Thursday, May 19, 2011

HALLOWEEN (1978)

Haddonfield, Illinois. Halloween night 1963, six-year-old Michael Myers kills his older sister with a large knife. Why? Because he's pure evil. He's sent off to a insane asylum and does nothing but stare at the wall. Then 15 years later, right before Halloween he busts out and heads straight back to his hometown to raise some H-e-double-l.

Unlike Jason who literally kills everybody he sees, Michael is a little bit more thoughtful and only kills those he deems unworthy of being alive. Exactly what this criteria is, I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with being friends with Jamie Lee Curtis (her role in his life is explained in Part 2) and/or being in possession of something he wants. Anyway, Jamie is babysitting some local kids and hanging out with her friends when Michael crashes the party and starts killing people. Sounds exciting, but it's actually pretty slow going as far as the actual violence goes. Where HALLOWEEN shines is the slow-boiling tension.

Even though I love the film, I don't think HALLOWEEN has fared as well over time as other horror films of the 70's. TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE would be the best example of this. If you were to have a double-feature of TCM and HALLOWEEN to a bunch of first time viewers I think TCM would still get some scares whereas HALLOWEEN would probably get a lot of yawns, because it's based more on a Hitchcock kind of suspense with only minimal blood and zero gore instead of an actual attack on the audience.That's just my worthless two cents.

That said, HALLOWEEN is a landmark in cinema history and I still love watching it.  Michael is a great villain and outside of Part 2 he's never really, even to this day, given the respect he deserves. Jason at least had 4 excellent movies before Hollywood decided to shit all over his character. Michael wasn't so lucky. Maybe one day a savior will come along a resurrect the HALLOWEEN franchise to the level it deserves, but I'm not holding my breath.

Nice slow pace that builds the tension, two extremely short topless scenes, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD and FORBIDDEN PLANET shown on TV, teenagers doing dumb shit, awesome 70's fashions, very little blood, zero gore, a large house with the washer and dryer in a completely separate building in the backyard...I'm sure that's a lot of fun in the dead of winter.

HALLOWEEN is dated, but still mandatory viewing for horror fans.

Part 2 - Halloween II
Part 3 - Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Part 4 - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Part 5 - Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Part 6 - Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Part 7 - Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Part 8 - Halloween: Resurrection
Remake 1 - Halloween
Remake sequel - Halloween II
Sequel to Original - Halloween (2018)