Did Friday the 13th Copy Halloween? [Movie Comparison]

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Scary Movies and Series

Friday the 13th vs Halloween: Which Movie Copied Which?

A lot of people believe that Halloween copied Friday the 13th. While it is probably true that both horror movie franchise giants have ‘borrowed’ a little from one another…the truth is, Halloween actually came first.  John Carpenter’s original Halloween was filmed in 1978 and featured the ruthless killer Michael Myers in a nearly polished fashion right away.  And while we are big fans of both slashers, Jason Voorhees seems a little under-developed in Sean Cunningham’s original Friday the 13th, released 2 years later in 1980. There are a few crossovers, however, that cannot be ignored and hint that the creators shared an interest in viewing each others films!

Slasher Similarities

The Case of a Properly Masked Killer

did Halloween copy friday 13th

Although the first Michael Myers comes complete with a very attractive ‘killer mask’, Jason Voorhees is forced to resort to wearing a sack over his head for the first two films. Jason did not receive his shiny new hockey mask until Friday the 13th: Part 3, in 1982.  Horror Enthusiast speculates, however, that the Friday the 13th franchise realized the reason Halloween movies were grossing more in the USA was probably because Michael Myers had a mask.  Having a mask makes a killer more identifiable, and more interesting.  A quick look at the gross records of the movies backs up this theory:

  • Halloween (1978) grossed approximately $47,000,000 in the USA [masked killer Michael Myers].
  • Friday the 13th (1980) grossed $39,754,601 in the USA [unmasked killer].
  • Halloween II (1981) grossed $25,533,818 in the USA [masked killer Michael Myers].
  • Friday the 13th: Part II grossed $21,722,776 in the USA [unmasked killer Jason Voorhees]

And then something interesting happened. The Halloween franchise distanced itself from Michael Myers entirely for Halloween Part III: Season of the Witch (1982) and totally bombed at the box office. It is interesting to note Halloween Part III did not feature any single masked killer that could be identified in promotional material. In other words, there was no “single greatest villain” at all!  That year, Friday the 13th Part III was released featuring the new, masked Jason Voorhees and it more than DOUBLED Halloween’s domestic gross that year! Check it out:

Friday the 13th killer with a machete and hockey mask.
  • Halloween Part III: Season of the Witch (1982) grossed an estimated $14,400,000 in the USA [no Michael Myers killer at all].
  • Friday the 13th: Part III (1982) grossed $36,690,067 in the USA [new masked Jason Voorhees killer].

Unfortunately for the Halloween franchise, it would be much harder to get back on the horse. In fact, Friday the 13th would go on to release 3 more movies (part 4, 5 and 6) before having any competition from Halloween again. Halloween part 4 would be released in 1988, attempting to out-gross Friday the 13th Part 7.  Still, Friday the 13th Part 7 would out-gross Halloween part 4. Have a look:

  • Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter (1984) grossed an estimated $32,980,000 in the USA [masked Jason, with no competition from Michael Myers that year].
  • Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985) grossed $21,930,418 in the USA [masked Jason, with no competition from Michael Myers that year].
  • Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) grossed $19,472,057 in the USA [masked Jason, with no competition from Michael Myers that year].
  • Halloween 4: Return of Michael Myers (1988) grossed $17,768,757 in the USA [masked Michael Myers].
  • Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) grossed $19,170,001 in the USA [masked Jason Voorhees].

The entire point of comparing the history of earnings from these films is to highlight the fact the Friday the 13th films did not earn more than Halloween movies until after Jason was properly masked.  Clearly, a properly outfitted villain is everything! 

In the case of an identifiable, masked killer, Horror Enthusiast speculates Friday the 13th copied Halloween!*

*There is a even a scene in Halloween Part 4, where Michael Myers can be briefly seen stalking Dr Loomis, wearing a Jason hockey mask!

The Case of Gender Discrimination in Killing

are michael myers and jason the same

One argument could be that the Friday the 13th franchise chose the gender death count based upon the success of the Halloween.  While this argument would not be very valid from the initial history of the two franchises and their horror starts…it could be the case later on in the struggle throughout their rivalry.  Breaking down the history reveals an interesting pattern change between the 1988 and 1989 movies.  Here is how both franchises began…

  • Michael Myers and Halloween claim 5 female victims and 4 male victims in 1978.
  • The Voorhees’ and Friday the 13th claim 5 female and 6 male victims in 1980.
  • Michael Myers and Halloween claim 5 female victims and 7 male victims in 1981.
  • Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th claim 4 female and 6 male victims in 1981.

