We thought that the best way to end our Horror Movie Revue would be to include the grandfather of the slasher genre that started them all -- Halloween. Here, with a guest review, is Eddie Warfield, one of the biggest Michael Meyers fans I know, and the person who got me interested in the horror genre in the first place!
Without further ado, here's Eddie!
One dark Halloween night, six-year-old Michael Myers viciously kills his sister, Judith. He is immediately institutionalized into Smithsgrove Sanitarium and left in the care of Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence. Fifteen years later he escapes and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield to kill again. That night is Halloween, the night he came home.
John Carpenter’s Halloween is the perfect combination of writing, acting, direction, and score for a slasher film. He is able to take the simple pretense of a killer stalking teenage babysitters and turn it into a true masterpiece of not just horror films but film in general. After the grisly opening scene and the escape of the killer we are introduced to Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis in her first screen role) and the quiet town of Haddonfield. Using an extra wide shot, Carpenter shows Laurie walking through the quaint neighborhood streets giving the impression of a normal teen in an all-American town. Laurie then continues her day, going to school, meeting up with her friends Annie (Nancy Keyes) and Lynda (PJ Soles) and making evening babysitting plans, all the while feeling that someone is watching her. The interactions between the three young actresses are fantastic and they all give performances that feel genuine. It is extremely effective in setting up the idea that is anywhere U.S.A. and what is about to unfold could happen to anyone of us sitting in the audience.
As evening descends the terror begins. In the script Myers is referred to only as the Shape and under Carpenter’s direction that is what he truly is. Using camera tricks of his own and some borrowed from other classics (Peeping Tom, Black Christmas, and Psycho) we are shown Myers playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with his babysitting victims. It helps build incredible tension for the audience and keeps you wondering where Myers is for the entire film. Carpenter also wrote the score for the film and it truly adds menace to the killer.
The two stand out performances from the film are from Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis. Pleasence chews the scenery as the doctor desperately trying to track down the escaped lunatic and Curtis is perfect as the girl next door who suddenly has to fight for her life. As the concern for her friends and her own well being begins to build so does our concern in the audience. It is the original final girl character that we now come to except in slasher films and Curtis nails it.
So what better way to spend your Halloween night then turning out lights and watching this truly amazing film. Happy Halloween, and just pray that the person at your door is a trick or treater and not the Shape.
Tags: Horror Movie Revue