Halloween director and co-writer David Gordon Green has revealed why the next installment in the classic horror franchise will ignore plot points of previous sequels and just be a continuation of the first Halloween movie from 1978. As most fans of the iconic slasher films know, 1981’s Halloween II established Michael Myers as the biological brother of Laurie Strode. Since this plot point, a major storyline in past sequels has been Michael stalking and murdering his family members. Green explains that by taking away the familial aspect of Michael’s motivation, he becomes a larger threat. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gordon expounds on this idea, saying, “I think by the time you add Michael and Laurie’s relationship, being family, or he’s only hunting his family, it takes that ‘Boogeyman’ out of it. I want everyone to be afraid of him.”

Green’s film will nevertheless reference past Halloween movies. The film’s first trailer even features a scene where Laurie’s granddaughter, played by Andi Matichak, tells friends that reports that Michael and Laurie were related were just rumors that were made up by people in the community. For Green, removing the familial aspect from Laurie and Michael’s makes the film much more terrifying. Rather than a complex familial relationship, Michael is simply a force of nature intent on killing anyone in his path. Green hopes that the anonymity of the killings will surprise audiences and reflect the idea that sometimes bad things just happen.

Green’s film also makes changes to how Laurie reacts to Michael. While past Halloween sequels have shown Laurie hiding from Michael and even going so far as to change her name to avoid him, the Laurie in the 2018 film is actively looking for a second confrontation with the knife-wielding killer. The film’s trailer sees Laurie well-prepared for Michael, having stockpiled a large cache of guns and telling a police officer that she hopes Myers one day escapes so she can kill him. Set to premiere on October 19, Halloween features the return of Jamie Lee Curtis to the role of Laurie Strode and Nick Castle as Michael Myers. Original director John Carpenter also returns to the franchise as an executive producer.