Michael Myers is a character shrouded in mystery. Since the original film, little has been revealed about his past or what drives him to do what he does, barring some of the weaker sequels of course. But one thing about Michael that has been concealed for a long time is his face. Wondering what horrors lurk under the pale Captain Kirk mask has fascinated fans for decades, leaving many to wonder if his face would be revealed once more in the 2018 film. Fans need not wait any longer. The latest installment offers only occasional half glimpses of the killer’s aged visage, but Michael Myers actor James Jude Courtney recently released a photo that reveals the face of an often faceless killer. Before we begin, let’s take a trip through Halloween history and see all the times Michael has been unmasked.
The Many Faces of Michael Myers
It’s not often that we see The Shape unmasked, though it does happen. Michael’s face was first glimpsed in the opening scene of the original film, shortly after the brutal murder of his sister, Judith. Here he was played by Will Sandin, who not only portrayed Michael during this scene, but also during some scenes shot later for TV. In these new scenes, shot in 1981, Loomis visits the fledgeling killer at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium.
Seeing an adult Michael without his mask has proven far more elusive, the clearest look happening in Carpenter’s original. In one of the most surprising moments of the 1978 classic, a desperate Laurie Strode manages to pull her attacker’s mask off, revealing a rather normal looking 21-year-old underneath.
For this sequence, Michael Myers was portrayed by an actor named Tony Moran. Moran was chosen by writer and producer Debra Hill because, in her words, she felt he had an angelic appearance that went against what audiences expected. Seen above, Moran certainly fit the bill. He’s a perfectly normal, even anonymous looking human being. Somehow, that’s more frightening than the make-up smothered faces of such killers like Jason or Freddy.
Michael’s face was again seen during a brief flashback in Halloween II. While wandering through the hospital, a frightened Laurie Strode uncovers a repressed memory of visiting Michael in the sanitarium. Seen in his teens, Michael was played by an actor named Adam Gunn.
Michael didn’t show his face again until 1989 with Halloween 5, where he was played by stuntman Don Shanks. In this scene, Michael’s niece convinces him to take off his mask so she can see his face. He complies, and though we only see his face briefly in shadow and a few quick cuts, he once more looks like a perfectly normal person once the costume comes off. Since then, Michael’s face was never seen again in the original series. During the soft reboot of Halloween H20, producers again opted to have Michael’s face kept offscreen.
Michael is unmasked during a good portion of the 2018 film, though Director David Gordon Green for the most part keeps the killer’s face just out of reach. Here, he was again played by actor James Jude Courtney, who portrays Michael for most of the film. He’s seen without his mask in the opening sequence, where he’s spoken to by the documentary crew. From the back, you can see signs of a thin beard, as well as a balding head.
David Gordon Green found clever ways to tease Michael’s face without showing it, a valuable skill considering mystery is a large part of the character’s appeal. The film offers several tantalizingly close glimpses, such as a scene where he stalks the podcasters in a cemetery, or his massacre at a gas station. The gas station in particular offers several half glimpses of Michael’s face, seen staring out through a glazed over window, or peering through the door of a bathroom stall. But behind the scenes, there was a man without the mask, and just recently, James Jude Courtney offered audiences a clear look at Michael’s face at 61.
The first thing most will notice is the scar given to Michael by Laurie Strode. Michael’s left eye is severely damaged from Laurie’s coat hangar attack from one of the original’s most famous sequences. Apart from that, there’s not a lot remarkable about him. His age is obvious with a thin white beard and a bald head. Without the mask, Michael seems less like the boogeyman, and more like a next door neighbor. He just looks like an ordinary 61-year old man. Honestly, that’s what is scariest about Michael. As with Tony Moran, the filmmakers seem to have gone for a more ordinary look for the famous killer. Without the mask, he’s not an unstoppable machine of fantasy. He’s just as real as the person standing next to you. In turn, that makes the threat he poses seem all the more real.
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