Halloween (1978) is another classic I’ve recently retread, and while you can probably guess the ending of this review, let’s talk about getting there.
John Carpenter directed, co-wrote, and scored a legitimately fantastic movie. It’s one of those cases where the term “genre-defining” is actually applicable. Following the footsteps of films like Psycho and Peeping Tom a generation behind it, Halloween is the birth of the modern slasher movie. You can try and say it’s other flicks like Black Christmas, but Halloween stands ahead of them all. Hell, it’s the one most of you know the name of. It’s bolstered by the birth of the scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis (and yes, obligatory mention of her being the daughter of Psycho’s Janet Leigh), who in turn has since enjoyed a long career that sometimes brings her back to the franchise that first introduced her, but let’s not talk about those...(except for Terminator 2-starring-Laurie Strode, Halloween 2018)
Halloween is full of great indie horror filmmaking, all the way down to filming at summer in California and having to paint bags of leaves brown for shots. Whether it’s the simple but effective main theme over an ominous Jack-O-Lantern, the brilliant POV opening, the slow-burn storytelling, the omnipresent creepiness of Mike Myers, the Hitchcockian suspense and it’s other influences, or just the dozens of other elements, Halloween is a perfectly constructed movie that has maintained its effectiveness over 40 years, and will continue to for many more.