Thursday, October 31, 2013

John Carpenter's Halloween

Happy Halloween!!! This is our final post for the month of October, and we are going out with a BANG as we review the most notorious Halloween film of all-time - John Carpenter's Halloween! When it comes to horror movies there are some that are memorable, some that are forgettable and some that reach the level known as timeless. When looking at the John Carpenter's 1978 classic known as "Halloween", there are few that can say this isn't a classic and a must-watch on Halloween night.

On Halloween night in 1963, in a small town called Haddonfield, IL, a small six year old boy named Michael Myers murders his older sister Judith, in an unprovoked attack. Michael puts on a clown mask (and through Michael's perspective) we get to see him go up the stairs and stab his sister with a butcher knife. Michael then heads outside at the exact moment his parents come home. Michael's father takes off Michael's mask and both parents stare in shock as they see their son standing there holding a bloody butcher knife. At this point we have no knowledge what triggered Michael to commit such a horrific act. We are left to wonder, what was the reason???

We move forward fifteen years to October 30th, 1978 where we see Dr. Sam Loomis (who would become the ultimate protagonist in the Halloween franchise) and a nurse driving to a mental hospital in the middle of the night. We are informed that Dr. Loomis is in the process of having Michael Myers brought to court to be committed for life and feels that Michael is pure evil. As they approach Smith's Grove mental hospital they see several patients wandering around the premise unwatched. Dr. Loomis tells the nurse to pull up to the front gate so he can find out what's going on. As he goes to the gate Michael jumps on the car and forces the nurse out. Michael then takes the opportunity to steal the car and escape the hospital.

The next day is Halloween and we are introduced to Laurie Strobe ( Jamie Lee Curtis) who is a high school girl making her way to school. She is approached by a young boy named Tommy Doyle, who we learn she is suppose to babysit that night. As Laurie talks to Tommy and makes her way to school she appears to be watched by Michael Myers from a voyeuristic perspective. This is the first clip of several that provide us with a unique perspective where we are seeing things through Michael Myers eyes. This gives the viewer a unique and rather suspicious feeling as we try to learn why Michael is watching Laurie.

From this point forward a chilling and suspenseful plot begins with Michael Myers watching and almost analyzing Laurie and her friends (Annie and Lynda) on Halloween night. No gore or blood, just simply a build up, but enough to keep you glued to the screen wondering what is going to happen. Dr. Loomis and the local Sheriff head to Michael Myers childhood house to watch for him while we learn more about Michael Myers. Dr Loomis informs the Sheriff that he feels Michael is pure evil and has no logic or feeling a normal person would, almost like a monster. The Sheriff is doubtful of Michael's arrival but also angry that Dr. Loomis let someone of Michael's mental status escape knowing what could happen.

Michael Myers slowly begins to attack Laurie's friends as the opportunity arises. Unlike standard horror movies, the rash of killings doesn't begin till a good 45 minutes into the movie. Annie is the first fatality and Lynda and her boyfriend are next to feel Michael's wrath.

In my opinion, one of the best scenes in Halloween is Halloween night when Laurie goes to check on her friends and sees the fate that has resulted due to Michael Myers. In her state of fear, Michael appears out of the darkness and attacks her. She is able to get away and run back to the house she is babysitting at but Michael starts to follow her. Laurie tries to survive the best she can, but Michael will not stop or stay down. Laurie tells the kids she is babysitting for to run to the neighbors and call the police. When the kids head out screaming Dr. Loomis hears them and heads to that house.

Michael begins to strangle Laurie, but Dr. Loomis fires several shots at Michael causing him to fall off the balcony. Dr. Loomis goes to look at Michael's body, but it's gone. The movie closes out with shots of all the key locations of the movie and hearing Michael's deep breathing, making us wonder where Michael could be as the movie fades out.

Halloween is a unique approach to horror movies. There is no bloodbath or forced back to back killing sprees, but rather the opportunity to learn who the characters are and seeing things from Michael Myers perspective. The movie is simple and does not have a lot of high budget value, but it provides an edge-of-your-seat horror flick that has become a staple every Halloween night on television. The series has had seven sequels, most of which have had mixed reviews, but the original Halloween has ranked as one of the top five best horror movies of all-time with reviews written by Fangoria, Wicked Magazine and other horror publications. Watch the trailer for this classic, influential horror film that no Halloween would be complete without!

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