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Halloween (1978)

  Tags: 70's, Brian Andrews, classic, Donald Pleasence, halloween, horror icon, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter, Kyle Richards, mask, michael myers, Nancy Kyes, Nick Castle, P.J. Soles, slasher

Your rating: None Average: 9.1 (194 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
9

halloween.jpg
Rating #: 
9/10
Director: 
John Carpenter
Runtime: 
91 minutes
Cast: 
Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, Nick Castle


Many people have asked me in the past why I don't have reviews up for the Halloween, F13 or the Nightmare on Elm Street films and my reply is always the same - why review a movie that everyone has already seen? - Plus I don't normally review movies that I've seen countless times anyway. Halloween is a movie that every horror fan knows of and has most likely already seen. It's like a movie you'd HAVE to watch to consider yourself a horror fan, but then again, needing to watch something in order to consider yourself a horror fan is rather silly, but I digress.

I've never owned this film aside from an old cheap VHS I had many years ago, so when I finally got this baby on DVD I just had to write up a review. I figured it was about time that I wrote one anyway, because I knew eventually I'd get around to it. I'm sure many will agree with me that this is one of the best horror movies ever made. The film accomplishes in scaring the audience without the overuse of gore or pop-up scares. I’d consider it to be the definitive slasher film; the movie that pretty much started them all. It's funny that Halloween was originally going to be a sequel to Black Christmas, but that didn't work out and director John Carpenter ended up doing his own thing, which is what we see here.

The movie is directed excellently by John Carpenter (one of my fav directors). John manages to put the audience in Michael's point-of-view, which was pretty new at the time, and also put the audience in the victim's predicament. Doing that succeeds in creating a lot of tension and fear for the viewer. Although by today's standards it's not as effective for the modern horror fan. I saw this movie when I was a lot younger, and even then I never got scared, but seeing it now I can see how it can can scare some people. The creepiness of "the shape" just standing there in the white mask can creep anyone out. Not knowing he's standing behind the person until it's too late. Good stuff.

Who knew that Captain Kirk's face would end up scaring the hell out of people. It's amazing that this little indie film by some up-and-coming director would end up being on of the highest grossing independent movies ever made. The performances by a young Jamie Lee and veteran actor Donald Pleasance were both excellent. Even the performance by Carrie star P.J. Soles was pulled off well. Jamie Lee is another example of big stars first starting out in a horror film. It's interesting that John Carpenter originally wanted Peter Cushing to play Dr. Loomis, but he turned it down, then he wanted Christopher Lee, who also turned it down. I think it wouldn't have been the same movie with either of the two.

Another great thing that makes this movie so memorable is its excellent score done by Carpenter himself. Who can get that infamous Halloween tune out of their head? I know I can't. I'm not quite sure if the first time I saw this movie was on TV or not, but I know if you watch this on television it'll have some extra footage thrown in. Apparently when they were first premiering it on TV, the network wanted them to make it a little longer to air, because it was a couple minutes too short, so John Carpenter filmed a few short scenes just for that. If you haven't seen the extra footage you can read about it here.

After watching this movie over I realized that we really don't get to see a full shot of Michael wearing his mask until the last 20 minutes of the film. Aside from that all we really see are shots from a distance or parts of the mask by looking from a different angle. That's another reason that makes the movie "scary" for the audience. The fact that you can't see what or who it is makes things a lot creepier. Too bad Hollywood now-a-days still hasn't picked up on that. Another thing I noticed is that Michael sure likes to stalk people. That mofo basically stalked Laurie through the whole movie. In a way he almost seems like a perv, but we all know he just wanted to kill her and nothing more.

This is obviously one of my favorite horror movies, along with Michael Myers being one of my favorite horror icons. The film is close to being perfect, but being my picky self, gave it a 9-rating instead. Why? I guess if there was a little more action then I would have given it a 10, but I honestly think it's fine the way it is. I love this movie.

The slasher film that started it all. Inspired by the works of the late-great Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter manages to scare the audience without the overuse of gore or pop-up scares. No, he gets the audience by simply using a character, whom we barely see, and show just how evil he really is. One of the best horror films ever made. It's hard to not see this movie, (considering it's aired on television at least once a year) but if for some reason you haven't seen this yet... *slap*... See it now!

Posted on July 2, 2009 - 11:12pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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