As October comes to a close it's only appropriate to dive into the 1978 slasher Halloween, directed (and scored) by John Carpenter. The bloodstains on this spoiler knife are 38 years old.
Where I'm Coming From & What I Expect
The last movie I saw was Carrie so I'd imagine there's nowhere to go but up. My expectations are now at ground level and I'm ready to be impressed again!
The good news is I've finally broken free of the book based movie streak. The uncharacteristic trust Hollywood placed in originality explains how Halloween was a low budget independent production. With such a huge success at the box office it's no wonder Hollywood continues to make low cost profit printers.
I've heard of and seen both Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence before. I'm not sure what role Blofeld has in this movie but I'm 100% on board. Also, how fun that Curtis' mother Janet Leigh was in Psycho, which I guess I'll have to wait until next October to watch. Right, so I'm hoping for slashing, blood, and maybe some jump scares. I'm really trying to keep my expectations low here.
What I'm Bringing
My body says it's still summer so gin and tonic are making a repeat appearance. There's no snack because I'm tired and I don't care.
The simple floating jack-o-lantern and text on a black screen either means this is the extent of the quality I'll be getting or the budget is being used in better places. I've heard this music before, probably every single year around this time.
I like the use of POV in an old movie since it's not a blatant cash grab like the found footage dump truck sized bargain bin that must sit in every studio's back lot nowadays. The constant dissonance in the music is already grating on me and I want to shut it off. This kid must be light because he's not making any noise and it's a wood floor. I'm pretty sure his sister is less freaked out than she should be having her brother just watch her hang out topless. All of this being more believable than her dying noises, which are incredibly sexual sounding. I'm happy the camera pulls back to show how comically large the knife is compared to Michael, because all I can think about is this guy.
Now we're in the present (but you know, it's really the past now). The insane rain and absolute darkness suggest this doctor and nurse shouldn't be driving. I don't know how they can see from the cloud of smoke that must be filling their car. I promise I will not mention anything smoking related in the next movie post.
How did all the patients get out? If a mental facility is so shitty that some bad weather allows everyone to just walk out the door, maybe don't completely undermine the entire mental health system. I'm surprised this nurse was freaked out so bad by a mental patient climbing on the car she allowed him to just take off with it. I would have expected him to be more rain soaked, but it appears the hospital issues Rain-X branded gowns.
Now that it's daytime on Halloween I can watch Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie) walk down the street for a really long time and have a boring conversation with a kid. The payoff at the end of this snooze fest? Being able to watch Mr. heavy breather himself watch her for another long time.
It feels extra disrespectful that Doc parked in the handicapped spot at the institution. In case anyone is wondering, he doesn't have a placard, and neither did this monster. This movie is just bringing out my confrontational side.
At some point movies decided teachers are either Dead Poets Society amounts of mentorship or Ben Stein level boredom. If I had to listen to that while sitting at one of the world's tiniest desks I would certainly not have made it through high school and become a (negative) statistic.
These kids need to up their bullying game if they're actually trying to get under anyone's skin. Their bullying ability is on par with the effectiveness of abstinence only education. If anything is going to be bothering anyone at that school it's going to be the masked creeper walking around the grounds in broad daylight. If that were to happen today I'm pretty sure at least one student would pull a gun on Michael.
There's a lot of just watching people walk in this movie; now I get to see Laurie and her friends walk home, and their conversation is so riveting it really shouldn't be listed as passing the (admittedly flawed) Bechdel test. These girls also have the privilege of growing up in a time where a car stalking you is harmless fun.
This town must be ridiculously lame because kids are out trick-or-treating in broad fucking daylight. This is the 70s, when parents could shove their kids out the door and not have social media telling them there are roving gangs of pedophile-murder-nappers in the streets. What I'm trying to say is wait until dusk so it's at least kind of fun.
It's not lost on me that Laurie and Annie are blazing up to 'Don't Fear the Reaper' on their drive. Clearly they don't fear the reaper because Michael is following them for pretty much the entire trip. With all the driving he's doing it's a wonder no one has noticed him being a weirdo while filling up the tank. I can suspend my disbelief for that, but it went from daylight to pitch black in the time it took them to drive to their babysitting destinations (conveniently location across the street from each other).
