Halloween (1978)

Posted: November 1, 2013 in Movies, Op-ed, Reviews
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“The night that HE came home”

What can we say about John Carpenter’s original 1978 horror masterpiece that hasn’t already been rehashed a hundred times? It was one of many films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and in my opinion the best. It was made on a small budget and went on to become the highest grossing independent film of all time. It also spawned a series of holiday based slasher films such as My Bloody Valentine and Prom Night (also starring Jamie Lee Curtis). This was also the first real instance when a killer killed simply because he was evil, not because he had a motive. In my opinion, that makes him all the more terrifying.

Halloween night 1963, Haddonfield, Illinois. Six-year-old Michael Myers brutally murders his sister for no reason while their parents are out for the evening. 15 years later on Halloween eve, Michael escapes from Smith’s Grove mental hospital and makes his way back to Haddonfield. His psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis (the late great Donald Pleasance) quickly gives chase. Halloween night rolls around and the body count begins to rise in Haddonfield with babysitter Laurie Strode and her friends being terrorized by Michael. The evening comes to a head when Laurie eventually has to face him in a “final” showdown where he is shot 6 times by Dr. Loomis, disappearing afterwards.

To me, this film has the creepiest tone of pretty much any horror film I’ve seen, mainly due to the vibe that Michael is ever present and always watching. It has a great spirit that horror films today are sorely lacking. It went on to spawn several decent sequels that unfortunately tried to explain away Michael’s evil. It also spawned two very good remakes by Mr. Rob Zombie. To say the least, this is what rejuvenated the slasher genre, with a few gems being inspired by it. For another reason to feel uncomfortable on Halloween, make this one a yearly tradition. This will be my last entry for 31 Days of Horror and I have to say it has been a blast. I can’t wait until next year. Thanks for all the great responses and support.


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