Night #31: Halloween

A review coming up for this just as soon as I escape the mental asylum…

Of course it would be this. It couldn’t not be this. This is the most obvious choice one could make on Halloween night, and it’s the same choice I’ll probably make every Halloween night as long as I live. Provided the robots don’t eventually take over (My Playstation is looking at me funny).

Everyone reading this should’ve seen this film by now, and I’m going to write this little write-up assuming you have. If you haven’t? Well brother I can’t help you. But go and rectify that immediately.

One thing I always loved about Carpenter’s classic is that the ubiquitos ‘stalking scenes’ all take place during the daytime. It’s a nice contrast to what we usually get, and adds a touch of urban menace to the proceedings. Watching it again I wonder if anyone actually saw Michael. They’d have to right? He’s this big lumbering guy hanging around behind bushes, someone must’ve seen something. It’s scarier to consider the fact that he could go around unnoticed.

It’s only over time I’ve really come to admire Jamie Lee Curtis too. Thanks to this film she would go onto the dizzying heights of Prom Night or my own personal favourite, Terror Train (Featuring a shady looking David Copperfield). She has an intelligence as an actress, and even when she’s asked to play the airhead there’s something there to suggest a knowing intelligence. Her Laurie Strode is just a smart, ordinary girl who gets caught up in something that’s really beyond her control (And teaches her the meaning of Halloween in the process). Even if the sequels do the best they can to shit all over that.

Then there’s Donald Pleasance. His Dr Loomis is a livewire act. He’s all jittery and nervous, and really sells the idea that he’s completely out of his depth. He’s not a man of action, but he’s so motivated by the power of pure evil that he’s forced to act. The sequels would go on to treat Loomis worse than they did Laurie Strode, particularly when we get to the ‘Thorn’ arc of the later movies (If you don’t know anything about that then count yourself lucky. While I appreciate the idea of them actually attempting some continuity, that saga isn’t the way to do it).  But here he’s a joy to watch, and I could really never get tired of him running around Haddonfield chasing the Boogeyman.

Halloween is never boring to watch, from its fantastic opening (Which may or may not have borrowed from Bob Clark’s Black Christmas – review coming up at uh…Christmas) to the autumnal streets of Haddonfield where Michael does his stalking, the film is just a pleasure. But above all that it still provides a good scare, and as that film and these last 31 nights have reminded us – aren’t we all entitled to at least one good one?

 

Up Next: A final roundup and some clips!

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