We’ve all seen certain movies that we don’t mind watching over again, and each time we see them they remind us exactly why we liked them in the first place. Well, for me Halloween is that kind of movie.
Halloween is a story about a murderous-escaped mental patient, named Michael Myers, who returns to his fictitious home town of Haddonfield, Ill. on Halloween in order to continue his homicidal predilection discovered by his parents when he was six years old, after killing his older sister.
Halloween was made in 1978, but still remains one of the best horror movies ever made. Here are just a few reasons I believe why.
Halloween: The night he came home.
The first thing I must say was John Carpenter’s and Debra Hill’s decision to write a horror movie using Halloween as the backdrop. They figured out that if done right they could maximize the latent potential for terror, suspense and horror that creating a movie surrounding the holiday could present. And baby, was it done right. The result, 29 years later, the movie has become a cult classic and is considered by many to be the forerunner to most of the horror movies of the 80’s and beyond.
A Star is born.
Jamie Lee Curtis played Laurie Strode, the wide-eyed innocent and awkward teen who took on Michael Myers, and although she along with movie-goers was absolutely scared out of our minds, she gave Michael Myers as much as he could handle. For someone who hadn’t had one single role on film to that point, and although Ms. Curtis was very critical of her performance, I can’t image this movie being as good as it was with out the young actress in the role.
Mr. Myers the Doctor will see you now.
It’s been said that, no matter the type of movie, you really don’t have a story without a well written antagonist. And as for Halloween, the role of the antagonist was played exceptionally well by late actor Donald Pleasance. Donald played Dr. Sam Loomis, the doctor who had the daunting task of treating Michael Myers when he was a kid. And because of his knowledge of his patient, he knew if he ever was set free from the hospital, he would without question return to his home town, and the end result, would be as predictable, people would surely die. You get the sense from watching the Dr. Loomis’ character on screen that he was very much obsessed with ridding the world of the “evil” that was Michael Myers. Christopher Lee, a very good character actor in his own right, if I’m not mistaken was originally offered the role but it obviously went to the man who with out a doubt did it justice.
The Man under the Mask
There have been many others to play the role of Michael Myers in the sequels that followed but none did it like Nick Castle. He was the perfect embodiment of John Carpenter’s vision for what he saw as “pure evil”. In order to really appreciate this man’s stellar performance one must only see him in all of his gory. Sorry, in all of his glory.
What’s the Boogey Man?
The main thing that made this movie so good was John Carpenter’s ability to capitalize on our “child-like” fear of the “Boogey Man”. The Boogey Man is every kid’s worse nightmare. Nothing scares children like the boogey man. Kids always believe that despite what their parents tell them, the boogey man does in fact hang out under their beds and in their closets, waiting and lurking in the shadows to snuff out their little lives. Kids revere their parents, at least most do, and may even be afraid of them from time to time but, as for the Boogie Man, they are truly afraid. And for this reason the Michael Myers character is in a sense an archetype, in that he is the fullness of the only individual who scares us like no other. This is how John Carpenter envisioned him. He did, however, refer to him differently when he was writing the part. The website, pitofhorror.com says of Michael Myers, The Shape is what John Carpenter referred to Michael Myers as in the script. Throughout the movie you only see the outline of Michael lurking in the shadows, non-descript and very much a “shape”. Now you tell me, who does that sound like to you?
Ok, die already will you!
What I remember most about this movie, when I saw it for the first time, was that it was truly frightening, of course any 14 year old kid would think so. I guess it was something about the large imposing masked man wielding an equally large kitchen knife, looking to take any and everyone’s life, and do it with relative ease. A man, I might add, who refuses to die on more than one occasion. Clearly Lauie Strode was unaware of one simple fact about the boogie man and it was this, no matter how hard you try you absolutely cannot kill him. Okay Michael Myers may not have been the actual boogie man, the infamous purveyor of terror, but he was however, one scary ass dude. One I don’t mind watching over and over again in this terrific movie.