Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#461: Halloween (1978)

Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes & Donald Pleasence

Fifteen years after 6-year-old Michael Myers murdered his sister with a kitchen knife, he escapes from the mental institution and returns to his Illinois hometown. He begins to stalk Laurie, who stepped onto his abandoned house's porch, as well as her two friends Annie and Lynda, all of whom are baby-sitting that Halloween night.

This film was the inspiration for a slew of horror films, as well as quite a few parodies. The cliches created by this film are first-person camerawork, the apparently invincible murderer and the female heroine who usually is the virgin, substance-free member of her group of friends. Films which follow these rules are Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream (which also outwardly explains what these rules are).

Aside from its influence on the genre, I personally didn't like the movie. Maybe it's too outdated. But when a guy gets stabbed in the head twice, shot about four times and falls out of a second story window, he should be dead. It's just stupid when he's not.

Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
  • Due to its shoestring budget, the prop department had to use the cheapest mask that they could find in the costume store: a Captain Kirk (William Shatner) mask. They later spray-painted the face white, teased out the hair, and reshaped the eye holes.
  • Tommy Doyle's name was from Rear Window (1954) and Sam Loomis' name is from Psycho (1960).
  • Inside Laurie's bedroom there is a poster of a painting by James Ensor (1860-1949). Ensor was a Belgian expressionist painter who used to portray human figures wearing grotesque masks.

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