Halloween (1978)

Halloween is one of the best horror movies of all time. It is a classic. Halloween is the Citizen Kane of horror, slasher movies. It is what started it all! Before Jason, and Freddie, there was “the shadow” aka. Michael Myers!

I remember watching Halloween for the first time when I was five years old and the film had already been out for twelve years. I had nightmares for weeks after watching it. Every time I turned the corner and or when I saw a shadow, I swear I saw Michael and I would scream. However, this fear of Halloween was short lived. The heart pounding terror that is only driven from horror movies became a staple in my life shortly after watching Halloween for the first time. I thank John Carpenter and Debra Hill for introducing me to a genre of film that forever intrigues me and never ceases to amaze me.

The brilliance of the movie is summed up by the fact that 30 years after the film first appeared in cinema, Halloween is still frightening even with the new modern techniques of filming. From a psychological standpoint I find it fascinating that John Carpenter used basic techniques such as lighting and sound to illicit such fear. The angles and camera shots Dean Cundey executes are eerie and disturbing and John Carpenter’s famous theme music also makes for a thrilling movie.

Tony Moran (Michael Myers) ads a great omniscient shadowy figure that creates a sense of terror. The fact that Michael is catatonic but his body language speaks so vividly and we do not see his face but somehow we see different facial expressions, accounts for Moran’s brilliance.

Haddonfield, Illinois 1963, Halloween night the horror begins. A young Michael Myers unleashes his sadistic terror onto his family. John Carpenter introduced a type of angle that horror movies did not have before, which is the view through the killers eyes. We see through the eyes of a young Michael insistently maim his family with a butcher knife. This view is chillingly eerie.

Fifteen years later after, fifteen years of Michael being locked up and not saying a word he escapes and is headed back to Haddonfield. His psychiatrist Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is on the chase for him and knows what he is capable of. Unfortunately the town of Haddonfield does not believe Loomis and Michael’s mayhem commences.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is a 17 year old girl in Haddonfield who is an all American good girl who becomes part of the center of Michael’s terror. It is Halloween night and Laurie is babysitting some young children while her other friends are off fornicating with their boyfriends. The terror assumes and one by one, Laurie’s friends are executed by Michael. This unconsciously tells the audience that the good virginal girls survive and the one’s smoking, doing drugs, drinking and engaging in premarital sexual experiences end up getting mutilated by the boogeyman.

The town of Haddonfield does not seem to fully understand what evil is lurking in their town, and Laurie learns this too late. She fights back and refuses to let Michael beat her down. Jamie Lee Curtis definitely sells the part of the being the scared girl, and earns her title of the scream queen in my books. As Laurie is running franticly around the suburban neighbourhood trying to make sense of the situation and get to safe ground, Michael is walking calmly and quietly lurking in the distance with his knife in hand to get her. I find the calmness that Michael possesses terrifying.

In the true spirit of slasher films Halloween teaches us that the boogeyman never dies, and we are left with an image of Michael being shot down and falling to his sure death but of course it is not over. In the words of Dr. Loomis “behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply…evil”

Crestfallen

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~ by exploitnation on May 17, 2008.

6 Responses to “Halloween (1978)”

  1. Your last picture there is one of my favorite kills ever.

    So fuckin cold a brutal.

  2. That scene with Bob being killed is SO eerie!! SO famous and a great scene

  3. Yeah, it’s definitely creepy as shit, what with Myers watching him die and cocking his head to the side like a dog who doesn’t understand something. That’s what makes it awesome to me.

  4. everytime Michael cocks his head to the side……well let’s just say that my…….shit. well..you know what i’m getting at.

    -andrew.

  5. I think Michael’s muteness and almost naiveness and childlike demeanor makes him all the more creepy. When he tilts his head to the side, it is as tho he does not realize what he has done, and from a childlike perspective he is curious at what he has done.

  6. Yeah, true. It’s just fucked up in a multitude of ways, making it one of my favorites for sure.

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