Who can get through the Halloween season without watching the spooky 1978 film, Halloween? Not this horror movie fan!
The Scream Queen
The movie opens with a young Michael Myers stabbing his teenage sister to death in 1963. He is admitted into Smith’s Grove Sanitarium where he spends the next eighteen years undergoing treatment from psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Loomis. But, on October 30th 1978, Michael awakens from his catatonic state, escapes the hospital, and steals a car. Where’s he going? He has unfinished business in Haddonfield, Illinois.
The next morning, we’re introduced to Laurie Strode and her best friends Annie and Linda, a happy group of teenage girls walking to school. The three friends agree to babysit later that night, Halloween night, despite the fact that Laurie feels like someone has been watching her all day – a man in a dark jumpsuit wearing a weird, white mask.
Later that night, Annie’s boyfriend calls for a ride, so she drops off the little girl she is watching with Laurie who is conveniently babysitting Tommy Doyle across the street. Alone in the car waiting for her boyfriend, Michael sits up from the back seat and kills Annie. Tommy watches as the “Boogie Man” carries Annie’s lifeless body back to the house, but Laurie shrugs off Tommy’s antics as a Halloween scare.
Next, Michael discovers Linda and her boyfriend Bob having sex in the house. What are the rules of horror movies? Never have sex. Have sex, and die.
Michael sets his eyes on his true target – Laurie. After very suspenseful scenes, Laurie barely escapes Michael’s grasps and manages to hide the children before crawling deep into a corner of an upstairs closet. Just as Michael finds her, Dr. Loomis finally catches up to his patient and shoots him. Michael falls from the bedroom window; however by the time Loomis looks out, he is gone.
Queue The Music
Ever wonder why the film is referred to as John Carpenter’s Halloween? That’s because John Carpenter wrote the screenplay (with Debra Hill), produced (with Hill, and others including Moustapha Akkad) and directed the movie, and created the original music.
In October 2010, the Biography Channel aired Halloween: The Inside Story, and my appreciation for the original film of the Halloween franchise grew. Not only did the film captivate audiences, but the movie’s success came with an extremely low budget, even for the 1970s.
Carpenter took the small financing and hired a ton of no name actors, including the now famous, Jamie Lee Curtis to play Laurie Strode, Michael’s main target. He approached famous actors to play the part of Dr. Samuel Loomis, but after multiple rejections, Carpenter finally found an English actor interested in the role, Donald Pleasance.
The other cast members had a few film credits to their name, but many were considered “B” movie actors: Nancy (Loomis) Kyes played Annie; P.J. Soles starred as Lynda; and Nick Castle played “The Shape” – or Michael Myers as we know him.
Keeping within the small budget, Carpenter selected areas in California for filming the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, and he tasked the actors with gathering and dropping the fake fall leaves over and over again during the twenty-one days of filming. The most astonishing of all the Halloween facts learned while watching Biography’s special, was the fact that the Michael Myers’ mask is actually a Captain Kirk mask painted and tweaked just a bit so that it wasn’t recognizable as the popular Star Trek character.
Originally the The Babysitter Murders, Carpenter’s movie saw extreme box office success. The approximate $300,000 film made over $47 million at the theaters. The Halloween franchise remains popular today and consists of ten films, including two recent remakes by rocker, Rob Zombie.
Pleasance and Curtis have remained loyal to the franchise; Pleasance filmed a total of five Halloween films and Curtis four. The Halloween movies have also featured a few familiar faces over the years: Danielle Harris (Halloween 4, 5, and both of Rob Zombie’s remakes); Paul Rudd (The Curse of Michael Myers); Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, Michelle Williams, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Adam Arkin, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (H20); Sean Patrick Thomas, Tyra Banks, and Busta Rhymes (Resurrection); Malcolm McDowell and Scout Taylor Compton (Zombie’s 2007 and 2009 movies).
Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the only film in the franchise that doesn’t tell Michael Myers’ story, and is by far my least favorite. So which one is my favorite? The original, of course. But, I’ll watch Halloween: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, and Halloween: H20 anytime I can!
Did the original 1978 Halloween scare you? Did you ever think twice about babysitting on Halloween? Which of the Halloween movies is your favorite and least favorite? Who wins – Michael / Freddie / or Jason? I’d love to hear from you!
24 Replies to “Friday FaBOOolousness – The Boo Factor: Halloween”
As you read in my post, no slasher movie is better than the original Halloween. I pleased to see you agree otherwise this comment would’ve gone much differently.
I wasn’t scared when I saw it. I was young, but I rationalized everything. I wasn’t a babysitter, hence safe from Michael.
You ever watch documentaries where movie experts analyze Halloween? Sometimes they come up with crazy theories on what John Carpenter was going for. And then he gets on and says, “I was just making a horror movie.”
I’m not sure I’ve seen any Halloween documentaries, but I did thoroughly enjoy the Inside Story on BIO – especially John Carpenter’s contribution. There aren’t many masks that frighten me, but the Michael Myers’ mask and the Scream mask are rather creepy. Both make me think twice at Haunted Houses and when receiving Trick or Treaters. We used to live out in the country, and had our own legends of The Boogey Man, and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I actually did babysit one time with a kitchen knife by my side. Probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but what can I say? Halloween got to me….thanks for stopping by, Andrew!
