Halloween Villagers Made The New Movies So Much Better, And Here’s Why


This article contains spoilers for Halloween Ends.Expanding on John Carpenter’s 1978 original, this October saw Halloween ends hit the cinemas.

When the frustrating title Halloween arrived in 2018 (directed by David Gordon Green, and co-written by Danny McBride), it won acclaim for its brutal, updated take on a classic franchise. Sleek, violent and no-frills, it brought horror icon Michael Myers back from the dead and was a critical and financial hit around the world.

Revisiting Carpenter’s Original Halloween, it’s clear that it’s a model for what horror movies should be: neat and efficient from start to finish, and deserving of any legacy that’s born out of it. With the story now finalized in this updated 21st century trilogy (until it’s inevitably rebooted), where the series has excelled the most is in its world building.


While Carpenter’s Halloween (and to some extent its highly underrated sequel, Halloween 2) featured his fictional town of Haddonfield, Green and McBride managed to extend it with their depiction of Haddonfieldians (healthy, then pissed off, then injured, then presumably dead).

Invent the world of Halloween

Michael Myers hurdles at Halloween
Compass International Pictures

With each new visit to Haddonfield and between Michael’s murders, the town feels exactly what October should be like. Parents watch their children while they cheat or treat. The cold, haunting air welcomes the looming winter days just around the corner. Warm houses with lights on and spooky decorations reside in an oxymoron of a city – these houses invite as much as they are a warning, inhabited by people in chronic mourning.

Laurie is cast as a badass survivor in the 2018 reboot – plotting, training, and waiting for the day of Michael’s return (no doubt even looking forward to it). However, the people around her (Laurie’s estranged family, neighbors, the benevolent but ultimately hopeless police) are in a constant state of recovery. Those old enough to remember what happened continue to mourn on October 31 each year, scared of him and what he might bring back to their Orange Leaf Town.

Halloween babysitter scene
Universal images

What the series did so well was not only make that the Jamie Lee Curtis show, but also to make the surrounding population as interesting as possible with the short time they have (before they are inevitably gutted). Throughout this excellent trilogy, there are characters galore and wonderful little moments about them, generously doled out preemptively for anyone careless enough to open their front door to deceits and/or traitors.

Related: Halloween movies in order: How to watch chronologically and by release date

Whether it’s Ray (Toby Huss) talking about his shop class where he just made a bird house, granddaughter Allyson’s co-worker chatting endlessly at the clinic (revealed to have gotten the promotion because she sleeping with the doctor in residence), or the locals just generally chatting about work or their neighbors – these people and their mundane daily life are closely linked to this small town. Their dialogue and back-and-forth are filled with subtleties despite their brief collective screen time, in that every new Michael Myers murder comes with a mix of bittersweet thoughts: I know they are going to die, but I hope they come out in the coolest way.

Not just body bags

halloween kills hospital scene
Universal images

Credit where it is due. Coupling these mundane witticisms, only work from the right actors and the casting department (casting for all three films was overseen by Sarah Domeier Lindo and Terri Taylor). This has resulted in various faces of fan favorites like Big John & Little John (Scott MacArthur & Michael McDonald, below), Sheriff Barker (Omar Dorsey) wearing a cowboy hat and, most recently, the forked-tongued disc jockey Willy The Child (Keraun Harris).

Big John and Little John in Halloween Kills
Universal images

These characters set the world’s backdrop so well because they feel authentic and current, and physically feel small-town – perfect for Michael to keep tearing himself apart. Even Michael himself in the finale of Halloween Ends finally has his face revealed under the mask. Beneath the rubber, what we’re barely shown is that walnut-like architecture built up by decades of evil, adding even more to the character’s mystique.

Although they also feel absolutely real; it’s not just a town full of horny teenagers checking out weird sounds in the basement. These people don’t just feel like fodder for Michael to tear up in the next scene. That’s because the scripts add tiny details to make even the most over-the-nose conventions of the genre (like poorly timed school dances or babysitters being off) feel impactful and not just another bloody hand. grabbing the Halloween bag. horror shots.

Evil dies tonight!

Tommy and the Halloween Crowd Kills
Universal images

halloween kills went further, pushing its inhabitants into an angry mob led by Tommy Doyle (Anthony Michael Hall). One of the boys who survived Myers’ original frenzy, Tommy grew up in this town and reveals his fears to a crowded bar. Onstage, he and three other survivors reveal that, like cancer, in Haddonfield, if Michael didn’t kill you personally, you know someone he has. Discovering that Michael has returned and realizing that the police will never be enough, Tommy continues to lead a mob of vigilantes against one of their own, refusing to let him kill anyone else.

While the movies have done so well in creating these characters and filling the town with living residents, Tommy proves that deep down there’s a mindset that mirrors their patriarch Laurie Strode, and that quite simply this masked man is bad and must be stopped. His evil brought out the violence in these otherwise quaint people.

Evil dies tonight Halloween kills
Universal images

As the series has been updated, the townspeople also reflect the America of today. While the population of Haddonfield is arming en masse behind Tommy and his rage (and with halloween kills‘ released just eight months after the storming of the Washington Capitol on January 6), it acted as a shocking and recent reminder of the very real and dangerous influence of opinions on violence for the benefit of the personal objectives of a only man.

Refreshingly with a series so reliant on violence and guns, Americans who shoot guns aren’t (for the most part) glorified in all three movies. More than once, unfortunate gun users regularly make mistakes and accidentally injure or kill other concerned citizens in their quest to try and kill Michael.

Related: The Blumhouse Logo Now Includes Michael Myers, and Here’s Why It Matters

Take the example of a woman dressed as a nurse who shoots herself in the head, not knowing how to handle the weapon well. Mocked by some of the more snobbish horror fans as ridiculous at the time (though handy for the storyline, yes), it’s a moment that shows fragile desperation and how immediately dangerous these sadly everyday objects are in the microcosm of the United States.

The end

Halloween ends
Universal images

By the final of Halloween endswith Michael finally dead for good, his corpse is paraded around town for all to see. Anyone left alive from the show shows up to watch Michael Myers’ body being crushed in a metal trash threshing machine with no possibility of him reanimating. After disposing of his body and denying him a grave, there is no more room for The Boogie Man’s whispers. Halloween ends spells out what its title tells you is about to happen, as its community finally has a break to heal.

In such a small town, and with Laurie’s demons exorcised, you’d think she and the former small town MP might meet at the supermarket over a shopping cart in one scene, and then maybe fall in love after the generic. And why not? Haddonfield is a great place to live…

For at least 11 months of the year, anyway.

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