A Look Back: Halloween
The seed is planted...terror grows.
Warning Graphic Violence..
Halloween is a 1978 horror film directed by John Carpenter, co-written with Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis. Halloween was produced on a budget of $320,000 and grossed $60 million at the box office. Becoming one of the most profitable independent films of all time, Halloween in itself contains little blood and gore. It was all about the sense of terror throughout the morbid film, the suspenseful stalkings and killings are seen from the subjective vantage point of the killer's a few times while looking through a mask. The mask was a William Shatner-like mask from star trek, turned inside out and painted white.
Carpenter, also a talented musician, added a remarkable score also. The music made this movie what it is today.
A huge amount of the success of Halloween, and the creepiness of Michael Myers as the killer, is due to Dr. Loomis, expertly portrayed by the Legendary Donald Pleasance.
Pleasance acted the sh!t out of that movie!! His paranoid rants about the vileness of Myers MAKES you believe the guy is evil. A blank mask, a blank look, a lumbering walk, and Michael Myers becomes what all of the audiences fear the most. We are left to imagine how he must be operating, what he must be thinking. Michael Myers IS the boogeyman. Halloween doesn't have very many effects at all it's just damn creepy the realness of the climactic scene gets to me every time. With Jamie Lee Curtis cowering in the closet and Myers manhandling his way in. Bad ass! - Bring's new meaning to creepy
The opening credit's are really great and I personally love to watch..
The opening, very-real, four-minute sequence - a prologue of sorts - is justly famous for being filmed in a single take. The setting is the small, quiet town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night in 1963, where children are celebrating Halloween - a normal and innocent-enough beginning. In the wood-framed Myers house, a figure voyeuristically watches from an outside porch window and then spies a teenage girl named Judith Myers and her boyfriend Tommy making out on the living room sofa through a side window. She mentions that her brother "Michael is around someplace." They retreat to her upstairs bedroom where the 'peeping tom' notices that they turn out the light. After witnessing the boyfriend leaving, the subjective camera follows the mysterious figure to the back entrance and into the kitchen, where he takes a large, menacing butcher knife from a drawer, proceeds through the house and then up the stairs. He picks up a clown's Halloween mask and places it on his face, allowing the audience to see a binocular-view through the eye-holes of the mask. Then, as he moves around corners and through doorways, he enters his near-naked sister's bedroom where he finds her brushing her hair in front of a vanity table. After he surveys her bedsheets, she turns and recognizes her brother: "Michael!" Although she tries to defend herself, he furiously stabs her to death in a brutal murder, and her bloodied body tumbles to the floor. Then the killer then descends the stairs and goes out the front door. The murderer is next seen unmasked - revealing in a shocking revelation that it is six-year-old Michael Myers - the teenage girl's blank-faced, younger brother. The clown-costumed, insane boy stands there motionless, surrounded by shocked adults (his parents) on the front lawn. As he holds the blood-dripping knife straight down in his outstretched right hand.
Subsequently, the disturbed, psychotic boy is institutionalized for the crime. Fifteen years later, at Smith's Grove, Illinois, on October 30, 1978, Dr. Sam Loomis, a quirky psychiatrist who has observed Michael Myers as a dangerous, isolated patient at the institution for the intervening years, is driven by a nurse through a raging rainstorm to the Illinois State Hospital. He speaks to her, hinting at the perverse, inhuman, and evil nature of the killer.
Loomis: He hasn't spoken a word in 15 years.
Nurse: Are there any special instructions?
Loomis: Just try and understand what we're dealing with here. Don't underestimate it.
Nurse: Don't you think we could refer to it as him?
Loomis: If you say so.
At the main gate to the hospital, they are shocked to find white-sheeted patients wandering about in the rain like apparitions, breaching the institution's security. The nurse quizzically asks: "Since when do they let them wander around?" When the doctor leaves the car to enter the hospital door to investigate, one of the patients, Michael at age 21 assaults the nurse in the institution's station wagon by leaping onto it. He grasps at her through the open driver window, breaks the passenger window with his bare hand, scares her out of the vehicle, and then drives away. The doctor fears the worst -
He's gone from here. The evil is gone!!
The next day, Halloween Day, the film returns to Haddonfield, where Michael has headed. A smart, Laurie Stroud leaves her residential home for school and walks down the leaf-strewn sidewalk in late Autumn, reminded by her real-estate agent father: "Don't forget to drop the key off at the Myers' place...They're coming by to look at the house at 10:30. Be sure to leave it under the mat." The abandoned Myers' house was, of course, the notorious scene of the killing fifteen years earlier - still unsold, vacant and dilapidated.
