Whether you think that Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a good movie or not, doesn’t really matter. There are some inconsistencies on if that film fits into the actual timeline for the Halloween series or not. Writer Jake Wade Wall sat down with our friends at Bloody Disgusting for an interview. It wasn’t just any interview, it was part of their series titled Phantom Limbs. The series is designed to go over various horror films that could or should have gone into production, but were halted for various reasons. This time around they looked into the film Halloween: The Missing Years, as it was titled.
Writer Jake Wade Wall was tasked by Dimension Films to write a draft for Halloween: Resurrection. He turned in that draft, but had a different idea for where the series could go. What was Michael Myers doing in the ten year gap between Halloween II and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers? His film would have answered that question. But before we dig into the meat of what his film was to be about, we have to go over some things that could get in the way of this idea.
The Things Standing In The Way Of The Missing Years
I love a good origin story as much as the next person. And being a huge fan of the Halloween franchise, it makes some sense to build on that backstory of Michael. The first film outlined a perfect backstory that Michael was just simply pure evil. You don’t really need that much more to explain him. If you dig deeper, Michael was already deeply disturbed when he went into the asylum for care. But like Jake says in the interview, there’s some explanation that could be given there. Was Michael made worse because of his time under care? Or did he just sit and stare like Doctor Loomis says in the first movie.
Normally I would be completely against any sort of change to a backstory to such a beloved horror character, but this sounds like an interesting way to build the film up. So I’m not going to knock them for trying it. The real issue comes when Wall tries to fit Halloween III: Season of the Witch into the proceedings.
Halloween III Isn’t Really The Same Universe As The Normal Halloween Films
The main reason why trying to fit the ten years that pass between Halloween II and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers with a backstory, is that Halloween III doesn’t occur in the same universe. Arguably, it occurs in our own universe. You see John Carpenter’s original film shown on a television screen. That aside, the story of Halloween III was meant to not connect to the original two films. It’s been said a million times, but it was purposefully not including Michael Myers, because he was dead after Halloween II.
Only after that film bombed critically and commercially did the team and producer Moustapha Akkad decide to bring back Michael to appease fans and generate more profits. So the idea that Jake Wade Wall brings to connect that film to the Michael Myers series doesn’t make much sense on face value.
The Studio Was Just Ready To Remake The Original Anyway
The biggest thing standing in the way of this “lost film” being made was the studio. They greenlit Wade Wall to write the script because they liked the idea. Apparently they didn’t like it that much because the entire time they were talking about ways to get Rob Zombie involved after his successful run as a director began around the same time. While the Zombie original remake was decent. The sequel was a horrifying (not in the way we all want to be scared) mess of a movie. Overblown, overdone, and lacking any sort of substance or redeeming qualities. It should be forgotten about and never brought up again. It’s that bad.
So with the studio seeing an easier outlet to just remake the first film in the style of Rob Zombie, the idea was pretty DOA.
Some Stories Are Best Left Untold
While this idea sounds fantastic on face-value. I don’t think it would have done much good when it came time to actually make the film. With a character like Michael Myers, you have the first film’s excellent way of giving us just enough backstory to understand why Michael is the way he is. Similarly, Psycho doesn’t give us extravagant details about why Norman Bates is the way he is. Sometimes it’s just best to keep it simple and not bog things down. The idea of Halloween: The Missing Years sounds fine to me. It’s something that could be answered reasonably.
Michael was incinerated at the end of Halloween II. Doctor Loomis was similarly cooked, but they both came back for the fourth film. Now the majority of this is because of the almighty dollar, but there are story-line ways you could explain it. The fourth film takes the easiest route and doesn’t explain how someone could escape being burned to a crisp, besides saying that Michael was in a coma for ten years. The birth of another Strode was what set him off.
So there’s your explanation. Sometimes giving people more backstory works out, like the Nightmare on Elm Street series. But Freddy is much more of a personality than Michael. It’s interesting to see how Fred Krueger turned into a child-killing, wise-cracking, monster. That’s a much more supernatural idea of Freddy coming back, so naturally, you’d want to see how he became that way.
Give The Idea Of Halloween: The Revenge Of Michael Myers A Better Coat Of Paint
The article really got me when he mentioned that he wasn’t going to include any of the Thorn explanation from Halloween 6. While that film has major issues with not only pace, but content, that idea was somewhat cool and original. It formed on a cult being the ones that groomed Michael into what he became. An evil and troubled little boy turned into a mystical, unstoppable, monster sounds a hell of a lot more interesting than just another hospital tale. But this story was explicitly going to forego the story of Halloween 6.
A proposal for a sequel to Halloween II by John Carpenter and Debra Hill would have centered on the town of Haddonfield and how the townspeople gave Michael the power and the energy to kill. While a bit silly sounding, this is a whole lot more interesting than what was proposed here.
We Never Got This Proposed Halloween Story And It Might Be For The Better At The End Of The Day
We can all agree that Halloween: Resurrection was a damn mess. It killed off the only recognizable character from the first film left, and did it in a cheap and wholly unsatisfying way. Luckily we have the fantastic 2018 continuation of the story. The upcoming Halloween Kills looks to follow in the footsteps that disregard the two subpar to horrible late 90’s/early 2000’s sequels.
At the end of the day, this is really the story of Michael and Laurie Strode. You can add in all the mystical background information that you want. But it boils down to that story. The story of one disturbed and demented boy in Michael Myers. The article from Bloody Disgusting closes with a quote from Jake Wade Wall.
“I just had a blast with it. I loved being able to have the freedom to say ‘I’m going to honor everyone else’, but I want to tell a different version of this man’s psyche. It was such an interesting exploration. No one experience makes or breaks us. It’s a multitude of experiences. So I thought very firmly that there was more that made Michael Myers who he was, and I really wanted to get into that.”
It’s Every Writer’s Job To Think Outside The Confines Of A Certain Story
This final quote from the writer is a pretty meaningful one. It’s our job to think, “well, there could be more to this character”. This entry might have brought the Halloween series closer to it’s roots, rather than further from them like the Rob Zombie remakes did. So if you don’t agree with, or think that the idea was a bit far-fetched to flesh out Michael in the time between the second and third movies, it’s still worth talking about.
Like they tried with Halloween III, however, a look at some sort of anthology of Michael Myers might prove to be fruitful. We’ll have to see where the Halloween franchise goes. Halloween Kills comes out next year. Likely after that is the third and final part to this trilogy in Halloween Ends.
After that series is over, we’ll have to take stock in just what we want to see out of Michael Myers and the Halloween franchise. Maybe an idea like like Halloween: The Missing Years can actually work then. For now, it’s just another interesting story from the horror archives.
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