No one has lived at the Myers house since the stab party but it looks like squatters have destroyed the inside. Either that or the Myers treated it like a foreclosure before they jetted. I suspect Carpenter had a lack of budget or lack of cruelty in deciding not to show the dead dog in the living room and I don't know if I'm thankful or disappointed. Clearly the piece of roof that smashes in the window is an indication to Doc and the sheriff that this is a horror movie and the abandoned house is a scary death trap.
As with all horror movies, there's the obligatory high school girl somehow finding a reason to strip down, and it feels like they went out of their way to make it as confusingly un-sexy as possible. This long period of 'suspenseful' stalking during Laurie and Annie's mundane babysitting duties doesn't hit as hard as it must have decades ago. With Twitbook-Yougram it's a basic fact of life that now anyone is watching you at any time. And even if no one in your life cares what you're up to you can always give a wave to the NSA.
Anyone unsure of babysitters might find it painful to watch Annie dump her duties on Laurie so she can go pick up her boyfriend, presumably to further destroy any trust this family has by using their home as a love shack. She has the sense to keep her car locked but doesn't find it necessary to extend that courtesy to the front door of someone else's house.
I've been waiting all movie for the knifeplay to begin and I'm given a choke and slash with another terrible death performance. Michael should have pursued a career as a surgeon because when he cuts people apparently they don't really bleed. At least I'm given some comic relief when Michael blatantly carries the body around the house and just walks in the front door with it, in plain view of the entire neighborhood. I'm sure all of the neighbors just figured someone else was already calling the cops.
Doc seems more concerned than the Sheriff about a dangerous mental patient wandering around town. It should make it easier that they only have to track down one dangerous escapee, but maybe police work in a small town is harder than they're making it look.
Laurie and Annie's friends don't seem to mind getting their own private party started in an empty house belonging to none of them. It's a good think Michael isn't recording his peeping otherwise he could apparently be facing some serious charges, which is hard to believe considering we have a difficult time punishing people for sex crimes. I guess he really shouldn't be worried about that since he just managed to stick this guy to the pantry (come back Mythbusters!) with a single knife.
At least the guy had some death acting chops because his sex partner/assumed girlfriend is the third I've seen who doesn't seem to be earning her (admittedly minimal) paycheck. Her poor acting is forgiven though because her real fault is falling for Michael's insane sheet disguise.
Doc's been hanging out at the Myers house all night and he just now noticed the car Michael stole parked right down the street. This guy's good enough to team up with Inspector Clouseau.
In keeping with the theme of 'Long Walking Shots, The Movie,' Laurie finally decides to amble across the street to check on her suspiciously quiet friends. I don't believe she even checked any of the light switches to see if she could avoid investigating in the dark. I'm glad she didn't though because otherwise her finding dead kids scavenger hunt just wouldn't be as fun.
It's a wonder she didn't break her neck falling down the stairs but that's luck and youth for you. Everyone must have their noise cancelling headphones on because no one seems to notice her screaming in the middle of the street. It feels like an incredibly irresponsible choice to lead Michael back to the house that has two kids in it.
I guess he's superhuman since he recovered quickly from being stabbed in the neck. Superhuman, but definitely not into speedwalking. Him and whatever that stalker spirit was in It Follows exemplify a kind of patience we all should strive for. In this case slow and steady doesn't win the race, but it does win Michael a wire hangar to the face, stab wounds, about four gunshots, and a twenty foot fall, like a contestant on the worst game show I've heard of.
In the spirit of ridiculous invincibility, what doesn't kill you allows you to stay alive to heavy breathe and terrorize teens another day. I'm glad to see that the end credits have that familiar Windows Movie Maker feel that I've grown to love from watching YouTube. I would never have guessed this was a low budget movie.
Unfortunately for me I did not feel any of the things I was hoping might come from this movie - no dread, no disgust, and it wasn't good-bad in the way that sub-two star Netflix garbage heaps are able to amuse me. I do appreciate this movie for putting the stamp on the end of October as well as breaking away from the last two movies' religion driven plots. The most important thing to note is that my own Halloween celebration will consist of more fake blood than I saw on screen, and that is unforgivable in my slasher experience.