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John Carpenter's Halloween is well made and quite scary
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Now that I've decided to cover a collection of scary movies in preparation for Halloween, how can I start with anything other than John Carpenter's Halloween itself? And when I say "John Carpenter's" I mean just that. He directed it. He produced it. He co-wrote it. He provided the voice of Paul (Annie's Boyfriend). He even scored the movie.
Admittedly, this is not my favorite scary movie. Nothing against the movie itself. I simply tend not to lean toward the "psycho killer on the loose" kind of movie. But it's well made and very influential in its genre.
The movie starts with a murder, seen through the eyes of the killer: six-year-old Mike Myers. Dressed as a clown one Halloween, he attacks his sister (nudity warning) with a knife and is put into a mental facility until he escapes 17 years later. He returns to his family's former residence (which has since fallen in disrepair) and begins to obsess over the lovely Laurie (played by a 20 year old Jamie Lee Curtis).
There are murders. There's tension. There's a psychotic, silent killer walking around in a William Shatner mask that has been painted white. (Seriously. It's a William Shatner mask.) The movie is solidly made.
The main problem for a modern audience is that the movie was so influential that many of the techniques used here have been used so much in other movies that their effect is a little weakened here, but they do still work.
We only see Mike Myers' face once when he's six and once toward the end when Laurie briefly rips his mask off. There are many camera shots where Mike appears rather unceremoniously in the background then disappears, unseen by the characters in the foreground. These are effective tricks that help build up Myers and keep you wondering about him, but they have been used a lot by this point.
And as a side note, I'd just like to point out something I mentioned in my previous hub about why we like scary movies.
When you look at who dies in this movie, we don't know a whole lot about his sister at the beginning, but we have evidence that she may have just finished doing ... something *wink* *wink* ... with her boyfriend. Laurie's friends sleep with each other, drink, smoke and pawn off their duties on others. On the other hand, Laurie is a brainy, dutiful wholesome young lady who spends the night babysitting as she agreed.
And who ends up dead?
That doesn't mean I'm finding fault with the movie. I do still enjoy it. It's just one of those things that happens all the time in Horror.
So, while it's not the kind of movie I crave, I admit that it's well made and effective. 8 / 10.
Halloween is rated R for tension, violence, language and nudity.
- Horrors and Thrillers - Why do we love to be scared?
Why do we like scary movies? Many people have their own answers to this question. Here are three possibilities.