Necropolis Macabre Presents: The Halloween Retrospective Part 1

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This is it!!  it’s finally October, and the countdown to Halloween has truly begun.  And what kind of blog would I be running if I didn’t do something to celebrate one of our favorite times of the year.  So this October, I’m going to take the time to look back at one of the most popular horror series ever, which has one of the most iconic horror villain of all time: Michael Myers.

Truth be told, there’s very little I can say about Halloween that hasn’t been said over the last few decades.  But this is a retrospective, and well, I can ‘t just ignore it now can I?  Besides, there is a chance that somebody reading this might have yet to see Halloween, so if I can educate even just one person, then I feel that I’ve done my job.

Halloween (originally titled The Babysitter Murders) begins in the Myers home in Haddonfield in 1963.  The majority of the opening scene follows a first-person point of view of someone approaching the house and peeking through the windows, where we see a teenage boy and girl making out.  The mysterious person enters the home and  wastes little time in getting a knife out of the kitchen.  After the teenage boy leaves, the stranger quickly goes upstairs where the girl is.  On the way to the bedroom the stranger picks up a mask and puts it on (fun fact, the arm you see picking up the mask actually belongs to producer Debra Hill), enters the bedroom and brutally stabs the girl to death.  The stranger runs outside and we discover that GASP! it’s a young Michael Myers.

Fast forward 15 years later, and we are introduced to Dr. Sam Loomis, on the way to oversee Michael Myers’ transfer to another mental institution.  Unfortunately, things go horribly wrong when we see a number of patients wandering around the grounds in the middle of a heavy rainfall.  Loomis runs over to a nearby phone to see what is happening, when Myers jumps on the car and attacks the nurse who Loomis arrived with.  The nurse escapes the car and Myers promptly gets in and drives away.  From here on in, Loomis does his best to track down Myers and heads to Haddonfield, managing to convince the sheriff to assist in finding Myers.

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“Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just trimming this here hedge.”

Meanwhile, we move to October 31st, and to the main focus of the movie, Laurie Strode.  She’s the smart, shy sort who doesn’t seem to have a single bad bone in her body.  She begins to see a strange man watching her from afar, only to disappear whenever she looks back a second time.  Her friends are quick to dismiss the whole thing and are more concerned with their plans for the evening.  Despite Laurie’s concern about the sightings, she still goes ahead with babysitting young Tommy Doyle on Halloween night.  However, everyone Laurie knows starts dying, and it isn’t long before she becomes the next intended victim….

There is a reason so many people consider this one of the greatest horror movies ever made.  From the acting to the music to the camerawork to the suspenseful buildup, Halloween has it all.  Jamie Lee Curtis blows her acting debut out of the water as Laurie Strode, Nancy Loomis and P.J. Soles were excellent as Laurie’s friends Annie and Lynda respectively, and Donald Pleasance (one of my favorite actors of that era) is to me nearly as iconic as Michael Myers in his role as Dr. Loomis.

Of course, those of you who hate slow-burn movies and haven’t seen Halloween might not be able to handle how long it takes for things to happen.  Nor will you have an easy time dealing with how little blood you actually see throughout.  This movie was made in the glory days of slow burn stories, and if you only care about violence and blood and not character/story development, then Halloween might not be for you.  Of course, you’d still be a damn fool to not watch it.

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Michael’s attempt to one-up Waldo was met with little success.

Michael Myers himself is just awesome.  I love the idea of him being just a soulless shell that houses pure evil.  It’s a much more imaginative premise than the remake’s realistic approach of a broken home/bad upbringing scenario.  You never hear a peep out of him outside of some heavy breathing and grunting (unlike the remake’s sequel, ugh), and his single-minded focus alone is creepy as hell.  Never mind the fact that his mask is actually an altered Captain Kirk mask.

And of course, it has some of the best examples of camerawork you can find, easily out-classing most of today’s shoddy examples.  Zero shaky cam, clever camera shots and lighting, and little close-ups of people’s faces.  Ah, the good old days.

As you can tell by my gushing, this is a must watch for the few of you who haven’t gotten around to seeing it, and a “must watch again” for the rest of you.  And do your best to watch it on Blu-Ray, as it still stands out as one of the best looking Blu-Rays I’ve seen yet.  And hey, the 35th Anniversary version just came out recently, so why not go grab that copy?  Until next time, rest in peace.

Macabre Rating:  5 out of 5 tombstones

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