Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Thirteen Nights of Halloween Horror | Night Six - Halloween (1978)

image credit: compass international

I’ve hit the late 70s on my Halloween journey, which means I’m now in slasher territory. I’ve seen Friday the 13th, but never the film that started it all – Halloween. John Carpenter introduced the horror film world to a variety of tropes we still see today, including the ‘final girl’, killing off sexually promiscuous teenagers and following the point-of-view of the killer. Whilst, not every slasher trope seen in Halloween itself, it influenced countless others that followed – especially in the 1980s.

Halloween is a good film. A fantastic film in the last fifteen minutes, but I don’t think it’s been helping me that I know half of the narrative of a majority of these films, and I’m watching them night after night. I mean, after The Exorcist, what’s a film gotta do to blow me away? Similarly, with Rosemary’s Baby and Don’t Look Now, the more I think about the film after – and the influences it cast upon the horror genre – the more I appreciate the film. If it weren’t for Halloween, horror would not be as it is today. Sure, it may be lacking at present, but those gems that appear oh so rarely give the same feelings of apprehension and tension that Carpenter produced in Halloween.


The unique aspect of Halloween is the way in which Carpenter situates us with Michael (Nick Castle, Tony Moran) rather than Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis). In most horrors, you’re following the protagonist. You have no idea who the killer is, where they are and when they will strike next. In Halloween, we know from the opening who the killer is, we’re either watching him kill his victims from his point of view or from an over-the-shoulder shot, and we constantly see where he is either via the shot technique previously mentioned, or from Laurie. It ramps the tension immensely and lends to audiences shouting at the screen as they know more than the characters do.

Next up on the agenda is Friday the 13th Part 2, but I am sure that I will watch the sequels to Halloween in the near future.

“It’s Halloween, everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”
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