The Night HE Came Home. Did you ever just suddenly get hit with enormous appreciation and nostalgia for a classic film that you love? Well I have. Last night I decided to pop in my 'Halloween LE' dvd. There are times when it just seems right to watch a certain film, and last night felt right for John Carpenters masterpiece of terror. If you'll please bear with me here for a paragraph or two or three while I gush about this film that utterly terrified me as a child, i'd appreciate it. What a simple story, a child murders his sister in cold blood with a butcher knife on Halloween night, is locked up for many years in a sanitarium for the crime only to escape and return to his hometown as a faceless, soulless, unkillable entity who kills without remourse or mercy. I saw Halloween for the very first time when I was just 6 years old! It was on HBO, and since HBO could only show R rated films after 8 pm, I had to go directly to bed immediatly after the film was over. I watched it everytime it was on that month. I guess I don't have to tell you the effect of sending a 6 year old to bed ALONE, to a darkened room where every shadow, and shape loomed with terror, after watching this film! It was traumatizing for me, and I truly mean that. For me, the word "boogyman" was not some faceless, shapeless term as it might have been for other kids, no, MY boogyman had a name, and a face, it was Michael Myers. In order to grasp what Michael Myers was for me as a child, you have to forget his name, and you have to forget everything you know about him and the sequels, the storyline of the films...everything. I didn't know that he was an actor in a costume, to me, he was simply a scary man with a scary face who was in my closet, in the darkness of my hallway waiting, lurking, under my bed, ready to grab my leg if I dared let it hang over the side of my bed. I remember lying their while my parents were in the living room watching t.v., the sound of the t.v., as with the little bit of light that was coming from the living room, provided me with just enough security and comfort that I was able to fall asleep. However, on those nights, if I awoke in the middle of the night while the entire house was asleep, and the afore mentioned sound and light were now gone, I was suddenly plunged into a waking nightmare! I swear I could almost hear him breathing just at the foot of my bed, but I couldn't see him. That's when the inevitable "MOMMY!!" could be heard echoing through the joint. He terrified me, and not in a fun way either. Needless to say I ended up in my parents bed on those nights. If your wondering why my parents kept letting me watch it again and again knowing that i'd end up sleeing with them, well that's an easy one, I was a spoiled little brat who would throw a tantrum if they didn't let me watch it! So it was either listen to me scream and pout for two hours until I eventually cried myself to sleep, or have me sit in peace and quiet watching the movie. They made the wise choice. I suppose you have to ask why my parents would allow me to watch such films at that age in the first place, I can't answer that, I guess they thought it was just a movie and didn't really give it any thought. Thank goodness I turned out fine and not some disturbed nut! I got lucky I guess. Of course that all depends on who you ask about me. However, my intention with this thread is not to make the film out to be bad, i'm here to praise it, I just wanted to give you all some background to my personal connection with Halloween. Now on to the film itself... The film is flawless in it's set-up, and execution. Everything from the writing, acting, cinematography (gotta love Carpenter and his passion for Panavision), lighting, oh, and did I mention the music? It's amazing what can be achieved with a synthesizer. The film is a marvel of atmosphere, it has a genuin feeling that suggests a chilly, dark, and forbidding October night, even though green leaves can be seen on the trees, it didn't matter. With it's use of endless darkness, and stark blue lighting, it really feels like Halloween night even if you watch the film in July! And the fact that it's set in a quiet suburban neighborhood makes it even worse. The nightmare is taking place right in your own backyard, not some distant summer camp someplace. The presance of Michael Myers into this place is intrusive to the serenity, he's like a cancer eating away at the "Beaver Cleaver" vision of small town USA. I wonder if the production really knew at the time what they were making while they were shooting the film. Did they know that it was going to turn out to be one of the scariest films ever made? Probably not, but i'm thankful that they did everything right. From everything i've heard about working on the film, it sounds as if everyone had a great time on it, but thankfully all the fun and games ended when John yelled "ACTION!", the film is no laughing matter. I like what Roger Ebert said about the film, he said, and i'm paraphrasing here "This film is happening TO you." That pretty much nails it right their. In closing, let me say that I am now, as an adult, greatful to my parents for introducing me to this film at such a tender age, as it's now one of my all time favorite films. I would tell you about how I first saw The Exorcist when I was only 7, but you'll think i'm REALLY screwed in the head if I do that. Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Valentine, they're mere childs play when it comes to terror. Nope, forget the rest, and go with the best...John Carpenter's Halloween. Funny, I can't believe I was actually scared to death of the same guy who directed Major Payne wearing nothing more than a modified William Shatner mask! :b Your turn to gush my fellow Halloween lovers.