Halloween 1978 (9/10)
Director: John Carpenter
Runtime: 91 minutes
With the trailer just dropping and a new Halloween movie coming this October I figured what better time than now to start reviewing the entire franchise. So starting from today I’m going to be reviewing each Halloween movie every 2 weeks, starting with John Carpenters original classic and working my way up to Halloween 2 by Rob Zombie. Safe to say these reviews are going to get more painful to write as the movies go on.
On Halloween night of 1963, a young Michael Myers murders his older sister. 15 years later, Myers escapes the institution he’s in and goes back to his old town searching for people to kill. This was back when slashers meant something, before Ghost face, before Freddy, even before Jason. There was Michael Myers. There had been prior slashers to Halloween but it was the first to revolutionise the genre. I hadn’t watched Halloween prior to this review for years, the movie was released in 1978, that’s 40 years ago and it still holds up surprisingly really well. It’s a feat to be able to say that after 40 years it’s still one of the greatest Horror movies ever made. The Horror genre most likely wouldn’t be what it is today without the influence of Halloween.
The film triumphs greatly over its narrative, little is explained to the audience and we’re left to piece together the parts ourselves. On the surface this is a story about the Boogeyman, Carpenter takes this tale and squeezes everything out he can for his audience. The brilliance of this movie lies within it’s main centre piece, we know little to nothing about Michael Myers and although the sequels tried to add more and more layers of backstory to the character and give him a reason for killing. I prefer the simple fact that he’s just plain crazy. This movie is really, really dark, but in a good way because it was shot on a small budget Carpenter knows how to utilise his lighting to create and dark and menacing figure. Michael materializes in and out of shadows, you’re never quite sure where he is or where he’s going to pop out. I’ve always loved just seeing his white pale face slowly peaking it’s way through the darkness.
The movie also has one of the greatest opening scenes ever. It’s one extremely long take as we witness a murder through the eyes of a killer. As it progresses we realise this killer is a little boy and is a young Michael Myers. It must have took them ages to get everything just right in that one scene. Halloween also has one of the greatest, and my personal favourite horror theme of all time. It’s so scary and memorable, it’s played to highlight something the audience should be paying attention to, whether this be Myers car or Michael standing watching someone. As much as I love the theme, ‘re watching the movie did make me think that in the first half it’s way to over played. I absolutely love the theme but there’s literally a theme playing every 5 mintues or so and I just felt that it became to much and slightly overpowering at times.
Halloween is an absolute classic, if you haven’t seen it then definetely do yourself a favour and do. It paved the way for all the slashers to come and is still one of the best in its genre. Although many slashers came after him, Michael Myers is still an extremely effective and creepy villian. The theme is downright amazing, even if played a little too much throughout the film. Overall I think Halloween is an amazing movie that deserves all the love and attention that it gets.