One line review: It’s a film that has managed to find the perfect balance between suspense, atmosphere, and shock value.
Movie Title: Halloween
Actors: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles, Nancy Loomis, Tony Moran
Director: John Carpenter
Method of Viewing: DVD
Location of Viewing: Home
Viewing with: No One
Rotten Tomatoes: 93% – Scary, suspenseful, and viscerally thrilling, Halloween set the standard for modern horror films.
My rating: **** – A Legendary movie, but with some flaws
My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This may cause some people to be absolutely shocked, but I believe this is the first horror movie I’ve ever watched. This leaves me with no set of previous movies to compare this film against. However, even a complete amateaur horror film viewer can recognize a well executed film. It’s a simple concept, that slowly builds to an exciting conclusion. Though I wasn’t actually scared by any of the scenes (perhaps less shocking 30 years later) I still enjoyed the story. I think I’ll enjoy these original horror movies much more than the remakes that are being spat out right now.
Here’s a game you can play. Try to find a good image of Michael Myers from the 1978 version of Halloween. I think you’ll quickly find that all you get is some poster art and images from the remake. Let that be a testament to the way this movie slowly builds up the tension. I usually lack the patience to let the suspense build in a movie, but Halloween manages to solve that by slowly building up the body count till it’s all revealed in the last 15 minutes.
Throughout the entire movie, I was constantly trying to predict where Michael was going to jump out of next. By giving him a simple costume of a dark suit with a white, reflective mask, you can “see” his face in any dark shadow.
Though I haven’t seen any horror movies other than this one, I know the cliches. That’s why I was pleased that Jamie Lee Curtis didn’t seem to follow any of the same traps. You could actually relate to this character who hadn’t seen anything to crazy yet, and still took reasonable precautions the whole way (short of stabbing Myers in the head the first time he went down).
I wish there was no sequel to this movie. I wish there was no remake. It feels like a perfect story to simply end where it did. A mysterious killer, who can never be stopped, who can never be killed. I will avoid viewing any of the other films just so I can maintain that image of Mike Meyers.