Thursday, September 23, 2010

#89 - Halloween - 1978 *Live Blog*

The 5th movie I decided to watch this week was the original 1978 classic Halloween! This film is what Horror movies are about and just imagining what it was like in 1978and how it would have been to experience this film on the big screem back then gives me gooosebumps! This film in my mind is the greatest Horror film ever made and yes that is a bold statement but one I stand by firmly. There are so many wonderful elements to this film and I was fortunate enough to have gotten the chance to see it in the theaters when they released it on the big screens for its 30 year anniversary. It was mesmerizing on the big screen! Below is my detailed review of this film as for the 2nd time during this movie marathon I am doing a Live Blog!

I love the opening credits to this film with the names of the producers, directors, and eventually the title along side a black background with just a candlelit pumpkin flickering next to the names. The opening scene we see just the title Haddonfield, Illinios Halloween Night 1963 which is then followed by a POV (Point of View) camera shot looking at the Myers house and it is apparent that it is Michael's eyes who were are viewing this from. After that we hear what can only be considered as a sound effect which is hard to explain but if youve seen the movie you know what it sounds like. Its incredibly creepy and scary and if watched at night with all the lights out and surround sound pumped up can scare the crap out of you. What follows is Michael stabbing his sister to death with a clown mask on. The sequence ends when his parents drive up and see him taking off his mask. Now in this scene they just see him then stop and stare at him, weird. Very weird. I would have been freaked out at the large bloody butcher knife in his hand but hey thats just me.

Fast forward in time now to Smith's Grove, This is the first time we see Dr. Sam Loomis who was played by Donald Pleasance as he is driving in a car to the insane assylum where Michael is with a nurse. With it raining outside they come up to the front gate where they see patients in gowns roaming free. It is evident this is not normal and something is wrong. Michael Myers breaks into the car and steals it as Dr, Loomis yells out the "the evil is gone". It was pretty freaky seeing all the patients in their gowns roaming free I must admit. Nice touch! Next we see it is daytime in Haddonfield on Halloween. This is where we first see Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) as she walks to school. I love the look of this quiet neighborhood and it is weird to me how it was actually filmed in and around Hollywood.

The first glimpse of Michael Myers is when Laurie is dropping keys off at the Myers house. We see him appear behind the front door window and then only his left shoulder in his overall get up breathing heavily watching Laurie walk down the sidewalk. Next we see Laurie in school and she see's Michael across the street behind the station wagon he stole just standing there staring at her. Very creepy. I love the patience of this original Michael Myers and how he just stands and stares, it is much creepier and scarier than having someone act more, shall we say normal. One of the more jump out of your seat type scenes is when after the bullies at Tommy's school smash his pumpkin one of them runs right into Michael and along with the sound effects it really produced quite a scare. With the title track playing in the background he follows along the side of the road watching young Tommy while he is in his car again breathing heavily.

Dr. Loomis is on the hunt for Michael and one thing I thought was cool was when he finds a box of matches that says the Red Rabbit on it which was the name of the strip club in Rob Zombies 2nd Halloween. I love when new movies reference old ones like that in little bits and parts throughout the film. We then just to Laurie and her friends walking home where again we see the station wagon driven by Michael Myers driving slowly through the neighborhood with the music again in the background. Very creepy and unnerving stuff if you ask me. A few moments later we see the infamous Michael behind the hedges scene. I love this scene. It was these type of shots in the film that made this movie so mysterious. It wasnt predictable like so many horror movies are now and days. We continue to see Michael outside Laurie's house by the clothes on the clothes line in her backyard. Its a constant game of now you see me, now you dont. His statue like nature in this scenes made him so scary and that is one reason I love Michael Myers as a Horror icon, the biggest and best Horror icon ever!!

I thought it was great seeing the little trick or treaters going door to door while it was still daylight out. So true and real to real life. Little kids just cant wait to get out there and get there candy. As the film moves along we see Michael following Annie and Laurie in Annie's car. Its ironic that Myers drives right by Loomis as he is awaiting to talk with the Seriff. After this we again see Myers come up behind Annie's car as she again is unaware and he follows her as the music yet again plays in the background. One thing I thought was a little odd and in my book would be considered a film flub was the fact that during Myers following of Annie it went from daytime, more like afternoon time to straight darkness at night. There was no gradual change and it looked kind of odd especially since one scene showed daytime and literally the next scene showed night time. The night time is when things get good though and this is where Annie drops Laurie off and shall I say, let the games begin!