Half way to Haddonfield, Dr. Loomis phones the town's sheriff from a phone booth, warning that his patient will return there with murderous consequences: "You must be ready for him. If you don't, it's your funeral." After the call, he discovers an abandoned red truck from Phelps Garage nearby. At the scene, as Dr. Loomis runs back to his own car, the camera pans to the right to reveal another murdered body.
Michael now wearing a navy boiler suit and a white mask, indeed returns to his home in Haddonfield. There he stalks teenager Laurie Strode and some of her friends. Laurie becomes spooked after spotting Michael several times that day.
In one of the film's scarier moments, the killer's station wagon that Laurie saw earlier slowly passes by and then comes to a sudden screeching halt ahead of them when Annie shouts out belligerently: "Hey jerk! Speed kills!" - but then the car continues to move along.
only Laurie again briefly glimpses a mysterious, white-masked figure in the distance who ducks behind some bushes and then disappears. After approaching the back side of the hedge, Annie speaks to the non-existent apparition to undercut her friend with teasing jokes about her boylessness.
That evening Laurie meets her friend Annie Brackett who is babysitting Lindsey Wallace across the street from where Laurie is babysitting Tommy Doyle. At a graveyard on the outskirts of town, the gravekeeper leads Dr. Loomis to Judith Myers' desecrated gravesite, where they are astounded to find the headstone missing at Row 18, Lot 20. Knowing that Michael Myers as a child murdered his sister, Loomis surmises: "He came home." When Annie picks Laurie up at 6:30 on their way to babysitting jobs, Laurie tells Annie that she wasn't spooked at the apparition in 87 year-old Mr. Riddle's back yard, but she is definitely nervous about it: "He was watching me." As they drive along and smoke pot, they are followed closely by the tan station wagon, while Annie continues to tease Laurie about her. When they come upon the scene of a burglary at the town's hardware store, Annie's father reports on what was stolen: "Probably kids...and all they took was some Halloween masks, a rope, and a couple of knives." After meeting with the Sheriff, Dr. Loomis stands on the sidewalk with his back to the street - as the station wagon cruises behind him and catches up to Annie's car.
In the meantime, Dr. Loomis is driven by the Sheriff to the Myers house where they find a "still-warm" dog - mutilated and eaten.
Brackett: Every kid in Haddonfield thinks this place is haunted.
Loomis: They may be right. (After noticing something in the beam of the flashlight) Look!
Brackett: What is that?
Loomis: It's a dog.
Brackett: It's still warm.
Loomis: He got hungry.
Brackett: ...It coulda been a skunk.
Loomis: Could have, huh?
Brackett: A man wouldn't do that.
Loomis (with gloomy speculation): This isn't a man!
Upstairs in the spooky house, Dr. Loomis describes in explicit detail the evil presence of Michael Myers. He plans to wait for Michael to return:
I met him fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no, uh, conscience, no understanding and even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six year old child with this blind, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes, the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply evil...He's been here once tonight. I think he'll come back. I'm gonna wait for him.
Together, Laurie and Tommy watch the opening credits of RKO's and The Thing during a Halloween-night double-feature, as they talk more about her skepticism of Halloween apparitions in real-life - In another of the film's more frightening scenes, Annie has ventured out to the detached laundry room to wash her own butter-stained clothes. The masked Michael appears outside the door, unbeknownst to her, and then the laundry door swings shut and locks itself. As she struggles to open the locked door and the phone rings incessantly, the white-masked Shape appears behind her through another window. Lindsay is glued to the TV set. So that Annie can drive over and pick up her boyfriend, she walks Lindsey across the street to join Tommy and put her under Laurie's domestic, baby-sitting care. Back in the Wallace's garage, Annie finds that the car door is locked, so she goes inside to retrieve the keys. When she gets back to the car, she opens the unlocked door and climbs in - and then suddenly realizes that someone is playing tricks on her with the car door. From behind her in the back seat of the car, Michael brutally strangles her and slits her throat.
Back at the Myers house, Dr. Loomis describes more to the skeptical Sheriff about his years of supervising the maniacal murder Michael, and a possible motive for Michael's murderous rampage.
