Halloween (1978)

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This coming fall, there is a new Halloween movie coming out in theaters.  It is taking the continuity of the first film and discarding the remaining ton of sequels and reboots that followed.  Consider it like a Halloween 2.

I had never seen the original Halloween full and all the way through so I wanted to make sure I had a chance to see it before the release in October.  Tonight, it fit into the schedule so I watched John Carpenter’s original Halloween.

Watching it, you can see what type of classic this movie would become.  One of the first slasher horror films around, Carpenter’s film has all of the things that would eventually become horror tropes and cliches.  Of course,they were not cliches at the time, but they were so effective in this movie that we got the same type of tropes again and again.

Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie is running from the slow walking Michael Myers and she falls down.  How many times did we see that in horror movies after this.  The phone cord was cut preventing her from calling the police.  She couldn’t find her keys.  The doom that comes after teenagers have sex.

Heck, I found myself yelling at Laurie to finish him off when she had him down or to tie him up.  We all know about double taps these days…although it sure looked as if Michael Myers was more than able to shake off some serious damage to keep his desire to kill.

This film set the standard for countless imitators and followers the same way that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho did in the 1960s and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre did in the early 70s.

The Halloween score is iconic as well, written and performed by John Carpenter himself.  They may have overused the Halloween theme a bit for my tastes here, but I can understand why he did it because it certainly created a tense mood in the scenes.  I was on the edge of my seat, even though I knew the outcome of the film and which of the characters would survive.

Halloween was tense and anxiety-inducing, filling the audience with fear and it did it without the use of much if any blood.  It goes to sow that you do not need gore to have effective horror.

I am glad that I was able to get a chance to see this first film.  I have never been a huge fan of the slasher film genre, but this one is one of the most important films of the time.  Admittedly, there is little character development, but you still connect with Laurie and her plight because she is such a good person.

I am looking forward to Laurie Strode to return in the next Halloween movie in October to see where her life has taken her.

vintage

 

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