OK, I’ve got a confession: I was 10 when Halloween came out and, since I’m way too suggestible for horror films, I never went back and watched it. I know, I know…
Maybe I’ll go back to it and watch it – with my husband, in the daylight. Stuff like that scares the crap out of me but I LOVE your blog. It lets me get close to it (but not TOO close).
Jenny, I think you’re safe watching Halloween today….it has aged quite a bit but will forever remain a classic. Actually, please do and let me know what you think. With your husband, in the daylight hours. 🙂
I loved the original Halloween and thought it was really scary. The first sequel was okay. After that, I think they went downhill. The first Friday the 13th was super scary, but the concept was basic and didn’t expand well. Freddy, IMHO, was a scarier concept than Jason. The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise expanded better than the Friday the 13th franchise…though they did get dumb, too.
My halloween “treat” this year is the movie Trick or Treat. I’ve read it is very good in it’s way, and I can watch it “free” on Netflix streaming. Hope you have a good weekend, girl!
Trick r Treat was pretty crazy. Lots of cool special effects.
Catie, what did you think of Trick r Treat? Andrew had me all excited to watch it, and then I discovered my guy cancelled our Netflix streaming account because we never use it. BOO! I finally found something that I wanted to watch couldn’t. Maybe next year?
Freddie always scared me. I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I still believe that if you die in your sleep, you die in real life. Thanks, Wes Craven.
This year, I went on a haunted walk through the woods and kept an eye out for Jason the entire time. Would you believe they had no one in a Jason mask at that haunted house? Another BOO! They did have a guy wearing the Scream mask and he followed us for a while. Creepy….hearing the leaves rustle and branches break out in the woods with only a flashlight. We’ll go back next year!
Thanks for stopping by!
Halloween is by far my most favorite horror flick. I watch it at least 2x a year, or whenever it’s on tv late at night. Now, that being said, I liked Rob Zombie’s version, but it is by no means a replacement for the real deal.
I’m sure I’ll see it in the the next couple of days in time for the holiday’s 🙂
Hi, Claudia! Bones starts this week…. YAY!
Zombie really took the Halloween story telling in a new direction. I definitely enjoyed what he did, but agree that his movies will never replace the originals. I hope he does more, skipping Halloween III of course.
Thanks for stopping by!
Halloween and Halloween 2 are both fantastic flicks, that get the scares from tension, not necessarily gore. And I really like that Halloween 2 picked up immediately after 1.
You’re right, 3 just wasn’t good. TV and mind control? Bah.
Great choices. I’d watch the first 2 anytime.
Hola, El Guapo! Thank you for stopping by! Since you enjoy Halloween 1 and 2, what did you think about Rob Zombie’s remakes? I’d love to hear your thoughts….
Want to know how pathetic I am? I’ve never seen any of those movies and if I die never seeing them, I’m okay with that.
I’ll take ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’, thank you very much. That’s as scary as I get.
Horror movies aren’t for everyone, Tameri. I won’t hold it against you! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
This and The Exorcist are my two favorite scary movies of all time. Love.
The Exorcist is creepy….did you watch The Rite? Your blog post about The Strangers reminded me of another great creeper. I just can’t get enough of scary movies! Thanks for stopping by, Roni!
As a teen I was a Nightmare on elm Street fan- I’m not sure I’ve seen the original Halloween- I’ll have to watch it.
Hi, Alica! I’m a big Nightmare on Elm Street fan. Did you watch the remake last year? I really enjoyed it. I hope you’ll catch Halloween and let me know your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!
Just getting around to reading this and now I’m really torked. I wanted to watch this anyway, and Netflix doesn’t have it. Love, love, this movie. One of the scariest by far. Jamie Lee Curtis is still the scream queen!
Stacy, I can’t believe Netflix didn’t have Halloween! I found it on AMC this weekend….of course that means edited and with commercials. Oh well, at least I managed to get it in this holiday season. Thanks for stopping by!
I love Halloween, the film and the holiday. The music is so creepy and I think the fear factor for Michael is the fact that he doesn’t have any lines. He just watches you, he ALWAYS watches you. And then, he kills you. Aaaaaaaah! Awesome post, Tiffany!
BTW, you better hop on over to my place to vote in my “who’s your favorite vampire?” poll! http://jesswords10.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/whos-your-favorite-vampire/
Think I know who you’ll pick though. 😉
Hi, Jess! First, you know I voted….how did my guy do?
Michael is super creepy…he doesn’t talk, he doesn’t run, and he won’t die!! Jason too. I sometimes thought when Freddie spoke he ruined the spook factor, of course he added a good laugh!
Thanks for stopping by!
John Carpenter rocks! My I loved Halloween, Halloween II, skipped everything between and Halloween H2O. Haven’t seen the Rob Zombie remakes yet, I’m just about afraid to.
If you ever feel like it, go back and check out 4, 5, and 6. I watched H20 again this weekend and it remains one of my favorites. If you catch Zombie’s remakes, let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by, Angela!