‘Halloween’ Director Finally Explains Why Michael Myers Can’t Die

in Movies & TV

Michael Myers attacking someone in 'Halloween Kills'

Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

Michael Myers is one of the most iconic villains in horror, and he’s been terrorizing cinemagoers since John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). So far, he has returned for 11 sequels, including the recent Halloween trilogy from director David Gordon Green.

But what makes Michael Myers so unstoppable in the films? It’s not an easy question to answer, especially when you have several different Halloween timelines to consider, some of which include very different iterations of the Haddonfield bogeyman.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) aiming a gun at the screen in 'Halloween Ends'
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

Related: Every ‘Halloween’ Movie Ranked Worst to Best

Michael is also supposed to be an ambiguous character, and the question of whether he’s supernatural is perhaps more interesting than the answer. Still, there must be a reason why Michael Myers is, for the most part, unkillable.

Is he really the bogeyman who’s powered by fear, a bit like Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies? Or is he just a man in a mask who happens to be able to take a lot of physical damage? Or is he something in between?

A close up of Michael Myers' mask in 'Halloween' 2018
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

It all depends on the Halloween timeline, but in a recent interview with Screen Rant, director John Carpenter finally shed some light on Michael Myers’ seemingly supernatural abilities, comparing him to another iconic Hollywood monster.

During a panel at this year’s New York Comic Con, Carpenter finally explained why Michael Myers can’t be killed, calling him an “all-purpose monster,” much like the huge, radioactive reptile who’s been crushing cities around the world since 1954.

Michael Myers and Laurie Strode back to back in 'Halloween Ends' poster
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

Related: Brand-New ‘Halloween’ TV Series May Follow Established Timeline

Here are his full comments:

“Well, I’ll tell you what, he’s an all-purpose character. If [you] want the first movie, you’ve got that. If you want him to be able to kill all the time, you’ve got that. The only other all-purpose monster is Godzilla.”

Rohan Campbell as Corey Cunningham looking through the tunnel in 'Halloween Ends'
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

We’ve never really heard Michael Myers described in this way before, but it makes perfect sense (it also comes directly from the horse’s mouth). Michael is “all-purpose,” and just as Carpenter says, it all depends on which version of the bogeyman we’re talking about.

Some Halloween timelines portray Michael as a man who appears to possess supernatural abilities, while others attempt to go all out in explaining why he’s able to survive all sorts of damage, though oftentimes failing to fully elaborate.

Michael Myers in the 'Halloween Kills' poster
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

Related: Original ‘Halloween’ Reboot Gets 2024 Release Date

It was recently confirmed that Miramax is producing a Halloween television series, which is expected to be the first installment in a Halloween shared universe. Whether or not the series will focus on Michael remains to be seen, but it’s an exciting time to be a fan.

Maybe it will finally explain why he can take six shots to the chest, tumble over balconies, get electrocuted, and burn alive in gas explosions. For now, though, John Carpenter’s explanation makes perfect sense.

But as the spooky season is upon us, here are all of Michael Myers’ deaths throughout the Halloween franchise in chronological order.

Halloween (1978)

Laurie Strode stalked in 'Halloween' 1978
Credit: Compass International Pictures / Falcon International Productions / Universal Studios

Halloween (1978) isn’t the masterpiece many will have you believe it is. But there’s no denying that Michael Myers (Nick Castle) is terrifying and that his “death” at the end is iconic. After being shot six times by Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael tumbles over the balcony, only to disappear into the night moments later.

How does he survive? Well, either Loomis is a terrible shot, or Michael’s very lucky. Or, the fact that we have to ask is the whole point.

Related: 5 Most Shocking Moments In ‘Halloween Ends’

Halloween II (1981)

Laurie Strode with Michael Myers behind her in 'Halloween' 1978
Credit: Compass International Pictures / Falcon International Productions / Universal Studios

While many fans love the fact that Halloween II (1981) picks up where the original ends, it doesn’t feel anything like that film, mainly because Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) looks and behaves very differently. His death, however, is epic — Dr. Loomis blows him up using a gas canister in Haddonfield General, taking himself out in the process.

