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Halloween (1978)

Reviewed on 2009 October 14

I didn’t even see Rob Zombie’s remake and doubt I will, because even though I like him in his own right, John Carpenter’s 1978 original is the only Halloween.

It’s Halloween in Haddonfield, Illinois, and psychotic Michael Myers stabs his older sister to death. This is where Mr. Shukti and I get into some arguments, because any time a horror movie uses “it’s-‌evil-‌it-‌just-‌is-‌’cause-‌it’s-‌eeeevil” it’s automatically weak to him. I’d say that’s almost always true but here it works because we’re talking about a human born without a conscience, or pretty much anything else redeeming. Anyway, little Michael is carted off to a psychiatric hospital, to the distress of Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), who seems to be the only one who sees Michael for the menace he is. In the finest tradition of the law being a idiot and a ass, years later Michael is transferred on a dark and stormy night to another hospital instead of the jail Loomis recommends. Of course The Evil escapes.

Debates over the nature of evil aside, this is one of the few horror movies I can even get the sci-fi geek Mr. Shukti to watch with me, and that’s one of the highest accolades I can think to give the genre. It’s also the first feature film for Jamie Lee Curtis, and she does a great job as the level-headed Laurie Strode. The acting and effects belie the shoestring budget Carpenter had to play with, and it even aged well; the only thing dating it are some of the ’70s clothes. If you’re lucky you can see the great bit, omitted from some versions, where Loomis gives a speech to Michael telling him that he can’t be fooled: he knows exactly what Michael is.

Three chocolate morsels and some popcorn balls.

Shukti

morsel morsel morsel

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