I can’t believe I have done it. 31 movie reviews in 31 days. There were times that I wanted to give up because I was losing so much sleep on certain days but we have made it to the final movie review and there was nothing else that I would rather close this month with than by looking at the greatest horror film of all-time and one of my favorite overall films of all-time, John Carpenter’s 1978 film, Halloween.
In 1963, a six-year-old Michael Myers inexplicably murders his teenage sister, Judith on Halloween night and is locked away in prison. 15 years later, Myers is able to escape the Smith’s Grove sanatorium after stealing a car driven by his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis. Myers returns to his home of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night to wreak havoc on the citizens of Haddonfield and to kill Laurie Strode.
This is the gold standard of horror and it still holds up tremendously 41 years later. There is never a dull moment in this film. It is intense, creepy, and chilling, whilst having the perfect atmosphere that you can watch on Halloween night. Just like how you are supposed to watch the first airing of A Christmas Story at 8:00 p.m. on TBS during Christmas Eve, you are supposed to watch Halloween every Halloween night.
Carpenter’s score for this movie is the best score of all-time. From the overflow of synths to give scenes that up-tempo, heat of the moment feel when characters are in peril and trying to escape Myers to the pristine but eerie piano chords towards the beginning of the film to set up the imminent doom of Haddonfield, every piece of music orchestrated in this film is perfect.
Some of the best scenes in this movie are towards the beginning when Myers begins stalking Laurie Strode. When he’s in a car, you can see him driving in the background and even though he is out-of-focus, you just know that it is him. Myers following Laurie on-foot when he hides behind the bushes and behind the hanging sheets just to disappear are some of the most iconic moments ever put to film.
I cannot praise Jamie Lee Curtis enough for her performance and for being the influential and OG slasher-film “final girl”. I get that some people may hate the acting in this film but if that is your main takeaway from this movie than you must be really fun at parties….. But I can agree that some of the acting is not great in the slightest. The kills of Laurie’s friends, Annie and Lynda are done fantastically, but the ladies’ death acting could have been done a little bit better and not as over-the-top as they do it here.
The last thing I will hit on is Michael Myers, himself. This is, by far, the most terrifying figure in horror history. The unsettling William Shatner mask, the way Nick Castle(who plays Myers) slowly walks in this film to his victims, is all done in a way that gives you those spine-tingling sensations that make you believe that he is the one stalking and trying to kill you.
Everything about John Carpenter’s Halloween is perfect in my eye. The camerawork, score, Michael Myers himself, and the overall direction are immaculate. Yes, say what you want about some of the performances but I am strictly looking for a great and entertaining horror film that, not only can scare me, but embraces the Halloween tradition in the most perfect manner possible. That is what Halloween provides to the fullest extent.