October 31st, 2014: Halloween (1978)

Cast and Crew:  John Carpenter (Director, Co-Writer, Score); Debra Hill (Producer, Co-Writer); Moustapha Akkad, Irwin Yablans (Executive Producers); Dean Cundey (Cinematographer); Tommy Lee Wallace (Editor, Production Designer); Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Nancy Stephens, Arthur Malet

What It’s About: Michael Myers (Nick Castle/Tony Moran) escapes from a sanitarium on October 30th.  His doctor, Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) believe he will travel back to his hometown to murder again on Halloween night, fifteen years after his first murder.  Meanwhile, smart, likeable teenaged babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is seen by Myers when she drops her real estate agent father’s keys off at Myers’ now abandoned house.  Myers begins stalking her and her friends Annie (Nancy Kyes) and Lynda (P.J. Soles) as they prepare for Halloween night.  Will Loomis find Myers, and when he does, can he stop him before he kills again?  Will Laurie realize the truth about what her charge Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) calls “The Boogeyman” before it’s too late?

Why Watch it Today?: Tonight is Halloween, since childhood my (and probably every other horror and costume party junkie’s) favorite holiday.  Watching Halloween on Halloween night (or nearby, when that’s not possible) has been my tradition nearly my entire life, though in the early years it was more “see the first hour or so edited for TV in the background while trading candy with my cousins at Grandma’s house”.  It is in fact one of the main reasons I thought a calendar like this is a great idea, for I’ve enjoyed that tradition.

If you’ve seen Halloween before, or know its reputation via the terrible sequels and Rob Zombie’s remake, try this.  Just as your last trick or treaters are trickling in (I like 8 or 9pm) turn off every light in your house.  Let your only light be from a Jack O’Lantern and maybe a candle or two.  Get yourself some popcorn and what’s left of the Halloween candy.  Now, turn on this film.  Don’t think of the terrible sequels or the years of retcons and explanations about Myers’ true nature and forget years of rip-offs where we all learned that every killer is unstoppable, and every killer comes back.  Just imagine this is just about some teenagers being stalked by a holiday obsessed madman who is himself being hunted like a white whale by an obsessed,warning spouting psychiatrist that no one listens to.  That psychiatrist?  He’s very right about Mr. Myers.  I can almost guarantee you a great time.

Other Choices:  The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane; Halloween III; Meet Me In St. Louis; Donnie Darko; It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

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3 comments on “October 31st, 2014: Halloween (1978)

  1. […] help but think of Laurie and Annie’s drive out to their respective babysitting jobs in Halloween.  For the first two-thirds of the film, West avoids the mistakes of his previous film, keeping […]

  2. […] of ghost story and slasher film from director John Carpenter, co-writing once again with his Halloween partner Debra […]

  3. […] like this it is hard for them not to be.  Kingsley could play Dr. Loomis in a future remake of Halloween, and the others play their roles perfectly, including Patricia Clarkson (Wendigo), Emily Mortimer […]

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