Perhaps the most influential and successful independent film ever made, HALLOWEEN is the movie that put director John Carpenter on the map as a viable...
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Review of "Halloween (DVD)"
Still waiting for my payment...
Spoilers may be contained in this reviewI'm not sure where I get my love of horror films from because everyone in my family absolutely hates them. I can watch them on my own, before I go to sleep, in the dark, nothing really bothers me about them (apart from if they are well and truly awful). I can watch the most disgusting horror films where the pretty, big breasted blonde gets hacked to pieces and fed to sharks and not be phased by it but show me a movie where an animal dies and I will blubber like a baby.
I love the classics, Freddy, Chucky, Jason and of course Mr Michael Myers. For my birthday last year, my four beautiful Godchildren bought me the HALLOWEEN boxset (well their mother did) and now I am finally dedicating my time to watching them.
At A GlanceI would say it is one of the most iconic horror films ever made. You think of classic horror and I would put money on that HALLOWEEN would be in the top 3.
I was given the boxset which contained five of the HALLOWEEN francise films (all of which are rated 18).- HALLOWEEN
- HALLOWEEN II
- HALLOWEEN III: Season of the Witch
- HALLOWEEN IV: The Return of Michael Myers
- HALLOWEEN V: The Revenge of Michael Myers
The cover of the DVD shows us in orange colour the title of the DVD (HALLOWEEN COLLECTION) with a portrait of Michael Myer's wearing his white mask. Although some may find this quite simplistic, I feel that because Halloween is such an iconic movie, less is more and simply showing Michael Myer's face is enough to draw in a consumer to at least read the back of the DVD. I find Michael Myers is quite chilling due to his simplistic appearance. I am immediately chilled when I look at his vacant, emotionless face.The singluar DVD is different and shows more of a horror genre. A devlish pumpkin face morphing into a hand weidling a knife with the "HALLOWEEN" title in big font at the top and the tag line The Night He Came Home at the bottom. I think these two are different because with the collection, it is more than likely that someone will already know what Halloween is whereas with the singular DVD it is more eye-catching to consumers who may not know what HALLOWEEN is.
The idea of HALLOWEEN first came when John Carpenter was approached to direct a film about a killer that stalked babysitters. The original title was "The Babysitter Murders" but I think HALLOWEEN is more iconic, don't you think?The budget was $300,000 which was considered low in those days (just imagine that now) and because of this the entire film was basically "do everything as cheap as you can". Most the actors wore their own clothes, much of the location was basically volunteered to the crew and Michael Myer's iconic mask was purchased for less than $2. The film went on to gross $70 million in the box office. Who said you need special effects?
The script took approximately 10 days to write and filming took 20 days. It was released in October 1978, just in time for Halloween.
This was also Jamie Lee Curtis's first film, she is now known as a Scream Queen (female who appears in lots of horror movies).It is also said to be the first horror film in which the killer dies and comes back in the same movie.
Since its release, HALLOWEEN has nine other movies, two of which are remakes by singer, director and actor, Rob Zombie (known for his gore films House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects and 31).
Cast- Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis
- Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
- Nick Castle as Michael Myers (credited as "The Shape")
- Tony Moran as Michael Myers (unmasked)
- Will Sandin as Michael Myers (age 6)
- Nancy Kyes as Annie Brackett
- P. J. Soles as Lynda Van Der Klok
- Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Leigh Brackett
- Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace
- Brian Andrews as Tommy Doyle
- John Michael Graham as Bob Simms
- Nancy Stephens as Marion Chambers
- Arthur Malet as Graveyard Keeper
- Mickey Yablans as Richie
- Brent Le Page as Lonnie
- Adam Hollander as Keith
- Sandy Johnson as Judith Margaret Myers
- David Kyle as Judith's Boyfriend
- Peter Griffith as Laurie's Father
The film starts with HALLOWEEN's classic music number with the camera slowly closing in on a lit pumpkin with some of the credits appearing before we enter the main film... Definitely a Christmas movie (I'm totally kidding). It is Halloween in 1963 and 6 year old Michael Myers, dressed in a clown costume brutally murders his older sister, Judith. Skip to 1978 and Michael has escapes from the mental institution he was locked in. He steals a car and takes a drive back to his home town, Haddonfield, Illinois.Michael beings his reign of terror by stalking Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her sex crazed friends (known rule in horror films, please don't have sex because you will get stabbed and die).
Whilst Michael is getting up to his old tricks, releasing pent up anger since his incarceration in the nut house, Dr Sam Loomis is following Michael's footsteps to find and stop him before anyone gets hurt... Or dead.Knock Knock Michael's Home.
John Carpenter creates a moody tone to HALLOWEEN. It is dark and dimly light at the night time so you find yourself looking around the screen trying to find something in the shadows. I'm a film watcher that watches the background, I like looking at the extras to see what they are doing and if I can find any continuity errors. What Carpenter does with this is allow Michael to appear, no music, no panning towards him, just casually appearing until the audience notices him. I love this in movies. Not forcing the audience to see but allowing them to see for themselves. Adding to the tension.Carpenter takes inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock with the suspension and the less is more for HALLOWEEN. HALLOWEEN doesn't have a lot of blood and guts and the audience is left imagining what is actually happening, I like when horror films do this.
