Halloween 2018 - Is Obsession The Real Killer?
The true horror of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode.
In Halloween (2018) Michael Myers and Laurie Strode's deadly battle has stretched across four long decades. 40 years of being locked away. Michael Myers is being held for the second time at a high-security mental institute following his 1978 murder spree (the one which kicked off the major franchise) in the original Halloween film. Laurie Strode is bound in a prison of her own making- constructed like an apocalyptic prepper's doomsday bunker keeping her safe from a seemingly obsessed serial killer. In this Halloween we're left to wonder, why is Michael Myers really dedicated to murdering Laurie Strode? Perhaps out of some antithesis of love? Do they share some sort of connection? Does he even care about her... or could it be Laurie’s obsession that is keeping her trapped?
Killing at random may seem incomparable to the healthy human brain, but that is an unfair scale to measure Michael Myers who we see as someone beyond cold and unfeeling, a version of psychopathy that has yet to be seen on screen or, thankfully, in reality. The original does not give a psychological excuse for Michael's attacks, nor does the 2018 remake. In fact, in Halloween, Doctor Loomis labels him as 'pure evil.'
I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply...evil.
- Doctor Loomis, Halloween.
Given this lack of "reason, understanding, and emotion" it has to be accepted that when Michael attacks a group of teenagers and only one of them (Laurie) survives, his persistence in finishing the job is more an attribute to his serial-killer work ethic rather than any real interest in her. His dedication to killing her is simply a dedication to killing. Still, in 2018 Laurie Strode is ready for what she feels is an emanate attack.
If the Halloween franchise were to line up cohesively, Laurie is Michael's obvious target. After all, it is discovered in Halloween (2007) that Laurie is actually Michael’s sister- the one who survived the first Halloween film! This familial bond forms Michael's only connection to Laurie outside of her victimhood. However, the 2018 film is released as a sequel only to the original, erasing all other Halloween films and the revelations that came with them.
It is easy to empathize with Laurie Strode, but it is essential to understand her. Being the only survivor in her group of friends translates, in her mind, to have failed at saving them. She feels the guilt that belongs to Michael, who is most likely incapable of such an emotion. Michael's non-existent guilt is replaced by a fear of failure. As a serial killer, a living victim is an ultimate failure. Considering that Michael's esteem as a killer is embodied in Laurie Strode, he cares about her greatly. Her still heart will be his ultimate victory, his last loose end tied off in a gory blood-red ribbon.
Obsession is often a Band-Aid. Michael uses his obsession with killing to cover up his lack of humility. Laurie uses it to cover a barley-existent relationship with her daughter, trauma from her previous attacks, and the fore-mentioned survivors' guilt that she carries. All of these terrifying realities are pushed to the back of her brain as preparation for Michael’s next attack consumes her entire being.
Inside the darkness and terror of this film holds a warning to all who watch it. That the last enemy to be defeated is your own altered mentality. That is Michael’s true legacy. Not countless dead bodies, not the loud screams that surround him. It is the mind of Laurie Strode, forever changed.