John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is one of the grandfathers of the slasher sub-genre. Although it came after slasher movies like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (74) and “Black Christmas” (74), it popularized the genre and directly connected horror movies with the holiday. With the setting being on Halloween night in a small town in Illinois, this movie oozes the holiday spirit.
On an incredibly small budget ($320,000), this movie uses a lot of talent before they were big, including cinematographer Dean Cundey who would go on to shoot Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. And of course Jamie Lee Curtis in her first movie role, at the time she was just known as Janet Lee’s daughter. Janet Lee is known as the victim in the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
My favorite part of this movie is the iconic score composed by John Carpenter himself. As simple as it is, it’s just full of suspense and includes a theme song that has yet to be beaten in the horror genre. This movie spawned many sequels and remakes and convoluted timelines with increasing budgets because of its popularity. However, most horror fans still include the original film as one of the greatest of all time.
The movie follows the iconic Michael Myers as he escapes his mental asylum as he gears up to murder during his favorite holiday while avoiding his babysitter Dr. Loomis. But really, the audience follows Laurie Strode and her friends as they prepare for Halloween night as Dr. Loomis tries to track Michael down. As we follow these stories, you get glimpses of the killer either stalking or just driving around in the car he stole. These glimpses and small details make this movie as unique and rewatchable as any other.
This is surprisingly one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time, with my taste usually in elaborate cool looking monsters and crazy ADHD action scenes. This simple low budget slasher is so well made, iconic, and suspenseful than any human being needs to watch this with no distractions and the lights off, especially on Halloween night.
Filmnetic Grade: A+
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