What’s my all time favorite horror movie? Without a doubt, the answer is John Carpenter’s Halloween. I was raised by a major Halloween and horror enthusiast, leading to curiosity in the movies my mother watched. In my household, I remember Halloween being this unspoken anthem and symbol to the actual holiday. After watching it for the first time, I expected Michael Myers to be around every turn, especially at night. That’s the haunting effect of Michael Myers… even when he isn’t there, you feel that chill up your spine, always expecting him to strike.
Any horror buff knows the story behind Halloween. But for the handful of those who have yet to see this film, let me fill you in without giving away too much information. The movie opens with the point-of-view of 6-year-old Michael Myers spying on his older sister, whom he viciously attacks and kills. Fast forward to present day (1978), where we get to listen in on Dr. Loomis discussing one of his patients. He and a nurse are driving back to the sanitarium housing an older Michael Myers, who ultimately escapes. Michael returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, searching for his younger sister, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis: Prom Night 1980). Consequently, a string of murders take place until Michael is reunited with his sister and Dr. Loomis.
Watching Halloween as an adult, I felt fear on a more psychological level. There were plenty of effective factors that played into this new fear. The story alone has its own element of trepidation. Too often are we faced with articles or news reports of murder sprees or sinister plots with malicious influence. This heightens the idea that the essence of Michael Myers is plausible. He plays into his victims’ fear by cutting power and phone lines, peaking out from behind things and disappearing seconds later, and even setting up distractions to fuel the adrenaline within their bodies. When he strikes, the methods and weapons used make his attacks very provocative. Mostly using his hands or a knife, he leaves little distance between himself and his victim. He acts in fits of rage, making him a predatory aggressor.
Halloween is a cult classic that paved the way for many more slasher films to follow. It set the standard on jump scares, minimal gore, and strong storylines. With an iconic antagonist paired with a simplistic yet beautifully composed soundtrack, Halloween is sure to get your heart racing. After watching this film, you’ll be convinced that Michael Myers is what creeps around and goes bump in the night, regardless of age.