Friday, November 28, 2014

282 of 1001 Movies: Halloween (1978)

What is more appropriate to watch on Halloween than the movie titled Halloween? It's not my favorite horror I watched, but it does set the atmosphere very well as John Carpenter seems to be good at doing. Thank goodness he is good at least at that because as far as the story, it's pretty weak. The music, the lighting, the screams...they all amp up this movie for an experience that creates the vibes. But I've got a lot of questions, and the remaining movies maybe all that can answer it.

Summary: Michael Myers is on the loose after escaping his transition from one asylum to another. The fact that Michael mercilessly targets and kills young teenagers, preferably blonde females, makes him one dangerous guy to end up escaping. Laurie is a girl living in a nearby neighborhood that Michael has escaped into, and very soon not only is she in danger but her friends as well.  Halloween night though is when things get scary as Michael begins targeting them, and setting out to get them one by one.

And so the movie begins as every horror movie after it would feel inspired to, with an incredibly eerie setting, preferably a two story house, and a teenage girl in danger. Now I did really feel compelled by the beginning of this movie. I think they did a great job of building the suspense. Carpenter utilizes a technique that seems new, or at least I don't remember seeing it used. We get the perspective of the killer though as he hunts his first victim. It sets up for a terrifying scene, Carpenter sets up the tone of the lighting to be perfection for the movie in various scenes, especially at the end as the killer begins finally killing his victim. The element that helps most of all is the music.

The music is very intense, and it shows that Carpenter really knows how to make it perfection when it comes to putting backing music with his horror movies. If you question this then also watch Christine. I actually prefer Carpenter's Christine to Halloween. Anyways, the music is where it is at, because without it I don't know that half the terror that is built would be built if not for it.

The acting leaves a bit to be desired though. For a movie with so much to analyze as far as cultural norms, and perhaps even the tampering of trying to identify with the killer? The acting just leaves the movie feeling standard. After all I hear about Jamie Lee Curtis, and even seeing her in a few things, she had a rough start in the first Halloween. It's basically her just weeping, being perfect, and remaining pretty lifeless. The same can be said for the rest of the crew too. They have sex, do some drugs, and get killed. Which leaves us with ever popular movies that sort of seem to make a satire of it, like Scream, of the killer's credentials for seeking out victims. The virgins stay alive, and well the others die.

You may be wondering why the killer sought this crowd to kill? And if the movie didn't seem so basic I might have been wondering this more as I finished watching as well, but instead the characters just didn't feel layered. If I had to make a judgement about it though, I would assume he is seeking out killing these teens because he never got to live out his teen years or feel normal as they have. Even as a kid, Michael Myers, knew he was weird, and instead of battling it, he just sought it. I wouldn't say he dictates who he kills by if he thinks they are doing right or wrong though...he seems to go after anyone in my opinion.

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