I love John Carpenter.
He is a master of horror and has directed some of the best films in the genre including The Thing, Prince of Darkness, The Fog and many more including this – his macabre masterpiece, Halloween.
Setting the rules for any and all other slasher films, not only did Carpenter create an iconic killer in Michael Myers with his blank, white mask and unstoppable blood lust; he also created one of the best themes in monster movie history.
Spawning that recent unremarkable remake and many shoddy sequels, including the totally crazy and unrelated (yet great) Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the series never matched up to the original. And how could it, when Halloween is pure perfection.
Jonesy the Cat:
This is THE slasher horror, but unlike the many pretenders that followed it, Halloween has more to it then just running, stabbing and breasts… Although they are part of it.
It doesn’t take an expert on the Freudian model in order to connect the dots between long, penetrative weaponry and sexual deviance leading to suspiciously orgasmic deaths now does it? This is clearly a smarter take on the psychosexual formula than that of the late seventies, Italian horrors of Argento, Fulci and Bava.
John Carpenter injected a well needed boost of adrenaline into the arm of horror with Halloween and the genre has not been the same since… For better or for worse.
A note of caution though, do not mistake the Rob Zombie remake for this undisputed classic. You’ll regret every WWE drenched minute of it.
An undeniably powerful and creepy opening, even if it is a little showy.
Yet, what really freaks me out about the film is all those scenes of Laurie walking through her neighborhood. Nothing happens, but with the music and the camera movement, it just feels like someone is watching.
I couldn’t make it past the first 20 minutes on my own for ages.
In fact, whenever I see that kind of suburban neighborhood in a film, I just think horror. This is another film that achieves everything by being pared down, not overcomplicating things (definitely a problem for Rob Zombie’s remake).
And of course, hiring Jamie Lee Curtis who completely carries the film. Characterisation be damned, it’s all about the horror rollercoaster for John Carpenter.
A horrifyingly inspired sound-track; A solid back story (for its time); A unique and terrifying murderous monster; An encapsulating female lead; All perfectly measured ingredients for what is deservedly recognised as being one of the all-time horror greats.
I am willing to forgive all of Carpenter’s flops and failings because of the perfection that a handful of his films achieved.
Every year, at Halloween, I am decidedly disappointed with the lack of good horror on TV – until this masterpiece begins. Then I can almost forgive the networks for their failings, as I once again take a terrifying trip back to 1970’s suburban America.
Additional film information: Halloween (1978)