Bottom Line: Why appreciate Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street when you can appreciate this? Halloween started it ALL.
Directed by: John Carpenter
Starring: Donald Pleasance, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
The thing that truly makes this one a classic is that it is certainly a slasher, but it also manages to maintain the actual “horror” part.
HALLOWEEN is scary in a way that nearly every bit of violence and gore is left to the viewer’s imagination, but the terror is still there, if not enhanced because of that aspect. Right after it was released, every filmmaker (including people as brilliant as Wes Craven) was raving, “I want to produce/direct something like that!” And they did, with films like FRIDAY THE 13TH, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and (to name a ridiculous “cult classic”) CHILD’S PLAY. Except they all forgot one part: to imply the graphicness of the murder. If not forgotten, then flipped around: these rip-offs were, unlike HALLOWEEN, gushing organs.
The concept, apparently not continued in any of the sequels or remakes, that HALLOWEEN brought up was resurrected in the late ’90s with THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, which spawned an entire horror sub-genre that has been used for implication with PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE LAST EXORCISM, and (within the last month or so) APOLLO 18; allowing the implying to be filmed using amateur methods for footage capturing.
So before I continue with this review, I’d like to add to my first statement by saying that another thing that truly makes HALLOWEEN a classic is that it spawned one of very largest legacies in all of horror movie history. Probably not as much as the original PSYCHO; a little more than NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
Even with a budget lower than $1,000,000 and a barely-known company producing it, this has a very eerie mood. John Carpenter serves as director, producer, and composer, and he does a fantastic job with all three–cueing cutaways and blurs to leave all stranglings, slicings and dicings to our endless imaginations; whilst also accompanying the horror with two or three main themes that makes simply walking down a staircase seem like seeing dead people (that came 21 years later, though–thank you, Haley Joel Osment).
Not sure why you must watch HALLOWEEN every time the final day of October comes around, starting now? Go back and read my review again until you get what I’m trying to say. This is a must-see–an over-and-over must-see that tells of the night HE came home!