Halloween (1978) Reviewed

HALLOWEEN (1978)
It’s hard to believe there was a time when Michael Myers wasn’t a member of a horror icon trifecta (Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger being the others of course) – a time when that blank rubber mask wasn’t splashed across the DVD covers of six direct sequels. But those who can look upon Carpenter’s groundbreaking minimalist slasher flick with fresh eyes can imagine why it made such an impact upon its release. The stripped down story concerns the Halloween homecoming of a killer who has busted out of his mental institution to wreak havoc on a group of teenage baby-sitters. PJ Soles and Jamie Lee Curtis most notably. None of the performances are really anything to write home about but Soles has always been irresistible to me and Curtis sports a convincing wail of terror. Vet thesp and Bond villain, Donald Pleasance, chews scenery as Myers obsessively driven doctor who’s hoping to stop the killing before it starts. Halloween features some of the best suburban frights of any modern horror movie with Myers popping up in back yards, across the street and around the corner. (Though I still haven’t figured out why he wore a blanket and specs after killing one unlucky boyfriend.) Any plot contrivances like Curtis’ Laurie Strode being Michael Myers’ sister, show up in the obviously lesser sequels and probably weren’t developed until then either. Relatively bloodless, Halloween is forgiven because it delivers the type of old school chills that are hard to come by today. Soles shows some tit – and as far as I’m concerned, better her than Jamie Lee.
***1/2

~ by Number5ive on November 24, 2008.

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