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Film Studies 101
The 666 Greatest Horror Characters
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5
MICHAEL MYERS

Played by: Nick Castle
Film(s): Halloween (1978)

At first glance, there's precious little that's interesting about Michael Myers. Yes, he shares a name with Austin Powers. Yes, he wears an inside-out, dyed William Shatner mask. But otherwise, he's just a blank, remorseless, mute killing machine like Jason Voorhees, slaughtering transgressive teens in their dozens, right? Well, wrong. As imagined by John Carpenter and brilliantly played by stuntman Nick Castle, Myers - aka The Shape, aka The Haddonfield Hacker (ok, we made that one up) - is the literal embodiment of pure evil, an unstoppable, glassy-eyed abyss staring right back at us. This particular abyss just happens to have a thing for butcher knives. Myers is also far more psychologically interesting than Jason or any of the myriad copycats that followed in his wake; for him, it's mostly about family. There's also an interesting wrinkle with Myers that you sense Carpenter wanted to leave hanging, open to interpretation. The last lines of Halloween are "Was it the boogeyman?"; "As a matter of fact, it was". Then we see that Myers has survived six bullets and a fall from a second-storey window. He now lurks everywhere, his breathing dominating the soundtrack. Why? Because there's a supernatural tinge here. How else can you explain his indestructibility? His penchant for appearing and disappearing, seemingly at will? Because he is the Boogeyman.

Michael Myers

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