Ranking, dissecting the “Halloween” series

Halloween Main

“It’s Halloween. I guess everyone’s entitled to one good scare.”

John Carpenter’s Halloween is no easy (or advisable) act to follow. Heaven knows many have tried. Over forty years, all manner of reverent pretenders, well-intentioned imitators, and outright thieves have approached the throne, even a couple bearing Carpenter’s own tacit seal of approval. The now-eleven official Halloween films feed into a self-writing narrative concerning the blight and bloat of horror’s most lucrative, long-running franchises, and Halloween sits comfortably alongside Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street at the top of any list of genre royalty, whether as the target of praise or scorn. Though, outside of scattered moments in the first movie and its 2018 “sequel”, Halloween has always taken itself with the utmost seriousness, the franchise’s chronic issues with continuity, motivations, and common sense have become something of a running joke. Continue reading “Ranking, dissecting the “Halloween” series”

Movie review: “Halloween” (1978)

halloween michael sits

“Does anyone live here?”

“Not since ‘63, when it happened. Every kid in Haddonfield thinks this place is haunted.”

“They may be right.”

The first glimpse of daylight, a commodity that will prove both precious and fleeting, comes at the 11-minute mark of Halloween, as director John Carpenter finally sets his scene in the sleepy town of Haddonfield, Illinois. Leaves rustle and blow down the tree-lined, kid-dotted sidewalks of suburbia. The sky is seriously overcast, but still can’t help feeling like an improvement, or an oasis. This comforting and innocuous first look comes on the heels of three consecutive sequences – an ominous, slow developing close-up, a shocking murder, and a nerve-rattling escape – justly famous in the annals of horror history, and though the differences that separate Halloween from the many progeny it would either directly spawn or spiritually inspire are both myriad and blinding, even in pitch darkness, its images linger longest and make the most impact, so it is there that almost any straight analysis should begin. Continue reading “Movie review: “Halloween” (1978)”