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Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Halloween



*****

On Halloween 1963, 6-year-old Michael Myers (Will Sandin) murders his older sister (Sandy Johnson), while she babysits. Fifteen years later, the adult Michael (Tony Moran, Nick Castle) escapes from the asylum and heads home where he carries out a series of murders on babysitters on Halloween. Can his psychiatrist (Donald Pleasance) stop him?

It is such a simple, low-budget horror film (a budget of $320,000), yet is such a terrifying film to sit down and watch. The film has such is so dimly lit, which is coupled with such an eerie, spine-shivering score, that you can't take your eyes off what happens as the spine-tingling effects of it keep you gripped to your seat, your heart-racing as you keep on watching to find out what occurs next. As for the gore factor this film has basically none what-so-ever, so it's up to the audience's imagination as to what has actually happened. So many of the big, fantastic horror films made between 1978 and 1988 used vast amounts of effective gore - Dawn of the Dead (1978), Alien (1979), The Shining (1980), Videodrome (1983), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Fly (1986). Halloween, however, does not, where as using the combining the aforementioned elements with the fact the shape of Myers always appears out of the background, in a hulking shape, as well as the fact we never see his face till the final moments of the film, to create its scare factor, with truly successful and terrifying results - watch it after dark with the lights off and you are guaranteed to scream or jump.

The character of Michael Myers has two other truly creepy characteristics. One is the heavy breathing through the mask. If you found Darth Vader's heavy breathing creepy in the original Star Wars trilogy, then this is ten times worse - at least Darth Vader didn't kill his family at six, and break into people's houses, killing the babysitters with a carving knife. Secondly is the fact that each of his victims has been in an erotic situation. His sister, murdered in the prologue, had just had sex and was still nude. His first victim (Nancy Loomis), upon escape, is wearing only a shirt and thong as she waits for her clothes to come out the wash. His second victim (John Michael Graham) has come down for a beer after sleeping with his girlfriend (P.J. Soles), who lies nude in bed, awaiting his return, only to become victim number three. This is what makes Myers such a sick, twisted and creepy serial killer more than anything else, and will make your stomach churn. It is ridiculously difficult to explain in a review, but it effective for scaring, and something you can't understand until you watch it.

Low budget horrors are usually (especially today) not that good, but Halloween defies that stereotype, and is a truly gut-wrenching, beautifully and scarily created, stomach-clencher of a horror film that will keep you gripped and make you jump from start to finish without fail. As for the ending where there is no body of Myers, despite being shot six times and falling out first-floor window, that is a truly creepy ending that opens the door for the sequel Halloween II (1981).


1978.
18.
Stars:
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasance, Tony Moran, Nancy Loomis, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Will Sandin, Nick Castle, Nancy Stephens, Sandy Johnson.

Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival award: Critics' Award (John Carpenter).

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