Monday, October 31, 2016

31 Days of Horror: HALLOWEEN (1978)

Welcome horror fans! To day is the day! Day 31 of the 31 DAYS OF HORROR, also known as HALLOWEEN! We are back with our final film to celebrate the holiday, and today we will be reviewing the only film that seemed fitting...HALLOWEEN.  Enjoy!

Before there was Freddy and his bladed glove, before there was Jason and his Machete, there was Michael Myers. Myers was the killer that all the cinematic teens in slasher movies feared first.

On October 25, 1978 John Carpenter's Halloween was unleashed into theaters to bring slasher/horror to audiences all over America.

The story tells us that on Halloween night in 1963 in the small town of Haddonfield, a young boy named Michael Myers decided to dress up in a normal looking clown costume that belied his psychotic state of mind and stab his sister Judith to death with a kitchen knife.  Michael is lead away to be put into Smith Grove Sanitarium, an institution for the mentally deranged where he spends the next fifteen years under the care of Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence).

On October 30, 1978, Michael Myers (Nick Castle) escapes from Smith Grove Sanitarium in a car that was to take him to a court hearing, where he was to be sentenced to life imprisonment. Myers was headed back to Haddonfield with Dr. Loomis hot on his trail to try and stop Michael from killing again.

Michael Myers quickly finds the target he is looking for in young, pretty 'good girl' Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). Arriving in Haddonfield, Dr. Loomis attempts to warn Sherriff Leigh Bracket (Charles Cyphers), who is highly skeptical of Loomis' dire warnings about Michael Myers.

"I watched him for fifteen years, sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall - looking at this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. Death has come to your little town, Sheriff. Now you can either ignore it, or you can help me to stop it."

The body count rises as Michael Myers kills one teenager after another on his quest to get to Laurie. Including her best friend Annie Bracket (Nancy Loomis-Kyes), daughter of Sherriff Bracket.

Halloween, which was filmed on a low budget estimated to be around $300,000, had a box office draw of over $47 million in the United States and $23 million overseas as audiences flocked to see the movie and all of its scares!

Now, it's been thirty-eight years since Halloween was released and has since spawned seven sequels, one remake and a sequel to the remake. However in all of this, the original 1978 Halloween still stands the test of time as one of the scariest slasher movies to come to theaters. To me, every one of the actors all brought the right mix of brashness, scary, and scared to the characters they played. The final showdown scenes between Laurie and Michael had an intensity that gave the film it's strength. Donald Pleasence dominated the screen as Loomis, he seemed to be suffering from his own type of madness in his obsession with Michael Myers. And who can forget the mask that made us all realize how scary William Shatner can look! The music score, written by John Carpenter, has etched itself into the minds of horror movie fans, ranking up there with the theme to Jaws as music that automatically makes us shiver in a primal fear sort of way.

No matter how many times this movie gets remade or 'rebooted' I don't think any of those will every be able to capture the 'scary magic' that the 1978 original Halloween did.

Marla's Score: 9/10

Be sure to stay tuned throughout the rest of the month! We're posting a new horror review every day all throughout October, both old and new! Check back to see what movie we'll have you covering your eyes from next!

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