How does he survive? Technically, he doesn’t, as this marks the end of one timeline until Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) retcons the bogeyman’s death. The 1988 film reveals that Michael was only badly injured in the explosion and has been in a coma for 10 years.

Related: A Recap of the ‘Halloween’ Franchise Before You Watch ‘Halloween Ends’

The Return of Michael Myers

Jamie Lloyd screaming in 'Halloween 4'
Credit: Trancas International

The Return of Michael Myers is a solid film, save for the horrendous Michael Myers mask (how do they get it so wrong so many times in this franchise?). The death of Michael Myers (George P Wilbur) also leaves a lot to be desired, as armed police gun him down in slow motion before falling into a hole in the ground.

How does he survive? Go straight to Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989).

Related: 5 Reasons Why ‘Halloween Ends’ Is the Best Sequel Since ‘Halloween’

The Revenge of Michael Myers

Dr. Sam Loomis at the ambulance wreckage in 'Halloween 4'
Credit: Trancas International

In the incredibly dull and lifeless The Revenge of Michael Myers, Michael Myers (Don Shanks) is shown to have survived the ending of the previous film by falling into a river and ending up in a coma for a year (which isn’t actually an explanation). In the end, Michael is arrested and is later broken out of jail by the mysterious “man in black.”

Related: Does Michael Myers Actually Talk In ‘Halloween Kills’?!

The Curse of Michael Myers

One of Corey Cunningham's victims in 'Halloween Ends'
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) sees Tommy Doyle (a very young Paul Rudd) beat Michael Myers (George P Wilbur) to the ground with a steel pipe. It’s a horrible entry, but it still has some of the best kills in the franchise. Michael is, of course, fine afterwards, though, whichever one of the two endings you watch.

How does he survive? Presumably, Tommy Doyle doesn’t actually kill him. But even if he does, this film suggests that Michael Myers is 100% supernatural, courtesy of ancient cults, runestones, and other bizarre mystical things.

Related: Every Version of Michael Myers Ranked From Worst to Best

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Laurie Strode in 'Halloween H20'
Credit: Dimension Films / Nightfall Productions / Trancas International

In the hugely thrilling Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), which is not canon with the three previous films collectively known as the Thorn trilogy, Michael Myers (Chris Durand) is beheaded by one clean swoop from Laurie Strode’s ax. Despite the “explanation” offered in the next film as to how he “survives,” Michael is 100% killed in this film.

How does he survive? Halloween: Resurrection (2002) shamelessly retcons Michael’s H20 death by explaining that he “switched places” with a paramedic at the end of the film…

Related: All 7 Jamie Lee Curtis Performances In the ‘Halloween’ Movies Ranked

Halloween: Resurrection

Busta Rhymes saying "Let the dangertainment begin" in 'Halloween: Resurrection'
Credit: Dimension Films / Nightfall Productions / Trancas International Films

Halloween: Resurrection is the most hated film in the franchise. But is it really that bad? Well, it has “danger-tainment value,” but the fact that we see Michael Myers (Brad Loree) come back to life in the morgue shortly after being electrocuted and burned by Freddy (Busta Rhymes) completely undermines this otherwise half-decent death.

How does he survive? Michael is shown to have survived Resurrection before the credits even roll, as his eyes open while he’s in the morgue. How and why is anyone’s guess, and it’s never followed up as this is the end of yet another timeline.

Related: 5 Things About Michael Myers That Aren’t True

Rob Zombie’s Halloween

Young Michael Myers in a police car in 'Rob Zombie's Halloween'
Credit: Dimension Films / Trancas International Films

Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) is a grungy shot-for-shot remake of John Carpenter’s 1978 film — from about halfway through, at least. But Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) is nothing like Nick Castle’s version. His “death” does pay homage to Castle’s tumble-over-the-balcony, though, as Michael charges Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) through a window, only to be shot in the face by her on the ground.

