Monday, 23 July 2012

Halloween



Horror movies. Yeah, it's not that common where we get a classic. I'm a big horror fan, but there are lots of kinds of horror. You can have slashers; a murderer comes to town and kills a load of people 1 by 1. Another kind is the supernatural; where we got a family or a group of people haunted by a spirit or some kind of demon. Or, you could just get a down-right horror flick, involving a group of people suffering. Which is best? Well, everyone has their own opinions. "Halloween" is a slasher movie. But, guess what guys?! IT'S GOOOOOOD! 

"Halloween" could not be more basic if it tried. On Halloween night in 1963, a young boy called Michael Myers went upstairs and murdered his sister. He was then taken to a prison/insane asylum where he was to spend the majority of the remainder of his life. However, he breaks out returns to his home town on Halloween night several years later. It is here where he attempts to take the life of a trio of teenage girls in the same neighbourhood as he murdered his sister. Which, if any, of the girls will survive? 

I can start by saying that "Halloween" is not your average slasher film. It has surprisingly good acting from most characters, a horrifically intense score, some fantastic camerawork and, of course, it is absolutely terrifying. The only reasons I can't give it the full 100% are due to the bad acting by some, and the predictability. Don't get me wrong though; "Halloween" is fantastic. 

I'll start with the scares/horror. "Halloween" uses little to no fake blood; it's all about the art of suggestion. We hardly see the actual wounds that are made. We see the bodies, but not the actual infliction. This is a brilliant method by John Carpenter (director), as we don't entirely know what has happened, making the scene much, much creepier. I'll be honest, after watching this at midnight on my laptop, in the dark, through headphones.....yeah, this scared me. But, not just with the loud noises we expect from slasher films. It builds an atmosphere, and then develops it. We get the eerie score come in, then the mood changes, luring us into the sense that something is about to happen. Sometimes, something WILL happen. Most of the time, nothing does. A false sense of security. Don't say I didn't warn ya! 

I mentioned the score above, and for good reason. The music is horrible. It is scary as hell. During the opening credits, all we see is a pumpkin, and the credits appear next to it. The camera VERY slowly zooms into the pumpkins eye, whilst playing this creepy music. This is a pretty effective creep-out already. By zooming into the eye, it gives the viewer the feeling that something/some-one is watching them. And, accompanied by this music, it's not a nice feeling to have. Throughout the film, this is the music I picked up on. It is played over and over again, and to good use too! 

The opening scene in "Halloween" is another element I have to praise. It is filmed entirely through a handheld camera, and sounded with heavy, wheezy breathing. It's pretty creepy, and a fantastic way to enter a film. The opening scene gives us our first impression; we only get one. The opening scene here gives a solid first impression, and then the film improves. It improves by not having a middle, or a climax. It all happens in one go. It starts up again with Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) going to school, and eventually she goes home. From there, the only time jumps are miniscule; hours at the most. This means we feel involved. We spend almost the same time watching the film as they do in it. It's hard to explain, but it's effective. 

That's about it, to be fair. I tried to keep it short, as I only sent my review out for Harry Potter 7 on Sunday. One other thing that made this stand out from other horrors are the likeable characters, I just wanted them all to survive. I wouldn't quite label it the masterpiece many claim it to be, but it's still more than decent. Overall, "Halloween" is very impressive. It starts promisingly, builds the tension, then delivers one hell of a slam in its final moments. It's a slasher, but it's one hell of a goodun. Bravo, John Carpenter. Bravo. 

To Summarise: Likeable characters, a creepy score and some horrific scares, "Halloween" ticks all the right boxes for a strong slasher movie.



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