Halloween Havoc 2013 Day 31: Halloween (1978)

Halloween_cover

I hate that I have to write 1978 after the title. Damn you, Rob Zombie! So it’s Halloween! A day where everyone is entitled to one good scare….and candy. Of course I chose to review the classic Halloween which was directed by John Carpenter. This film is simply a classic. There’s not much I can say about the film that hasn’t been already said. I actually had a unique experience with the film this year. I watched it in theaters for the first time. I didn’t think a classic like Halloween could get any better, but the theater experience proved me wrong. The film is amazing on the big screen. The darkness of the theater puts you right in the atmosphere of Halloween and the music is pumped up louder than usual. It’s surreal and awesome! Let’s talk about the film.

The Plot

Michael Myers killed his older sister when he was a young child. He did it because of a demon thorn cult. Oh wait, that’s not revealed until the sixth film. It’s best to ignore that one. Michael has been locked up in a sanitorium for a long time. I can’t remember how long. His doctor is Dr. Loomis played by Donald Pleasance. Loomis is my favorite character in the film. He constantly spouts off dialogue about how Michael is pure evil. You listen to everything he says and you eat it up. He’s the best. It’s too bad he had to end his career with Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers which I already said you can ignore unless you are a huge Paul Rudd fan. Of course Michael breaks out of the looney bin and goes back to his home town of Haddonfield. It’s there he starts to stalk teenagers. The three girls we follow are Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), Annie Brackett (not Danielle Harris), and Lynda (P. J. Soles). Michael Myers (William Shatner’s face) stalks the girls throughout the day. It’s really fun just listening to the characters talk about stupid stuff. It’s totally awesome. I should have counted how many times Lynda says totally. I’m sure someone has that number. This film is very suspenseful. The goofiness during the day sets you up for what is going to happen at night. Laurie has to babysit Tommy Doyle (sadly not a really young Paul Rudd) while Annie has to babysit Lindsay (I don’t really care to look up who played the kids). Tommy has a fear of the boogeyman. He constantly sees Michael walking around outside, but nobody believes him. I guess Laurie forgot the parts earlier in the film where she kept seeing Captain Kirk staring right at her. Annie sends Lindsay over to Laurie so she can go have sex with her boyfriend, Paul. She never makes it to Paul since Michael kills her. Lynda and her boyfriend, Bob, come over to the house. I’m not sure what Michael did with Annie’s body at this point. After a few shots of Lynda’s boobs, Michael kills her and Bob. Laurie gets worried after a phone call from a being strangled Lynda and decides to head over to the house. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis is scaring children because he does that. He’s also giving lines about how Michael isn’t a man and he has the devil’s eyes. All normal stuff. Laurie gets to the house and finds her sister’s tombstone on the bed with Annie’s dead body lying there. Oh wait again! We don’t know Laurie is Michael’s sister in this one. Damn you Halloween II! Michael chases Laurie back to the Doyle house where they have their confrontation. Michael lumbers around and gets stabbed a few times with various items. He’s not a super efficient killer in the original. The kids run outside and Dr. Loomis heads into the house. He shoots Michael a few times and tells Laurie that is was indeed the boogeyman. He looks outside again and sees Michael’s body is gone. All we hear is breathing to end the film.

The characters

Dr. Loomis is the man. Everything he does in this film is gold. Jamie Lee Curtis is great as Laurie Strode. She brings a great energy to the film. She screams like a champ, and she has a great virginal quality to her that makes her the believable heroine. William Shatner was great at having a mask of him made to be Michael Myers. Michael is at his best in this film. His kills are suspenseful and scary. Not bloody and gory like later films. This is Michael at his peak. Everyone else does a fine job.

The kills and suspense

I already touched upon this, but the suspense of this film is great. Everything slowly builds to tht last half hour. It’s pure adrenaline rush. I’m totally into that last half hour. Nothing could peel my eyes away from the film. The deaths are all very simple. A stabbing and a strangulation here. It makes the film seem more real. It feels like this can happen in real life unlike later films in the series where you are left scratching your head. That’s this film’s greatest quality. It could happen in real life. Some nutcase could go crazy and kill for no reason.

Final Thoughts

A classic. I have to watch it every Halloween. Sometimes I watch it just when I want to watch a great film. I love everything about it. It’s my favorite Halloween film. It has great suspense and horror. Dr. Loomis is one of the best protagonists ever and Michael Myers is one of the greatest villains ever. You can have your Van Helsings and Dracula, but for me it will always be Dr. Loomis vs. Michael Myers. If you haven’t seen this film, you are doing yourself a disfavor. Go watch it and enjoy! Find it in a theater if you are lucky. It’s worth it. Make sure to check out my other reviews this month. There’s been some great film I have reviewed. I’ve also reviewed some total shit, but it was all worth it. Thanks for reading this Halloween. Have fun! Go scare someone!

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