31 Nights of Halloween Horror Part 31: ‘Halloween’
31 Nights of Halloween Horror: Part 31 in a 31 part series. Join me for 31 nights of horror reviews in the month of October. Every night we’ll take a look at a different horror film, some old and some new. Tonight we’re talking about:
Dir. John Carpenter
Congratulations you have made it to the end. Tonight’s movie is the 1978 John Carpenter classic Halloween. What can be said about this film that hasn’t already been said, we have all seen it numerous times and we all have our stories about it. My first time seeing it was when I was probably around 10 or so with my two cousins. We watched it late one night and the thing I remember mostly about this distinct viewing was one of cousin would scream at all the appropriate jump parts and her screams would startle me and make me jump.
I have since seen Halloween numerous times and not personally being a fan of the slasher genre or belong to any fan club of today’s horror icons (Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, etc.) I thoroughly enjoy this movie, for while being influenced by the Italian Giallo, it is really a solid ground breaker for starting a genre that is still being mimicked almost 40 years later. Hell they are still pumping out new Halloween movies themselves. While not the first slasher film, Halloween really showed the effectiveness of this type of movie when it is taken at face value for what it is. Stripped of all it’s subtext it brings fear to a once relatively safe haven. But it was The Shape, the man behind the mask that was really the factor that changed things. Where the Italian Giallo had the black glove, the American slasher had the mask.
I recently went to screening of Halloween that added a twist to it, hosted by a theater company, they had actors dress up in costume and roam the theater, sit down behind you in the audience, etc. and add that extra scare factor. It was a nice touch to a movie you have seen so many times you have the lines now memorized. As I was sitting there watching this movie for the umpteenth time I noticed many more of the inconsistencies in the story, which I am not going to nitpick against, find them yourself. But despite them I always find myself enjoying this film regardless of it being one of the forefathers for a genre of movies that have become so watered down they soon became parodies of themselves. I thought about all the sequels, parts 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and how each one becomes more diluted then the next. We so love the fear that Michael Myers imbued in us as kids we don’t want to let it go, we want more, we want to know what the character will do next. Unfortunately as the series continues on the story gets more convoluted and they dig themselves deeper in trying to explain things. I can’t tell you I have a favorite sequel. I don’t really enjoy any of them outside of the first one. 37 years later and it still packs a punch.
The quintessential Halloween movie? Maybe. But if you are looking for something fun to watch this Halloween night, you can’t go wrong with the 1978 classic, John Carpenter’s original Halloween.
Thanks for sticking with me as we went through 31 different horror films for the month. I hope you enjoyed reading these as much I have enjoyed writing them. We covered a lot of ground and really went across a grand scope of the genre. We watched cannibals return to the big screen, medical malfunctions, possessions, H.P. Lovecraft adaptions, tentacled monsters, werewolves, halloween attractions gone bad, brains that won’t die, nazi zombies, blood cults, giant spiders, green slimes, giant alien birds, creepy mannequins, crimson ghosts, Indonesian horror, Mexican horror, Belgian horror, Vicent Price team up with Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff, creatures from the subway, cartoons, slashers, ultra gore, crazy hillbillies, baby snatchers, sea creatures, killer bees, black and white movies from the 50s all the way up to the latest releases in the theaters today. I hope you were able to discover a few gems that you may not have been familiar with, as for me outside of The Howling, The Brain that Wouldn’t Die, Dead Alive and Halloween, all of these were movies I have never seen before and watched for this series for the first time and got to share my viewing experience with you. Even of the ones I had already seen I either re-watched them for the first time on Blu-Ray or saw in the theater, i.e. Halloween. One of the most exciting things is discovering something new, so I hoped this series introduced you to some different movies you may have not heard of or were curious about. There are a lot of horror movies out there to be discovered, from all over the world and all different eras in time. Give something new a try every now and then, you might be surprised what you will find. Or wait until next October and I will give you a run down on 31 more horror movies.