Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween (1978)

Tom:
Halloween,1978,USA
Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence & Nancy Kyes
''Death has come to your little town, Sheriff. Now you can either ignore it, or you can help me to stop it.''

Forever imitated, never replicated.

John Carpenter's seminal slasher created an everlasting impact on the horror genre when it was released in 1978. Although Bob Clark's overlooked classic ''Black Christmas'' was released four years prior and innovated a lot of techniques used in this film, 'Halloween' is still recognized as the beginning and inspiration of a long line of slashers including 'Friday the 13th' among others, but why is this film recognized over 'Black Christmas' ? simple, because 'Halloween' is the pinnacle of the slasher sub genre.

The film features the film debut of Jamie Lee Curtis, who stars as Laurie Strode, A typical good girl who has to put up with the constant rambunctious behavior of here friends (P.J Soles & Nancy Kyes), on Halloween night, Laurie is babysitting as are her friends but little does she know that the embodiment of evil, Michael Myers an escaped mental patient whom was locked up for the murder of his sister at 6 years of age, has escaped and the small town of Haddonfield is in his wake.

The film features one of the greatest and most iconic horror villains in film, Michael Myers. The beauty of Michael is his lack of humanity, his lack of characteristics, his lack of emotion. Michael is a blank canvas, he is nothing, he is but a mere shape that represents pure evil.The character is so calculating and so terrifyingly intelligent, he never runs he just moves at a brisk walk,he simply knows that he is going to catch his prey. John Carpenter intentionally made this character unrelatable to audience members, its works as we can support what we don't fully understand.

When you watch 'Halloween' you realize just how great a Director John Carpenter was, especially when he was limited by a small budget. The film is so masterfully orchestrated and so terrifically photographed, Carpenter's placement of the camera is exceptional and he creates some of the most horrifyingly simplistic images put on film. I'll always be a Carpenter but hes career did fizzle out which is really a shame, but fortunately hes legacy features films like 'Halloween', 'The Thing' & 'They Live'. In addition to his directorial duties on this film, Carpenter created the classic Halloween theme, which is still enduring and still terrifying to this day.

Jamie Lee Curtis is terrific in her film debut, and is personally my favorite horror heroine. Donald Pleasence is also great in his small role as Dr. Sam Loomis, a role which would be stretched out in the sequels, He is the perfect Van Helsing to Michael's Dracula

Honestly, what can really be said about 'Halloween' that hasn't already been said in the 34 years since it release ? This is truly influential film-making and shows what can happen when imagination is more important than budget. An immortal classic and quite simply one of the greatest Horror films ever made.

*****

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