In Halloween (2020), Garrett Pruter presents John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) with the horror removed, transforming the familiar slasher film into an unremarkable tale of three bored teens on one Halloween night. Through cutting, masking, and reordering, the film’s antagonist Michael Myers is erased. But removing Michael does little to relieve the character’s own anxieties. Absent violence, their fear becomes existential as their paranoia switches aim from the masked stranger to their immediate surroundings: the American suburbs, their homes, and themselves. Tension slowly builds but is never released; Checkhov’s gun never goes off.