A little time passes before the two franchises go head to head again. However, in 1988, Halloween part 4 is released to compete with Friday the 13th Part 7.

  • Michael Myers and Halloween claim 3 female victims and 17 male victims in 1988.
  • Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th claim 8 female and 8 male victims in 1988.

It is interesting to note that a previous bias to avoid too many female kills had been heavily retained in the Halloween franchise, while Friday the 13th decided to even it up. However, Friday the 13th must have decided that did not work out very well, as the two giants competed in 1989 again, only Friday the 13th had re-limited their female death count. Have a look…

  • Michael Myers and Halloween claim 4 female victims and 15 male victims in 1989.
  • Jason Voorhees and Friday the 13th claim 5 female and 15 male victims in 1989.
monster grabbing woman in canoe from Friday the 13th movie

Although previous patterns for the first two may have indicated their own trial and error…and in the case of gender discrimination in killing, Horror Enthusiast speculates that Friday the 13th may have copied Halloween’s gender death count ratio.  Please be aware, this speculation must have been to avoid media scrutiny, not based upon profit…as Jason had been raking in the dough!

The Case of an Edged Blade

One could speculate that Friday the 13th chose to give Jason Voorhees a giant machete to outdo Halloween’s choice to outfit Michael Myers with a kitchen knife.  While the machete is admittedly much larger, a quick recap of the history of kills in the start of the two franchises reveals otherwise.

  • In Halloween (1978), Michael Myers claims 4 knife-based deaths. And in Halloween II (1981), that number drops to only 1 knife-based death.
  • In both Friday the 13th (1980) and Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), the Voorhees’ claims a total of 4 machete-based deaths.

Skipping ahead to the next relevant years of competition between Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, 1988 and 1989…

  • In Halloween Part 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Michael Myers claimed 2 deaths by knife. And in Halloween 5 the following year, again only 2 victims are killed by knife.
  • In Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) only one person is claimed by machete. And in Friday the 13th Part VIII the following year, again only one person is killed by machete.

In the end, the two slashers are creative enough in their death scenes to not always require their primary weapon of choice; Thus Horror Enthusiast speculates that in the case of an edged blade, neither horror franchise copied the other.

The Case of Franchise Name and Film Titles

Does Michael Myers wear Jason mask

Halloween’s first film being released 2 years earlier than the first Friday the 13th, creates some natural insinuations about the rivalry.  The most obvious comparison: the names of the films.  “Halloween” was most likely chosen because of it’s stigma…or the ‘already-encouraged celebration of all things scary.’  This is a common tactic used in Hollywood, as a surplus of horror movies are always available during the Halloween season. Surely, naming an entire movie after the holiday is a great way to rake in the real dough!  And they were right, Halloween did tremendously well it’s first year, being released a few days before Halloween on October 27, 1978.

Similarly, Friday the 13th seems to take advantage of the only other “horror-driven” day of the year: Friday the thirteenth. Friday the 13th (1980) would be released on May 9th, 1980, one month ahead of that year’s Friday the 13th, June 13th, 1980. 

Regardless of it’s release date, it is clear Friday the 13th chose to capitalize on the naming scheme piloted by the Halloween franchise, thus, Horror Enthusiast speculates that in the case of franchise name and film titles, Friday the 13th  may have copied Halloween’s naming scheme.

Final Notes About the Horror Franchise Rivalry

Michael Meyers behind a young woman looking out the window

Friday the 13th obviously came after Halloween, and thus it is reasonable to assume John Carpenter’s cult hit had at least lightly influenced the Friday the 13th creators and crew; However, both franchises deserve respect for their individual contributions to the slasher genre.  For horror alone would not be what it is had it not been for so many victims spanning across these 21 movies (there are 10 Halloween films and 11 Friday the 13th films). Both franchises deserve a tip of the hat.

The Halloween versus Friday the 13th rivalry is one for horror history books no doubt, however, it is one that lives on to this very day. Each day, a new fan is born and as long as the franchises see interest in the audience, Michael and Jason will remain prominent slashers.  And when one slasher is slashing, it usually wakes other killers up from their slumber as well…as the profits these killers rake in make it worth it to slash and slash again they will! Who knows, maybe we’ll even see a “Michael vs Jason” movie someday soon.  After all, there couldn’t possibly be a better matched fight and horror fans from both franchises would be thrilled to see it happen (hint hint)!

