The 1978 John Carpenter’s Halloween is undoubtedly one of the icon Horror movies in American History. With the long list of incredibly horrible or cult classic horror movies, Halloween stands out as a gold standard in the industry. With a perfect cast of characters, cinematography, and vision; this movie is one of the most financially successful and independent films of all time. Halloween has spawned several sequels, clichés, and copycats with some of the center characters like Jamie Lee-Curtis propelling into the Hollywood spotlight.
The movie takes place in the fictional town of Haddonfield and revolves around the icon killer, Michael Myers who wears a white mask. The psychotic murderer has been institutionalized since childhood after killing his sister; he escapes and stalks one bookish teenage girl & her friends while his doctor chases after him through the streets. Here are some of the reasons as to why the reputation of this movie stands to date.
Some of the character casting in this movie was really inspired; Jamie Lee, for example, the daughter of Janet Leigh, the “Psycho Actress” clearly took the lead of Laurie strode with much determination and a heroic fight, refusing to be a victim of the murder mystery. This inspired casting set the template for most of today’s horror movies.
The simple and formless mask used by Carpenter in the cast was the cheapest they could find in the costume store. The Star Trek Shatner mask was adopted due to its shoestring budget, it was then modified; eyeholes reshaped, spray-painted and the hair teased out. This made the mask partly clown, corpse, mime, and even ghost-like. When it’s shadowed, the eyes go blank & when the eyes are visible; the predatorily gaze is discomfiting.
The plenty of cutting-edge camera work & clever lighting tricks marks the best of photography skills you’ll find in any movie. Dean Cundey, the director of photography, is among the first professionals to use the then-new “Steadicam invention” in the world of photography. You won’t find any shaky-cam tricks on Halloween and this tells more of the quality work. The score for this movie is undoubtedly an all-time hit that will run down to the next of generations. In 2006, Halloween was picked by the National Film Registry among those to be preserved in the Library of Congress.