We need to talk about Dr. Sartain

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With the excellent news that Halloween has surpassed $200m at the worldwide box office it feels were in safe territory to talk about the most polarising character of the new sequel – Dr Sartain.

Laurie Strode states when first meeting the doctor, following The Shape’s neighbourhood massacre,

“So you’re the new Loomis.”

Well not quite.

Dr Sartain has been Michael Myers’ doctor at the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium since campaigning for it following the death of Dr. Loomis, his former tutor.

There is a bridge here between original and the sequel but the more we find out about Dr. Sartain the more he feels an unncesssary part of Halloween.

In the novelisation of the film we find out how Sartain has studied Michael Myers, including leaving cats in his room overnight to gage his reaction, which as you can guess is nothing.

Sartain describes Michael liked a caged wild animal and it’s alluded to but never confirmed that the not-so-good doctor instigated the bus crash which let Myers escape.

Then we come to the most polarising plot thread of the film, which for five minutes completely derailed the plot before rounding things off shiftly.

Yes when Sartain turns on Deputy Hawkins after he drives into Michael on the street, although this offers an alternative to Loomis’ slightly deranged but ultimately good intentions to stop Michael it feels really poorly handled.

It does feel like David Gordon Green was backed into a corner of how to get Michael Myers to Laurie’s house and have it feel organic. But I must admit to almost laughing out loud when Dr Sartain emerges in front of the car wearing The Shape’s mask.

Admittedly the fascination with what drives Michael is an on-going theme throughout from the opening scene in the asylum with the podcasters right up until this point.

The issue is having Michael cause so much destruction to get back to Haddonfield and get the mask back on, it felt rather cheap that Sartain’s vanity and fascination derail the mythos in one foul swoop.

Ultimately this plot thread which hints at a Thorn-like drive for Michael briefly is employed before being stomped out, if you will.

Would it have been easier for Sartain to threaten Hawkins into driving Myers to Laurie’s and let the Shape do the rest?

Let us know your thoughts on Dr. Sartain below –

Halloween (2018) is still in cinemas.

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4 comments

  1. Know how to get Michael to Laurie’s house? The podcasters have her address since they go there after interviewing him. He could have gotten it out of there car at the gas station.

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    • Michael has no desire to pursue Laurie in this timeline though. That’s the whole point. the film needs Michael to meet Laurie by having him effectively put on her doorstep which is why the script calls for Dr Sartain to do what he does. Halloween H40 is all about Michael being a relentless face of evil who will kill anything he comes across (apart from babies I guess) – he has no personal beef with Laurie at all in this film, that’s all been undone and written away with the retcon. The way in which the films ending turns into Michael Vs Laurie is somewhat clunky with the Dr’s intervention but I don’t see how else they could have done it and it’s a Halloween film so it has to end with that climax.

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      • I always thought of Michael as very obsessive. That’s the reason he steals his sister’s headstone in the first movie and goes to visit it in this one, and he does feel the need to get his mask back. He specifically seeks out the podcasters because he wants it. He also does hone in on Laurie in the original film even if she’s not his sister. That’s the whole reason he stalks Annie and Lynda. He might still feel the need to finish what the first movie started. Even if you don’t go that route, the simple solution is to just have Laurie go to him and not vice versa. True, you miss out on the cool booby traps, but overall it’s a more simple and streamlined way to get them together. Bear in mind, I really liked the new movie and think it’s a very effective sequel overall.

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    • My personal opinion it would have been good to see the Dr. Sartain and Laurie’s daughter both knocked out unconscious leaving deputy Hawkins leg injured. With Deputy Hawkins Leg is injured but able to still move you would then have to make a decision on his next move. A car totalled and Michael also unconscious coming to Deputy Hawkins would have no choice other than to pick up Laurie’s daughter placing her over his shoulder. We are now left with an on foot chase through the forest to lorries house. This would have gave Dr. Sartain a good exit from the film leaving suspense on his well-being and a creepy chase.

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