Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Flashbacks: Halloween 1978

Halloween 1978
Director: John Carpenter
Writers: John Carpenter
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, Nancy Loomis, P. J. Soles and Charles Cyphers

Halloween, to many it is the holy grail of slasher films the one that started the whole avalanche that began in the 80's. To many it is the progenitor of the slasher genre, though Black Christmas did it first, but that is more of a hidden cult classic, so when people think of the origins of the slasher film they think of Carpenter's seminal classic. This is my 2nd favorite horror film not far behind, Dawn of the Dead and I think I have watched it at least as many times as Dawn and it just gets better every time I view it. It has great performances, a great deliberate pace and the greatest horror film soundtrack in my opinion.
The plot basics are this, A girl after having sex with her boyfriend is brutally stabbed to death by her little brother. Flash forward 15 years and we meet Dr. Loomis (Pleasance who is picking up the said killer, Michael Myers for a patient evaluation, but he escapes and steals a car. We then move to Haddonfield, where the killing took place and we meet Laurie (Curtis) a shy introverted teenager who plans on babysitting for Halloween night. Loomis comes to the town to warn the police and to hunt down Myers, there is not much luck and as the night progresses Michael stalks Laurie and her friends, killing her friends and then going after Laurie. It leads to a dramatic climax with Loomis and Myers, that ends very creepily.
I cannot say enough about this film. The direction by Carpenter is tight, you always feel as if something bad is about to happen. The writing is good as well, with believable characters you actually care about. The acting in this is great and a special nod goes to Pleasance, he just steals every scene he is in, and has the best lines in the film. I also loved Loomis and Soles too. There isn't any gore in the film its more about mood and atmosphere and that technique works really well. The real star of the film though is Carpenter's soundtrack. The theme is both haunting and hypnotic. Halloween is a true classic and I highly recommend it.
I give it 5 out of 5

No comments: