Reviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without mentioning John Carpenter’s Magnum Opus of the slasher film genre, so it’s naturally a good fit to review this sucker on Halloween. It’s been 35 Years since Michael Myers was released upon the public, and since then the horror genre has changed around quite a bit. Does the original still bring the fear today? In this reviewer’s opinion, it still does.
If you don’t know the story by now, you’ve been living under a rock, and since it’s a slasher film, I’d rather leave the story a surprise.
What Works: Where to start with this classic gem, how about the performances? They are not cookie cutter, cut and paste horror characters who only exist to have sex and get murdered. These characters feel real, because they act real. One of the biggest pluses for this film is Jamie Lee Curtis, the scream queen, and for good reason. Her role as Laurie Strode is a pivotal turning point, she’s intelligent, quick thinking, and began to define what we’d see later in the horror movie world as a survival girl. She’s not a drinker, or a smoker, she doesn’t have premarital sex, and she fights like hell. She has to, because Michael Myers is one of the scariest movie villains. He walks around, yet he alway keeps up, you can’t see his eyes, you can shoot him or stab him, and the man (if you can still call him a man) comes back for more. He’s relentless, and thus relentlessly scary.
The sound effects of the film are also a character of their own, and the stalking theme from Michael Myers is legendary. As soon as you hear the music, you know things are about to get crazy. The scares are also top notch, cheap tricks are quite limited, every execution here is top notch, especially with the sudden appearances of the boogeyman Myers.
What Doesn’t Work: One of my only huge complaints about Halloween, is Dr. Loomis’ character. He’s supposed to be a psychologist, and yet most psychologists would never call their patients a monster, and his actions throughout the film go completely against moral psychology for a patient. Sure, Myers is a monster, because he’s portrayed this way, but in a logical world, Dr. Loomis isn’t acting professional and that can take a bit away from the impact of the occurrences in the film.
Slasher aficionados may not like this film because of it’s lack of gore. Which I don’t count as a negative, because gore isn’t necessary, but it may detract from your enjoyment if you’re a gore hound.
This film is still a knockout today, and there’s a good reason why people still talk about the film, and why many modern horror film directors adore it. You can try to impersonate it, but John Carpenter’s work stands the test of time, and should be worthy of your Halloween viewing. 9 out of 10.