What I Watched 2.5.11: HALLOWEEN (1978).

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Halloween, Horror, John Carpenter, Movies (H), What I Watched

Halloween.

Hanging out with my sister and for some reason she wanted to see this for the first time today.

You can read what I wrote about it here.

John Carpenter’s classic slasher film is both the spiritual heir to Hitchcock’s Psycho and a monstrously influential masterwork in its own right. In Psycho are the seeds of the slasher genre, but Halloween opened the floodgates. It also happens to be better than any similar movie that followed. What distinguishes Carpenter’s movie is probably actually two things: 1) The layer of mythology that Carpenter applies to a fairly simple story about a masked psychopath, delivered in ominous phrasing and hushed panic by British actor Donald Pleasance (he talks about Michael Myers the same way that Quint talks about the Indianapolis in Jaws), and 2) Carpenter’s simple score, with that unforgettable piano refrain and the pitch-perfect way that the sweeping synth sounds are layered on. I don’t know if you could make such a sparse, effective score today. Most movies insist on a broader orchestral palette. Carpenter had the intelligence and the confidence to do more with less.

Right now, though, I’m obsessed with one strange notion:  Dr. Loomis is yelling at the guy in charge of the asylum for not imprisoning Michael Myers well enough, and he mentions that it’s 150 miles to Haddonfield, where Michael Myers is planning to go.  Right?  Okay.

Just wondering: What kind of music does a Michael Myers listen to while he’s driving a 150-mile road trip in a beige station wagon?

It being ’78, my guess is Steely Dan.  I’m sure Rob Zombie has different ideas.

Although maybe he listened to that cassette tape of “Don’t Fear The Reaper” over and over again, like pre-game hype music.

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