My epic 'HALLOWEEN' appreciation thread. And how it messed me up as a kid. :)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Inspector Hammer!, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    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 [​IMG] while I gush about this film that utterly terrified me as a child, i'd appreciate it. [​IMG]
    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! [​IMG] 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. [​IMG]
    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. [​IMG]
    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? [​IMG] 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. [​IMG]
    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.
     
  2. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I love the film. I had the same experience with it when I was young too. I first watched it when I was 7 at my aunts house...my parents were out of town for the weekend, so I was staying with her. She rented a bunch of Friday the 13'th flicks...and Halloween. I had nighmares for years...and occasionally I still do.

    Images exist in my mind that rear their ugly heads when I'm alone. A man in a white mask, just out of sight...a noise in the bushes...it still keeps me up at night.

    And while I agree with you that the Scream series, etc...don't envoke the same terror that Halloween did, I still like them. I suppose it's more for their humor...
     
  3. Brett_B

    Brett_B Supporting Actor

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    This has to be my favorite horror franchise which, sadly, has been ruined by the recent offerings (6 & 8 in particular). I remember seeing the original TV spots when the movie was due to hit the theaters (1978) and finally seeing it when it first came to HBO the following year. I hate to say this, but Michael Myers doesn't really scare me anymore since he is my favorite (have the mask at home that I have worn the past few Halloween holidays).
    The only movie that left me with sleepless nights for a week straight was The Exorcist.
     
  4. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I never have understood that whole "ruined the franchise" argument...how can what was built in Halloween be torn down by sequels. The film stands on it's own...and while the other's suck, you don't have to watch them. The original still holds all of it's original power for me.

    That being said...I can understand the idea of not being frightened by Michael Myers anymore. He hasn't been scary at all since II, but for some reason I still get a little scared when I think of him.
     
  5. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    BTW...I still watch my Criterion Laserdisc on a regular basis. I never tire of this film...
     
  6. Brett_B

    Brett_B Supporting Actor

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  7. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Well, i'd like to talk only about the original in this thread, however I will say this about the sequels, I like most of them.
    2 was good, it retained that same atmosphere from the original, although I could never understand why Michael walked so damed slow in it.
    3, well let's face it, what 3? [​IMG]
    4 was as close as any of the others have come to getting into that same rythem as the first film. Nice moody atmosphere saves this one.
    5 was alright, but not great.
    6 was an example of missed opprotunity, it could have been much better than it was.
    7 brought Jamie Lee Curtis back, so I like it for that, but that fricken Marco Beltrami music gets on my last nerve! His score ruined that film for me.
    And I havn't seen Halloween Resurrection yet.
    I will always remain faithful to Michael Myers, no matter how many films they make, i'll see them.
    BTW, I also have a Michael Myers mask that I bought several years ago. It's my second one actually, the first one rotted because I didn't know how to treat the latex. I'm about to order my third one soon, I saw one on the net that was sculpted to look EXACTLY like the one worn by Nick Castle in the original film. It's 60 bucks, but i'm all over it. Maybe next week i'll order it. Gotta get it by the 31st of October though.
    I play Michael every Halloween on my front porch for the kids and i'm a big hit every year, even with the adults! Some won't even come near the porch, it's great! I don't speak, and I move very slowly, it scares the shit out of them! [​IMG] Occasionally i'll take a walk around the block to give those that havn't come to my house yet a thrill. I've done this for the past 5 years and I think it's becoming sort of an unwritten tradition in my neighborhood. It's just not Halloween if Michael Myers isn't on the porch on Ferris St. [​IMG]
    Now, back to the original film. [​IMG]
     
  8. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    John,
    Your initial post was just great! The enthusiasm, the analysis, the trip down memory lane, the 'adult' appreciation for the film as a piece of art, etc.
    Bravo!
    And you couldn't have chosen a more deserving horror flick. It's easily one of the finest films the genre has ever seen, and I WOULD expound on how much I adore this movie and how masterfully crafted it is...
    ...but you already did that quite well.
    Suffice to say I staunchly support your adoration for this movie, plus your compulsion to share your eloquent thoughts with other movie lovers. That's what it's all about.
    For the record, I dig Part 2 quite a bit. Three is a non-entry, and all the other sequels (though I have seen every one) seem like nothing more than one very long, very cheap, and very confusing mini-series.
    My family watches Halloween every October, and we always have. Only now we do it digitally. [​IMG]
     
