Friday, October 1, 2010
Halloween Films Part 1: The Classics
Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
Matching John Carpenter, Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance sounds like a winning combo in any book, but Halloween is one of those movies that has not aged well. Sure it's a classic, but it does not deliver the thrills and frights as well as it did when it first came out in 1978. The first time I watched it I knew exactly who was going to die and when. Of course it is only predictable because it pioneered the genre. Only watch this one if you are a die hard fan of John Carpenter, otherwise check out The Thing or even scarier, Nightmare On Elm Street.
Nightmare On Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)
Johnny Depp's first film, Nightmare On Elm Street is almost as aged as the original Halloween is, but this one is less predictable. Aside from Peter Jackson's DeadAlive, this film probably has one of the strangest ways to die captured on film. Where Halloween is predictable and borderline boring, Nightmare On Elm Street leaves us with enough mystery to be a successful horror film.
Night Of The Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968)
For a really good time, be sure to watch Night Of The Living Dead. George A. Romero pioneered the zombie film and a franchise with his 1968 film. As strange as it may be to say, this film is more exciting than the original Halloween. I don't mean to pick on John Carpenter, because I love his other films, but somehow he fell short with Halloween. Night Of The Living Dead features some classic dialogue, of course the sort of dialogue only people who have seen the movie, or those people in their late 60s would understand. Best line of the film, "They're coming to get you Barbara..."
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
Of all the horror films, and actually all the other films, I have ever seen, this is definitely one of the best shot films around. It simply looks gorgeous. My dad told me this film was super disgusting and made Saw look like a happy musical. Despite being rated R, this film has no gore, no profanity and no nudity. However, the filmmakers were so adept at conveying the grisly horror that happens off-screen that it still got the R rating. If you watch one movie this Halloween, make it the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It really is that good.
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
With Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, we get some name actors Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles and Janet Leigh. The horror of Psycho does not necessarily happen on-screen, but as with most Hitchcock it happens in your mind. What sets Psycho apart from the other movies reviewed in this blog is the characters. The characters in this film are developed to the max. Just about everything about this film is perfect. This movie spawned a remake and three sequels. Anthony Perkins' performance is fantastic. This is how horror movies should be made.