I always save the best for last…
In honor of Halloween week (not to mention the last week of Spooky Season), I watched John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) for the millionth time. As with all the other times I’ve watched, it didn’t disappoint.
If you’ve never seen Halloween, the story goes like this… Laurie Strode is a babysitter in the small town of Haddonfield, IL. When escaped mental patient Michael Myers travels to the town, Laurie finds herself and her friends being stalked by the silent menace.
This is a straight-forward suspense flick. It’s categorized as horror, and although it has horror elements, I don’t feel that it’s a horror movie. It’s not your typical slasher, in my opinion; There’s so much more going on here.
The haunting score immediately puts you on edge. As the film progresses, the use of silence during pivotal scenes intensifies the suspense. Then the score kicks in again, the moment gaining momentum until it crescendos. This is one of the things that makes the film terrifying.
Let’s talk about the use of suspense. The fiend Michael Myers stays in the shadows. He watches and waits. With his featureless white mask, silence, and patience, he is the most terrifying villain put to screen. The film plays with light and shadow in a way that cannot be rivaled; Myers can be seen hidden in the background of most shots in the second half of the movie if you look closely. This puts the viewer on the edge of their seat, or cowering inside their hoodie.
I don’t really have to say much more, do I? Halloween is a simple film that does a couple of things extremely well. Those things are what makes this movie a classic of the horror genre. I have watched it a million times. It never gets stale, and it never fails to scare me.