Thursday, October 31, 2013


I was never a big fan of the slasher film although I recognize its validity as a horror genre. That said, HALLOWEEN, John Carpenter's original 1978 version, instantly became and remains one of my favorite horror films. 

It was actually a couple years after its original release when I first saw it on a borrowed Betamax tape. I knew Jamie Lee Curtis from TV's OPERATION: PETTICOAT and I remember being extremely impressed by her performance here. Donald Pleasance had long been a favorite already but this was his career-defining role after more thank two decades as a character actor.

 It was director John Carpenter who impressed me most, realizing here that less is more and that terror is not relative to the amount of actual blood and guts shown on screen. The absolute icing on the cake is the musical score, written by Carpenter himself--as he had done earlier with the equally brilliant ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, the next film I would catch by him.

I saw part 2, with a different director, which takes place literally moments after part 1 ends which negates the power of the first part. Plus it's not nearly as well done in any sense of the word. Part 3, although often reviled, is a totally different and completely unconnected animal. Beyond that, rings got repetitious with more pointless sequels watering down the franchise. Until eventually, there was a total reboot and it all started all over again.

But nothing since has touched the original. The 1978 HALLOWEEN, taken solely on its own,  remains one of the single scariest and at the same time most enjoyable horror films of all time.
Thanks, John Carpenter!

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