Halloween H20 nearly featured a scene where the famously mute Michael Myers spoke a single word to his sister – here’s why it was cut. Director John Carpenter first introduced the world to Michael’s sociopathic escapades in 1978’s Halloween where he was chasing down luckless teenager Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). The movie’s success spawned a series, with 1981’s Halloween 2 introducing the somewhat controversial twist that Laurie was Michael’s long-lost sister, and that’s why she was his target. While Curtis took an extended break from the horror genre after the sequel, Michael – AKA The Shape – became too iconic to keep down.
Halloween’s 3 to 6 met with mixed results – and box-office returns – but the seventh installment, Halloween H20 was something of a return to form. Curtis returned as a grown-up Laurie, who is still traumatized from the “Night He Came Home.” Michael tracks Laurie down two decades later as she tries to live a normal life in a secluded town with her teenage son, and the siblings duke it out once more. In Halloween H20’s final sequence, Michael is pinned between a van and a fallen tree but as Laurie approaches him with an ax he extends a hand towards her. Laurie isn’t forgiving him that easily and the scene quickly shifts from pseudo-tender to gruesome as she decapitates him. It’s one of the most cathartic moments in the series but funnily enough, it almost didn’t happen that way.
According to the sequel’s cleverly-named 2013 documentary Halloween H20: Blood is Thicker Than Water, there were some creative conflicts among the producers while deciding how to end the movie. Some wanted the moment the way it ended up happening, with Laurie finally sticking it to Michael and ending the series. Naturally, others wanted to keep the franchise running by purposely omitting a clear-cut demise for its central boogeyman. One of these versions actually had Michael speak too, which would have been a series first. When Laurie approaches him in Halloween H20 finale, he was supposed to whisper “Laurie…,” shocking her and the audience. The scene still played out with Laurie lopping his head off though.
It seems the only reason this wasn’t included was that it conflicted with the compromise the producers had come up with. The next movie Halloween: Resurrection revealed that it wasn’t Michael Laurie killed, but an innocent paramedic who Michael had attacked and switched outfits with. It’s a cheap copout that infuriated many, but the team behind Halloween H20 had already set this up as a way to keep the franchise alive. As such, it would have made little sense if this poor paramedic had gently whispered Laurie’s name, so this idea was dropped.
Jamie Lee Curtis very reluctantly agreed to this finale on the condition Halloween H20 end with both Laurie and the audience convinced Michael Myers really was dead, and that there was no hint otherwise. Given the constant retconning and rebooting of the franchise, some have elected to ignore Resurrection’s cowardly backpaddle and treat Halloween H20 as the end of a trilogy proceeded by Halloween and its 1981 sequel. Rob Zombie would later broke the no speaking rule his director’s cut of Halloween 2, where his version of Michael utters “Die!” in the finale just before being riddled with bullets.