I watched him for fifteen years, sitting in a room staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall, looking at this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. Death has come to your little town, Sheriff. You can either ignore it or you can help me to stop it. As planned, Lynda and her boyfriend Bob drive up to the Wallace's house - they are drinking beer and "totally" excited about an upstairs sexual tryst in the "first bedroom on the left." As Michael carried Annie into the house after her killing, Bob carries Lynda in his arms into the deserted house - anticipating the promise of sex. They make out on the sofa, watched by a black shadow. After calling Laurie and learning that Annie will be returning soon and that Lindsey is "gone for the night," Lynda and Bob proceed upstairs. As Michael's moving shadow appears on the wall behind them while they're making love, a deep chord sounds. When Bob goes to the kitchen to get beer after promising he'll be right back, he hears noises and heavy breathing in a closet. When he opens the closet's door, the masked Michael appears, holds him high against the wall, and impales him there with a large, shiny butcher knife.
Wearing a white sheet draped over himself to cover his body - with Bob's glasses perched on his face -
the killer stands in the upstairs bedroom doorway and tries to scare Lynda, but ends up fooling her into thinking it is her boyfriend under the sheet. She tantalizes him, while sitting up naked in bed: "See anything you like? What'sa matter? Can't I get your ghost, Bob?" When he won't speak back to her, she gets up and phones Laurie, but before she can say anything, Michael strangles her with the phone cord. Her distress cries sound like the orgiastic moans of a prank phone call from Annie.
Suspicious of what has happened, and not knowing why Annie hasn't returned, Laurie checks on the sleeping children lying side-by-side in bed, and then decides to find out what happened across the street. Masterfully, the camera cross-tracks her approach toward the Wallace house. She rings the doorbell and knocks, but no one answers. Finding an open side door, she enters the darkened living room. After a suspenseful climb to the upstairs bedroom door, she discovers the body of Annie. Her friend is lying unceremoniously on a bed with her arms spread out, in front of the tombstone of Michael's dead sister, Judith Myers.
As she leaves the room, Bob's body swings down from above and she also finds Lynda's corpse in a closet. As a dazed Laurie runs into the hallway, a white mask materializes next to her in the darkness - a truly frightening moment.
Wielding a knife, Michael strikes and wounds her on her left arm, sending her headfirst over the stair railing and down the staircase. Injured by the fall, Laurie is also trapped inside the locked house while struggling to get away. The killer attempts to get through a locked door to attack her - finally using his fist to break down the wooden barrier and unlock it. She breaks the side door's window with her bare hand and escapes from the Wallace residence. Screaming bloody murder for help, Laurie runs next door for help from neighbors, but finds that she is locked outside and the adults inside are too frightened to let her in. As the killer pursues her, she flees across the street for refuge inside the Doyle house where she awakens Tommy to come downstairs and unlock the door. The visceral climax is the relentless stalking of a terrified, but resourceful and vigilant Laurie through the Doyle house. She cowers in front of the sofa and begs:
"Please stop, please." When Laurie is assaulted by the killer, she strikes him with a long knitting needle in the neck and he falls - she believes she has killed him. She picks up - and then drops - his butcher knife to the floor. Upstairs after Laurie finds the kids unharmed, Tommy asks about the madman's identity. Laurie reassures them and herself. The white-masked, supernatural killer resurrects himself. Fighting for her life in the never-ending struggle, she first conceals the children behind one door and then hides behind some slatted doors in another closet. Michael's pursuit is accompanied by piercing music, and real shock and suspense. He bursts through the slats and grabs for her but she fights back by jabbing him through his mask with the sharp end of a metal clothes hanger. Momentarily blinded, he drops his knife again. She grabs for it and then stabs him with it. A second time, the killer lies dead and lifeless, and Laurie non-sensically throws away the knife. She directs the two children to go down the stairs and run out to a neighbor's house to call the police. Behind her, the presumed-dead, white-masked figure sits up on the floor like a vampirish corpse rising stiffly from death, and he turns his whitish face toward her. Great scene and just creepy!
Dr. Loomis sees Tommy and Lindsey screaming as they run from the house. As the killer grabs Laurie's neck and strangles her, she brushes the mask from Michael's face. As Michael lets go of her neck to put his mask back on to restore his masked facade, Dr. Loomis rushes up the stairs and finally catches up with his prey. The doctor fires six rounds, emptying his gun into the masked figure. The crazed killer falls from the second floor balcony and tumbles to the ground below.
Halloween spawned 7 sequel's including the Rob Zombie remake's - Halloween is one of the scariest movies ever..
Watch it for the first time...
Part II is not bad at all..