If the latest nugget of news from John Carpenter is to be taken at face value, we’re entering the age of the Halloween multi-verse. Interest in the latest installment of the franchise, number eleven in the series, reached a fever pitch not too long ago with the announcement that Jaime Lee Curtis would step back into the role of Laurie Strode and Judy Greer was in negotiations to co-star along side her as Strode’s daughter. While fans had come to understand that the new David Gordon Green / Danny McBride film would ignore everything past Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II, it looks like the new film goes even further back. From Carpenter himself:
“It’s kind of a… I don’t know how to describe it. It’s almost an ‘alternative reality.’ It picks up after the first one and it pretends that none of the others were made. It’s gonna be fun. There’s a really talented director and it was well-written. I’m impressed.”
Taken at face value, Carpenter seems to be saying that the first sequel is being retconned out of existence as well. While this has the potential benefit of removing the “Michael is Laurie’s brother” plot thread that has served as an anchor ever since it was introduced (Carpenter himself chalks it up to being a bit drunk and out of ideas how to move forward when he came up with it), it does make the already convoluted continuity of the Halloween franchise that much more confusing.
For those keeping track at home, the Halloween timelines unfold in a spectacularly messy way. 1) There are the first two films which tell a neat and tidy story of The Shape hunting down The Babysitter over the course of two movies. It wraps with Dr. Loomis blowing up Michael and himself while Laurie is ambulanced off to safety at the sequel’s end.
2) Not only does the third installment, Season of the Witch, ditch the Myers story, it also takes place in a world where John Carpenter’s Halloween is a movie, as evidenced by the trailer for the film that plays on a bar television.
3) Parts four, five and six ressurect Myers, but Laurie Strode is long dead after a car accident. Instead, Myer’s niece Jamie Lloyd is the target of his murderous rampage one decade after the events of the first Halloween film. As these three films unfold, it’s revealed that Myers is the pawn of a the Cult of Thorne, and he has to do their bidding in order to…eh it gets pretty messy from here to be honest. I think it’s something to do with crop yields. Oh, Michael also rapes and impregnates his 13 year old niece, just in case you weren’t feeling bad enough about watching these movies.
4) Halloween H20 ignores the last three movies, which means no incest and no cult, so that’s a good start. This sequel picks up twenty years after part two, and finds Laurie Strode a damaged ex-junkie, current alcoholic who somehow manages to keep it together enough to serve as the principal at a prestigious prep school. The film ends with Laurie beheading Michael after he turns up on campus to check out L.L Cool J’s open mic nights where the rapper turned actor reads from his romance novels
Did I just say Laurie beheads Michael? PSYCHE! The last film in the original franchise reveals she actually beheaded an ambulance driver and the incident has driven her mad. Michael finally offs Laurie in a lunatic asylum, hen returns home to eat rats. All I remember after that is Busta Rhymes turning up and for fuck’s sake life is way too short to ever watch Halloween Resurrection again and you can’t make me goddammit!
5) After all that Rob Zombie does a paint by the numbers “Michael is a serial killer due to his mom being a stripper and his step dad being a fuck up” that manages to cram an origin story and a beat by beat remake of Carpenter’s film into one movie. This is all after Zombie goes on the record saying anyone who remakes Halloween has rocks in their head. The movie makes a fuck ton of money so Zombie makes a sequel, which doesn’t feel in any way shape or form like a Halloween movie, but is arguably the best entry since the original. Naturally, it bombs when compared to Zombie’s first installment.
And that leads us to the present, where a potential sixth timeline to the Halloween franchise is just a year away. My guess is Michael Myers is going to descend from the heavens wearing an Infinity Gauntlet, and after he utters the magical phrase of ‘Shazam’ all of the timelines will merge into this new one, and create a Super Michael.
The next Halloween hits theaters on October 18th, 2018.