Halloween, American movie (1978)

They say there exists a form of evil in each and every one of us. Some people just have more darkness in them than others. Yes, I know how very ominous this sounds. But let’s face it, I think that when you look at it we all might have had a point in our lives, where we have done something in anger. And that clashes with your normal personality. Luckily these usually are very brief moments (at least I hope they are), and after your anger has subsided you try to make it up to the person or persons you might have hurt in the process. But what if you lack that capacity? What if you are a person that is completely devoid of human emotion? There is a certain moment in the classic 1978 film Halloween, in which doctor Loomis describes the villain from the movie, Michael Myers. And it almost mirrors exactly what I have just said. It is a chilling scene, one that creeps up your spine, when you begin to realise what kind of being Michael truly is. And how evil can sometimes take on human form….

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Not everyone can afford an expensive Halloween costume.

On a dark and stormy night a young girl brushes her hair in front of a mirror. She has just had sex with her boyfriend and she seems very content and happy. Her happiness soon turns to horror however, when her kid brother Michael Myers enters the scene with a big and very sharp knife. Without any emotion whatsoever he stabs her to death. What makes it all the more horrifying is that he is only six years old. Fifteen years later Michael escapes from the mental institute that he has been taken to, after committing the brutal murder. Doctor Loomis the psychiatrist, that has been treating him for the past few years is the only one that knows what he is capable of. And he also knows where he is going: Haddonfield the town where Myers grew up in. Wandering around his hometown, Michael soon stumbles upon the teenage girl Laurie Strode and her friends. At Halloween night his thirst for murder begins anew.  And young Laurie will soon discover that some Halloweens are much scarier than others. In the meantime doctor Loomis is desperately trying to find the escaped killer. But it may already be too late, for Michael has come home…..

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Sometimes you just have to admire your work. I can respect that. 

John Carpenter is a legend. He has certainly made a few of my alltime favorite horrormovies, and this certainly is one of them. When I rewatched this film I was actually amazed at how old this movie already is. But is it dated? Absolutely not. The opening scene of the film is still every bit as shocking as when I first saw it. And what surprised me even more is that there is little to no gore in this movie. It is technically a horrorfilm, but one that acts more as a thriller. And a very, very good one at that. The suspense and threat in this film is build up slowly, but in a extremely effective way. Subtle camera shots with Michael only standing in front of a house just ooze atmosphere and build up the tension to the extreme. It goes to show that you sometimes just need very little means to make a great film. Halloween went on to become one of the first real slasher movies, and of course created another legendary horror icon in the form of the relentless and unstoppable Michael Myers.

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Sigh….they never learn: hiding in a closet, how dumb is that.

This movie was the debut film of Jamie Lee Curtis, and also earned her the nickname Screamqueen. Because wow, when she opens up her mouth and fills her lungs to start screaming it’s almost enough to make every window in her vicinity shatter. Seriously though, as young as she was here, it already showed her acting potential. Another great role is performed by the late Donald Pleasence. He portrays the almost obsessed doctor Loomis, the man that will stop at nothing to put an end to Michael’s reign of terror. But there is a third character in this film, and one that is not performed by an actor. It is however equally important to making Halloween become so effective: the music. The score, made by John Carpenter himself is classic, especially the theme of the film. It is nervewracking and manages to get your bloodpressure up every time it appears during tense scenes.

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Don’t you just hate copycats? What, Michael has a knife, so you have one too? Lame.

The Franchise

Halloween would eventually be followed by seven sequels, and two remakes. Halloween 2 starts straight after the ending scene of the first film, and is a pretty good second act. While not as enjoyable as the original, it is still well worth the watch. With the exception of part 3, Michael would continue to wreak havoc in the rest of the follow up movies. Jamie Lee Curtis returned to reprise her role three more times, and of those Halloween H20 is certainly the best one. Made exactly 20 years after the first part, here we see a mature Laurie that pretty much thought the demon from her past was dead. Luckily for us of course he wasn’t and it resulted in a very decent installment in this franchise. The less that is said about the remake movies, the better it is. Directed by Rob Zombie the remakes are filled with gore and swearing and just result in movies that just simply don’t have any respect for it’s origins. Quite recently Jamie Lee Curtis announced that she would face her nemesis one final time next year, to mark the movie’s 40th anniversary. It will be interesting to see how that movie is going to turn out, and if she still has the same lung capacity she had all those years ago. Down below you can revisit the trailer for the original film.

The Verdict

Halloween is still a very effective horrorthriller that is every bit as good now as it was back in 1978. If you have never seen this film before, it’s best to watch this on Halloween night. Just lock the doors, grab some popcorn and make sure to have a blanket to hide behind. It will help you….a bit. And even if you have seen the movie, it’s still great to give it a rewatch on the night of terror. This review concludes my series of Countdown to Halloween posts. I hope you all enjoyed this feature. I had a blast rewatching all these classics and writing the posts for them. So, over to you now. Have you seen this film? Any favorite moments, or did you perhaps even hate it for some reason? Let me know in the comments section. Oh yeah, and before I forget: Happy Halloween! 🎃

I give Halloween a 9 out 10 score.

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62 thoughts on “Halloween, American movie (1978)”

  1. Guns, dude. Guns would solve about 9/10ths of the problems faced by these people in these movies.

    Sadly, shooting a murderer in the first 5minutes of the film and rolling the credits doesn’t work real well. Even though it is wicked easy on the budget 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, no I guess that really would not work well, especially not for us as the audience 😂😂 That said though…in this I don’t think it would have solved the problem seeing as a gun is being used in the film lol 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Did I like this film or any of other incarnations ? No. Horror slasher films have little to do with true horror films. They are simply too blasted predictable. You have a group of teenagers, all hoping to either get lucky, or lose their virginity, some looney tune with a knife always ruins the night for everyone, and someone, always female, attempts to shatter the sound barrier with her screams. Vanquished looney tune appears in the next film even though he’s dead. If you see one film you don’t need to see any of the sequels. Nuff said.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That might definitely be true nowadays, but this movie was made almost 40 years ago, in a time where movies like this were simply not around yet. So when you see it in that context, it wasn’t so predictable a movie in those days. Sure, since then this genre of horrorfilms has certainly been pretty predictable and there are many examples that underline your comment 😀 But at times, these films provide a form of escapism, that can be entertaining. At least for me they are, but I of course respect your opinion for it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you hadn’t have said when this film is I would still be thinking I am young bright and bushy tailed on this Sunday morning. Lol
        Gee

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha yeah, this movie is now almost as old as I am (I am older now lol), but true. On the other hand I like to think I am still young at heart. So you should definitely think the same 😉 Thank you for your comment 😀

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    1. That is quite shocking lol. But really, if I go around nothing down the number of classics that I have not yet watched: that would really be shocking. It reallybsolutely one of Carpenter’s best though, and highly worth checking out. Speaking of Carpenter, I hope to do a review for one of his films in the coming days: based on the King novel Christine. Lobe that film, and the novel. If yiu get around to Halloween at some point, I hope you will enjoy it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure I will enjoy it. There are a few classic horrors that I’m yet to catch. I think that a lot of them came down to timing: like, I had enough f money for one dvd so had to choose between about five films, and so on.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Man oh man I was waiting for this post to turn up. Halloween is one heck of a franchise. It went silly after 5. Especially the ending of 6 was it?, where the cult leader passes the mark to Loomis of being Myers protector. Sadly that scene wasn’t shown in the theatrical releases. H20 was okay, the big brother style one was just utter garbage.

    Good post!!.

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    1. Yeah it definitely went silly after part 5. That 6th one was just completely crazy and made it go off in a truly strange direction. (On the other hand I would have liked to find out what would have happened next lol). The Big Brother type film was awful. They also made a big mistake in it’s opening by killing off you know who. It’s interesting to see what the 9th movie will do. Hopefully it will be film that does justice to the original 😀 Thank you very much for the kind words: appreciate them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve talked about Carpenter’s music for this film before, how it has become so iconic, and has inspired other horror composers, i.e., semi-recently, Disasterpiece’s score for It Follows.

    That’s BA that Carpenter directed AND composed the music. I can’t think of any other filmmakers who received credits for both of those things.

    You sure delivered on your countdown to Halloween. I have enjoyed reading, and it has helped put me in the Halloween spirit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much: that comment made my day 😀 Yeah Carpenter made the music for almost all his movies. Another one for which the music is very good is Christine, a film that I will be doing a review for somewhere in the coming days. Still the themes for Halloween are just so recognisable, nearly everyone knows that one 😀 Glad you enjoyed the posts 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Missed this comment: sorry about that 😅 Haha: yeah there are quite a lot of them, although not as much as Friday the 13th, which takes the term sequel to a whole new level. H20 is pretty good: I think you might be able to find it on Netflix 😊

