Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Halloween (1978)

AAhhh!!! Run from Tiberius!!!!

Genre: Horror Thriller

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis (Freaky Friday; True Lies), Donald Pleasence (The House of Usher; THX 1138)

Directed By: John Carpenter (Escape From New York; Christine)

Overview: On Halloween night, a psychotic killer escapes from the mental institute and returns home.

Acting: Can you act well with a bad script? Is it possible to not sound retarded when saying "Oh I hope you didn't tell him I was attracted to him?" "Totally!" Not usually. Can a bunch of teenage girls act out talking about boys, overprotective mothers and going to the big dance and not end up looking like morons? Only if their saving grace is their final moments of struggle and death rattle. You might just save yourself if you pull it off. Guess what?
Rating: 4

Cinematography: Nothing beats shooting a film without a light meter. "Live outside the box dude. Don't get bogged down by The Man. Who says light is either a particle or a wave though exhibits signs of both? Eh? Not me! Let's just turn on the headlights and roll film!" Oh and shooting film inside a boring house is also cool, especially if the hallways have barely any room to move, let alone carry 30 pounds of film and sound equipment. Wait though: points for the cool mask.
Rating: 4

Script: I think an equally good title for this film would be Ghost Existence: Way of the Petty Suburbanite. John Carpenter may be a rich man, richer than me, but I could write a better script. Perhaps what people liked about this movie is that it was so like their pathetic lives in their gated communities that they connected with these people. Suburban life. Waiting out on your lawn with a pair of scissors for stray grass, while your son washes the car... again. Oh and Michael Meyers was a mental patient, thanks for the backstory...JESUS.
Rating: 3

Plot: And I thought Jason was a weak character. Michael Meyers' story is that he killed his sister one Halloween as a child and was committed, then 15 years later, he escapes. He goes home and kills his sister again, over and over, and over. With a bodycount of merely THREE, this film was really more about listening to suburban schoolgirls talk about boys, no kidding. Woop-dee-woo.
Rating: 3

Mood: This was made on a $300,000 budget. It made a lot of money, but they had to buy the cheapest mask they could find, which ended up being a mildly modified Captain Kirk face. Too much about this movie plunged this into farcical disbelief, like when Michael is wearing that white sheet, and most of the kills. I know this was an original, but it seemed to completely lack originality. I'm coming to grips with the realization that Horror has indeed evolved, but that it started further back than most. Really not that spooky, except for some of the best music out there.
Rating: 4

And the lesson is never dress up your children in outfits that will traumatize them to the point of psychosis... even if it's Halloween.

Overall Rating: 36% (Just Plain Hollow)

Aftertaste: Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this film at that time. It happens I suppose. From what I understand, this whole series is going to be quite bad, though I'm still committed to it. I used to ask the question, "whatever happened to good ol' slasher flicks?" Turns out those are actually a rare thing. Man, bring me the writer of Altered States, and I could give you the world. Even the pumpkin carving was chinzy!