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….
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…..
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.
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.
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.
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.