31 Nights of Horror - Night Twenty: Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter's Halloween scared the fuck out of me when I was little. I love, love, love this film. It stands as my favorite out of all of Carpenter's genius works. Carpenter Purists might go with his Sci-Fi/Horror entry made a couple years after this one...or any one one of his other brilliant classics...but, 10 times out of 10...we're goin' with Halloween. 

Michael Myers is the ultimate horror movie icon. There's nothing particularly special about him. He doesn't have a chainsaw.....he can't kill you in your dreams.....he doesn't have the power to tear your soul apart....and he doesn't particularly care for the taste of your blood. But...he is unrelenting in his terror. He is the epitome of what makes horror film so scary....it's a sure thing that his victims will meet their demise, it's just a matter of how long it will take. Carpenter lends his moody film making to Myers' creepy character. It's this marriage of the wonderfully skilled auteur and his creation that makes Halloween so special in every way.

Halloween is basically about a madman who escapes a hospital for the criminally insane and is dead set in killing his sister. Simple....but, so effective in its delivery. So subtle.

Something else that makes this film great is the performances within. The late Donald Pleasance will probably be best remembered for his role as Dr. Loomis. He is perfect as Myers' doctor...playing the light against the darkness....the Van Helsing of this film. Perfect casting. We miss you, Mr. Pleasance.

Another genre icon that lends her acting ability to Halloween is Jamie Lee Curtis playing the role of Laurie Strode. Curtis is one of the all-time horror movie scream queens and she is classic as the ultimate victim fighting back. The original final girl.

Halloween is the ultimate Halloween movie. It certainly kept me away from trick or treating for a couple years when I was little and it still sustains that classic aura to this day. Carpenter does a fine job of maintaining the tension throughout the film not only as the director but, also as the creator of the legendary musical score. Probably goes down as one of the most famous soundtracks in film history. Every year around this time you'll surely hear someone's cellphone go off with the Halloween theme song while you're in line at the grocery store...or in your pilates class.

It's a film that will no doubt get multiple plays this year and future years to come. Rob Zombie did his best to create another film celebrating the original and, while he certainly did a decent job with his first effort, he pretty much lost most of his credibility with me with the cluster fuck that was his second effort. Carpenter's original is a film that is treated with a certain "holy grail" type mentality by horror film purists and Zombie should've known to handle the material a little better. But, that's what happens when you try to remake a film that is already perfect to begin with.

As I mentioned earlier, I absolutely love this film on every level. It works so well as a serious horror film and it has set the standard for films to come. There's been quite a few sequels and, as I mentioned, the Rob Zombie remakes....but, nothing has come close to duplicating the experience of Halloween.

5 out of 5

Thanks for reading,