THE LAIR EXPERTS
Matt: 'Halloween' was low-budget filmmaking at its best. This was the classic that started it all, and it set the standard for modern horror as we know it. John Carpenter is a genius and built his reputation on this film alone, while Debra Hill (RIP) deserves kudos for her role on the production side. From the opening scenes where we get the Michael point-of-view kill of his sister Judith, you know you are in for one hell of a ride. The plot, while simple, was set up that way to give an accurate representation of middle America at the time. Sure, the clothes and some of the dialogue are a little dated, but everything else still holds up well.
How they snagged an actor the caliber of Donald Pleasence still boggles my mind, even though he stated in the past he did it for his family. The DVD reveals that a large chunk of the production budget went to secure Donald, but it was well worth it. As well known as he was for all his other work, it is perhaps this film that gave him his identity, and what he will always be remembered for. It's a shame he passed following the sixth film, because I know he would still be involved today. Could you imagine Donald working with Rob Zombie? That would have been very interesting, to say the least. The other actors did a very good job as well, including Jamie Lee Curtis, who made her debut as the 'Scream Queen' in this film, Nancy Loomis and P.J. Soles. And how about Nick Castle as The Shape? Just incredible.
In addition to his directing duties, Carpenter also delivered the score, which is essentially a character all by itself. You don't believe me? Try watching this film on mute. It's just not the same. His creepy, genuinely scary compositions give a genuine 'Halloween' feel, and helps transform Pasadena, California (where they filmed) into the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. This is one score I can listen to over and over and never get tired of. It's that good. Toss in a little Blue Oyster Cult, and some music from John Carpenter's old band (listen while Annie and Laurie are smoking and driving), and the music becomes an essential element of the movie.
If you don't like this film or consider it the masterpiece it truly is, then you are not a real horror fan. This is still one of the most successful independent horror movie of all-time, and it is easy to see why. I still get chills if I watch it in the dark. 10 out of 10.
A.J.: This movie is one of the best horror movies, if not the best horror movie of all time. If you wanted to make a good horror movie, this is the one to take notes off of. I mean just look at how successful 'Scream' was. Every aspect of this movie is great. 'Nuff said. 10 out of 10.
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