I have to admire Michael Myers and his evil ways in this review. I must admit that he terrifies me to my core. He is inhuman. There is no substance about him, he is a super strong, unstoppable shell with no conscious, no morals, no good in him at all. There is no struggle with him or urgency. When he kills, you can sense that there is no moral compass, there is nothing. Sometimes I think he doesn't even believe he is bad, there is simply nothing. One thing I noticed was his breathing, it stays the same throughout the film. This to me is another factor that makes Michael Myers a true horror icon.The best way to describe Michael Myers for me is the monologue of Sam Loomis
_I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left; no reason, no 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 blank, 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._Laurie is the innocent victim in all this. She done nothing wrong to Michael and still he stalks her till the final seconds of the movie. I love Laurie as a main character. Her innocence and unbelievability of what is happening to her helps the audience relate to her as a character and root that she will make it out alive.
I adore the HALLOWEEN soundtrack. Most of which was created by John Carpenter himself. I love Carpenter's simple and menacing piano skills. HALLOWEEN's score to me is its strong point and according to critics, I am not the only one that thinks so.One thing that I love about the soundtrack is the simplicity of the music used during Michael's appearances. I find that the music sometimes doesn't start until Michael comes on screen which adds to the scream factor. It starts when he actually moves to attack.
The soundtrack also consists of a shrieking tone which I think is violins (or sounds like it) which again, adds to the fear factor.There are points where there is no music at all such as struggles that happen during the film where the audience is left clinging to their chairs, with only the actor's screams and frustrations to comfort them, not very comforting I know. I watched a documentary once where a director said that music is a comfort to the audience so taking that away and leaving them with only the noises made by the actors creates a tense, realistic scene which is unsettling and adds to a scene, something which I agree with.
Any Negatives NBC?
I have raved about this film yes, but believe it or not, there are some things that I didn't like about it.Some of the acting is truly poor. This was mainly by Laurie's friends and their deaths were not something I felt sorry for. I cannot explain what I didn't like but it is your basic over the top, unrealistic acting. This doesn't let the film down but for a movie buff like me, it is annoying to watch.
I did like the lighting at some points and I understand why Carpenter went for a dark approach so the audience is wondering what is happening but this did make some things difficult to see which annoyed me a little.I'm not sure whether this is because the film is quite old but it seems very quiet. I have a good TV and PS4 which I play my DVDs on and I had to turn my TV up to 50 just to hear what was happening.
Unfortunately, the DVD does not have any extras so I was disappointed that I couldn't watch any "making of" or bios.
CostThis was a present for me so I didn't pay anything for it but the 5 disk collection is £25. The single DVD can be purchased for under £5.
Where To Buy
I got mine from HMV but you will probably find it cheaper online at places like Ebay, Amazon and CEX.
Would I RecommendDefinitely. HALLOWEEN is one of the most iconic, memorable horror films ever that has stood the test of time. It is the top 10 must see horror films today and will probably continue to be for many years. It is not gory so there are no excuses for those people who say they cannot stand gore.
I would give this to someone for a sleepover to give them a jump or 12.
Thanks for reading
Product Information : Halloween (DVD)
Manufacturer's product descriptionPerhaps the most influential and successful independent film ever made, HALLOWEEN is the movie that put director John Carpenter on the map as a viable filmmaker. An exercise in simple, pure horror, HALLOWEEN takes us into the world of a mad killer, Michael Myers, who at a very young age stabbed his older sister to death. Locked away for many years in a mental hospital Michael escapes one night and returns to his hometown to continue his killing spree. Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first role, plays the resourceful babysitter who is chased by the killer on Halloween night. Produced for very little money and a tight shooting schedule, HALLOWEEN was a stunning success when it was released. Written by John Carpenter and his long-time producer Debra Hill, the film set their careers on fire, with both of them working together many times over the next 25 years. The film also made a star out of Jamie Lee Curtis and turned the slasher movie into a viable, successful genre. HALLOWEEN has been copied, parodied and even turned into a franchise of its own, but the original is still considered the best of the bunch. HALLOWEEN was John Carpenter's first foray into horror, and remains the standard to which all other modern horror films are measured.
DVD Region: DVD
Studio(s): ANCHOR BAY HOME ENTERTAINMENT; PINNACLE VISION
Release date: 10/10/2005, 25/09/2006
No of Discs: 1
Catalogue No: ABP 9017, PWD 4002
Editor: Charles Bornstein, Tommy Lee Wallace
Barcode: 5060020624698, 5060020700286
Screenwriter: Debra Hill
Director of Photography: Dean Cundey
Producer: Debra Hill
Main Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Listed on Ciao since: 26/12/2005