Halloween Returns: The Resurgence of Spooky Delights and Festive Fun

Halloween Returns is the title of a canceled sequel to the Halloween film series, which was supposed to be released in 2016. The film was intended to be a direct sequel to the original Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981) while ignoring all the other sequels and remakes. The film was written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, who had previously worked on the Saw and The Collector franchises and was set to be directed by Dunstan.

The film would have followed the son of a cop who killed Michael Myers in 1981, as he and his friends are targeted by the masked killer who escapes from death row on Halloween night. In this article, we will explore the history, plot, and legacy of Halloween Returns.

Halloween Returns: The Cancelled Sequel That Could Have Revived the Franchise

The History of Halloween Returns

Halloween Returns was conceived as a way to revive the Halloween franchise, which had been dormant since Rob Zombie’s Halloween II (2009), a sequel to his 2007 remake of the original. The remake and its sequel had received mixed reviews from critics and fans, and had deviated from the original vision of John Carpenter, who created the character of Michael Myers as a mysterious and unstoppable force of evil.

In 2015, producer Malek Akkad, who had inherited the rights to the franchise from his father Moustapha Akkad, announced that he had hired Dunstan and Melton to write a new Halloween film, which would be a standalone sequel that would honor the original films. Dunstan and Melton revealed that they were fans of Carpenter’s work, and that they wanted to make a film that would appeal to both old and new fans of the franchise. They also stated that they wanted to make a film that would be scary, suspenseful, and fun, without relying on gore or torture.

The film was originally set to be produced by Dimension Films, which had distributed all the previous Halloween films since 1995. However, in late 2015, Dimension Films lost the rights to the franchise due to their failure to produce a new film within a certain time frame. The rights were then acquired by Miramax Films, which partnered with Blumhouse Productions, a company known for producing low-budget horror films such as Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and The Purge. Blumhouse Productions brought in Carpenter as an executive producer and creative consultant for the new film and hired David Gordon Green and Danny McBride to write and direct it.

As a result of these changes, Halloween Returns was canceled, and Dunstan and Melton’s script was shelved. The new film, simply titled Halloween (2018), was released on October 19, 2018, and became a critical and commercial success. It also spawned two sequels: Halloween Kills (2021) and Halloween Ends (2022).

The Plot of Halloween Returns

Halloween Returns would have been set in 2016, 35 years after the events of Halloween II (1981). The film would have opened with a flashback to 1981, where Michael Myers is captured by Deputy Gary Hunt after being shot by Dr. Samuel Loomis. Hunt then shoots Michael in the head, apparently killing him.

In 2016, Hunt is now the sheriff of Haddonfield, Illinois, and has a son named Noah. Noah is friends with Aaron Korey, whose father is an investigative journalist who is obsessed with Michael Myers. Aaron convinces Noah to sneak into the prison where Michael is being held on death row, as he believes that Michael is still alive and wants to interview him. They are joined by two girls: Emma Strode, who is Laurie Strode’s niece; and Casey Pierce, who is Noah’s crush.

However, things go wrong when Michael escapes from his cell during his execution and goes on a killing spree in the prison. He then steals a van and heads to Haddonfield, where he targets Noah and his friends. Meanwhile, Hunt teams up with Deputy Brady Thompson, who is Emma’s boyfriend; Deputy Kelly Meeker, who is Casey’s sister; and Dr. Loomis’ daughter Elizabeth Loomis, who is a psychiatrist; to stop Michael before he kills again.

Halloween Returns’ To Film In Louisiana 

The film would have featured several nods and references to the original films, such as:

  • Michael wearing his original mask from Halloween (1978), which he finds in Aaron’s van.
  • Michael kills one of his victims with a knitting needle, which Laurie used to stab him on Halloween (1978).
  • Michael killed another victim with a hammer, which he used to kill a mechanic on Halloween (1978).
  • Michael killed yet another victim with a syringe, which he used to kill Nurse Jill in Halloween II (1981).
  • Michael is burned alive by Hunt and Elizabeth in a gas station, which is similar to how he was burned by Loomis in Halloween II (1981).

The Legacy of Halloween Returns

Halloween Returns is a film that never saw the light of day, but it still has a legacy and impact that is worth noting. Some of the ways that Halloween Returns has influenced the franchise and the genre are:

  • It inspired the idea of making a sequel that ignores the previous sequels and remakes, which was later used by Halloween (2018) and its sequels.
  • It introduced the concept of Michael Myers being on death row, which was later used by Halloween Kills (2021).
  • It featured the return of some characters from the original films, such as Gary Hunt, Emma Strode, and Elizabeth Loomis, who had not appeared in any other sequels or remakes.
  • It sparked the interest and curiosity of many fans, who have read the script online or watched fan-made trailers or animations based on it.


Halloween Returns is a canceled sequel to the Halloween film series, which was supposed to be released in 2016. The film was written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton and was set to be directed by Dunstan. The film would have followed the son of a cop who killed Michael Myers in 1981, as he and his friends are targeted by the masked killer who escapes from death row on Halloween night. The film was canceled due to the loss of rights by Dimension Films and the involvement of Blumhouse Productions and John Carpenter in making a new film. However, the film still has a history, plot, and legacy that are worth exploring.

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