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  5. Fantastic review, and perfect for the season! John Carpenter is a legend indeed. It’s been a good 40 years since Halloween was made, but it never gets old. The iconic mask, music, Jamie Lee Curtis. Everything about the franchise is brilliant. I didn’t hate Rob Zombie’s remake as much as everyone else seems to, but it does pale in comparison to the originals. Carpenter’s craft is just inimitable. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s really a shame that Carpenter just isn’t making movies like this anymore. He was just such a skilled director. But this one just never gets old. I’ve seen it countless times now, and I still enjoy it. As for the remakes, well the first one was okayish I guess. The second one though, just went of the rails a d took the franchise into a crazy direction. Thanks for your kind comment😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Noooo! No more Halloween Countdown posts?? T_T
    I really enjoyed the ones I’ve read so far, and I’ll definitely go back to read the rest when I get a bit more time. You are such a great reviewer, I can’t stress this enough! Making me feel interested in horror movies? No one would have thought possible hahaha
    Although you say this one has aged very well, I feel that from watching the trailer I can’t bring myself to agree. I think it would be very difficult for me to watch it and take it seriously these days. But who knows? I might be wrong. I did enjoy some Hitchcock movies, and they were pretty old.
    I once read an article (I now notice I do a lot of reading on these things LOL) about the effect movie scores have in humans and how composers manipulate the sound waves, choosing the type of instruments and pitch, to evoke specific emotions in the audience. It was terribly creepy, but fascinating. Indeed, certain types of music can cause your blood rate to go up or down, and make you feel so anxious you wouldn’t even need to watch the scene to be affected. John Carpenter sure did a brilliant job with that!
    I feel Rob Zombie relies too much on shock value to be taken seriously as a film maker. His “art” can be summed up by gore. So I don’t really care much for him.
    Brilliant post, as always! 🙂 I’m sad there won’t be any more but I know you’ll come up with something equally interesting ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, these comments of yours never fail to put a smile on my face, thank you so much for this. They are always appreciated 😊😊
      Don’t be put off by the trailer. I included it for nostalgic reasons, and it’s the trailer that is dated 😀 It’s made in the 70’s and was just very cheesy. The movie itself though,trust me on that, is not dated at all. It’s hold up very well, and I am pretty sure you will enjoy it (also because for a slasher movie there is absolutely no gore in it, except for a very, very brief opening scene). The score is what makes the film even more chilling than it already is. Carpenter’s music has always been terrific. I especially like his music in Christine. (A movie that I will be reviewing in the coming week). As for this series: yeah, all good things come to an end lol,but I will still be reviewing horrormovies: so no worries 😊😊 Thanks so much for this great comment 😀

      Like

      1. I’ll take your word for it then 🙂 I haven’t seen Christine either but I’ll keep it in mind for later!
        And yay!! Glad to hear you won’t be giving up on them 😀
        Always a pleasure to read your posts. So need to thank me, you very much deserved all the praise ^^

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely is one of mine as well. I think I might have lost count of how many times I’ve seen this movie, but it’s still a terrific horrorclassic. Thank you for your comment 😀

      Like

    1. Haha, well as long as we still feel you g at heart, I guess it’s okay lol. Seriously though…it really is a great watch. I rewatched this one while there was a storm outside and it give me the chills, even though I have seen it countless times now. It’s great how some movies just never seem to age 😀 Am looking forward to the new movie: just can’t wait to see what they are going to do 😊 Thanks for the kind words 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

    2. She is a terrific actress! My favourite role of her is probably in “A Fish Called Wanda” (with John Cleese, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin). And it’s nice to see here Donald Pleasence too, who had an impressive psychopatic role in THX-1138.

      Great review.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. She is truly a terrific actress. A fish called Wanda…wow, that brings back memories, I haven’t seen that one in ages 😀 I also liked her role in True Lies. That was such a funny part 😂
        Donald Pleasance was great too. I also enjoyed his part in the classic Carpenter movie Escape from New York. All in all this was a great movie with some very good performances. Glad you liked the review, and thank you for the kind words 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kill Command arrived at my doorstep on saturday. I have one Asian movie that I plan on seeing first: and then I’m finally going to check out Kill Command. Guardians will probably follow pretty soon after 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely been one of my favorites as well. It’s amazing that the film is now almost 40 years old, but stoll holds up so well. Some movies just never seem to age 😉 Thanks for your comment 😀

      Like

    1. Yeah, this one is a classic for sure. It has been copied and referenced in so many movies that I have lost count 😂 And yup, it was her debut, and that’s why it’s also amazing that she is now going to reprise her role after such a long time 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And this is the other one I rescued from the oblivion of spam 😂 This is really a terrific movie and great for Halloween. Hopefully you will enjoy it if you do manage to see it (provided you don’t chicken out lol). Thanks for the kind words, appreciate it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I admit, I often prefer the older horror films. Granted, they may not have possessed the means to be more graphic, but truthfully, I prefer suspense. Some of my favorite moments in horror have been the simplest, like that wonderful scene in Rear Window where the antagonist looks right at the camera, and sees the protagonist for the first time.

    I remember reading somewhere that one of the more subtle but potent techniques for the original Halloween film was in how they filmed Michael Myers. Supposedly the director made the choice to treat the character almost like a wild animal, something he could not direct or control, only work around. Supposedly every time that Michael Myers appears on camera carries a connotation that he’s “chosen” to be seen, that he’s this specter who intrudes upon the film without warning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly like the more suspenseful ones as well. And this one is a prime example of that. Except for a brief scene at the beginning there is no blood in this movie. Your description of a wild animal is actually quite accurate. There are some scenes that really do feel like that. That is to say that the direction of John Carpenter was just spot on. It’s a great movie and a timeless one at that 😀 Thanks for the great comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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