After a brief glimpse of Myers standing and staring at Annie entering the Wallace's we see Loomis and Sheriff Brackett arrive at a dark and desolate Myers home. They go inside to investigate and Loomis gets scared by a bird smashing into the window and then after the Sheriff suggests he is "just plain scared" we hear Loomis give his reason why where he includes that "he met a 6 year old child with this blank pale emotionless face with the blackest eyes, the devils eyes" and later he states that what was living behind that boys eyes was purely and simply evil". The conversation was eerie at the very least and Pleassence's delivery of it was perfect and stunning. At this point of the film we have only seen one killing, just one. The one at the very beginning where Michael killed his sister. That all changes very quickly after Tommy looks out the front window and see's the "boogeyman".

As the film starts to pick up we see or should I say we hear Myers standing outside watching Annie. Now being a dog lover I could have done without Myers killing Lester the Wallace's German Shephard but at least we didnt see anything. You know Annie is in trouble when she gets locked in the laundry room but to my surprise she makes it out and after dropping off Lindsey with Laurie she goes back to get keys for her car and there Myers is waiting hidden in the backseat and he chokes her to death. Next we see Tommy looking outside and seeing Myers carrying Annie into the Wallace's. This reminded me of Zombies 2nd Halloween with him carrying Laurie. Switch scenes for a second and we see Loomis having a little fun scaring a couple of kids who dare themselves to go up to the Myers house doorstep. One thing that striked me odd was that Laurie never answered the door for trick or treaters while babysitting and this was Halloween night afterall? Odd!

Next sequence is with Lynda and Bob. This included the kill scene with Bob as he is choked then stabbed up against the door. Now for starters if a butcher knife is that strong to hold up a man then I want to know where they sell them. That was just a little much. I did however enjoy Myers head tilt afterwards while staring at his handy work. Next we see the infamous sheet ghost with glasses scene where he pretends to be Bob then kills Lynda by strangling her with a phone cord. An classic horror movie scene for the ages. I will have to admit I dont remember Myers breathing so heavily so often but it only added to the mystique that is Michael Myers. The music that plays as Myers approaches Lynda as she calls Laurie is the first time we hear this type of music and it is some of the scariest in the film. It reminds me of the Jaws theme only scarier.

As the film nears its end Loomis notices the nurse's station wagon and with the increased Halloween theme song playing in the background you can tell something is about the happen. Loomis now knows Myers is nearby. Meanwhile Laurie heads across the street to The Wallace's house and enters into the dark house alone in search of her friends. What she finds is Annie on the bed with Judith Myers headstone at her head. No sooner does she see that and Bob's upside down body comes flying towards her in a closet and she bumps into a another close showing her friend Lynda dead. Quite a harrowing experience for Laurie and all of a sudden she needs to get out of the house. As she is crying next to a closet Myers mask appears out of the blackness and it is undeniyably creepy and scary. After almost getting stabbed Laurie barely gets out of the Wallace's house alive. The final sequence is about to take place.

I think it is worth noting again that is surprises me and baffles me how it is Halloween night and with Laurie screaming for help there is nobody around that can hear her? I know there was one set of neighbors who looked out their window but really, thats it? Again its just very odd and not really realistic to me for that particular night. She eventually gets back in the house and thats when the fun starts. We are treated to the extremley iconic closet scene where Laurie fights to stay alive and elude Myers and after stabbing him all seems safe but this is Michael Myers we are talking about so that is obviously not the case. After reaching the kids she tells them to leave and in the background after they leave we see Myers rise from ground and the infectious sound effects start up yet again. As Laurie was fighting off Myers Loomis came upstairs and right after Laurie had grabbed his mask and pulled it off and Myers was putting it back on Loomis shot him several times, the last which drove him off the 2nd story balcony to the ground below. After Laurie asked if that was the boogeyman and Loomis confirmed he looked outside and Myers was gone and that ever so classic Halloween them began to play for the final time as this film came to an end. There's not much else to say than this. This was a perfect horror movie and my favorite horror film of all time so to know surprise I give this an A+!

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