Is it weird that I watch Carpenter's Halloween year round?
You can level with me. I won't take it personally. Seriously.
My own creepiness notwithstanding, I really and truly believe that John Carpenter's 1978 masterpiece, Halloween, is - quite possibly - one of the most perfect horror movies of all time. And despite the fact that I watch it a few times throughout the year, nothing says Halloween to me as much as this film.
From Carpenter's menacing and jangly piano score, to the mounting suspense and unspoken horror. From the relentless evil of Michael Meyers to the masterful use of camera angles and suggested violence. Every inch of this movie is a sublime exercise in masterful horror.
Although it was summer in Pasadena, California when Carpenter filmed it, he managed to exquisitely capture the look, feel, and chill of a cold, Midwestern Halloween night.
This movie literally never gets old. Whether it's Jamie Lee Curtis' palpable terror and vulnerability or Donald Pleasance's over the top warnings about the 'Evil', or even the subtlety and sexy appeal of Nancy Loomis -- I love every bit of this film. Carpenter and Debra Hill together reached out and plucked that bloody membrane of shared consciousness and fear we all share like a string on some weird hell-spawned violin. They took the quintessential holiday - Halloween - and gave it all of the creepy, ghoulish teror it was due and, in the process, spawned an entire genre of copycats. That genre, the 80's slasher flick, was a touchstone in horror cinema and it's genesis can be tracked to this small independent film that almost wasn't made.
Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Ghostface, Chucky, Jigsaw, and even - to some extent - Hannibal Lector all owe their creation to John Carpenter's stroke of brilliance in the creation of Michael Meyers. And, although many came after, none can compare to our favorite and first; the butcher knife-wielding, overall-wearing, William Shatner-masked Shape.
If you haven't watched it yet this Halloween season, I've attached the opening credits and the brilliantly filmed opening scene below. WATCH IT! Get yourself in the Halloween mood.
By the way, did you know that - on hundreds of movie screams across the country - Carpenter's Halloween is playing during the last week of October and leading up to Saim Hain and All Hallow's Eve?!? It is, and you can get tickets to see this masterpiece on the big screen. I've already bought mine and I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie in an actual theater - something I've NEVER done. It will be glorious, dear reader.
Any Cleveland area readers - feel free to join me. Send me an email if you'd like to see it. I'm planning on a October 29th show on the East Side. Come on out!
Until then, use this to whet your ghoulish appetite for some Michael Meyers evil!