“You must be ready for him. If you don’t, it’s your funeral. ” (Dr. Sam Loomis)
It’s that time of year when children dress up as whatever ‘monsters’ they can, the adults avoiding opening the door to trick or treats however they can. Regardless, it’s a time when all things spooky are at its best and people try to make the night as it stands. cue Michael Myers! A man who knows best, how to serve up Halloween (1978), directed by John Carpenter.
Carpenter is truly one master of delivering gore and horror, all in the suspense of his movies. (just watch The Thing!) For this movie he describes Myers as ” being not quite human, but almost a supernatural force..so we put him in a mask, so he wouldn’t have human features”. Guess that would explain his Terminator comebacks.
The story starts off through the eyes of little six year old blondie who is none other than Michael. Through his Halloween mask (yes on the day of Halloween itself), we see him take a kitchen knife, go up stairs and attack his
naked sister. It then skips through 15 years to reveal the 21 year old has been locked up in a mental institution, turning out to be a psychopath! Noooo. but so true. (no there is no explanation).
Myers (not sure who gave him driving lessons) is seen driving through the town of Haddon field, stalking Laurie ( jamie Lee Curtis).A shy, awkward school girl, who strikes a strong charisma to Carrie. It would appear that Myers strange perversion hadn’t stopped after killing his sister, as he decides to put spying on babysitters, half naked or interrupting sex, on his’ to do list’. killing them off in his own style. Ironically, the film was originally to be named The Babysitter Murders, which would have equally faired, but of course Myers likes to stab guys too.
The cinematic approach to this movie has been shot beautifully, from the eyes of Myers at the start, to certain angles that focus on the killer from afar, when Laurie begins to see him from the windows and at a point, opposite her. It adds to the creepy killer stalker type that is far worse than the jumpscares perhaps. Myers defines the ‘im right behind you’ feeling with his signature knife stabbing, similar to my favourite Psycho (1960), that has us all scared of him when he decides to actually move with his ‘silent but deadly’ approach.
Whilst this movie does not provoke bloodshed, it was the rise (and clearly not a fall to this day), of a new ‘slasher’ trend that saw other movies follow in Carpenters footsteps. 35 years reflecting on Halloween, Carpenter is certainly most proud of his baby monster that created an uproar to fame as “the best compliment I got was standing outside the theatre, and hearing the audience scream” (carpenter) a new trend for future horror.
Its a great achievement for a budget movie that seems so effortless in greatness. Though it does not provide the means of a generic slasher film (minus all the gore it should entail), it’s still a great start to a creepy night of terror. In his blue overalls and a dollar mask ( just maybe), Michael still remains a classic killer, walking to the steps of Carpenters made up, well known theme song. A high tinkering of piano that runs through the film adding that extra edge to keep Myers stay scary and the audience tense.
This is the perfect Halloween movie to watch on this very night as it will certainly deliever to those who see more to the original Myers as I do and move forward to the direct sequel which follows on from this movie. Equally good with more build up of the story and some blood to be finally seen. If your an old classic lover such as I, you’ll certainly appreciate the effort this film packs and admire Myers the way he should be remembered. So give your Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) a rest and give this a view, to start off your horror night.
Film Of The Day : Psycho 2 (1983) By Richard Franklin
- The Nights HE Came Home: A History of HALLOWEEN (nerdist.com)