In John Carpenter’s classic slasher HALLOWEEN, Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) has to survive the immoveable Michael Myers, and she does so with the help of Dr. Samuel Loomis (played by Donald Pleasence) – a watchman who walks in the light. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.
For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:
- 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap
- 00:03:23 – Movie Discussion
- 00:27:57 – Listener Feedback and More
- 00:42:24 – Christian Themes in HALLOWEEN (1978)
Key Texts for Halloween
Let these passages be your guide as you watch HALLOWEEN with your favorite ghouls and goblins (of the appropriate age, of course).
Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 NASB
I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all. Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.
Ezekiel 33:2-5 NLT
Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.
1 John 1:5-7 NLT
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
Walking in the Light in the Darkness of Halloween
Haddonfield, Illinois may seem your average, run-of-the-mill Midwestern town. “Families and children,” says the Sheriff, “all lined up in rows up and down these streets.” Kids go to school, bullies smash the pumpkins, cars go just a little over the speed limit (but not too much), and teenagers get a little rowdy and a little more lusty.
“Those were the good ol’ days,” some may say, “because these kinds of things have always happened gone on.” If these were all that Haddonfield was comprised, life would be swell indeed.
But there’s a shadow that Haddonfield prefers to ignore – the shadow of a horrific event that took place fifteen years ago. A young boy came home on Halloween night, and he found his sister and her boyfriend becoming a little too familiar with each other.
The little one snuck in the back door, took a butcher knife, and snuck up the stairs after the nameless boyfriend left. The young boy then donned a random clown mask and proceeded to murder his sister with that knife. That young boy was a six-year-old Michael Myers.
That young boy was placed in a mental hospital immediately, where he lived under the careful watch of Dr. Samuel Loomis. While with Dr. Loomis, Michael was attended to and very carefully and caringly so. That being said, however, there came a time when even the long-suffering Dr. Loomis had to give up.
“I spent eight years trying to reach him,” he says, “and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind those boy’s eyes was purely and simply evil. The point here is that Dr. Samuel Loomis knows the truth about Michael Myers because of his preexisting relationship with him.
Because he knows the truth, he is able to walk in the light while everyone in Haddonfield feels their way around in the darkness. Because he is walking in the light, Dr. Loomis is able to guess Michael’s next move and eventually stop Michael from killing his last would-be victim Laurie Strode.
Dr. Samuel Loomis, the Watchmen of Halloween
Unfortunately, Michael was able to wreak a lot of bloody havoc in Haddonfield before Dr. Loomis stopped him. It started with a nondescript trucker on the outskirts of Haddonfield. When Dr. Loomis found that scene, he immediately called the Haddonfield authorities to warn them of the impending doom.
Michael then slaughtered a friendly, neighborhood dog as well as Annie, Laurie’s friend who was babysitting at that house. Two more of Laurie’s friends also died at Michael’s hand before Dr. Loomis put six bullets into his chest.
The tragedy of this story, then, is that Dr. Loomis failed in his objective in keeping everyone safe. This ending, however, does not discredit his performance as a watchman for the city of Haddonfield. He did his duty by speaking the truth to power and all those under it, and he didn’t stop until he believed it was safe to do so. He persisted even when it meant working against the casual pace of the cosmos around him.
It’s not that easy to find Christian themes in the horror genre, and when we do, it often feels like a stretch. With Halloween, though, we can safely proffer this thought. When a brother or sister is moving closer to Christ – that is, when they are trying to leave a sinful lifestyle behind and need encouragement to come closer to Jesus – we as the hands and feet of Christ should embrace them and cover them with grace and mercy.
If, however, a brother or sister is moving away from Christ – indulging in a certain sin or suppressing the truth (much like the people of Haddonfield thought they could do with the spectre of Michael Myers) – then we have the moral obligation to speak truth to them. Which, of course, is a lot easier to say than do, but that shouldn’t stop us from doing it.
Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.
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