The new Halloween hits theaters this weekend and delivered fans a seemingly impossible experience, as the film managed to pay its respects to the original film, all of its predecessors, and also ignore the events of the majority of the franchise. While the film is undeniably a sequel, it also feels like a reboot that delivers audiences the "greatest hits" of the series and serves as a palate cleanser of the more disappointing entries in the mythology.
The film was written by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and Jeff Fradley, who opted to avoid creating too many direct nods to the sequels that came before it, but we were delivered countless subtle references that only the most devout fans might notice.
From the camerawork to the set dressing to costume choices, the new Halloween delivers plenty of Easter eggs for attentive fans to pick up on. With some of the narrative elements being direct continuations of the original film, they don't necessarily qualify as a hint at the past so much as a full-blown embrace of it. In that regard, we're going to focus on details and references that fans who might not have committed the entire original film, as well as the rest of the franchise, to memory.
Scroll down to see all of the many Easter eggs we discovered in the new Halloween!
WARNING: Major spoilers below for Halloween
In the original film, fans are immediately unsettled by the jarring theme, composed by John Carpenter, which features orange text on a black screen next to a lit jack-o'-lantern. Once the action begins after the opening credits, viewers are immediately shown a grisly murder.
The new film instead opens with a group of interviewers encountering Michael Myers in a tense reunion with his iconic mask before the new theme kicks in over orange credits on a black screen. The credits also begin with the same decayed jack-o'-lantern from the first film, with time-lapse techniques allowing the gourd to come back to life, looking exactly as it did 40 years earlier.
In both the opening credits and the entire film, Carpenter has made his first direct contributions to the franchise since Halloween III: Season of the Witch, having composed the score with Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies.
The original film opted to honor the October holiday with its title, which inspired countless imitators to go a similar route, yet the project was initially conceived under the name "The Babysitter Murders." In this year's film, when a sheriff is looking over case files regarding Myers' crimes, he recalls them as "the babysitter murders." Yes, this serves as a description of the deaths in the original film, though with only one babysitter having actually been killed in the original film, this line is more likely a reference to the first film's original title.
At another point in the film, audiences see a pickup truck adorned with "Resurrection Church" painted on the side. While it might not be an overt reference, we can't help but think this is a way to pay homage to Halloween: Resurrection, despite it being the film most fans hoped they could forget.
Let's just say that, if you find yourself in a bathroom in a Halloween movie, don't expect to last long.
The podcasters from the film's opening scenes make a pit stop at a gas station, with one of them using the restroom. As seen in the film's trailers, Myers makes his way into the bathroom and attacks her.
This sequence might not be a specific reference to any one Halloween movie, but public restrooms have been depicted in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, and Rob Zombie's Halloween reboot. Not all of the characters who have connections to public restrooms meet the same demise as the characters in the new film, yet we can't help but notice a theme of how to make these facilities even more frightening to viewers.
One of the more memorable scenes in the original film features Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) daydreaming during class and looking out the window, only to see Michael Myers standing outside stalking her. In this film, the scene is recreated almost exactly, with the new iteration replacing Laurie with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and replacing Myers with Laurie. Instead of a creepy feeling, Laurie appears so she can talk with her granddaughter, despite her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) attempting to stifle that relationship.
According to the sequel's credits, P.J. Soles, who played Linda in the original film, voiced the teacher in the brief homage.
This scene was also recreated in Halloween H20, with Michelle Williams' Molly taking Laurie's place.
After we see a young boy murder his sister in the opening scenes of the original Halloween, we then see Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) arrive at a facility where Myers is being held, only to be greeted by all of the patients milling about on the lawn. Myers then manages to attack the doctor and steal a car to get back to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois.
In the new film, Myers is being transported to a new facility, though his transport is canceled when the bus driver is seemingly attacked, crashing the bus full of patients.
Audiences are alerted to the breakout when a father and son are startled by the sight of patients milling about, similar to the scene in the original film. Michael once again attacks to steal a car, though this attack mirrors one of the kills from the original film, as a character gets into a car without checking the backseat, allowing Myers to spring forward to strangle his victim.
In Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, a prisoner transport also ends up being the way Myers frees himself to wreak havoc in Haddonfield.
The killer in the original film is undeniably Michael Myers, but in a way of attempting to remove his humanity, John Carpenter credits actor Nick Castle in the original film as "The Shape." Castle performed a majority of the masked Myers' scenes, so he's not necessarily playing "Michael Myers" in that sense.
When Laurie discovers Myers is being transported to a new location in this sequel, she watches him get loaded onto the bus, only to become overwhelmed by emotions. She then meets up with her family, explaining to them she saw Myers, and saw "the shape," a clear nod to the figure being devoid of all humanity.
Paying further homage to Castle and "The Shape," the actor briefly donned the mask in the film for a scene where Laurie sees the character in his killing persona, doing little more than tilting his head similarly to a gesture he made in the original film after a kill. This iconic moment has helped define Myers, as he looks at his victim with curiosity as opposed to reacting to the kill with pride, hinting at the primal nature of the character who does little more than embrace his desire to kill.
Castle's contributions don't end with the cameo, as he also provided the breathing sounds heard throughout the film coming from under Myers' mask. James Jude Courtney took over the majority of Myers' on-screen presence this year, with both Courtney and Castle credited as "The Shape" at the end of the film.
Lunging at a victim from the backseat isn't the only kill that feels familiar to audiences, as a number of violent encounters mimic memorable moments from the original film.
One kill involves stabbing a victim with such severity that they are pinned to the wall with a kitchen knife, which is the kill from the original film that results in a head tilt. Myers isn't known for having a sense of humor, but disguises himself in a classic ghost costume (a bedsheet with eye holes cut out) to confront a victim in the original film. This sequel instead uses the familiar look to cover up a babysitter that Myers has murdered.
At one point in the original film, Myers hides a body by cramming it into a cabinet, only to flop out unexpectedly. Similarly, this new film depicts a corpse crammed into a closet, whose arms also flop out when the door is opened.
The filmmakers of the new Halloween originally toyed with re-shooting the original film's final sequence to make some narrative tweaks, such as Michael getting arrested and Dr. Loomis getting killed by his patient. The production was so committed to the idea, that an exact recreation of the house from that film was built, only for the idea to be abandoned.
The set went to good use, as the recreated set is used as Laurie's home in the new film. As Laurie stalks Michael through her home in the sequel's finale, audiences are likely to feel deja vu, as these scenes mirror the original film's finale, with Laurie now on the offensive as opposed to looking for places to hide. The added appearances of the closet in which she hid from the killer in 1978 hammers the point home, with the slatted closet doors potentially allowing Myers to hide as opposed to Laurie.
Adding to the deja vu is a scene in which Laurie is attacked and knocked out of a window, which, thanks to the recreated set, is the same window Michael was thrown from in the original film. Completing the homage, Myers sees Laurie on the ground, looks back into the house, then looks back down to see Laurie has vanished. The roles are reversed in the original film, with Michael mysteriously vanishing.
The layout of the house isn't the only element of the original film brought back, as some viewers might notice a straw hat hanging on Laurie's wall in her home, which looks almost exactly like the hat she had on her bedroom wall in the original film.
Continuing the house motif, Laurie has a dollhouse in her home, which looks like an almost exact recreation of Myers' childhood home, which is seen in the opening sequences of the original film.
With this film ignoring all of the films in the franchise minus the original, it is effectively "Halloween II," so it's no surprise that there are heavy references to the actual 1981 Halloween II.
One sequence is almost the opposite of a reference, as it directly negates a plot point from that film. Halloween II revealed the sibling connection between Myers and Laurie, while this year's sequel depicts characters dismissing the rumor that the pair are related.
Myers is known for his kitchen knife, with this new film having to depict how he could reunite with his beloved weapon. In an almost exact recreation of Halloween II, Myers sneaks into a woman's house while she's making a sandwich, ultimately killing her and taking the knife. That sequel showed Myers grabbing a knife from a woman, Mrs. Elrod, who is making a sandwich for her husband while wearing a pink robe with curlers in her hair, an outfit worn by the victim in this new film.
