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Halloween (Retro Movie) Review

And now, for the review you’ve all been waiting for (probably not, but let’s roll with it anyway), the final horror movie review of Brutal Gamer’s Month of Terror… Halloween.

I am so glad I saved the best for last. John Carpenter’s Halloween is, in short, my favorite of the movies I’ve watched all month, if not my favorite horror movie I’ve ever seen (better than Maximum Overdrive?! -ed). It’s just so perfect, from the acting to the murder to the music (Oh my lord, the music!).

Okay, now that I’ve done that little gush, it’s time to start with the story… It’s actually a fairly simple tale (as seems to be the case with many horror movies). The film starts in first person, looking through the eyes of someone who, through the next fifteen years, would become one of the most diehard killers of all time, Michael Myers. How old is he at this point in his life? Six.

Michael is six years old when he commits his first murder, his fifteen year old sister. After that terrifying scene the movie skips forward fifteen years, to a doctor and his friend in the car. The two are speaking about Michael Myers who, as the doctor’s friend states, will be transferred to a different, higher institute for the criminally insane. Much to the doctor’s horror, they arrive to find all of the patients walking around the open yard (not exactly a good sign). After the doctor, named Samuel Loomis (who we find out is Michael’s psychiatrist), steps out of the car to examine the gate, someone (assumed Michael) pulls the doctor’s friend out of the car and gets in, then speeds away toward the town of Haddonfield.

Put simply, the acting is phenomenal. Jamie Lee Curtis is the main star, other than Michael obviously, and she performs wonderfully- and this is actually her film debut. Doctor Loomis has an amazing (understandably) panicked tone, and then of course there’s Michael. Quite possibly the most terrifying psychopath I’ve ever seen, (especially compared to that loser Jason, fellow BG’er Jake Rogers is gonna kill me for saying that). Michael says not a single word, nor makes a sound through the whole film, other than his signature heavy, rasping, and sometimes loud, mouth breathing.

The music is, in a word, iconic. Whether you’ve seen the movie or not, you know that tune. The tune that signals the day of the Haunting. No music gets me more freaked out than that wonderful piano tune. I’m willing to bet that it’s playing through your head right now…

The best part of the movie though, without a doubt, are the moments just before the kills, when that creepy music isn’t playing and you’re unsure if he’s really there or not. Then you see him, it’s just a glimpse, but that small glimpse of that pure white, featureless face is all you need to be sure that something is about to go down… but then nothing does, and you sit there for a moment, confused; soon after though, he slowly removes himself from the shadows for a brief moment, with that terrible kitchen knife (honestly, cutlery has never freaked me out so bad). Then, with no visible blood or gore, the victim is dead. What makes this so ingenious? The sudden disappearance of the music, the pure white face, or the lack of any significant blood? Well, in my opinion, sort of a combination of all.

It seems Halloween didn’t need gratuitous amounts of blood or pop-up scares, nor indeed scary music during the murders. The genius thing to me, is that they played with the audience’s imagination. No one knew what Michael looked like, because of the lack of music and past fakeouts, no one could have predicted the deaths, and the blood and gore which seemed to be MIA (probably because most deaths were in an extremely dark area), it toyed with the audience, making them picture or imagine things that were probably far more gory than what was actually going on.

 Final Thoughts:

Halloween is, in my opinion, is the perfect movie to watch on the day from which it takes its name.

It’s tense, terrifying, the acting is wonderful, and the music couldn’t be finer. If you consider yourself a fan to the series, and you haven’t watched this yet then… why the heck not? Halloween is the king of horror movies, and Michael Myers rightfully sits upon the pumpkin throne of the great holiday.

About Jake Callier

Five parts actual review, 2 parts sarcasm, 2 parts bad puns, and one part self loathing = one of my game reviews.

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