It is Halloween night in Illinois in 1963. Young six year old Michael Myers brutally stabbed his sister to death for a reason unknown to most. His parents come home only to find him standing completely zoned out with a large, bloody knife in his hands. Michael is then put in a mental hospital where he will spend the next fifteen years of his life, until on October 30th 1978 Michael breaks free and steals his Doctor's car. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) knows that Michael is looking for blood, so he heads to Haddonfield, Michael's home town, to try and prevent too much destruction. Loomis immediately heads to the local Sheriff where they will both try and hunt down Michael as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) feels like she is being stalked by someone, but she does not know who. This turns out to be Michael as he targets this group of teenagers on his killing spree.
First off, Halloween is definitely one of the best horror films I have ever seen. Nowadays I cannot help but feel that the writers and directors of the world seem to think blood and gore equals a scary film. Which is not at all true. If you look at the recent horror/slasher films that come out, all that happens is someone taking a chainsaw or a knife and cutting people open. That isn't scary, it's more laughable than anything to be honest. The key to making a film actually somewhat scary, it is a very difficult thing to do, is not blood, it is suspense. If a movie has enough suspense it does not matter whether there is any death or blood at all, with suspense a film will be scary. Which is what Halloween does so well.
The story, for the most part, is just your basic horror film. A group of teenagers are being hunted by some psycho that decides to kill people. The audience doesn't really know why, but that is just what happens. I personally prefer to have the killings explained a bit more than they are in most films, such as Psycho, but I suppose as far as horror goes that just isn't the way the films are made. I have read and heard many people compare this to Psycho, and as much as I loved this film, I cannot say I agree with that. As far as I have ever seen Psycho is the best of all in the horror genre, though I must admit Halloween is no doubt on of the best horror films I have ever seen. It is actually a bit slow moving at times, which is what makes it so great. A lot may not happen for awhile in the film, but John Carpenter slowly builds the suspense with Michael following Jamie Lee Curtis' characters. It made for a great, unforgettable climax.
I have to say I am not at all a John Carpenter fan. Any director that only directs horror films is not a director for me. He may have made many films that received plenty of critical acclaim, but most of his films just aren't my style. However, he really did do a good job here. He knew what he was doing, and this was one of his first films. The performances were not that bad, which is another thing you really have to watch out for in horror films. I have always found Jamie Lee Curtis an annoying actress, but I guess she did fine in this film. I mean, it shouldn't be that hard to find actors who can run around and scream and make it sound real, but movie makers today sure seem to have a world of trouble doing it. Donald Pleasence was okay as well. Nothing worth praising by any of the actors really, but if you compare the acting in this film to the acting in other horror films, it is certainly much improved.
Overall, Halloween is an excellent film. It may be a bit overrated, I can't see how so many people give it a perfect score, but that does not change how great it really is. It is actually a film that I think gets better, and more scary the older it gets. As I mentioned all people are used to today is bllod and gore, and this truly shows how to make a film scary, that honestly is not that violent. It is nothing but chills and inforgettable scenes. Halloween is a well made, well directed, and just a really great film. Maybe I didn't find it to be quite the masterpiece that some do, but nothing short of excellence.
What did you think of this review?