What's the deal with Halloween's 'unkillable' Michael Myers?

Note: Contains spoilers for Halloween

Michael Myers stands as one of horror’s greatest slasher icons, and he’s back again this October in David Gordon Green’s excellent Halloween sequel/reboot.

But where his peers Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger have always been portrayed as unequivocally supernatural – immortal killers who cannot be stopped by normal means – Michael remains ambiguous.

Is he a superhuman murder machine in a world that appears mundane in all other respects? Or just a psychopath hopped up on adrenaline, who is lucky enough that none of the damage he sustains turns out to be fatal?

While the new Halloween sequel cuts out everything since the 1978 original – including psychic links, Michael’s increasingly unlikely escapes, and his inexplicable drive to murder all Strode family members – just taking those two films into account gives plenty of reasons to believe that he might be a supernatural being in an ordinary world. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) shoots him in the shoulder, which we guess you might be able to walk away from, but then he is run over by a car and shot in the neck by Laurie’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer).

But he still keeps coming, and is only stopped when he is trapped in Laurie’s basement while the house burns down around him.

Director David Gordon Green acknowledges Michael’s ambiguity, although he isn’t entirely clear on the truth about the character either.

“It’s a tricky question, because I don’t really know the answer to it,” he told Digital Spy. “We were trying to find the line where he’s still living as a creature on Earth, but he’s got fantastic recovery. But I don’t ever want to look at him as supernatural.

“But he doesn’t really comfortably live in the natural world. So maybe he is.”

The ending is as ambiguous as Michael himself. As the house burns, we see him standing impassively, but when the camera switches back he appears to have vanished (Green has spoken about how “fun” the ambiguity of the ending is for him).

The film doesn’t feature a post-credits scene (“We messed with a lot of ideas, and could never find one that we loved,” Green told us), but if you stick around until the end you will hear Michael’s distinctive heavy breathing, just to remind you that he’s almost certainly going to be back and slicing up unwitting babysitters once again.

So, is Michael a supernatural monster? Within the world of his films, the jury is still out. But 40 years and 10 films later, there’s no denying that Michael Myers has achieved a piece of Hollywood immortality and will undoubtedly be back for more and more movies while there are still teenagers in need of eviscerating.

Halloween is out now.

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