Halloween to the majority is the blueprint. A checklist of what the slasher would become as the genre exploded in the bloody 80’s and beyond.
To lovers of the genre itself, there were a number of names that came before that should take the glory for said blueprint.
It doesn’t really matter who is the chicken or who is the egg in the grander scheme of things.
Like George Romero in the zombie genre, Halloween is just "The Grandfather"
I’ve been watching this movie at least once a year (always ends up being more) for the past 21 years since aged 11.
It’s kind of mad that I’ve viewed this one flick over 30 times when I think about how much I rib my mum mercilessly for watching the Sound Of Music a similar amount of times.
It’s partly down to the obvious tradition of Halloween. But it’s mainly due to the fact that even now, after many viewings, I still feel exactly the same love as I did aged 11.
For a movie that is easily one of my favourites in horror, it has, ironically, never scared me. But the feeling it still gives me will never go away. A feeling of dread, cool, and an unexplainable adoration and love that is settled in my belly and overwhelms my every being with every watch.
The closest I can come to describing the feeling is the one of overwhelming warmth you get when you find someone in your life that you just know is your soul mate. Halloween is my soul mate.
It’s crazy to think when you look back on this titan of horror that it is, essentially, an independent movie.
The fact it even got the green light makes me eternally thankful. John (God) Carpenter’s sheer enthusiasm for his vision and his pestering persistence heaped upon Moustapha Akkad would cause the Producer to partly cave. Carpenter’s insistence that he could nail his feature within $300,000 would collapse Akkad’s defences for good.
At the time, the producer was financing a movie costing that much PER DAY. It was worth a shot. Boy did that shot hit the bullseye.
Normally I don’t like to know how things get done to create what has been projected on screen. Preferring the illusion over the reality. But I find some of the shit these guys went through to stay in budget as fascinating and exciting as the finished product itself.
The fact that the Bowling Green Philharmonic that composed the almighty score is really just John Carpenter plinking away on a keyboard. Marvellous.
The fact that it was filmed in Summer but it needed to look like Halloween was a ridiculous task. The crew all banding together and collectively hand-painting a shit tonne of paper leaves brown. Then after every scene, gathering these leaves up in black bags and moving them on to the next location.
Call it what you will. I’m still convinced it’s Halloween after all these years. For me it’s effect has been realised.
Even the name of the movie got switched for budget. It was supposed to be set over several nights with the title The Babysitter Murders. Budget was tight, the movie was set over one, the title was changed. The rest is perfect history.
Thank the heavens for Hitchcock. If not for him, we may never have known who Janet Leigh even is.
Thank the heavens for Janet Leigh. Her masterclass in Psycho would help pave a way for her daughters choice in profession.
Thank the heavens for John Carpenter. A man so in love with Hitchcock and his work. A man so taken by Janet Leigh and her performance. A man so intent on sending a love letter that he gave an aspiring 17 year old actress a go.
Thank the heavens for Jamie Lee Curtis.
There has been a recurring theme with this list. Many of these amazing women never got that break after appearing in horror movies I hold dear to my heart. It pains me.
Jamie Lee would break through in spectacular style. The style I envisioned the other icons would if there was any justice.
But Curtis WOULD break through. And all the power to her. She also paid her dues before she went. Appearing in a number of other horror movies such as Terror Train, The Fog, Prom Night, and Road Games.
It’s a perfect description of the ladies sheer talent that, whatever you think of any of these 4 movies, Curtis is by far the greatest thing about them.
It’s not difficult to write a woman to root for in the slasher genre when the other characters are unlikeable kitchen knife fodder. Just make her nice.
But my love for Laurie Strode isn’t just based around nice. It’s based around Curtis. Every single scene she’s in makes me so happy because of how she embodies Laurie. She’s not your awesome but forgettable heroine. She became an instant icon the second she stepped on screen.
And this is in a movie that contains Michael "frickin’ god I love him with all my everything" Myers.
And PJ Soles.
Rue the day you forget about Soles.
One does not merely forget about PJ Soles. One does not merely forget such a beautiful smile.
To watch and love this movie today, it’s difficult to remember that this was a low budget indie.
Thank the heavens for Moustapha taking a punt.
Thank the heavens for a masterclass in filmmaking from Carpenter and Debra Hill (who also wrote the women).
Thank the heavens for the perfection of Jamie Lee Curtis.
Thank the depths of hell for Michael Myers.
And never, EVERRRRR, forget about the Soles.
Thank you for your ti…….dfjadsflkqddhfqkqhfkj
(unconscious from the thought of PJ)