By Hannah Shaw-Williams
In Halloween Kills, Michael Myers emerges alive from a fire that should have killed him. Is "The Shape" human, superhuman, or simply evil incarnate?
The Halloween franchise's unstoppable bogeyman is possessed by an inhuman evil - but is Michael Myers immortal or not? Given how Michael always comes back from death, even if Halloween Ends seemingly killed him forever, there's really no definitive answer to this question since the franchise is divided across four different timelines, each of which has offered its own take on Michael Myers. The original Michael Myers storyline consisted of Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. With John Carpenter returning to the franchise as an executive producer, 2018's Halloween reset the timeline, ignoring everything from Halloween II onwards and positioning itself as a direct sequel to 1978's Halloween. Halloween H20 and Halloween: Resurrection took a similar approach, but included Halloween II in their continuity. Meanwhile, Rob Zombie's 2007 Halloween reboot and its sequel, Halloween II, exist in an entirely separate canon.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
From Michael Myers' first appearance on theater screens, his psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Loomis maintained that Michael was not a man. When a distraught Laurie Strode called Michael Myers the bogeyman, Dr. Loomis told her that she was right. No matter what timeline he's in, Michael is a force of irrepressible evil. However, is Michael Myers immortal? Here's every possible answer to the looming specter of Michael Myers' origins.
Related: Who Plays Michael Myers In Halloween Ends
Michael Myers In The Original Halloween Movies
The original Halloween timeline contains the most overtly supernatural explanation for Myers' powers. As revealed in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, a group of druids belonging to Halloween's Cult of Thorn placed a curse on Michael when he was an infant. This curse causes him to be possessed by Thorn, a demonic force that requires its host to sacrifice their family on Samhain (now known as Halloween night). Thorn also bestows supernatural gifts on its host, which was offered up as the explanation for Michael Myers surviving so many injuries that should have been fatal. In this version of the Halloween timeline, Laurie Strode is Michael's sister, and, therefore, he is driven to kill her on Halloween night in order to complete his sacrifice to the sinister entity, Thorn. Is Michael Myers immortal? In the original timeline, Halloween's boogeyman is as immortal as Thorn's supernatural gifts will allow.
Despite an ambitious scope that attempts to inject some much-needed lore into the Halloween franchise, The Curse of Michael Myers — the only movie without Dr. Loomis and Michael sharing a scene — committed the cardinal sin of over-explaining its monster. Indeed, it is Michael Myers' immortal nature, despite ostensibly existing in a world without magic, that makes him so terrifying. Another wrinkle here is that he cannot be reasoned nor bargained with, and seems to have no real motivation for slaughtering people, meaning he kills indiscriminately like a manifestation of death itself. By taking away Halloween's inherent mystery and replacing it with a druid curse, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers makes Michael seem considerably less frightening but also more confusing at the same time. The movie was panned by critics upon its release and has never received a direct sequel, with all the subsequent reboots eliminating it from the Halloween continuity.
Michael Myers In The Halloween H20 Reboot
Is Michael Myers immortal in the reboot timeline? Michael Myers died in Halloween H20 by getting decapitated by Laurie, but was shown alive in the sequel, Halloween: Resurrection. However, this doesn't necessarily make him immortal. The ending of Halloween H20 seemingly gives Michael Myers his most definitive death yet, with Laurie completely decapitating him with an ax. Despite the 2002 sequel's title, however, Michael Myers wasn't resurrected through any supernatural means. Instead, the ending of Halloween H20 was retconned with a reveal that the man Laurie had beheaded wasn't Michael Myers at all, but a paramedic who'd had his vocal cords crushed by Michael to prevent him from speaking, as well as being dressed in Michael's jumpsuit and Halloween mask to trick Laurie. The late '90s reboot offers up a new timeline beginning where Halloween II left off and ignoring all the other Halloween movies in the process, showing no evidence of Michael Myers being supernatural nor immortal in this particular timeline.
Michael Myers In Rob Zombie's Halloween Reboot
Rob Zombie's Halloween reboot and its sequel depict the most "human" Michael Myers out of all four versions, but also delve into dream sequences and hallucinations that give them an otherworldly feel. Like Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Zombie's take on the franchise tries to answer the question of why Michael Myers kills, but instead, opts for a much more limited explanation regarding local druid activity. Halloween (2007) and in particular Halloween II (2009) go all-in on a Freudian analysis of Michael Myers, with Dr. Loomis at one point actually giving a lecture on the Freudian fundamentals of the character. In Halloween II, Michael Myers is guided from victim to victim by a hallucinatory manifestation of his dead mother, while his own mind is represented by a vision of his 10-year-old self in spectral form. Curiously, though this depiction of a human Michael Myers was well received, Halloween: The Complete Collection doesn't include Rob Zombie's Halloween theatrical cuts.
