael being loaded onto a prison bus for transfer, bringing a handgun with her and apparently planning to kill him. The very sight of him triggers her PTSD, and although she leaves without confronting him, she doesn't last long before breaking down in tears. Badass though she may be, Laurie was traumatized by Michael, and seeing him just makes matters worse.
    • When Laurie sees Michael in the mirror after he kills Vicky and takes a shot, he's left with only one way out of the building - down a lit stairwell in front of a police officer who fully intends to kill him. It's a reminder that even The Shape can't Stealth Hi/Bye his way out of a situation where there's someone armed in the next room when he's NOT hidden by darkness, and he only gets away with it because Hawkins is distracted by the discovery of Vicky's corpse.
    • In something unrelated to Michael, Allyson discovers her boyfriend Cameron kissing another girl. The ensuing fight promptly results in them breaking up. Oscar accompanies Allyson home, the two bond, and Oscar tries to kiss her. In most horror movies, usually there is reciprocation. Does that happen here? No. Allyson is pretty angry and makes it very clear that just because she broke up with her boyfriend, does not mean she will have a new boyfriend just like that, let alone go to kissing that fast.
    • When Oscar encounters Michael, he tries to climb over a spiked fence to escape him. The thing is is that it's a spiked fence and Oscar has to be careful climbing it yet be fast enough to escape Michael, but then, his cape gets snagged on the fence, there's the fact he needed help previously to climb another fence since he's overweight and lacks upper body strength, he's half-drunk during all this time, and it's dark on top of everything else. Thanks to all these inconvenient factors, he's fucked and Michael ends up killing him rather easily and quickly.
    • Michael Myers still possesses some of his supernatural aspects, such as his strength and endurance. However, the fact that he is now 61 years old means he can no longer afford to attack people head-on and promptly waits for his moments. Probably best seen after he kills Vicky, and Laurie shows up to take a shot at him while the armed Hawkins is in the other room - he straight up bolts rather than confront them directly, not even bothering to hide as he flees.
    • Laurie has a truckload of dummies that she puts masks on for her to shoot in the event Michael returns. Apparently, in a room upstairs is where she keeps them. However, when she and Michael enter that room, Laurie is practically scared to death because all the dummies look like Michael, and he takes advantage to pull a Nobody Here but Us Statues that allows him to surprise her.
    • In the original film, a hysterical Laurie banging on the door of a nearby house and screaming for help is treated as a Halloween prank, and she's ignored. Here, Allyson doing the same thing on a night where Michael's known to be on the loose immediately gets her a flood of attention and aid from multiple people, creating a knot of people around her that probably discourages Michael from going after her any further.
    • It's pointed out openly that five people being murdered would be considered a much bigger deal in 1978 than in 2018, where things like bombings and mass shootings leaving death tolls of over 100 is not unheard of, and the fast pace modern media moves at would ensure whatever media attention it did receive would be short-lived at best outside the local level anyway.
    • Fighting an escaped mental patient with five murders under his belt (hundreds more in other continuities) and nigh-superhuman strength will not end well for you. The only two people that survive attacking Michael are Hawkins and Laurie, however it was either because both averted a direct assault or took advantage of their environment and situation.
    • This film takes a more realistic approach to kids being in horror films. They can be easy victims (yeah, Michael killed a kid), but in the face of danger, they're far more likely to get the fuck out of there than try to fight Michael Myers, a six foot maniac with a knife.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Dr. Sartain is obviously an analogue for Dr. Loomis, who mentored him prior to his death between movies. Laurie even calls Sartain the "new Loomis" to his face at one point, ironic considering Laurie herself in the movie shares more traits with Loomis in terms of being determined to stop Michael than Sartain, especially at the climax when Sartain reveals his true allegiance. Aside from their nearly identical voices and accents, it's later revealed that being Michael's doctors is where their similarities end.
  • Take That!:
    • It's hard not to see the true crime podcasters (and their ultimate fate) as a condemnation of people who exploit the real-life suffering of others for creative and commercial gain.
    • The plot being set in motion due to people constantly trying to assign human rationalization to Michael's killings feels a lot like a meta-commentary on the failures of all the past films, which gave many explanations as to why Michael does what he does.
