You know what’s the greatest part about the four horsemen of the apocalypse? They are the most feared character as becoming timeless cult-classic today. It becomes one of the pop cultures for today and even for its time. They are Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger, Leatherface, and Michael Myers. Through this film, we only discuss Michael Myers first before discussing three other slasher character. This film is one that has huge impacts on slasher films. It even became one of the films that introduced cliches in horror. However, we’ll focus more on John Carpenter’s original version of “Halloween” after 40 years have passed.
It’s actually excused if you’re not too interested in genres like this. I found this film more than an influence. Many filmmakers made this as their benchmark. In those days, there are so many slasher films popping up. Today, we know it’s just a cliche of things from horror movies. “Halloween” at that time became one of the most effective films even for audience audiences. Not too special even today. This film capitalized on a budget of around $ 300,000. Thanks to Moustapha Akkad. You can see his first name in the first opening iconic scene. The only one.
The first opening scene is an iconic way to start the film. First, we see a jack-o’-lantern pumpkin with a horror-style soundtrack. In fact, the soundtrack was also composed by John Carpenter himself beside directing and writing this movie. Halloween night, Haddonfield, 1963. A six-year-old boy, Michael Myers, killing his sister using a kitchen knife. It’s one of those scenes that starts in a unique way. We look through Michael’s view as first-person. He saw his older sister from an outside yard. Using a mask with his clown clothes, he takes a kitchen knife. One of the iconic weapons to kill his victims.
Dr. Sam Loomis who takes care of Michael then taken to a mental hospital for treatment. For eight years, he tried to do therapy with an approach to Michael. The doctor considered that Michael wasn’t a human being but a pure demon rose from the body of a child. Just like the first opening scene. Michael’s face, when he was a child, is emotionless. There is no emotion at all. There was a demon that was visible from his eyes. It’s only a cold gaze from a psychopath who’s indeed from the scene. There are no clear reasons for his mentality and psychology. Is he sick? Past? Trauma? Or other? No one knows. Michael’s character is just a very mysterious person. He will return on the next Halloween afterward.
When deciding to lock Michael down, the doctor also found that Michael managed to escape and assumed that he would return to his Haddonfield’s old house right on Halloween night to spread a terror slowly. This was what Laurie, his friends, and younger siblings experienced; it’s nature. This film does have a much aura in its atmosphere. I feel so frightening when I first watched this film on TV, for now. This is what needs to be done for other standard slasher films if they should do something new and no longer focus on this film alone.
The approach is so different because John Carpenter prefers to build up each scene. He doesn’t prefer directly imposing the pace of the film. Even at the beginning of Michael’s introduction, we didn’t know who this character was. We saw
Throughout the film, we seem to be people who told the film, seeing from the third person view. An interface between Michael and the victim, including the character, really feels how the atmosphere is getting darker and darker constantly. Just like Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” the movie doesn’t focus too much on bloodshed or gore even though “Halloween” shows many victims but slowly not so forced that we anticipate to the next scene, as spectators. Psychology and silence are the main keys. There are a few moments which make the scene just there without any sound. Some scenes when Michael Myers just became a stalker standing in his place had created the scene slowly build up to always maintain the mood of the audience.
The acting is bad but there are several reasons that distinguish things like that. First, some of the actresses in this film aren’t very good at giving real performances to horror films even though this is a classic film. But, I’ve seen a lot of films besides this with very capable acting. I always turn my volume down so there is no misunderstanding when watching this movie at night. The actress always sounds whiny or orgasm like having a sex when the victim is being killed even with such a simple scene. On the other hand, there is some great performance from several actors such as Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis which one of the best when he is explaining Michael Myers’s background and past, his character is so dreadful.
Likewise with Tony Moran as Michael Myers. Even though he only stands in one frame without doing anything, this film is just focusing on him alone. With the help of John Carpenter’s score, Michael Myers is one of the most iconic characters because of its fantastic theme song. Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie is also quite nice even though it’s the same as the other actresses but is able to act as a perfect character. There is some easter egg in this movie like John Carpenter next movie, “The Thing” which is one of those horror films too.
When talking about acting matters with characters, I don’t think this is a subject to be the one who dominates the most. In essence, horror isn’t a genre that can’t be separated from cliche things, but how the director builds up the scene. Even for films other than horror, there is some that I find it’s terrifying even though it’s not a horror film. The camera always focuses on the circumstance that occurs in the scene starting from the actions taken by the victim and the psycho. It’s easy to connect but it’s so difficult to execute. “Halloween” is one of those horrible watching experiences if you wanna look for a spectacle of horror films in this Halloween. Obviously, one of the best slasher films ever made and one that affects slasher films even other modern films to this day.
4 out of 5 stars.