Halloween has come and gone, but there is still room for some more scares. What better way to have them by reviewing the movie “Halloween“? Though other horror movies have come and gone before it, it was this film that has set up what we know as the slasher genre. From girls getting killed in their underwear to victims running up the stairs, this film started all the well-known horror movie clichés that we have grown to love.
The director John Carpenter describes the movie having a simple plot of a man murdering teenagers. It starts off with Michael Myers (played by Tony Moran) escaping a mental hospital. He was institutionalized for 15 years after killing his sister. The movie then follows Myers as he makes his way to his hometown Haddonfield to search for new victims. Myers’ psychiatrists Dr. Sam Loomis (played by Donald Pleasence) tries to chase after him in hopes to prevent him from claiming anymore victims.
This movie does a great job building up tension as you see Myers begin to stalk Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) along with her friends. The scenes where he makes an appearance are also great as there are times where he would just walk right up to a person and freak them out by his mere presence. In other scenes he would be in the background and pass by without anyone noticing. What I also find interesting is the fact that there is no reason behind his actions; he doesn’t have a sad back story or anything to excuse his behavior. He doesn’t even have a line of dialogue. Myers kills just for the sake of it.
“I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil,” said Dr. Loomis.
The music also plays a significant part in the background as a recurring theme is played throughout the movie. It has become Myers’ signature trademark as it is played at each of his scenes. This theme had been something Carpenter had thought of for years as he created it himself using a synthesizer from a guy he got in touch with in the San Fernando Valley.
In an interview, Carpenter explained how he was given full creative range of the film as he was simply given the basics on making a film of a killer stalking babysitters. At first the title was “The Babysitter Murders” which grabbed Carpenter’s attention. However, it was during work production that the title was changed as producer Irwin Yablans said it would bring more significance if it was centered on a holiday. When it first premiered it grabbed the public’s attention and received some harsh words from critics, though in time it’s audience grew. It was this film that made Carpenter’s name in horror movies, and has truly set a staple in the genre. Overall, it was a great film that became a classic over time.
A list of the most memorable/terrifying monsters in the horror movie history:
Crawlers from the movie “The Descent (2006)”: Nothing says claustrophobia than being stuck in a small cave with no lights and monsters all around you. These creatures live underground completely adapted to the dark and driven by instinct which doesn’t sit well with these group of friends as they are trapped during a cave expedition. The crawlers add to the tension as they hide in the darkness ready to make their move.
Alien queen from the movie “Aliens (1986)”: This is one mom you do not want to mess with as she is 100 feet tall, has acid blood, and an army of alien monsters ready to kill anything that moves. When watching the movie “Aliens” you see Ripley and the gang try to escape the colony based on the planet from the first movie as it is infested with aliens or Xenomorphs. The whole time it makes you think where all these aliens came from that question is answered at the climax as the Alien queen makes her appearance. This creature demonstrates the darkside of motherhood as the mother will do whatever it takes to protect her children.
The Thing from the movie “The Thing (1982)”: Known simply as the Thing, this alien shape shifter serves as the antagonist to R.J. MacReady and his crew throughout the movie. With the ability to copy any living being it comes in contact with it gives a whole the new meaning to the word paranoid as each crew member is left questioning who’s who. It also puts time at risk as the crew must find and destroy the creature quickly before the creature can escape affect the rest of the world.
The Babadook from the movie “The Babadook (2014)”: A recent addition to the list we have the Babadook. Although it has a funny name this monster is one you should not underestimate. It uses a children’s book to make it’s appearance and will never leave once it does. It hides in the darkness and makes you question your own reality as it did for Amelia and her son. It will haunt you for the rest of your life as the movie quotes, “If it’s in a word, if it’s in a book you can’t get rid of the Babadook.”
Brundle Fly from the movie “The Fly (1986)”: The horrors of science come alive as the Brundle fly takes the top of the list. Seth Brundle was a brilliant inventor who created teleport pods to revolutionize travel. An accident happens when a fly lands in one of the pods with Brundle and its DNA fuses with him. This creates a hybrid monstrosity as you witness Brundle’s hideous transformation from man to fly as well as his mental breakdown as he try to find a cure. From the horrifying appearance to the tragedy that follows you’ll never look at flies the same way again.
When I first heard about The Babadook I decided to watch it out of curiosity. I didn’t expect the haunting atmosphere along with a monster that would give me nightmares for days. It was both a surprising and pleasant experience.
The plot revolves around Amelia (played by Essie Davis) a widowed mother who struggles to raise her son Samuel (played by Noah Wiseman) when a book titled The Babadook appears at their doorstep, and the situation goes from bad to worse. The movie shines with its characters as you believe the mother’s distress as she tries to take care of her son, and strange things start to happen. The scenes where the monster ,the Babadook, appears are great too as there is little sound and plenty of tension build up as you wait for it to strike.
The film is an expansion of Australian Director Jennifer Kent’s short “Monster” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. In an interview, Kent said the film is about facing your inner demons and how repressing them damages you. We see this in the film as anxiety starts to build up in Amelia as she tries to keep quiet about what is happening to her and her son. Overall it has a good set up, convincing characters and a monster that leaves a lasting impression.
Halloween is coming and I am ecstatic to see shows such as American Horror Story and Sleepy Hollow make their come back. I also have taken a look at the new show Scream Queens although it’s no AHS it’s still a fun watch in its own quirky way.