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Friday, 26 October 2012

John Carpenter's Halloween

John Carpenter's suspenseful masterpiece consisted of some real quality, cold blooded quotes. Quite simple ones also, and very misleading to the eyes of some; Tommy - " Laurie, what's the boogieman?   Laurie -  "There's no such thing."

How wrong was Jamie Lee Curtis's vulnerable high school sweetheart to think that. 1978 brought absolute terror to cinema-goers around the world.  A good ten years before my time, Halloween night never appealed to me very much, however the video tape of Carpenters classic, in which was kept hidden from me for years due to child-hood trauma, the creation of sheer terror was really upon me the day I watched it. (I was brave, but not enough to watch it at night)

The quiet suburban neighbourhood of Haddonfield was about to become quite an iconic scene; a young Michael Myers is about to lay the path for a dramatic return to his home town 15 years later.

Only 6 years old, nobody knew what drove the mind of such a young boy. His dark and twisted mind would drive him to stab his 16 year old sister, carving a whole new perspective to the way the town would celebrate Halloween.

Institutionalised for almost 15 years, Michael Myers escapes the outskirts of Illinois as he makes his way back home, hoping to arrive on a very convenient date; October 31st, 1978, Halloween.

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is your stereotypical book worm slash high school virgin who chooses babysitting over drunken nights any day of the week. Softly spoken and well behaved, she is unaware of the danger about to curse Haddonfield that very night.

Michael Myers, played by Tony Moran is off the grid, however it is the introduction of his doctor, Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) that makes the night a nerve wrecking cat and mouse chase as he seeks to find Myers before he reeks havoc in Haddonfield. Desperate for assistance, Loomis contacts Sheriff Leigh Brackett (Charles Cyphers) to warn him of Michael's presence to be, believing that Michale will reenact the murder of 1963.

Dr Loomis - I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes."

Sheriff Brackett is not fully convinced of Sam's accusations, however it is no convenience of the friendship between his daughter Annie (Nancy Kyes) and Michael's target, Laurie.

A series of events leads to the category of classics Halloween will forever remain. When Loomis finds out Michael's motive for escape, he is hell bound on preventing the murder of another family connection, Laurie Strode, who is oblivious to any past the psycothic killer had created.

Hot on the trail of Michael, Loomis is adamant to get in contact with Laurie as she spends her Halloween night babysitting Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews). However it is not all horror movies and pumpkin making as Laurie converts into survival mode as when Tommy told her he had seen the boogieman previously, she should have believed him.

My favourite horror movie, if you want to call it horror? unlike a majority of Horrors of that era, Halloween was so original in terms of frightening you with nothing other than suspense. John Carpenter did not need a truck full of fake blood to convince the audience of the dangers of someone with a psycothic frame of mind. A simple concept; an average joe in a Captain Kirk mask. Let's not forget the anticipation of the classic theme tune which proved another simple way of terrifying the audience without revealing anything.

Halloween is also one of the originals to introduce what lurks in the background. Like I said, Michael Myers is an average Joe with a twisted heart. The concept of someone watching you, but yet not knowing, will always give me goose bumps. Of course a lot of movies are created on the monsters of our dreams, and done it so well, but Halloween will always frighten me with its short, yet mediocre plot that proves a possibility along with a more realistic chance of being stalked by the unknown.

In so many parts of this movie, Loomis sums up what he is feeling, and somehow you believe in his disturbia, hoping his presence will prevent the horror that eventually follows.

Dr Loomis - "I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realised what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil."

The acting is mundane but acceptable. Jamie Lee Curtis was so amateur in this movie but some how I believe there could have been no other. The sequels, threequels etc that would follow eventually made Laurie strode out to be some sort of "Sarah Connor" when in fact the original shows the conversion of  vulnerability to survival mode that leads to a dramatic conclusion in the film. However it was not fully a bad thing they opened the door for a sequel, I enjoyed the follow up, but the rest were pure garbage. In fact I think it is sometimes fun to watch the apparent trilogy to really embrace how much a qualitative piece of work John Carpenter created back in 1978.

Overall; John Carpenters Halloween is and always will be one of the best horror/suspenseful thrillers ever made. Along with The Thing and Psycho, this can not be missed come October 31st.

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