Since the reason for starting the forthcoming list of horror movie suggestions is in anticipation of the Halloween holiday, it seems only fitting to start off with John Carpenter’s Halloween as the first flick to be featured.
This movie is a classic, and continues to be a favorite of mine. Much like how It’s a Wonderful Life is a must for Christmas, this eerie gem is a must see October viewing.
In the event that you’ve never experienced this movie, it’s centered upon a psychotic man named Michael who has been institutionalized for 15 years after having murdered his sister on Halloween night at the age of 6. On Oct. 30th he escapes and journeys back to terrorize those in his old hometown of Haddonfield on Halloween night. But luckily, psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (skillfully acted by Donald Pleasence) is making a house call to try to stop his monster patient in his wake.
Before pitching Activia yogurt, a young Jamie Lee Curtis was the top scream queen. She debuted those horror vocal chops as Laurie Strode, a babysitter who could only dream of a whimsical adventure in babysitting having unknowingly attracted a murderous stalker who is taking out her friends, one at a time.
The thing that draws me to the blue jumpsuit, white mask clad character of Michael Myers (enacted by Tony Moran) is his slow lingering nature. He may pick up his pace while in pursuit of an intended victim but he typically has a steady, determined, yet calm gait that’s always on target. But it’s his knack for hiding in the shadows that makes my skin crawl. His clothes fade into the darkness where you’re left with the white mask appearing in the glow of street lights. You may only glimpse him for a brief moment behind a tree, across the street, or worse… in your home before you realize something bad is on the horizon; and it’s that anticipation that keeps the goosebumps coming.
Not only did this movie have me keeping my porch light on to keep an eye on what lay outside, but it also taught me the hidden self-defense talents of a wire hanger.
Lastly, it’s important to note that I do not recommend Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake. That film has a gritty/dirty feel to it that isn’t in keeping with the original’s charm. I was not a fan of it at all and didn’t bother to watch its 2009 sequel. My only appreciation for the reimagining was the casting of actress Danielle Harris who previously portrayed Jamie in the fourth and fifth installments of the Halloween series. Instead, choose the original series where there are plenty of sequels to be had. (But if you need to skip one, Halloween 3, which doesn’t keep to the Meyers reign of terror is that selection as it serves as more of a stand-alone.)
So flash back to the 70’s this month for some retro good frights.