How is Laurie Strode in Halloween Movies If She Died?

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Scary Movies and Series

How Did They Bring Laurie Strode Back for the Halloween Movies? 

Laurie Strode’s character (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) was a long running heroine in the Halloween franchise.  She is one of the most successful protagonists out of all the horror movie franchises…and thus, her death came as a shock to Halloween fans. The producers of Halloween: Resurrection (2002) decided they were going to kill off Laurie’s character.  So how is it that she is back and starring in the 2018 Halloween movie, released on October 19th, 2018 and the new 2021 Halloween Kills movie?

Horror Enthusiast has probed the Halloween rumors and creator interviews to determine the truth behind Jamie Lee Curtis’ reemergence as heroine Laurie Strode.

Why is Laurie Strode in the New Halloween movies?

The creators of this new Halloween movies are laying down some pretty good ground work and they all seem to be on the same page.  Danny McBride has been interviewed about the 2018 movie (he was co-writing it, so his opinion is of sincere value) and has claimed it is not a remake.  He explains that they are not picking up after Rob Zombie’s remakes. In fact, it ignores them, and many other movies in the franchise as well.

The real reason Laurie Strode has been allowed back into the franchise, is because the new movie ignores all previous films besides the first two movies. This means, all Michael Myers history after 1981 never happened for this new film.*  As far as script writing goes for Halloween (2018), Laurie Strode never died to begin with.

Additionally, McBride has offered some more insight to the inspiration behind the new Halloween movie, and it all starts with his own likes.  McBride states that he has always loved the Halloween franchise, and that the first movie has been on of his all time favorites.  He says the simplicity behind the original movie led to efficiency probably meant to describe the entire movie] and that he wants to create a “straight-up” kind of horror in these new Halloween movies.

*It has been suggested that McBride and team may also choose to completely ignore the second movie in the franchise as well, Halloween II (1981). This would mean picking up after Michael Myers falls out of the second story window in the first film, gets up, and walks off.

Halloween (2018)

It is important to remember that Halloween (2018) is not meant to be a remake of anything. It is a continuation of a story.  So much of the telephone game has created rumors that this is a remake of the original Halloween movie, even incorrectly listed on IMDB as a “reboot of the original film” (at the time of writing this article anyway).

Released in October 2018 release, Halloween 2018 became an instant classic. A team of true Halloween movie lovers like Carpenter, McBride and Green all working together, along with bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis, means creating a masterpiece that has horror fans everywhere more than excited!

Is Michael Myers Based On a Real Story?

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Horror Mystery and Lore Scary Movies and Series

Is Michael Myers Based Upon a True Story?

Behind The Scenes: Halloween and Michael Myers

Halloween in Haddonfield is one of the scariest horror movie settings of all time.  With a lot of parties and ‘trick or treaters,’ there are people wearing masks everywhere, making the evil harder to detect.  Speaking of evil, everyone knows the iconic white-masked terror that is Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise. But where did Halloween creators come up with the story, plot and killer? What inspired one of the most popular (and deadly) horror movie slashers of all time, Michael Myers?  Is Halloween based upon a true story?

The Real Story Behind Michael Myers and Halloween

Like any successful horror movie franchise, Halloween has grown throughout time.  A horror franchise grows with its sequels according to the demand of the audience and appropriate plot advances. But a lot of what Michael Myers is today, is owed to his original creators…the writers and staff responsible for putting together the original Halloween film. Here are some of the most influential contributions to making Halloween and Michael a scary genre leader that it is today!

Dark History of Evil

The idea of Michael Myers can be traced back to Samhain, and true evil itself.  Debra Hill, who co-wrote Halloween (1978) got into detail in one interview mentioning Samhain itself and that evil was unable to be killed or destroyed. In a traditional Samhain belief, the souls from the other side can come back for one night. This spawned the concept of Michael Myers, a Halloween (Samhain by another name) killer who would keep coming back.

College Studies to Horror Slasher

John Carpenter attributes some of his inspiration for writing Michael’s evil nature from a trip to a mental institution he took with one of his college classes.  Supposedly (according to Carpenter), the patients housed at this Kentucky mental institution were the most seriously ill of all mental patients.  Many of the patients exhibited creepy characteristics. One patient in particular, a young boy, provided Carpenter with a truly evil and deadly stare.  This experience ultimately led to the creation of the hacking and slashing villain and Halloween horror star, Michael Myers.

