I honestly didn't think I would be at 150 posts so soon. October really helped though since I did a lot of reviews durring that month. 150 posts may not seem like a big deal but in a way, it is to me. Since it takes me a while to do a write up, check facts, make sure I am getting the right actor with the character name, look for pictures if I want to include any, and of course try and make it a fair and ballanced reveiw, it is a surprise to me that I have made it this far. I'm sure I will be repeating myself if I ever make the 200 mark. Like post numbers 50 and 100 before this, I picked a movie from my favorites list to talk about and maybe explain why it has become such a highly regarded film to me.
I think anyone who is a horror fan knows Halloween (1978). It has become a staple to horror films, more so to the slasher sub-genre. A young group of fairly unknown film makers and cast set out to make a movie for a fairly low amount of money and it worked. Up until The Blair Witch Project came out, Halloween was the hightest grossed low budget movie. Why did this movie work so well? For the same reasons it has become such a well loved movie for horror fans, including myself. The slow pace of the movie helps us get to know the characters well but director John Carpenter made sure to keep things interesting at the same time.
The opening of Halloween is unforgetable. So it is highly unlikely that the kid actually did the acting for the killing the sister scene, how many movies would push the blame of a murder onto a kid? Even with a great opening sequence, the movie could still have went downward from there. I've seen that happen plenty of times before. A friend of mine has a neice that is 15 years old. She finds these older movies that most horror fans consider to be classics (by this I mean movies from the 70s but I'm sure movies older than that are the same way to her) boring and stupid. I can almost see why when it comes to Halloween. Outside of the escape Michael pulls off, not a whole lot happens until the murders start up again. Even when the murders do start again, it doesn't feel rushed. Michael takes his time.
The build up is something I actually enjoyed for this movie. I enjoy getting to know the characters of a movie. It makes the movie that more interesting and it also helps to explain some of the things a character will end up doing. I can see this part of the movie as boring to some people that have short attention spans. It could easily be boring watching the girls do their girl talk on and off but John Carpenter makes sure that we see Michael becoming interested in this small group of friends. He also makes sure that we know that Michael has decided to watch and stalk them. Laurie more than the others it would seem. Why Laurie? They never try and explain this, it is just because. At the time, as I am even now, I was fine with that. I've always thought that maybe Laurie reminds Michael of his sister in some way or maybe he is simply attracted to her. In later films, they try and explain this away as Laurie being Michael's sister and him somehow knowing this. I went with it at the time but I have never really believed that.
Another great thing about this movie is the way they lighting is used. Perhaps I should say the way shadows are used instead. One scene I will probably never forget is Michael slowly appearing out of the shadows and Laurie not realizing he is there. Another great thing about the movie is the music. If you think about it, the music does repeat itself a lot and normaly this would start to annoy me but you hardly notice it because it works so well putting you into the scene that is happening in front of you. The only thing that is really lacking is the effects. Halloween is basicly a bloodless movie. Like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre before it, people don't always recall this and seem to remember it as a gory film even though it wasn't. Effects are always nice, well if they are done well anyways, but it doesn't always make a movie. Halloween keeps the tension high at the right places and therefore it doesn't need a lot of blood to get the point across.
If you should happen to be reading this, thank you dad for getting me into this series of films. If it wasn't for him I may have watched this movie later in life when horror movies don't effect me as much as they once did. Oh I still enjoy them a great deal, I just don't get as scared as I once did from watching them. Since my dad got me to watch this movie, and a couple of others, before that time, this movie scared me a great deal. It is those memories that still make this a great film to me. I have often noticed that the movies that are highly regarded to that person are the horror movies they watched while still getting into the genre. Is this a favorite of yours? Why or why isn't it?
Before I close this up, I should talk a little about the acting. The acting is something else that helped sell this movie so well. Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis were simply outstanding in their roles. P.J. Soles also had a memorible part in the movie. The cast helped round out a great movie. Halloween hinges on the cast. Lucky for them they found some people that were as serious about this movie as the people making it. The cast could have easily helped this movie become such a bomb.
In closing, I remember either reading or hearing John Carpenter say that he didn't want to make a sequal with Michael because he felt the story had been told and there was nothing else to tell. I don't really see how he can say that. Michael gets stabed and shot and falls out of a two story window and simply disappears. That is just begging for a sequel. If he didn't want to make a second movie with Michael then he should have ended it more like he did with the second movie. The third movie is what Carpenter had more in mind for the Halloween series. He invisioned a series of movies with halloween as the central theme.
Halloween is almost 30 years old now and people still talk about this one. Films are still being made. Not to long ago, Rob Zombie said that he will be doing a remake. From the sounds of it, he wants to explore Michael's past more than the other movies have done. Any thoughts on this? I'm not sure why the studios have green lighted this project. There are some movies that simply shouldn't be remade. To me, Halloween is one such film.
5 days ago