Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Review - Halloween (1978 - Dir. John Carpenter)



It is not normal behaviour to stalk young ladies, hide in bushes and amongst the washing on someone's line, wearing a modified Shatner mask. That's what the judge said to me anyway. That and the completely unnecessary comment about the squirrel incident. Ahem. On with the review.


What more can be said about Halloween? For anyone about to make a horror film it is a masterpiece of direction, editing and cinematography than should be studied in detail. To say that a film, that I've watched countless times, still has the power to create suspense in the end sequence is a testament to John Carpenter's skill.


People who don't watch horror (and comment on it in The Daily Mail - Ann Widdecombe's ramblings on Antichrist were priceless) would probably talk about Halloween being a gore and blood splattered piece of filth, and every copy should be burnt in a huge pyre in the middle of the street. In reality, and in a similar way to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, there is zero gore and it is virtually bloodless. All of the unease is created in the background. Empty dark spaces are left in the compositions just waiting for cheeky Mick Myers to pop into, or not, as the case may be. An end scene where Mr Myers' face appears slowly out of a dark doorway still sends a  shiver down my spine.


Halloween is obviously a pivotal film in the history of horror cinema. I wouldn't be shocked if anyone gave it a rating of 10/10. For me, I think that I've become over familiar with it and I actually prefer Carpenter's The Fog, something with a creepier atmosphere. But if you've never seen the original Halloween (not the unnecessary remake: although the sequel does have a cool poster image) it is one of those films that you should at least watch once in your life.
7/10
evlkeith



If you like this you could also try:
A Bay of Blood, The Fog, Friday the 13th, The Thing.


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