Luc’s review published on Letterboxd:
“It was the Boogeyman...”
It’s hard knowing how to approach a review of Halloween. It goes without saying that it’s a timeless slasher rightfully regarded as one of the best ever made, but there isn’t much else to say other than taking about aspects that have been discussed to death - but I adore this film, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Few horror films feel as perfect as Halloween. Right from the opening theme’s needle drop all the way to the final frame, the atmosphere this film creates is unparalleled compared to any other slasher film at this point. Beginning with one of the most iconic opening sequences ever put to film, the introduction to the Shape of pure evil is still as chilling as ever. As brilliant as this scene is, it only gets better from here.
Laurie Strode is immediately one of the most likable protagonists in slasher movies, mainly due to a fantastic performance from then newcomer Jamie Lee Curtis. Is everybody that surrounds her doing as great a job? No, it all feels very low-budget, although that does add to the charm of this film. However, not even Curtis can compare to Donald Pleasence’s legendary portrayal of Dr. Loomis. His monologue about the evil he sees behind Michael’s eyes might actually be the best scene in the entire film.
And that’s what makes this film what it is. Something Roger Ebert said in his review was “Halloween is an absolutely merciless thriller, a movie so violent and scary that, yes, I would compare it to Psycho,” and I couldn’t disagree with this statement any more. The implication that Halloween is scary because of its violence is ridiculous, not only because Halloween (and Psycho) are very restrained with their violence, but Dr. Loomis himself describes Michael as “inhumanly patient.”
Michael killing off people in the neighborhood is extremely thrilling and extraordinarily put together, yes, but that’s not what makes this film scary. It’s the dissection of evil, how Michael almost isn’t even human, and he is but a mere representation of pure evil. Other slasher antagonists like Jason Voorhees are unstoppable machines only dedicated to upping the body count, but Michael Myers’ only concern is true terror. It’s hard to put into words, so thankfully Loomis already did so for me.
John Carpenter directed and composed this film to perfection. It’s become an important milestone in film history for good reason, and very likely the greatest slasher film to ever grace the silver screen. There will never come a day where this film will age, or when I don’t call it absolutely perfect.
“...as a matter of fact, it was.”