Creating Haddonfield

The two writers, Hill and Carpenter, had to come up with a fictional town that Michael could return to haunt. Haddonfield is a real place, only it is located in New Jersey. Hill grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and picked the name in honor of her hometown.  The street names throughout the movie were pulled from Carpenter’s hometown, Bowling Green. In fact, much of the script details were pulled together by combining the two writers’ childhood and hometown experiences together.

Character Creation

The writers decided it would be easiest to each be responsible for drafting the characters of their respective genders.  Thus, Debra Hill would write most of the female character dialogue and behavior; and Carpenter focused on Dr Loomis and Michael Myers. 

Additionally, some of the character names came from the Carpenter’s personal live. Laurie Strode was an ex-girlfriend of Carpenter’s. Michael Myers was the name of a producer Carpenter had previously known from another film.

A Terrifying Musical Score

A lot of the horror that takes place in a Halloween film, especially the original film, take place during super eerie sound tracks.  The suspense that builds during a Halloween film can almost directly relate to the background soundtrack, as the scarier the scenes: the scarier the music.  Carpenter played a huge part in the musical composition of the Halloween soundtrack and has suggested the soundtrack is one of the movies greatest assets.

Other Inspirations

Homage to Alfred Hitchcock is paid by way of two character names. Firstly, Tommy Doyle’s character was named after a policeman from Hitchcock’s 1954 “Rear Window.” And secondly, Dr. Loomis was a nod to character Sam Loomis (played by John Gavin) from Hitchcocks’ 1960 “Psycho.”

Final Words About Halloween’s Favorite Slasher

Michael Meyers Halloween Monster portrait in black and white

In short, Halloween is not based upon a true story. However, it does not require it be based on a real story to be truly terrifying. And there WAS real inspiration for the making of Michael Myers. And there were several other real-life inspirations in the making of the Halloween franchise. Regardless of how the original concept was derived, John Carpenter capitalized on a timeless fear, as the audience still turns up strong for a good Halloween sequel!

Are you a TRUE Halloween franchise enthusiast? Check out Surprising Facts About the Halloween Movies for some real Halloween Movie Trivia!

Is Michael Myers Immortal? [Halloween Trivia]

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Scary Movies and Series

Does Michael Myers Ever Die?

Halloween’s Michael Myers is infamous for returning over and over again on Halloween to slay his family and a variety of other victims in his path.  Sometimes, he sustains injuries that no human being could ever sustain at the end of one movie, only to reappear in another film a few years down the road.  So what is the deal? Is Michael Myers an immortal? Horror Enthusiast analyzes some of the most key points in revealed throughout the Halloween franchise which explain Michael’s never-ending killing cycle!

Can Michael Myers Live Forever?

Dr Loomis describes the first time he saw Michael Myers as essentially meeting the devil himself. He admits that he felt Michael was savable, however, after 8 years of trying to mentally repair Michael, he gave up and began trying to keep him locked up.  Loomis describes Michael Myers as pure evil.  Being made of ‘pure evil’ would most certainly explain Michael’s incredible survival skills. Here is a list of the ways he has ‘died’ throughout the Halloween films…

Michael Meyers Defeats Timeline

In Halloween (1978), Michael gets a full revolver of bullets in the chest and falls from a second story window.

In Halloween II (1981), Michael gets shot 8 times, including once in each eyeball, and then blown to smithereens via oxygen and ether tanks in Haddonfield Memorial Hospital.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) features a practical firing squad as Michael receives a barrage of bullets, from both rifles and shotguns, and falls into a mine shaft.  Law enforcement toss some dynamite into the shaft along with him in an attempt to finish him.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) presents Michael’s elaborate survival of the previous film’s ‘dynamite ending’ (pun intended), and showcases Michael’s building strength strength.

In Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), Michael is injected with a solution that is revealed to be a tranquilizer and then beat with a pipe.  He still escapes.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) brings back Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, who crushes her brother against a tree with an ambulance and decapitates him with an axe. However, this was apparently not Michael (as revealed in Resurrection, 2002).

In Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Michael suffers an electrocution. He is also lit on fire.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007), the slasher gets shot multiple times, stabbed in the chest, falls from a second story window (like the first film) and then gets shot in the face.  He survives.

And Rob Zombie’s sequel, Halloween II (2009), Michael was stabbed many times with a butcher knife, wounds both in the chest and face. Despite this film depicting him dead, he always seems to escape somehow. 

Will Michael Myers Ever Die?

