Halloween Director Defends The Moment That Humanizes Michael
The Halloween franchise has rebooted itself in countless ways over the past four decades, but one thing’s always clear: Michael Myers is a soulless embodiment of pure evil, just as Dr. Loomis said back in the original 1978 movie. He’s a monster, plain and simple, who only lives to kill. Except, that is, in one intriguing moment from Blumhouse’s new sequel.
In a scene from 2018’s Halloween, Michael breaks into someone’s kitchen to get his favorite weapon, a butcher’s knife. As we expect from the Shatner mask-wearing murderer, he brutally kills the woman he finds there. However, as he goes to leave he hovers over a crib containing the woman’s crying baby. In a tense moment, Myers stands over the crib, but ultimately moves on and leaves the tot alive.
Obviously, we all shared a sigh of relief when Michael walked on by, but it does raise questions about his character. I mean, we’ve seen him kill kids before – earlier on in this very film, in fact – so why would Myers spare this one child? While speaking to LA Times, director David Gordon Green admitted that this sequence does break the rule he’d set for himself about how to treat Michael, saying:
“Our rule in the writing process was to give him nothing… In production, we added one thing that may come back to haunt me, but I stand by it at the moment. We gave him an ethical decision in which he doesn’t kill the baby. That was something that came up while we were shooting.”
The reason why it goes against his vision for the character is because this scene was added later on, as a way to temper the tension and pace of the movie.
“We were looking for an interesting 15-second gap in a long sequence. And there were 15 seconds, no tension, no new information. And the goal was, ‘How do we put something that’s 15 seconds’ worth of intrigue in the sequence?’ And the production designer and the DP came up with the idea of putting a baby crib in the living room and then a baby. It was one of the things that was just exciting, and it fixed the problem; it filled the gap.”
Green went on to explain that he remains conflicted about what this means for Michael’s motivations, but ultimately stands by his decision to include this rare moment of mercy.
“And now we’re looking at a character who I proclaim is the essence of evil and has no motivation, no emotion, no real stimulation other than being a predator. And yet, we’ve given him this one consideration in which he does the right thing. So I’m not exactly sure how to stand by that and justify that, although I think it’s fascinating to think of someone that is nothing but a cold-blooded, faceless, motivation-less killer. [Michael] made one decision that we are happy that he made.”
In many ways, you can say that 2018’s Halloween makes Michael Myers’ motivations more unfathomable than ever. For instance, with the sibling backstory removed, why does he stalk Laurie and her granddaughter? Then again, the franchise is always more interesting when its star’s a mystery to us – did we really need Halloween 6 or Rob Zombie’s remake? – so this could be seen as a good thing.
Tell us, though, what do you think about Michael Myers showing mercy? Have your say in the comments section down below.