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Halloween

October 31, 2010

~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM 1001: A SCREEN ODYSSEY ~

641. Halloween
Directed by John Carpenter
USA, 1978
IMDB | allmovie

Reviewed by Rachel
Roughly fifth viewing

Synopsis:

Michael Myers was only a young boy when he killed his older sister in cold blood. After being institutionalised for 15 years, he escapes in time for Halloween. As his desperate doctor tracks him through the small suburban town Michael once called home, Michael goes on a rampage against a group of teenagers.

Essential Scene:

The camera tracks through a small, suburban American home. From behind the camera, a hand takes a knife from a kitchen drawer. The camera continues through the dining room, through the living room at a normal pace. It stops at the doorway to the hall. A young man is coming down the stairs, while putting his t-shirt back on. A woman speaks to him from upstairs.

Young man: I gotta go.

Young woman: Call me tomorrow?

Young man: Yeah, sure.

Young woman: Promise?

Young man: Yeah.

The camera starts slowly up the stairs. The clock starts to strike. The figure behind the camera finds a mask on the floor and puts it on, and the camera becomes a view through two eye holes.

The camera enters the room of a half naked woman, brushing her hair in the mirror. The camera turns to the bed, to indicate it was recently used. The woman turns around and exclaims “Michael!” before the hand behind the camera starts to stab her repeatedly. Her lifeless body falls to the ground and camera starts to go downstairs and out the front door.

A car pulls up and a man and a woman get out. The man takes the mask off the killer. The camera changes perspective. The killer is a young boy in a clown’s outfit. He displays no emotion whatsoever.

Thus begins the criminal life of Michael Myers.

Thoughts:

I think I’m a little spoilt by ’90s slasher films. My generation had I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, I Really Haven’t Forgotten What You Did Last Summer… (What do you mean that wasn’t a film?)

As a result, I admit that I found Halloween to be a bit predictable. Which is not the fault of the film; the blame lies with the endless copycat films with double the murders and half the talent. Try and watch Halloween with a bit of an open mind and think of the era it was released and the films that preceded it, and you’ll get a sense of why it was a trailblazer.

There is one genre trait it did create which irritates me somewhat; the indestructibility of the villain. Michael Myers is a scary man due to the fact that he’s an extreme sociopath with absolutely no conscience. No amount of talk is going to stop this man killing people without a blink of an eye. However, he’s human, despite his total lack of emotion. But the way his near immortality is treated in this film led to numerous, less believable sequels of this franchise and many others.

Reviewed by Ally
First viewing

Essential Scene:

Annie (Nancy Loomis) is babysitting. She plans to pick up her boyfriend and bring him back to the house. She wanders to the garage and finds the car door locked, inserting the words “no keys” into the song she sings absent-mindedly to herself. She goes back into the house to collect said keys, still whistling and singing. She returns to the garage and climbs into the car.

Suddenly she stops whistling and looks around suspiciously. Wasn’t the car door locked before?

She runs her finger across the windscreen. Condensation. That’s odd…

From the shadows in the back of the car, Michael Myers appears. Uh-oh!

Thoughts:

Halloween is precisely the kind of horror film that does nothing for me. Michael Myers’ omnipresence and indestructibility, in otherwise realistic surroundings, is simply too implausible for me to suspend my disbelief. It just reassures me that I’m watching a work of fantastic fiction. I didn’t even entertain the notion of the boogeyman when I was a child, so the whole thing is just lost on me. Sorry, slasher fans…

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