Halloween
aka John Carpenter's Halloween (USA)
1978


"The night HE came home"
Rated: R/18
US Box Office Revenue: $47,000,000
International Box Office Revenue: $8,000,000

Director – John Carpenter
Writers – John Carpenter & Debra Hill
Cast:
Michael Myers – Tony Moran
Laurie Strode – Jamie Lee Curtis
Dr. Sam Loomis – Donald Pleasence
Annie Bracket – Nancy (Loomis) Kyes
Timmy Doyle – Brian Andrews
Lynda van der Klok – PJ Soles



7 ½ Pies

Reviewed by Yankee


Plot Summary

One Halloween night, a young boy, Michael Myers, kills his teenage sister and is committed to an insane asylum for life. Jump forward fifteen years and Michael escapes to start a reign of terror back in his hometown of Haddonfield on none other then Halloween night. Will the night end in total bloodshed or will Mikey’s doctor, Sam Loomis be able to save this town from the greatest slasher ever?


Review

When John Carpenter released Halloween in 1978, who could have known the impact that this movie would have on the horror genre? While it was not the first slasher flick to come out, it was the first GREAT slasher flick! It paved the way for future classics such as Friday the 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street as well as many other imitations and inspirations. On top of that, it also played a vital role in bringing horror back to the mainstream of Hollywood, long after the charm of classic monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein had died out. (Pun intended)

Halloween was also the film that first brought home the theme that we have real monsters lurking around in our backyards. It was this kind of spook that left people scared for years to come. I’ve heard stories of girls too scared to walk home alone. This made 1978 a great year for guys to get “invited back to her place”.

In my own experience, Halloween was considered a staple in slasher horror growing up in the 80’s. My friends and I would always watch Halloween and its sequels like it was gospel and we always fought over who got to be Michael on Halloween.

Twenty–nine years on and people still consider this to be one of the premiere slasher flicks of all time! And now Hollywood has even enlisted one Rob Zombie to re-envision this classic for modern audiences. If you ask me, they could just re-master the film, re-release it as is and let the audiences watch in terror as Michael kicks it old school!

All in all, this is a film that has cemented its status as a classic motion picture and those that have yet to see it need to run to their video rental store now! Don’t wait for Rob Zombie’s version to come out, seek out the original for the best possible experience! Don’t keep Michael waiting!


Quotes:


Sheriff Brackett: A man wouldn't do that.
Loomis: This isn't a man.

Lynda: [concerning Annie] The only reason she baby-sits is to have a place for...
Laurie: [realising she had forgot something] Shit.
Annie Brackett: I have a place for THAT!

Lynda: See anything you like?
Me: YES!!!!!!!

[strangling sounds] Laurie: I'll kill you if this is a joke!


Review Extras:


Kill Count: 7
Resurrections: 3
Coolest Kill/Gore: Bob getting stuck to the wall with a cutting knife.
“Totally” Count (based on Extended edition): 13
Homages: Forbidden Planet plays on one TV; Later, Lindsay is watching The Thing from Outer Space.

 



Originality: 1 Pie

Even though the slasher genre was invented prior to this movie, I give it full credit because of the twist on that template. Also the idea that one “human” foe can take that much abuse and still come back for a sequel is original for it’s time.

 



Spook Factor: ½ Pie


Though teenagers in the late 70’s walked home paranoid after watching this, I am a child of the 80’s and thus had a tolerance for scarier then this. There are movies older then Halloween that kept me awake for weeks, but this was not one of those. In real life, I would have shit my pants but as a viewer I am more entertained then spooked. It maintains a half pie rating because I know it was scary for the time else it would have been a ¼.

 



Antagonist: ¾ Pie

Michael Myers is best described as “Hell on two feet.” He is a mean, lean killing machine. At times he shows some of his human side with the cleverness and humor he exhibits putting on the sheet to be a ghost or laying out the bodies and gravestone to further terrify Laurie. What shies him away from perfect is that he is very one tracked and not very diabolical. He won’t be taking over the world anytime soon; he just has a thing for specific people in Haddonfield, but let’s save that thought for Halloween II.

 



Story: 1 Pie

While the trailer may leave you thinking that this is nothing more then a killing spree, there is much story and characterisation throughout the film. You get to care about who ever Michael kills because you know things about them and learn about their lives. The little tributes to older horror movies sprinkled throughout are a nice touch too.

 



Acting: 1 Pie

Carpenter was lucky to be able to work with such classic actors like Donald Pleasence (RIP) and Jamie Lee Curtis. Halloween was one of those movies that defied the rule that horror films only used bad actors.

 



Directing: ¾ Pie

After thinking long and hard about this, I decided that I don’t care for the Michael’s POV shots. In theory they are great but if I were to sneak around the way Michael did, nobody would have died that night.

 



Soundtrack: 1 Pie

This is one of the best soundtracks ever in a horror film. Even if you don’t care for the 70’s hard rock songs, the actual score for the scenes (also written by Carpenter) are more then perfect and more then memorable. The main theme song is truly timeless. Bravo!

 



Special Effects: ¼ Pie

This is more of a thinker’s movie then a gory one and thus the special effects are small. The budget for this film wasn’t exactly astronomical so Carpenter had to do more scare with less flair.

 



Gore: ¼ Pie

Although you get to see some of the action for real, there is still much left to the imagination, Don’t get me wrong, that IS a good thing in this kind of movie but as a gore rating, it falls below the radar for the most part. And did he HAVE to kill that dog?????

 



Replay, Rewatch, Rewind: 1 Pie

Halloween is known for more then just an annual airing on All Hallows Eve. It’s the kind of movie you can watch again and again. The story stands the test of time. I like to watch it to see what new detail or mistake I hadn’t noticed before. While rewatching it for this review I noticed that Michael is seen once with his mask BEFORE he steals it from the store. How do you like THEM APPLES?!?

 


Pros

There are so many pros, but the main ones being a great story featuring great characters in an original setting. All of the cooler trends that fill 80’s slasher movies are started here.


Cons

If you really need to complain then: Not too many deaths, not too much gore and not too many special effects. These aren’t bad things in general, just something for the nitpickers.

 


Final Word

All in all this is a great movie and if you are new to horror then this is a pretty good starting point if the black and white classics don’t impress you. Just remember that you cannot kill the boogieman!

 
 
   
   
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