My Favorite Movies #68 – Halloween

halloween - posterHalloween

1978

Directed by John Carpenter

Netflix says… In this iconic slasher flick, mental hospital escapee Michael Myers goes on a murder spreee on Halloween night after returning to his hometown. As Michael targets baby sitter Laurie, pyschiatrist Dr. Loomis makes it his mission to stop the rampage.

  • This may not be the movie that gave birth to the slasher genre (that title probably goes to Psycho), but it certainly set the standard for the plethora of horror movies that came after it.
  • Without Michael Myers, it’s likely we’d have never had a Jason Voorhies or a Freddy Krueger.
  • I mean, okay, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in 1974. But can we honestly say it’s become the same kind of classic that Halloween has?
  • I could be biased. I don’t care. This movie’s awesome.
  • The opening scene alone is brilliant. One, long, first-person tracking shot. Fantastic.
  • Okay… During this long shot, young Michael sees his sister, Judith, and her boyfriend travel upstairs. He then goes in the back and gets a knife out of the kitchen and, not even a minute later, watches the boyfriend come back downstairs and leave.
  • As he’s coming down the stairs, he’s putting his shirt back on. Now, I think we’re allowed to assume that these two went upstairs to have sex.
  • I know that my most recent Question of the Week made it clear that I don’t know much about these things, but I’m pretty sure that was super quick and I don’t think it says much for Judith’s boyfriend.
  • Anyway, sex equals death, as the Scream franchise would later teach us. So Judith becomes Michael’s first victim.
  • 15 years later, Michael is locked up at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and has been ever since that fateful Halloween night.
  • Dr. Loomis, Michael’s psychiatrist, is traveling to the hospital with a nurse. They’re preparing to transport Michael to a court appearance where Loomis will argue that Michael should never be released.
  • This, of course, is when Michael escapes.
  • Back in Haddonfield, Michael’s home town, it’s Halloween once more.
  • We meet Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. Her dad is a real estate agent and he’s trying to sell the old Myers house.
  • He’s asked Laurie to drop the key off at the house and, since Michael is hiding out inside, this is where he gets his first glimpse of young Ms. Strode.
  • And the stalking begins.
  • Why does Myers fixate on Laurie Strode?
  • I’m okay with not having an answer to this question. In fact, I like it much better when we just assume Michael Myers is pure evil and isn’t humanized by some of the sequels that make him Laurie’s brother or make him a part of some druidic cult.
  • Michael is still driving around in the official car he stole from Loomis’ nurse the night before. Would the police not have tried tracking this car down?
  • Loomis, on his way to Haddonfield, stops to call and warn the police that Michael is on his way. He claims he knows he’s coming back to Haddonfield because he knows Michael.
  • Uh… How is it that he knows Michael? Earlier he mentioned that Michael hasn’t spoken a word in 15 years.
  • Let’s take a moment to address John Carpenter’s score for this movie. It’s simple, but so very effective. If it weren’t for the music in this thing, it wouldn’t be nearly as scary as it is.
  • What’s scary about a silent guy in a William Shatner mask?
  • Okay, a lot. But the music helps.
  • Listening to Dr. Loomis drone on and on about Michael, it kind of makes me think he’s crazy, too. Definitely a different kind of crazy, but he’s no less obsessed with Michael Myers than Myers is with returning to Haddonfield on Halloween night.
  • This is one of those movies where, if you like this kind of movie, there’s a good chance you’ve already seen it. And if you haven’t seen it, it’s likely you don’t like this type of movie, so you’ll likely never watch this one.
  • But I recommend it.

Come back next week and we’ll continue with another thriller: The Silence of the Lambs. Definitely a different kind of scary. And disturbing.

One thought on “My Favorite Movies #68 – Halloween

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