  9. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Scott,
    thank you for the kind words! [​IMG] Sometimes I just get excited about a film, and instead of keeping it to myself, I just have to put it into words just to get it out.
    The forum is a great place to do that. Thanks again. [​IMG]
    QUOTE...
    "Only now we do it digitally."
    [​IMG] Same terror, new generation.
     
  10. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    I am a huge horror fan, so it should be obvious that I love this film. Especially since John Carpenter is my favorite director. Great film! Creepy, atmospheric, awesomely scored, and very well done! While I disagree about it being the best slasher film (that honor goes to the immortal classic, BLACK CHRISTMAS), it is definitely one of the best! A classic in every sense of the word!
     
  11. DustinC

    DustinC Stunt Coordinator

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    Wonderful words, John.

    This is actually the only movie I can watch all the way through, over and over and over again.



    Dustin
     
  12. Herm C

    Herm C Stunt Coordinator

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    John Carpenter's masterpiece defines horror in the popular culture. His direction and score crafted a unforgettably terrifying "Halloween." There have been countless imitations but none can hold a candle to the genuine thing.

    For the record, I also believe Black Christmas to be a more terrifying film and the best slasher ever made.
     
  13. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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  14. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

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    I can not express in words just how much I love this film. To me, it is indeed The greatest film ever made!! I don't think that there will be any other film that can be quite as good as this is. It's a masterpiece!

    I also saw this at the tender age of 5. It left me so scared that I couldn't even breathe! Just hearing the music would send chills up and down my spine, and needless to say, I would have nightmares of this film almost every single day. The fear didn't go away, until I was at the age of 12. I've seen the rest, and this is certainly the best! No other film can have the same atmosphere that this one did. I have seen all of the sequels, and none of them live up to the original, except maybe for H20 (which is my second favourite).

    I saw Black Christmast when I was 20 years old, and I didn't think it was at all scary, but maybe if I had seen it when I was 5 (like when I saw Halloween) then maybe I would have thought differently of it. I don't like Black Christmas, but since this isn't the thread to discuss it, I won't go any further.

    Halloween, in my opinion will always be the greatest filmm of all time, and I don't think that anything or anyone can make me change my mind. I have seen it 34 times, and like others on this thread have said, I will never get tired of watching it. I watch it at least 2 times a year. Once on Halloween, and once when I can't wait for Halloween to come to watch it again.
     
  15. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    You know i've never seen Black Christmas, I guess i'm going to have to check it out. Is it available on dvd?
    And I meant to post this yesterday, but I tend to enjoy the Scream films too, and the other films of it's type, but my point was that they don't take themselves as seriously as Halloween, and as a result, are not unrelentingly scary as that film is.
    Halloween is balls to the walls scary with no compromises.
     
  16. Mike D.

    Mike D. Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Brett_B

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  18. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    That ESPN bit is hilarious!

    "When he escaped ... um, that was a little upsetting"
     
  19. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    "It reminds me of something Jersey Joe Walcott said to Ezzard Charles before their first fight in 1953: 'When people say a house is haunted, it usually is.' And that's why I like syrup, especially if the waffles are crispy." "

    HAHA...that's hilarious.

    Edit: Here's another...

    Chris Rock (comedian): "The thing that always amazed me was Michael driving the damn car. Kid's locked up for 15 years, doesn't say a word to nobody, he's catatonic ... now all the sudden, he's Dale Earnhardt Jr.? What'd they have, Driver's Ed at the Smith's Grove Sanitarium? And how'd he know which way to go? Kid can't speak and he can't read ... now he's following highway signs?"
     
  20. Mike D.

    Mike D. Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are not familiar with Simmons (the ESPN writer), his stuff is usually a riot. He's a big movie fan and talks about DVD's all the time. Check his archives, he's really funny.
     

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