How does he survive? Despite being pronounced dead at the beginning of Halloween II (2009), this turns out to be a severe facial injury, and not fatal.

Related: Brand-New ‘Halloween’ TV Series May Follow Established Timeline

Halloween II (2009)

Michael Myers about to kill Bob in Rob Zombie's 'Halloween'
Credit: Dimension Films / Trancas International Films

Rob Zombie’s Halloween II (2009) has its fans. It’s the most bleak film in the series, which is a turn-off for many, but its version of Michael Myers is a towering force of nature. His death, however, is quite underwhelming. He’s stabbed repeatedly by his sister Laurie Strode in an old barn, but he deserved a bigger send-off.

How does he survive? He doesn’t — this is the end of the Rob Zombie Halloween timeline.

Related: Where to Next For the ‘Halloween’ Franchise After ‘Ends’?

Halloween (2018)

Dana being attacked in the bathroom in 'Halloween' (2018)
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

It’s a little disappointing that Halloween (2018) was followed by its two sequels, Halloween Kills (2021), and Halloween Ends (2022), in the sense that Michael Myers’ “death” had the potential to feel pretty final. After being locked in a makeshift cage in Laurie Strode’s basement, Michael is left to burn alive (at least until Kills says otherwise).

How does he survive? Halloween Kills reveals that Michael hid from the fire in Laurie’s gun cabinet. As for all the fire and smoke inhalation, the rest of the series offers some insight.

Related: ‘Halloween’ Should Have Stayed In 1978 — Here’s Why

Halloween Kills

Michael Myers emerging from the fire in 'Halloween Kills'
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

Halloween Kills cut the fanbase down the middle like a knife through a pumpkin. But despite some weak storytelling and baffling character decisions, it has its merits. One of them is Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney), who unleashes hell upon Haddonfield. But despite taking a truly epic beating by an angry mob, he simply disappears into the night.

How does he survive? Just as Michael is about to get back up after being beaten by the mob, a voiceover from Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) says, “The more he kills, he transcends into something else,” which is further explored in Halloween Ends.

Related: Producer Confirms ‘Halloween Ends’ Won’t Be the Last Movie In the Series

Halloween Ends

Rohan Campbell as Corey Cunningham meeting Jeremy and his parents in 'Halloween Ends'
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

Michael Myers finally meets his demise in Halloween Ends. While he’s been killed off before (in both versions of Halloween II and in Halloween H20), nothing has been quite as final as his exit in this film. After being (seemingly) killed by Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) with his own knife, Michael is fed into an industrial shredder for all of Haddonfield to see.

How does he survive? This time, he doesn’t. Though it’s very unlikely Michael has survived this time, the fact he endured so much damage in the previous two films can be attributed to him being fueled by people’s fear and the killings themselves.

In Ends, during the scene in which Michael kills Doug Mulaney (Jesse C Boyd) in the sewers, he appears to become “energized” from the kill, which lines up with what Laurie says in the previous film about how he gets his power through killing. The same thing happens when he later kills Corey Cunningham.

Related: All NINE ‘Halloween’ Timelines Finally Explained

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) walking through the hospital in 'Halloween Kills'
Credit: Universal Studios / Miramax / Blumhouse Productions

As per Universal Pictures, here’s the official synopsis for David Gordon Green’s Halloween Ends:

Four years after the events of last year’s Halloween Kills, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since his last brutal rampage. Laurie, after allowing the specter of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham, is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all.

— Universal Pictures

Halloween Ends is directed by David Gordon Green. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode), Andi Matichak (Allyson Nelson), Will Patton (Officer Frank Hawkins), Omar Dorsey (Sheriff Barker), Kyle Richards (Lindsey Wallace), James Jude Courtney (Michael Myers), Rohan Campbell (Corey Cunningham), and (Michael O’Leary) Dr. Mathis.

What’s your favorite Michael Myers death? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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