330 posts in, 35 to go. Not a particularly auspicious milestone, but it does fall on Halloween. And I did go to see the original Halloween at Naro Cinema last night for their last Fright Night for this year. And after all, like Psycho, who’s gonna pass up a chance to see one of Carpenter’s masterworks on a big screen?
But this isn’t a review so much as a commentary. I’ve seen Halloween loads of times since that day in 1978 when I had to buy a different ticket and sneak in cuz I wasn’t old enough for R rated movies.
There’s a lot to love. It’s a nicely paced 91 minutes with steadily building tension and some decent scares with surprisingly little blood. But that doesn’t mean it’s not without its problems. Can’t help it. Seeing anything as much as I’ve seen Halloween is gonna reveal a few shortcomings.
Let’s start with a series of small things. How come the two kids what are gettin’ babysat don’t go trick-or-treating? I guess they may have earlier, but it’s not clear. Relatedly, why do Laurie and the kids make a jack-o-lantern after all the trick-or-treat stuff is over? Why doesn’t Loomis report the state vehicle stolen? Why doesn’t he look around the abandoned repair truck when he finds Michael’s hospital gown? Why is Annie placed in front of Judith Myers’s headstone?
Also, Michael is one strong dude, and not just “wow, you must work out” strong. He strangles Annie from a position that’s gonna give him no leverage whatsoever. He stiff-arms Bob to a door, and Bob flails at his hand like it’s carved outta granite. Then Michael lifts him by the throat with one hand. How did he get this strong? I’m guessing the fitness equipment at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium is thin on the ground. Plus wasn’t Michael unresponsive for 15 years?
Something else that always puzzled me was how Annie and Laurie drive to their babysitting gig with absolutely no idea they’re being followed. And I don’t just mean being tailed. No, Michael is literally driving right behind them. Okay, they were smoking a joint, but come on. Speaking of which, the way Laurie holds a joint is freakin’ hilarious. And how is it even remotely possible that Annie’s dad doesn’t smell anything when Laurie rolls down the window?
And the car thing, even more than Michael’s sanitarium escape, brings up perhaps the biggest, most plot-breaking problem—how the fuck Michael Myers learned to drive? I know some of the more conspiratorially minded of you out there will be quick to bring up The Cult Of Thorn from Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers. The story goes that Dr. Wynn, the head of Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, was part of this cult and responsible for Michael’s “creation” and escape.
On the surface, that all might seem plausible. Ultimately it doesn’t hold up. On one hand, according to Loomis, he’s basically catatonic. On the other hand, were he teachable, he’d more than likely kill anyone in the passenger seat. I dunno. So unless the cult sacrificed a number of instructors to achieve this…
Lemme be clear, these things are, at least to me, minor inconsistencies and not movie-ruining structural defects. If I do have one major charge to levy against this bright star in the slasher movie sky, it would be that if we didn’t have Halloween, we never woulda been subjected to Scream. Oh well. It’s a small price to pay.
BODIES- 6 onscreen
Streaming- AMC, AMC+, Fubo, Hoopla, Indie Flix, Philo, Prime, Roku Channel, Shudder, Sling
Rent- Apple TV, Google Play, Prime, YouTube