Halloween ★★★★★

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Halloween now, but its significance to me grows and grows. John Carpenter manipulates the conventions of horror, shedding the violence and going all out to provide a more psychologically driven and atmospheric experience. It’s nerve shredding stuff and the simplicity of it is made all the more prominent by Carpenter’s score which demonstrates the power of on-screen silence alongside the tension building, destructive sound of the orchestration which runs deep throughout. There’s such a shattering force to Carpenter’s masterpiece and a film which now 35 years old still defines the possibilities of its genre in the most terrorising of ways. Not only does this classic terrorise and penetrate deep into the soul of its viewers through its darkness and Donald Pleasance’s cold prose – “He came home.” – but through the thunderous nature of several shots which stay with you such as Michael’s observant, prolonged look at his victim. Halloween is an extraordinary film.

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