I like the idea of completing this small list of movies, if not for the caveat the Halloween is on there. It feels like a Jason Vorhees rethread and I am not the biggest fan of that brand of monstrous psycho killer movies. Anyone got a compelling reason for watching it ?
HalloweenI 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.
“Halloween” is an absolutely merciless thriller, a movie so violent and scary that, yes, I would compare it to “Psycho.”
“Halloween” is a visceral experience -- we aren't seeing the movie, we're having it happen to us.
Carpenter is uncannily skilled, for example, at the use of foregrounds in his compositions, and everyone who likes thrillers knows that foregrounds are crucial.
We see movies for a lot of reasons. Sometimes we want to be amused. Sometimes we want to escape. Sometimes we want to laugh, or cry, or see sunsets. And sometimes we want to be scared. I'd like to be clear about this. If you don't want to have a really terrifying experience, don't see “Halloween.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that Halloween is a great movie, and it isn’t a great movie because of nostalgia. Halloween has held up over time because of how finely constructed it is
So many stories try to be layered and complex, but Halloween is a relentless shark of a film. From the camerawork to the lighting and editing to that nerve-jangling score, this film is coming to get you and there's little you can do to stop it. I was lucky enough to first watch Halloween in a theater at midnight on Halloween night, back in 1990. The experience has stuck with me. By then the first wave of slasher films had buried the genre deep into the ground, but this film got to me in a big bad way. I didn't sleep well that night and purchased the film soon after so that I could shake the experience and start enjoying John Carpenter's technique. I found a lot to appreciate.
Carpenter really gets how to use the widescreen frame in a way few filmmakers have attempted. There are few jump scares and a lot of creepy pans to something ominous, usually in the foreground but not always. He builds suspense perfectly; the asylum escape scene remains one of the more unsettling moments in the film, with the too quick edit of someone climbing the car and that hand taking a beat before it strikes the window.
Michael Myers is such an enigma, this quiet shell of a human containing pure evil, that he becomes fascinating through subtle gestures. He moves slow, savoring the moments. Every kill is some kind of child-like game. He's in no hurry to kill. He wants to have fun, wants to play. There's a classic moment where he pins a guy to the wall with his knife and then his head tilts slightly in wonder at what he's done.
My problem with Halloween is that it's impossible to recreate the initial experience. The movie is great, and anybody who wants to see a scary movie needs to check this one out. The numerous copies have not diminished its ability to scare one bit. But what was once the scariest movie I ever saw is now a really well-made film that shows how to create classic scares. It belongs in my Top 100 just because it works perfectly the first time you see it and leaves a lot to admire over repeat viewings.