Another massive connection to Halloween II is that this film (seemingly) kills Myers by blowing him up in a fire, similarly to the exploding hospital in the 1981 film. Given that he survived the original explosion for another three sequels, we won't be surprised if Myers returns in this new timeline.
After Michael Myers escapes the mental institution in the original film, Laurie and her two friends walk the streets of Haddonfield, not knowing the dangers that lurk their community. In the scene where Allyson refutes the rumors of Laurie and Myers being related, Allyson is walking around town with her two friends discussing their Halloween plans in an updated version of the 1978 film's sequences.
When Loomis realizes that Myers is heading home to Haddonfield in the original film, he visits the cemetery to see the grave of the sister the villain killed as a child. In this year's film, it's the podcasters who investigate the cemetery in a similar scene to the original, discovering Judith Myers' tombstone.
In one iconic shot from the original film, Laurie looks out her bedroom window to see bedsheets drying on a laundry line, only for Myers to appear between the sheets. This new film might not feature Myers stalking linens set out to dry, but one scene does prominently feature drying sheets, a strong echo of the original film's memorable scene.
With Donald Pleasence having died in 1995, this sequel had to address his absence, merely stating that the character died with the narrative then moving on. However, recordings are recovered of Loomis, with actor Colin Mahan credited with providing the film with the vocal likeness.
The main police officer in this year's film is Frank Hawkins, played by Will Patton, who reveals that he was a police officer who assisted Loomis in the original film.
This year's film features multiple references to Lonnie Elam, with Allyson's dad talking about all the drugs he used to do with the character when they were kids. In the original film, Lonnie is one of the bullies of the boy Laurie babysits, who also appears late in the film at Michael Myers' childhood home, looking for a good scare.
In one of the more comedic moments of this year's sequel, two police officers discuss the merits of bánh mì sandwiches, distracting audiences from the horrors of the narrative. In Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, two bumbling cops also serve as comedic relief, despite the duo being largely disliked by fans of the series.
John Carpenter has regularly stated how his only interest in the Halloween franchise was telling the story of the mysterious masked murderer in the original film and never intended to make follow-up films. The success of his original resulted in the studio following through on Halloween II, with the third film allowing the franchise to move away from Myers for good.
Halloween III: Season of the Witch instead explored a novelty company that used ancient rituals to insert computer chips into Halloween masks of a witch, skull, and jack-o'-lantern which, when worn while a specific jingle played, would kill the wearer.
At one point in the new sequel, trick-or-treaters can be seen wearing the iconic masks while asking for candy. Halloween III is easily the most divisive sequel in the franchise, with fans of the film appreciating its acknowledgement.
David Gordon Green has previously discussed how his mantra with developing the new film came down to one simple phrase Laurie says in the original, "Do as I say." She delivers the line to two children she's babysitting when making sure they escape safely.
The new film depicts how Laurie has spent her entire life since that night in 1978 demanding others to do as she says, if only to protect them. Unsurprisingly, Laurie utters the same four words to her granddaughter when Laurie realizes that Michael has escaped and demands Allyson return home.
This marks the third time Laurie has said the line, having also said it in Halloween H20 to her son, though that film and character have been erased from continuity.
At one point in the original film, Laurie is meant to be singing a song to herself, but with the independent production unable to afford the rights to any actual songs, Curtis made up a generic tune on set. During the new film, two characters are driving in a truck and the song playing on the radio is a fictional tune created just as a callback.
“The other really subtle one that I’m really excited about is when the boy and his father are driving, the song on the radio is the song that Jamie sang in the original,” Green shared with Entertainment Weekly. “They couldn’t afford the rights to a song for the movie, so John and Jamie freestyled a song: ‘I wish I had you all alone. Just the two of us.’ And then we had a band write a song as if it was recorded in 1978, kind of a country song, that’s playing in the car. John was just laughing out loud [when he heard it]. He was like, ‘Wait, that’s familiar. Oh wait, I wrote that song!'”