In the beginning, there was a messed up kid with an inside-out William Shatner mask, and it was good. And then, through countless sequels and reinterpretations and bigger budgets, the Halloween franchise became the story of an unstoppable killing machine. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to like about some of the later Halloween movies, but there’s a reason characters like Michael Myers have become a cliche in the horror genre. When everyone’s anticipating the “shocking” moment where it turns out the killer isn’t dead, how scary can your film really be?

It would seem that this is something where Danny McBride and I see eye-to-eye. On this week’s episode of the Empire Magazine podcast (via iO9), McBride discussed his vision for the Halloween sequel that includes a very human Michael Myers:

I think we’re just trying to strip it down and just take it back to what was so good about the original. It was just very simple and just achieved that level of horror that wasn’t corny. And it wasn’t turning Michael Myers into some supernatural being that couldn’t be killed — that stuff to me isn’t scary. I want to be scared by something that I really think could happen. I think it’s much more horrifying to be scared by someone standing in the shadows while you’re taking the trash out as opposed to someone who can’t be killed pursuing you.

McBride gets it. What makes Myers so terrifying is his sheer willpower, the fact that he’s willing to pursue Laurie Strode even after suffering tremendous damage to his person. For Michael Myers to be a terrifying killer, he also needs to be mortal; when Myers sits up after being stabbed in the face at the end of Halloween, that’s terrifying, because it emphasizes the inhumanity of a very human character. And that wouldn’t work if we treat Myers as some god-level monster. Between this interview and McBride’s previous comments on the challenge of making a “straight-up horror,” I’m more convinced than ever that the Halloween franchise is in the right hands going forward.

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