Related: Rob Zombie’s Halloween: Why Danielle Harris Returned
The closest that Rob Zombie's Halloween movies get to the supernatural are vague hints of a psychic connection between Michael and Laurie Strode, who is once again Michael's long-lost sister. At one point Michael eats the flesh of a murdered dog, and miles away Laurie (who is a vegetarian) abruptly starts vomiting. Laurie later begins to experience the same visions of their mother, despite the fact that she was orphaned as a baby and has no idea what her mother looks like. She also sees the child version of Michael towards the end of Halloween II, with Laurie ultimately unable to escape the adult Michael because the child is telepathically holding her down. Is Michael Myers human or not? He seems to be a severely mentally ill human in Zombie's take, linking Myers' psychopathy to hereditary traits.
Michael Myers In The New Halloween Continuity
Currently, the official Halloween canon consists of Halloween (1978), Halloween (2018), and the high body counts Halloween Kills (2021) and the 2022 sequel Halloween Ends. One of the benefits of ignoring Halloween II and its lineage is that the current Halloween continuity is free of the family connection between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. Instead, the updated canonical entries return Michael to the core essence of his character - an unstoppable harbinger of death who kills without any known reason.
In the original Halloween, actor Tony Moran isn't listed in the credits as Michael Myers but simply as "The Shape." This is how John Carpenter referred to him in the script, and fits with the idea that Michael is not a man, but the bogeyman incarnate. This folkloric creature is defined by its lack of definition; there are no "rules" confining the bogeyman like there are with other supernatural creatures, and it doesn't have any overtly specific powers or weaknesses. At the end of Halloween (1978), after Michael Myers' bullet-riddled body disappears, the film closes on a series of shots of empty rooms, with the sound of Michael's breathing throughout all of them. The sequence conveys the idea that the bogeyman could be lurking anywhere, and also confirms the ethereal qualities that the current continuities Michael Myers displays.
While Halloween (2018) sticks with a decidedly flesh-and-blood portrait of Michael Myers, Halloween Kills confirms the notion that Michael is indeed supernatural. In reference to Michael emerging alive from the devastating fire of the Strode home, Laurie says darkly that "a man couldn't survive that fire," and that Michael is "the essence of evil." These lines are consistent with Dr. Loomis' vagaries in the original Halloween movie: Michael Myers isn't a man, but pure evil in human form. In the coda of Halloween Kills, Michael lies prone after being viciously beaten, before regenerating in front of the Haddonfield mob. Laurie's monologue confirms Michael's supernatural qualities in Halloween Kills, making the hulking figure akin to a demigod by saying "the more he kills, the more he transcends." In this way, Halloween Kills lays down a concrete marker that Michael is decidedly not human, which is why Laurie and the entire town put Michael through a shredder in Halloween Ends.
Related: Halloween Ends Fixed The Series' Ultimate Laurie Strode Problem
Michael Myers Needs Supernatural Elements To Work
While Michael Myers's human nature made for some worthwhile Halloween reboots, it is Michael's supernatural and ultimately unexplained background that defines The Shape's identity as the boogeyman of classic horror. This is why, even in Halloween Ends where it's clear that Michael's an aging human, the entire town gathers to watch Michael get put into a shredder during the Halloween Ends ending. Though this can be attributed to the moment being a point of resolution for the traumatized populace, everyone just really wanted to make sure that Michael is dead, and that they saw it with their own eyes. Indeed, Halloween Ends revealing that Michael is just a normal person who's slowly dying like everyone else is actually a brilliant twist - and not a counterpoint - to Michael's mysterious supernatural origin.
Based on the current Halloween continuity, audiences may well confirm that Michael Myers is indeed human - but those forever scarred by his actions will never really be sure, and this makes sense. Although Michael Myers being a human for a single movie or two would be fine, the sheer length of the mainline Halloween timeline means that it would be ridiculous by this point if he was just a man all along. Moreover, with Halloween Ends' Corey Cunningham mirroring Michael's inhuman endurance, there's more evidence of Michael's supernatural nature. In short, the real answer to whether Michael is immortal or just a man is that there's no answer, because the question itself is what makes him truly frightening. Whether the supernatural element is real or not, without it, Halloween's Michael Myers is just an ordinary serial killer.
Next: Halloween Ends’ Michael Myers Twist May Explain 3 Franchise Plot Holes