"THE NIGHT HE CAME HOME". Well, we're winding down to the big day. So it seems like the perfect movie to get us in the Halloween spirit is John Carpenter's classic "HALLOWEEN". Now, I've long trumpeted the fact that I hate slasher films because they're frankly boring, unimaginative, repetitive and crap (not necessarily in that order). However, we can't blame John Carpenter's "HALLOWEEN" for that. Sure, this film spawned umpteen poor imitations but that's not this film's fault. In fact, since there is practically NO blood and gore in it, I'd hesitate to call it a slasher film at all. It is, in fact, a masterful horror film which only looks better with age.
I've heard tell that the recent Rob Zombie remake wasn't all that spiffy. I can't say; I haven't seen it. That's somewhat disappointing since I found his "The Devil's Rejects" to be an astoundingly effective film. But either way, the original by John Carpenter is still champ. You've got little Michael offing his sister in a prologue then spending years in an asylum seemingly docile. Until one night . . . Halloween night. . . he makes his mistake and returns to his good ole hometown of Haddonfield to go on a spree. I love love LOVE the early daylight parts of the film where was catch glimpses of "The Shape": over there behind the shrubs, out in front of the school, is that HIM in that car?!? The film builds up the suspense and feeling of dread perfectly. Jamie Lee Curtis, of course, is the archetypal "final girl" and is wonderful in the film as well; even though she does a couple STUPID things. . .WHY OH WHY do you keep dropping the knife, kiddo?!? I know I know -- it was in the script, that's why. And as for that music -- perfection in every way.
All those dreadful, dreary 80's slasher films that followed Carpenter's "Halloween" failed to understand what it was that made THAT film a classic. It's a well-written script, skillful direction, believeable performances and an attention to atmosphere which rolls up into one spectacular horror movie. And the cherry on top??? It takes place on Halloween!