Monday, October 28, 2019

The Making of a Monstrous Middle Child

A Special Halloween Report

"You don't have to look very hard to find proof
that Middle Children do some scary things."
     Any parent of a Middle Child will tell you, we can be real terrors. Little monsters. There’s even been research that seems to back that up.  There’s no doubt our behavior can be frightening, and you don't have to look very hard to find proof that Middle Children do some scary things. So in celebration of Halloween, I thought it would be fitting to feature a real-life Middle Child monster -- well, a real-life movie Middle Child monster. A creature so horrifying, just the mere mention of his name sends chills down the spine: Michael Myers.
NOT a Middle Child.
     No, not that Mike Myers. The other one, with the creepy mask. The primary antagonist, serial killer, and all-around psychopathic dude in the Halloween film series.
     Now, I’m no fan of slasher flicks. In fact, I’ve never actually seen any of the Halloween movies -- with my eyes open. Just writing about this is giving me the willies. And if I’m being totally honest, the reason I haven’t posted in a few weeks is because it took me so much longer than usual to write this post as I was looking over my shoulder the entire time! But I’ll be brave and press on.
Serious Middle Child issues.
     On Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Audrey Myers watched as his older sister, Judith, was making out with her boyfriend prior to going up to her room to have sex. This apparently bothered Michael, so after the boyfriend left he crept upstairs and repeatedly stabbed Judith to death. In hindsight, maybe his parents should’ve given him a better middle name than Audrey. Anyway, young Michael was sent to an asylum where he was to be held until his 21st birthday, when he would be tried as an adult. But that would never happen. Fifteen years later, on October 30, 1978 -- the day before he was to be transferred to court for his hearing -- Michael escaped. Before leaving, he carved the word “sister” on his door -- a special message for his younger sibling, Cynthia, who was adopted by the Strode family and renamed Laurie after both of her parents were killed in a car accident in 1965.
Where Jamie Lee Curtis
earned her scream creds.
     And so began a killing spree that has fueled a film franchise ranked first in U.S. box office, when adjusting for inflation, compared to other horror film series. Truly killer box office. Since his first appearance in the original Halloween in 1978, the murderous Middle Child has killed a total of 121 people in the 10 versions of the movie he appears in, as catalogued by ScreenRant.
     While many Middle Children would kill for the kind of attention Michael has received, Michael actually has. Empire Magazine named him “one of the most iconic killer characters in cinema history,” TimeOut Magazine lists him as one of “The 50 Best Movie Villains of All Time,” and Paste Magazine puts three different installments of the Halloween series on their list of “50 Best Slasher Movies of All Time,” with the original version topping their list. Yet he doesn’t make the cut, pun intended, on AFI’s “100 Years...100 Heroes & Villians” or USA Today’s “The 50 Most Popular Movie Villains of All Time.” Typical Middle Child treatment.
     Of course, Michael Myers is no typical Middle Child, and he's surely not one you'd ever want to piss off. I really hope I haven't already.

If you want to find out more about all things Michael Myers, check out this great article by Shea Serrano at The Ringer. (I know he’s just a movie maniac, but just in case, there are even some tips on how you might possibly survive an encounter with Michael.)

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Middle Children need to be heard!