This is it, everyone. We are about to look at the Mother of all slasher films, the film that brought back the modern slasher genre, Today we look at – Halloween (1978).
Halloween directed by John Carpenter is a low budget independent horror film from the late 70’s. Starring newcomer to the scene – Jamie Lee Curtis – daughter of iconic movie stars Janet leigh and Tony Curtis. She would go on to star in a good few other slasher films in the early 80’s including Halloween’s 1981 sequel Halloween II.
The film, Shockingly, was actually a flop originally, as the film was traveling city to city, rather than the usual region by region, the film was receiving negative reviews at first, until a review a little while into the films the US run shined a light on the film and made it a household name from there.
Jamie Lee Curtis plays High School babysitter Laurie Strode who is babysitting her neighbour’s son on Halloween night when strange things begin to happen, and her friends begin to disappear around the town. Previously Laurie had felt as though someone was watching her and her friends, this would soon become the horrific reality when she is prey to the menacing killer Michael Myers, who also would go on to be a legend.
Something I want to get straight right away, and something not a lot of people mentions when speaking of Halloween. It is deemed as the first of the new breed of slasher films and is iconic for its lack of bloodshed, yet still so scary. This may be true to an extent, however, just a few years earlier in 1974 (1975 in the UK) a Canadian low budget Slash and Stalk horror film called Black Christmas was released to the world. This film plays on very similar grounds to Halloween and it has actually been reported that John Carpenter was heavily inspired by Bob Clark’s cult classic.
There was also a number of other slasher films that came before Halloween, many have even been hailed as Classics. Films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho from 1960 or Toby Hoopers texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974. I am not trying to downsize Halloween at all, it is and likely always will be one of my all time favourite horror films I am just pointing out the fact that there were many films to come before Halloween which shared similar elements.
However, something that Halloween certain did do was introduce the world to the new breed of Slasher films kicking off in 1980 with Sean Cunningham‘s Friday The 13th.
Through the years Halloween has had many released for Home Entertainment and in fact is one of the only titles to have experienced every film format. From Laserdisc to UMD to VHS and now, of course, DVD and Blu-Ray. I would actually love to see Halloween get aired on TV again sometime as it is a film I feel is one more people need to see.
Even though it seems as this big scary horror film, and it is, it is a film I would imagine would appeal to non-horror fans as to an extent the film is kind fo a thriller as well.
Long retrospective short Halloween is the ultimate and the best film to watch on Halloween. It is a true masterpiece fo the horror genre and will continue to scare and delight generations to come. It is one of my favourite films to watch, whether I am watching it on Halloween or any day of the year the film stays true to the genre and is a sure fire piece of Gold!
Have fun this Halloween everyone! Stay safe and remember to watch out for the bogeyman!
| Ross Wilcock
horror | USA, 1978 | Dir.John Carpenter | Jamie Lee Curtis, DOnald Pleasence, Charles Cyphers
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