Michael always seems to surprise fans. No matter how many ways they have tried to kill him, he appears to have infinite strength and infinite lives.  Still, the Danny McBride 2018 rewrite frames a mortal, much more human slasher. McBride has explained that the Halloween franchise has gotten too corny and that it deserves to reboot, back to the original Carpenter-style horror it was in 1978. Carpenter must agree, as he is listed as the lead producer on the 2018 Halloween remake.  In fact, Michael Myers has been made out to be much more vulnerable than ever before in the upcoming film.

Halloween (2018) After Michael is trapped in a fortified basement and the house explodes the camera cuts back to the smoldering ruins. Alas these is not real evidence that he was destroyed.

After many attempts it seems clear he cannot be killed by any conventional methods. Is he immortal is still TBD, but he sure is not easy to kill.

Similarities and Differences Between Friday the 13th and Halloween Movies

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Scary Movies and Series

Comparing the Halloween and Friday the 13th Movies

The Halloween and Friday the 13th killers and franchises are far too similar to be a coincidence. Thus, it is only logical that one copied the other. However, in the grand scheme of things…it is also reasonable to assume a range of characteristics found in both movies and killers would be considered a generalized public domain-type of fear. In other words: it is kind of hard to get an intellectual property patent for something like “a killer that stalks you” or “a killer that wears a mask”

How Are Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees Different?

Reason for Killing

Michael Myers is haunted by visions, nightmares and voices which tell him to kill in the time of Samhain (Halloween). He specifically typically hunts down his family members.  Jason Voorhees was a critical victim of childhood bullying and succumbed to a cruel drowning by unsupervised kids while camping. Although he too has heard his mothers voice, he is primarily killing for revenge.

Movie Setting

Halloween is set in the town of Haddonfield, where Michael can kill in a suburban setting…including roads, houses and stores.  Friday the 13th is set in Camp Crystal Lake, where Jason gains killing access to the woods, cabins and lake itself.

When the Killer Officially First Died

Michael Myers claims his first kill from a very early age, then returning as an adult to hunt the rest of his family. Jason Voorhees supposedly dies before he makes his first kill, being drown at a very young age.  He does not claim his first kill, in fact, until some 20 years later.

Mobility of the Killer

Michael Myers is able to travel great distances to get to his desired destination.  He can even hijack and drive automobiles. Jason Voorhees generally remains trapped in the Crystal Lake area, and is not seen traveling great distances (especially not by car).

How Are Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees Similar?

Both Feature a Masked Killer

Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers are notorious for their creepy appearances…most of which revolves around the center focus of their mask.

Both Feature a Weapon of Choice

Out of dozens of ways each slasher has creatively slain their victims, each has exhibited a supreme preference.  Jason Voorhees typically prefers his giant machete, while Michael Myers seems to enjoy knifing people to death.

Family Drama

Friday the 13th’s Jason has some seriously ‘effed up’ drama going on with his mother. She is very frequently seen egging him on, and even kills on his behalf in the first movie.  Similarly, Halloween’s Michael Myers is always chasing down and trying to hunt his family…most notably Laurie Strode.

Both Killers Are Mute

Interestingly, both franchises take advantage of a “silent but deadly” strategy. Neither Jason Voorhees nor Michael Myers will ever be caught speaking…yet they are both terrifying and everyone runs!

Supernatural Powers

No matter how victims fight back, they are never able to overcome the slasher.  Michael and Jason both manhandle their victims although they were nothing more than a sack of potatoes!

Brought Back from the Dead

michael myers listening to a phone

Despite being largely indestructible, both slashers have been beaten in a number of their movies, only to be brought back from the dead. Michael has been shot in both eyes and lit on fire, Jason blown up and dismembered, but both have survived to kill again!

Fun Fact: In Halloween Part 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Michael Myers can be seen 21:10 seconds into the film seemingly wearing Jason’s hockey mask.

Final Words: Halloween vs Friday the 13th

Both, Friday the 13th and Halloween, are fantastic horror franchises. Each movie features a number of gory, glorious kills which will grace the history book of slashers forever.  And while both slashers may be exploiting a similar genre niche and real-life fear of a masked, deranged psychopath killer, both contribute a steady stream of creativity in kill style.  Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees always offer an entertaining show that is undeniably exhilarating and always keeps viewers on the edge of their seats!

Check out our other article…Did Friday the 13th copy Halloween, to learn a little more about this horror franchise rivalry!