    • As mentioned in the Mythology Gag section, Allyson debunking the "Michael as Laurie's brother" idea as something people in Haddonfield made up can be seen as an internal version of this, given that the idea's own creator, John Carpenter, eventually came to regard it as a huge mistake.invoked
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In the taped recording of Michael's trial the podcasters listen to, set about a year after Michael's 1978 rampage, Loomis advocates executing Michael to take his evil out of the world. And that he be allowed to confirm Michael is dead via checking his heart has stopped. And that they burn the body just to be sure.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Dr. Sartain. He knows better than anyone sans Laurie how unpredictable and ruthless Michael is, yet he still incapacitates Hawkins before he can shoot Michael, puts the nigh-unstoppable murderer in the back seat of the police car unrestrained, takes off Michael's mask, the one item Michael seems attached to and went out of his way to acquire, and honestly believes Michael will spare him despite him being a completely merciless serial killer.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Laurie spent the past forty years preparing for the night that the Shape would return to Haddonfield. By the time of this film, she has become the Gender Flip Distaff Counterpart of Dr. Loomis right down to their elder ages.
  • The Tooth Hurts: After his escape, Michael tears out a gas station attendant's teeth and menacingly drops them in front of Dana over the door of a bathroom stall before attacking her.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: It turns out a huge number of scenes from the trailers are from the last 15 minutes of the movie, including showing the method by which Laurie finally kills Michael...maybe.
  • Trashy True Crime: The movie depicts its pair of true crime podcasters as exploitive, opportunistic, and foolish. While the movie largely operates under the assumption only Michael truly understands how his mind and motives work, the podcasters were almost certainly poking the bear when they tried to communicate with him and presented his old mask.
  • Un-Reboot: This film is a sequel to the original Halloween (1978) that disregards not only the Rob Zombie reboot, but also all of the original film's other sequels.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Laurie is not the long-lost sister of Michael Myers in this timeline... although it's apparently a common misconception in Haddonfield that she is.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The arrival of the podcaster crew and their needling him about the events of the original film, helps snap Michael out of 40 years of inactivity and provokes his new murder spree. It's possible, however, that all they accomplished was bringing him his mask, as either Michael himself was already planning on breaking out for the 40-year anniversary (just like he broke out for the 15-year anniversary in the original film), or Dr. Sartain was planning on breaking Michael out.
  • The Voiceless: While Michael's always been this, the film runs with it to a greater extent than any prior sequel: Dr. Sartain notes that while Michael can speak, he chooses not to. This inability to communicate frustrates Sartain to the point of obsession, so much so that Allyson tries to bid for freedom from him after he's stabbed Hawkins by claiming Michael spoke to her. This distracts both her and Sartain when Michael inevitably wakes up and badly injures his psychiatrist. Even Sartain's last words are a bewildered demand for his former patient to say something. Michael crushes his skull instead.
  • Wham Shot: Michael killing the young teen boy. If you were expecting Michael to hold back some of his personality 40 years later, you are sorely mistaken.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Allyson's skeezy boyfriend cheats on her and, when confronted, gaslights her and destroys her phone. Then Allyson walks away and Cameron is never seen or mentioned again. A deleted scene (which made it into the novelisation) has him arrested after he drunkenly mouths off to a pair of cops who interrupt his attempt at reconciling with Allyson — they know him and his family already and are tired of his shit.
    • Julian, after he witnesses Michael attacking Vicky in his bedroom and flees the house.
    • From the first film, Sheriff Brackett is nowhere to be seen or even mentioned - despite his daughter being one of the victims. Halloween II had shown him reacting to Annie's death and he had retired by the fourth film, but he's not name-checked here.
    • It's never said what became of Laurie's parents after the events of the first film.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Laurie is understandably put out by Aaron and Dana trying to humanize Michael while asking her about her psychological trauma.
    • Early in the film, Allyson, fed up with the non-existent relations between her mother and grandmother, bluntly tells Laurie to forget Michael and get over what happened to her. In fairness, she's by far the most sympathetic to Laurie at that point in the film, and she's about to get a crash course in precisely why her grandmother fears Michael so much...
  • Would Hurt a Child: For the first time in franchise history, Michael murders a young teen onscreen. He chooses to not kill a crying infant, though.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: When Michael opens Laurie's underground bunker and finds Karen, she briefly feigns helplessness and fear to throw him off, and shoots him with a rifle as soon as he shows himself.

Laurie: You don't believe in the boogeyman?
Aaron: No.
Laurie: You should.