Halloween horror marathon: Halloween

poster-halloweenCan we talk about the opening to Halloween? Is there a more classic start to a horror movie? It seems that all the great ’70s genre pictures had their first ten minutes so tightly set up that they could stand on their own as short films. I’m talking the Exorcist, the Omen, et cetera.

However, it’s Halloween that is just especially masterful. It’s shot so well: obscured views, veiled images, perspective shots…really, it’s wonderful to behold. They don’t do the big reveal on Michael Myers until you’re chomping at the bit to see him, either. John Carpenter was spot-on with Halloween, making a movie that keeps you on the razor’s edge the whole way through.

Why is it that all the teenagers in Halloween manage to sound like legit teens, too? Carpenter’s dialogue sparkles with realism, rather than sounding wooden and hollow. Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode is spot-on in terms of youthful innocence and adolescent world-weariness, and the way every other teen character in the film is astounded at Laurie’s good behavior just fit. The pacing is perfect — really, I just can’t recommend this film enough. It’s one of the few horror movies tv editing can’t ruin, and I will watch it any time it’s on, be it tv, DVD, or whatever.