This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
🩸kman🩸’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Probably my 15th viewing:
(Scroll down to see review from previous viewing).
An absolute masterpiece.
I first watched this when I was around 12 or 13. I bought the Anchor Bay 1-5 DVD box set and I watched it on Halloween night with my parents. Some people I knew actually called half way through the film so I had to pause it for over an hour and finish it later that night. My parents didn’t finish it so I watched the last half of it again the next night. I remember that none of us really loved it, I remember liking the second one better when I watched that the next week. Needless to say, I fell in love with the franchise. So when I revisited the first one again, I absolutely loved it. Literally the best thing ever. Funny how opinions can change like that. And since then I’ve seen it so many times. It is my absolute favourite movie, so much so that I own 15 different copies of the first film alone on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, 4K and PSP. I also had the pleasure of seeing it in cinemas back in October 2018 right before seeing the midnight premiere of Halloween 2018. A lot of my love for the film comes from nostalgia but even at that it’s still a fucking masterpiece.
The characters are iconic. Laurie Strode is literally the first archetype if the strong final girl. She is my favourite fictional of all time and her fighting nature is fantastic. Lynda and Annie are also great side characters, and despite their lack of overall screen time, their wit and personality makes them standout immensely and are actually sad when they die. And then you have Doctor Loomis who is iconic and fantastic as well. I’ve never gravitated towards Loomis in the same way a lot of other Halloween fans have but I still love him and his chilling monologues that Donald Pleasence delivers masterfully. Jamie Lee Curtis also puts on a great first feature performance. This was the movie that solidified my love for her as an actress and person and made her my favourite actress of all time. Of course, she and the rest of the cast have their iffy moments at times but it all still works and I wouldn’t want anyone else in the roles.
And then there’s Michael fucking Myers. The boogeyman, the icon, the sex symbol. He is utterly fantastic and my favourite villain ever, and actually probably my favourite male fictional character ever. Just the way he walks (glides) and his manner is just downright creepy, and Nick Castle does a fantastic job at portraying all of this. I actually met him at Comic Con a couple years ago and I got my picture taken with him. He put his hand on my shoulder, the same hand used to strangle Jamie Lee Curtis, and was really nice. I met Tom Atkins that day as well and got a signed Halloween 3 picture. I have the Nick Castle picture framed on my wall, as well as the Tom Atkins autograph and I love them.
The film also has plenty of fantastic and iconic scenes. Like the opening, and all the kills and the ending. The film generally as a whole is just iconic. And while I’ve never found the film scary at all, I do think I found it pretty tense the first time I watched it. Like the chase with Laurie and Lynda’s death. The deaths also aren’t particularly violent or even gory in the slightest. The fuck all blood seen throughout the whole movie but it’s still so effective. The BBFC and the IFCO actually only re-rated the film 15 as recently as 2018. Lynda’s death has always been my favourite, and she was killed with a phone cord, but all of the other deaths are iconic and fantastic too. The ending is also phenomenal. How Michael just fucking disappears, I’m usually on the fence with open endings but it was done perfectly here. And then Micheal’s breathing over all the shots of where could be is so eerie. I remember being really creeped out when I read about that. It also could mean that evil is literally everywhere and will never die.
The film is also generally just really well made and put together. It’s paced incredibly well. I’ve seen many people complain about it being slow and boring but like, what the fuck are they on about? It actually moves at what feels like an incredibly fast pace considering what actually happens in the film. Everything is so tight and just fits so well together that it always holds my interest consistently. The cinematography is also so cool and atmospheric. I remember when I was writing my GCSE MIA essays, I constantly mentioned Halloween and it’s use of low key blue lighting. The really is effective, it’s just so spooky. I love it. The score is also incredible and fantastic and iconic. I don’t think there’s many people who wouldn’t recognise the score and what it’s from. I stand by my opinion on it being the best movie score of all time. It really is just such a classic and as Chucky says, “A true classic never goes out of style.” And that stays true for the film itself. And while the film as a whole isn’t flawless, there are quite a few mistakes and continuity errors (especially when watching it in 4K) but it doesn’t matter. It’s still perfect and I’ll always love it. I can even quote a lot of the movie, especially Loomis’s monologues.
I actually noticed some things on this rewatch that I never noticed before. Like I never knew that Michael was following Laurie and Annie in the car, I don’t know how I never knew that. And actually, to be honest, I had a weird experience watching this tonight. The only reason I watched it tonight was because I booked the room with the 4K TV and I wanted to start marathoning the movies again. I kinda regret it because I never seem to enjoy movies in that room and I generally just felt like shit today. I still absolutely fucking adore the film but I feel like I didn’t even watch it. It’s weird.
Overall, Halloween is my favourite movie of all time because it’s fucking iconic, has a great score, beautiful cinematography and amazing characters.
Solid 5 out of 5 stars
Also, RIP Naya Rivera. It’s so sad to hear what happened. Rest in peace.
Review from previous viewing:
The best movie ever made (in my opinion).
Fuck Casablanca and Troll 2, Halloween is where it’s at. Not only does it have a phenomenal and terrifying villain, it also has absolutely likeable characters which you feel sorry for where their getting killed. John Carpenter knows how to play the audience, like when Annie is in the washing room in any other typical slasher that’s when they would kill her. However in Halloween John Carpenter plays with the audience by presenting all these scenarios in which the characters are in danger but not having anything happen to them so they audiences reactions are even more shocking and terrifying when they are killed.
The whole cast is amazing. It launched careers (Jamie Lee Curtis) and started new chapters in others (Donald Pleasence). The characters are all so real and relatable that it makes it so much more heartbreaking when they go. They are also so iconic with Laurie being the archetype of the modern final girl (which is again reinvents in the 2018 sequel) and Loomis the protector. Although I will say that some of the acting is a little iffy but it doesn’t bother me at all and actually makes the film feel a whole lot more camp. The Shape though is what makes the film what if is, he’s the best type of slasher villain (although I wouldn’t exactly call Halloween a straight up slasher) because he has no reason to kill, he just does. It’s second nature to him and there’s nothing can can stop him. No-one can escape him (physically or mentally) and that’s what makes him so frightening.
I know that Halloween isn’t the first slasher film but it defined the rules and made the genre what it is today. Even if the film wasn’t as absolutely fantastic as it is, it would still be worthy of its icon status for how it changed the genre.
The cinematography is also beautiful and really helps keep the creepy and dark Halloween atmosphere present throughout the film. The theme too is almost as iconic as its villain and is holds such a legacy today that many other scores have tried to replicate but failed miserably. It just fits so well with John Carpenter’s film and escalates a tense thriller to unrelenting horror.
Overall John Carpenter’s Halloween is a horror masterpiece that will never be able to be replicated. I can’t think of a better movie than Halloween, everything is just so perfectly done that it totally makes for one of the best cinematic experiences of all time. In the words of Chucky, “A true classic never goes out of style.” (Update 13/7/20 OMG, I used that Chucky quote twice lol).
Solid 5 out of 5 stars.
(Would give it 6 if I could)