Halloween

The start of the slashers…Halloween_cover

I was surprised by how chilling I found this film. It’s so simple, almost beautifully so: a masked killer is hunting down a babysitter. There’s so little to it, but John Carpenter makes it work. He makes the babysitter a girl who we want to see survive, who we want to protect. He makes the masked killer into something that we know deep down is human, but gives the appearance of being something completely inhuman (the bogeyman the a frequent motif throughout the film). We never see his adult face- only that blank mask.

The one downside this film has is how formulaic it has become since it was made. Its simplicity could make it boring if you have seen a lot of other slashers first.

So onto what I thought was good:

-Having Michael never speak was a very good move. It further removes him from our understanding of humans

-The theme music. Seriously, that was so good at building tension plus whenever I hear it I now associate it with this film.

-The actress who played Laurie- she was so likeable, you couldn’t help but want to protect her.

-The opening scene. All it establishes is that Michael killed his own family and nothing else. Do we need to know anything else? Not really. After all, what says psychoticallly evil more than a little boy knifing his sister?

What was bad?

-Damn near nothing. I kind of think this is THE quintessential slasher. There may be others, but when you watch this there’s a feeling that this is the real deal. Sure, it may have become formulaic since but so what? To some people Alien has become formulaic (Alien, by the way is awesome).

Bravo suggested that the scene where Michael sits up after Laurie sent the kids out to go and get help was the scariest scene but I actually think that the scenes near the beginning where he’s stalking Laurie were way creepier. You keep seeing glimpses of him and then he vanishes (hence the bogeyman motif). Even so, the climax is fantastically done. I highly reccommend this one.

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John Carpenter’s The Thing

I really enjoyed this one. I loved the special effects, thought Mac was badass and I think this totally deserves its reputation as a great horror film- this coming from someone who is not normally a body horror fan (I’m more of a psych-ghost story girl, myself).

The story goes like this: we see the American winter camp in Antarctica where something strange is going on. Someone fromthe nearby Norwegian camp tried to shoot a dog and when the americans go to investigate they find that everyone in the camp has mysteriously died. At the American camp they have taken in the (still alive dog) which turns out to be an alien… Chaos ensues.

The animatronics were fantastic- while CGI is a great tool for films, I think these were better than a lot of the CGI used in today’s films. The acting was also really good. Even though the film was developng doomed characters you at least were hoping they’d survive somehow (while knowing they wouldn’t) unlike a lot of modern horror where you hate the characters- if you can even call them that (yes Eli Roth, I am looking you).

I will admit though, for me there were a couple of flaws:

1. I’m going to have to assume that Mac’s beard is some kind of Super Beard as he kept going outside in the Antarctic winter wearing surprising little (a leather jacket and a hat). Later on he does start to dress more believably though.

2. Why did they let the dog wander around the camp for a whole day? Did they think that the Norwegians were just trying to kill it for the lulz?

So, overall, I really reccomend this one.