Topic: College of Communication Information and Media

October 11, 2018

When Michael Myers returns to scare Haddonfield, Ill., in the latest installment of “Halloween,” it may feel as those an old friend coming back into your life, says Ashley Donnelly, a telecommunications professor at Ball State University.

“There are people who are very dedicated to this movie franchise,” said Donnelly, an avid horror fan who has studied serial killers in film and television shows. “We seem to enjoy going back to our favorite monsters in these films. We know them. We sort of understand the killers and why they do things.

“There is something comforting in these franchises because audiences can relate to the characters,” she said. “And, people want to see what has happen to them over the years. In this case, it’s been 40 years and Michael Myers looks pretty good for a man nearing 60. His sister is aging well too. It is a blessed family of creepy people.”

The original and highly successful “Halloween” was released in 1978 and spawned several critically panned sequels and remakes. In the film, villain Michael Myers escapes from a sanitarium after being locked up for 15 years after the horrific murder of a young woman. He makes his way back home to Haddonfield, Ill., where he kills several high-school students, and stalks a character played by Jamie Lee Curtis.

The reboot, which hits theaters Oct. 19, picks up 40 years later with Myers escaping from a mental institution and returning to his hometown to find Curtis, who has been waiting for her brother for four decades.

Donnelly believes the reboot could successful since it features many of the original cast members

“After the first movie, there were so many bad sequels and remakes,” she said. “Plus, its October and it’s a month in which we like a good scare because of Halloween. Some people will watch it, making a list in their heads of things to do and not to do in such situations. You don’t go downstairs in the dark or walk into a dark room. The movie creates a survival plan – in your head.

“What makes a good horror movie is fear. People love haunted houses and corn mazes. People love to be scared and then feel so much better when things return to normal.”