Thursday, 31 October 2013

H13. This Is Halloween

Hi all,
And here we are at the end of the 10 days of Halloween. I have seen my 13 films. Some have been good, some have been the very worst films I have ever seen. But before we break open the Jack 'O' Lantern and crown the scariest Halloween 13 film, there is one more film yet to be reviewed, the final film. The one film named after the holiday itself. I present to you, Halloween. A truly great film from the 70s, it brings the Halloween 13 to a rousing close. However, you shall have to be patient as the rankings of these films will not be released just yet. But you don't have long to wait. Beginning next Monday will be my September/October Recommendations posts. I've planned something a bit different which, if is successful, will become the traditional way I do them in the future. See you then!

1978, USA, Directed by John Carpenter

Halloween is one of the most successful horror films of the last 30 years because it’s still genuinely terrifying. Be it because of the wonderfully creepy piano theme (which I now have to have on my computer, it would make great writing music) or because it all takes place in an otherwise peaceful suburb, it has lost none of its power. It’s all about (as Tim Curry would say) “antici…pation.” We’ve seen Michael in the background, he was there a few seconds ago but now, he’s gone. Oh, crap where is he? Oh, there he is again. Run, lady! This happens about 30 times as Myers hunts down one of Laurie’s friends and when the final moment of her death comes, it’s truly shocking. The protagonist, Laurie, as played by Jamie Lee Curtis, is also key to the film’s success. Appearing unassuming, but soon proving herself to be kind, resourceful and a magnificent screamer. Her fear in the horrifying climax is enough to make you question your own sanity, as terror is rammed all the way up to 11. From the moment she discovers her friends, her commanding way of protecting the children under her car and hiding out in a closet knowing he’s coming, it all is enough to make you pull your hair out. And then, he just doesn’t stay dead. He dies 3 times in that climax and still his fate is left ambiguous (in a hugely unnerving final scene), making this one of those films that’s going to make it difficult for me to walk around in the dark. In fact, even during the day, because of that shot where Michael is standing by the clothesline or patiently staring at her from outside her classroom. Through undertaking The Halloween 13, I’ve learnt that not all horror movies are scary because they just haven’t had the attention and love required to pull off a really successful film. What makes Halloween different is that it’s all about the horror of waiting for something to happen. Compare this to Playback or Hellbent and the difference becomes palpable. It comes from a different time, but arguably a much more frightening one. And Halloween proves that utter terror created through stunning cinema is timeless.

Gore/Violence: 3 (bit of blood)
Sex/Nudity: 3 (topless women and a little sex scene)
Scares: 5 (completely terrifying)
Best Scene: The climax (because I doubt a scarier scene has ever made it to film)
Overall Verdict: 10
It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.
- Halloween

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