HALLOWEEN: The Sister Angle

John Carpenter has been ambivalent about it, and he has been violently resentful. One could say the same thing about the man and HALLOWEEN II in general. He never really wanted to do the movie. Then once he’d agreed to do it, his ambivalence became evident when he chose not to direct it himself. Still, he wrote the screenplay, along with Debra Hill, and it was during the concocting of the plot for the film that he conceived the film’s, and indeed the franchise’s, narrative hook: Laurie Strode is Michael Myers little sister, too young to remember when Michael, at six years of age, murdered their older sibling, Laurie being adopted by a local family, the Strodes. Carpenter would later blame the idea on his being drunk at the time. The new HALLOWEEN movies, two films into a new trilogy, would erase that development, relegating all the movies after the original to “parallel time”, a concept that will familiar in the extreme to fans of DARK SHADOWS.

Here’s the thing, though: the hook works. It works really well. It is, in fact, a perfect fit. John Carpenter should never have felt such regret over it, because it is in every way an organic progression of the story. It still leaves enough questions unanswered to preserve the mystique, something that later sequels would fail to do as they sought, unsuccessfully, to explain away why Michael wanted to slaughter his sister (and then his niece). In HALLOWEEN II, all that we are told is that Laurie is his sister, and that’s why he has it in for her in particular. And it goes over just fine. That it led to a string of ever-worsening sequels does not discredit the development itself. It started out a twist as successful as any achieved anywhere in cinema, including the reveal of Darth Vader as the father of Luke Skywalker 17 months prior.

By TheCheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless. Denn die totden reiten schnell!

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