Narrative theory in relation to Halloween (chn)
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Narrative theory in relation to Halloween (chn)
» Todorov theorises that in any narrative you can apply 4 main
2: Disruption of Equilibrium
3: Attempt to restore equilibrium
4: New equilibrium
» Although this is true to most stories and Hollywood films,
Halloween is one of the few that don’t follow this convention. The
very first event that occurs in the film is Michael killing his older
sister, the disruption of equilibrium is the very first thing we see. In
this instance there was no balance at the start of the film.
» There was an attempt to restore equilibrium by the Doctor,
however we see that Michael is near enough immortal and when
we think may finally be dead at the of the film and a new
equilibrium found, Michael escapes leaving he audience to wonder
if there may be a sequel.
» Propp’s theory is that in any story there will be 8 main character types.
The False Hero
• In Halloween there are some of these, but there are also some missing.
• However, there are still some roles that are left empty such as that of the
donor, false hero, dispatcher, helper, princess and her father.
Hero – Laurie
Villain – Michael
Helper – Doctor Sam Loomis
The hero (Laurie) is usually the
one who stands up to the villain,
in Halloween the hero is forced to
fight for her life as she was simply
in the way of evil.
The villain (Michael Meyers) is usually
the character who struggles against
the hero. Typically, with some sort of
scarring and covers up his face
somehow. The villain will usually wear
dark and mysterious colours, and not
Although he allowed Michael to
get away at the start of the film
Dr Sam Loomis, spends the rest
of his time trying to right that
mistake. Although he succeeds in
stopping Laurie's death he fails in
killing Michael and he is able to
get away, leaving the film open
for a sequel.
The Helper is usually the character that is always by the heroes side and
attempts to help him free the world of evil. In Halloween the Doctor is in
constant pursuit of Michael but never finds him until the end where he is
able to help the hero (Laurie). However some people might argue that he is
the one that is the hero for saving Laurie.
» After studying hundreds of stories Straus saw the we can make sense of
the world around us by using binary opposites. He observed that
narrative are built around the conflict between these binary opposites.
Such as these:
1. Good Vs. Evil
2. Day Vs. Night
3. Hot Vs. Cold
» A good example of this is the hero against a villain, a hero would do
what ever he can in his power to stop evil and in doing would look more
heroic in doing so, and the villain would try to beat the hero and cause
havoc making him look even more villainous compared to the hero.
» In Halloween this can be clearly applied the both the narrative as well as
the characters. When we first see Michael (the villain) it is dark and we
soon learn that he is pure evil. When we meet Laurie (the hero) it is a
» Bordwell and Thompson noticed how the shots within a film linked to
one another could imply certain things to the audience, for example if
the saw a house, and in the next shot the kitchen was shown, audiences
would assume that it was the kitchen inside the house.
» They also saw how an event in the past could decide how the rest of the
story would play out.
» Because this theory is applied to the chain of events in a narrative it
must apply to Halloween. If something different happened in the past
then a different story would be told but a story nonetheless.
» In Halloween, Michael killing his sister is what sets of the chain of events,
as the Doctor attempts to get Michael to open and then make sure he
stays locked up forever, he inevitably sets a course that will allow
Michael to escape and go on a rampage.