Ever since a little, adolescent, Mikey Myers pulled on a dollar store clown mask and punched more holes in his sister than a sieve, horror’s premier slasher has amassed a body count equal to a small war – but what about all the times that Michael himself was the victim?
As we’re mere days away from the release of Halloween Ends, the final installment of Blumhouse’s ambitious legacy trilogy and the last we’ll get to see Jamie Lee Curtis’ ultimate final girl Laurie Strode square off with her white faced nemesis, it seems a fitting moment to look back over the franchise and rank the most memorable times the legendary Shape met his temporary end.
So put down that butcher’s knife, place that call to the Haddonfield Police Department on hold and make sure all the doors and windows are unlocked as we make sure – EVIL DIES TONIGHT!
(Sorry, not sorry).
5) Head Shot (Halloween – 2007)
While Rob Zombie’s hotly debated tenure manipulating Myers is divisive to say the least, the sheer brutal and blunt simplicity of the ending of his original remake is fittingly jarring experience. After a physical war with a silent, masked killer who is easily twice her size, Laurie Strode 2.0 (Scout Taylor- Compton) finds herself sitting on the chest of her temporarily downed brother while armed with the gun of ineffectual psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis. As she shakily levels it at his forehead, Michael decides to fuck around and find out and makes a grap for the gun which goes off, spraying Laurie with a good cross section of his frontal lobe. Of course, the fact that Zombie made a sequel means that Strode somehow would miss the ocean if she fell out of a boat, but the shot of her final scream drowned out as we transition to a photo of the family during happier times (Happier? In a Rob Zombie movie? Wouldn’t that be something?) gives a rare moment of poignancy in a supremely grungy movie.
4) Fire Hazard (Halloween – 2018)
For Michael’s triumphant 2018 return, he has the mother of knock down drag out struggles with with three generations of Strode women leading him to be trapped in the basement thanks to some subtle trickery by Judy Greer’s Karen and Curtis’ switch to utter beast mode. It doesn’t take Michael long to realise that his goose may well and truly be cooked thanks to Laurie transforming the basement into an inescapable trap that also self-immolates on command. This leads to a surprisingly somber moment as a trapped Myers locks eyes with his would-be victims as flames start to lick at his person as the Strode women balefully glare back. It’s a powerful moment and, unlike a lot of the other entries on this list, not one that’s utterly undone by the beginning of the next film.
3) Here Come The Boom (Halloween II – 1981)
Arguably the take down that had the most success – Mikey got laid so low with this one, they made Halloween III without him – and it comes at the hands of Donald Pleasance’s manic Dr. Samuel Loomis, a man who has desperately tried to make up for some misfiring therapy by trying to kill his patient since 1979. At the climax of Halloween II, a virtually mute Laurie finds herself cornered by a scalpel wielding Myers after he’s put the entirety of the staff of Haddonfield Hospital on permanent break time. In a panic, Laurie fires her gun at her brother somehow hitting him in both eyes (what are the chances?) but shrugging off his sudden blindness like a champ, Myers keeps swinging. This is where a wounded Loomis starts opening oxygen tanks, luring the killer away from Laurie when Michael is drawn to the hissing and when the girl is clear he pops out a lighter, calmly drops a killer final line (“It’s time, Michael.”) and flicks the bic, igniting the entire room.
Yes, both of them ultimately survive, but the fact that Loomis managed to put Myers down for seven whole years is quite the feat considering his last attempt was barely 7 minutes and most other people only manage around twelve months…
2) Mike Drop (Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers – 1989)
Loomis again, with what could be my favorite put down of any slasher villain ever.
Yes, Halloween 5 is a dumpster fire of infuriating proportions, but its final, Dracula vs. Van Helsing style show down between the Doctor and his former patient is as mad as a bag of rabid sausages, hitting astounding levels of camp mania as Plesance gives his most crazed Halloween freak-out of all time.
After luring Michael back to his old homestead by using his long-suffering niece as bait, Loomis proves that he’s just as deadly as Batman when given a bit of prep time and springs his trap by dropping a huge, chain net on his nemesis like something out of a fricking cartoon. Loomis then follows it up by whipping out a rifle and starts plugging Myers with tranquilizers like he’s bought them in a sale – but when this doesn’t have the desired effect, Loomis’ plan-B is nothing short of spectacular. The doc rips a two-by-four off the wall and starts beating the mass-murderer like a dusty carpet all the while ranting and raving like an incoherent dunk as Michael slowly succumbs to the drugs coursing through his body. Incredibly, the mixture of blunt force trauma and repeatedly screaming “DIE MICHAEL!” actually does trick and the shape finally folds like a bad poker hand.
1) Behead Of The Family (Halloween H20 – 1998)
Sure, H20 has its issues – Mikey’s weirdly changing mask and Josh Hartnett infuriatingly uncombed hair being just two of them – but one thing this movie nailed down cold was the ending.
Trapping herself inside the deserted grounds of the school she runs after making sure the other survivors are safely away, Laurie Strode grabs herself an axe, bellows her brother’s name and with the Halloween theme making the hairs on our arm stand up, strides back into the danger zone to finish things once and for all. The fight is furious, but ends with Michael seemingly dead with a kitchen knife buried in his chest. However, Strode is too grizzled a warrior to fall for that entry level, slasher shit and flips the script by stealing the ambulance the authorities were using to cart away Myers’ body and drives off to end it once and for all.
Michael revives and the ambulance crashes, but in the chaos, he is pinned between the vehicle and a tree with no way to escape. Acting confused, Michael seems to have no idea where he is and reaches out to his tearful sister as if all the carnage he’s wrought over the years never happened and almost in pity, Laurie reaches out herself – and then hauls off with her axe and takes Myers’ head clean off!
Essentially the slasher movie version of the ending of The Dark Knight Rises, it gifts the franchise something it’s never truly had before – a sense of finality.
Of course Halloween: Resurrection came along and violently pissed it all up the wall only a few years later with a bullshit explanation, but for a beautiful short while there, Halloween had that perfect ending.
Speaking of Halloween: Resurrection….
Dishonorable Mention: Busta Move (Halloween Resurrection – 2002)
How exactly you go from a haunted Donald Pleasance lamenting: “I met him fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left.” to Busta Rhymes ranting that Michael Myers is “a killer shark in baggy-ass overalls” in a little under 24 years is anyone’s guess, but Halloween: Resurrection far and away takes the cake for worst Michael take down ever.
As Michael moves in to finish of bland Strode replacement Sara Moyer, in comes overexcited self proclaimed media mogul Freddie Harris who uses his love of Kung Fu movies to fend Michael off but after the killer shrugs off the poorly choreographed fighting moves of the man who gave us “‘Whoo-Ha”, Busta retaliates by electrocuting Myers right in the dick which sends him staggering back into some more hang cables which blast yet more volts through his body. “HEY MIKEY! HAPPY FUCKING HALLOWEEN!” bellows Mr. Rhymes as he slings the heroine over his shoulder and exits stage left as the shed they’ve been fighting in goes up in flames.
It’s tough to imagine a more ignoble demise for a horror icon short of watching the Candyman get curb stomped by Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, but Halloween Resurrection really is one of the worst, final acts in slasher movie history which make any and all gripes about some other contested finales (Rob Zombie’s Halloween II and Halloween Kills, I’m looking at you) seem positively moot by comparison.
But rest assured, however Halloween Ends ends, it can’t possibly hope to be half as awful as this.
Halloween Ends is in cinemas and will be streaming on Peacock from the 14th of October