Halloween ★★★★★

Even though I’ve seen this film countless times, there are two (relatively innocuous) moments that still make me jump:

1. When Mickey Myers grabs one of three boys who push over pumpkin-carrying Tommy. Part of the reason this one gets me so much is because it’s accompanied by a startling Carpenter synthesizer sting.

2. Right after Dr Loomis shoots him for the first time, there’s a sudden close-up on Myers – there’s something about the way this is shot that always give me a start.

And I want to sing the praises of my favourite character, Annie (Nancy Loomis). Now, I like everyone in the movie but she’s the one I enjoy watching the most. She’s so deadpan it hurts, and I love her big corkscrew hair, and the tank top she wears when we first see her, and the big-check blouse she's rocking when she picks up Laurie.

And I love that whole getting-ready-for-Halloween-night sequence. A lot is going on and Loomis holds it all together, despite dealing with an unresponsive little girl (who’s transfixed by The Thing from Another World on TV), a dog that growls every time he comes near her, and her laundry-related woes.

She’s the first significant character to perish at the hands (and blade) of Myers in the contemporary portion of the film. And by slasher standards, it’s a fairly prosaic murder, which to my mind makes it much nastier.

Poor Annie. But even though she’s dead, cinema has a knack of conferring immortality on its various casts, crews and characters – so long live Annie!

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