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Does the White Mask Define Michael Myers?

If Michael wore a different mask,would it still feel like and be a HalloweeN film? I remember Vince and Mike from Rabbit in Red Radio talking about this awhile ago, but I never really thought about it until a few days ago. My first thought was yes – Michael needs his white mask or it wouldn’t be Halloween. But after some thought I decided the mask doesn’t make Michael, Michael makes Michael.

To explain this best as possible I will break this down using previous Halloween films as reference. You will see how the mask doesn’t really define the character. Let’s begin.

My first piece of evidence is Halloween 4. In the beginning of the film he has bandages covering his face and that is what I would like to focus on.  The bandages could be considered a mask from the way they were covering the face, and to me look better than the eventual mask he ends up with. Had Michael wore that the whole time then I would lose my one complaint with the film. Even the brief time we see him kill with the bandages on we know that is the one and only Michael.  Still not convinced? Okay I have more.

Lets shift now from Halloween 4 to Halloween 5. I’m not a fan of the white H5 Myers mask, but it does have a small look that lets it coast by. Michael switches masks for a moment and wears the oh-so-awesome Brute mask. The Brute is only seen for five minutes but what an impression it makes. Had Michael wore this mask the whole time, again, I would lose one of the three complaints I had with the film.

If you’re still thinking he has to have the white mask to be Michael, then lets jump to the new series of Halloween.

Halloween 2007 gave you a glimpse of Michael’s life inside Smith’s Grove and showed just how much he loved masks. The mask above is the Escape mask. How bad ass was that pumpkin-like mask scene, where he slides it on, kills the guards and escapes. This mask made a statement and that was Michael whether the mask is white or orange. I wouldn’t have batted a lash had he wore that the whole time and it probably would still have been a good film.

Michael has worn other masks in the series and not once did I feel the movie shifted when he changed masks. It’s the tilting of the head, the walk, the stabbing motions and the eyes that define Myers to me. Not just an all white mask. That’s why I say Michael is Michael regardless of what he wears over his face.

  • halloween

    100 percent agreed.

  • sangria

    As a kid I rejoiced to see the trailer for HALLOWEEN 4 on tv. All the FRIDAYS and NIGHTMARES were passing HALLOWEEN by as the definitive 80’s slasher flicks. Watching the trailer in 1988 I wondered how his white mask didn’t melt in the fire from H2. I thought it was corny when he recovered a new Shatner from the store. The series would take a different turn if the Shat wasn’t brought back. SO yeah, I believe the white mask defines him, even though it’s gotten progressively worse since H2.

  • bogey

    That is sort of a two edged sword in my opinion. On one side, the mask in H1-H2 does ALOT for the movies and that blank emotionless face that they were trying hard to portray. It gives him a very unique look and expression that helps make Michael Michael, even though we know it’s not his real face. But it is the face Loomis describes to Bracket in H1 – blank emotionless face with the blackest eyes – the devil’s eyes. So the mask is an inner expression of Michael and his real face.
    On the other side, if your going to make a dozen sequels over the next 20 some years, what would be the chances that he continually finds the exact same mask every time years and years later? Zilch! IMO, they should have stopped after H2 (I hate most sequels), but if your going to do them anyway, they should have probably given him a completely different mask every time.

  • thedesertsandman

    Not to mention that Michael’s first appearance as a kid with the clown mask, and when he walks in on Lynda with the Bedsheet and glasses on.

  • swatmaster68

    I don’t 100% agree. True, in a few movies he wears other masks, but the white mask defines the character’s appearance, his trademark if you will. Freddy Kreuger kills multiple people in various ways in the Elm Street Series, but his glove is a defining characteristic. Michael Myers is a character who doesn’t speak, and most of his victims know him only as a myth, his mask is a part of that mythos which by seeing it alone causes fear, thus why people are killed just because they wore a white mask.

  • devbinks

    All the scenes brought up here, where Michael uses other masks, show exactly why the classic white mask DOES help define his character and does so in a very big way.

    In fact, those scenes make me feel like I’m watching some lame attempt at a copy-cat killer who couldn’t find the real mask. It just doesn’t work for me. At all.

  • warthrash

    That’s all totally ignoring the fact that Michael isn’t at all like he is in the original in these movies.

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