Posted on November 8, 2019
The Horror in Halloween (1978)
Boo! We are in the middle of a unit in PLP on horror. The project for this unit is to make our own class horror movie. Obviously to make a horror movie, we have to watch some horror movies. In class over the next few weeks, we will be watching some horror movies in class, and reflecting on them in a blog. The first horror movie we watched, and the one I will be reflecting on today is Halloween (1978). Halloween is an iconic horror movie. Even people who don’t like horror watch this movie, because it was created in such a high quality for the time, and for horror movies. If you haven’t watched it yet, I recommend you do, as this post will contain many spoilers.
Everyone knows that Halloween is a scary movie, but what is it about the movie that scares us? Is it the spooky music, or the scary houses, or the creepy mask? Well, all of those things play a role in scaring us, but there is a bigger reason we are truly afraid. The fear in the movie is the fact that Michael Myers doesn’t have a motive. The film shows no reason for him to be killing all those people. As humans, we try to find the reason behind things to help us understand them, and when there is no reason it scares us. It makes you afraid that there are people in the world that would kill you for no reason, and there is nothing you can do to prevent that. Another thing that is so terrifying about Halloween, is that Michael is indestructible. He can not be killed, and that is a horrible thought. It is scary because you can never escape Michael Myers. There is no way to get release from the horror.
Part of the reason Halloween was such a successful movie is the style in which it was made in. For example with the story, it was one of the first movies to use the final girl trope. This trope is that in a horror movie, the final character alive is a girl who fights back against the killer. This was such a successful storytelling technique, that it is now used in the vast majority of horror movies made. Most horror movie watchers are teenage girls, and this allows them to connect with the final girl character and have a deeper connection with the movie. Another style choice made for this movie was the fact the Michael Myers never runs. In the movie we only ever see him appear out of nowhere or walk slowly to wear he is going. This adds more fear to the film as it makes it seem even harder to escape him if he only walks and still manages to get to the people running from him. And obviously, the best style choice this movie made was the music. The Halloween song is iconic and is its own character in the movie. It lets the audience know Michael Myers is there, and it is terrifying.
In 1978, Ted Bundy, an infamous serial killer, had recently killed his last victim and was arrested. He was the first known serial killer of this era, and that terrified people. This made Halloween that much scarier, because it was showing people what they were afraid of at the time. It was also a time when women were still shamed for their sexuality. This is why they made Laurie an innocent girl who never even thought about sex. The movie also killed off all the teens that had sex, because it was a bad thing. Even the way Laurie dresses was overly conservative. She was an innocent little angel, and that is why she survived the movie.
I believe that Halloween is the greatest horror movie ever created. I had never seen Halloween up until a few weeks ago, yet Michael Myers was my greatest fear and just the thought of him would keep me up at night. In an article I read called, Is ‘Halloween’ The Greatest Horror Movie Of All Time?, they talked about the score of the movie. The makers of the movie originally played the movie to an audience with no music and nobody was scared. When the iconic, creepy score was added, people were significantly more scared. Just hearing the famous song makes my heart start to race. Halloween has a very simple storyline, but that just makes it easy to follow and something that everyone can enjoy. It’s so simple that it is even set on Halloween night, which makes it even scarier, because nothing is scarier than a night where ghosts and monsters are out to get you.
In PLP we are reading Frankenstein right now. Just like Michael Myers in Halloween, Frankenstein’s creature is a tall, ugly looking monster who is very hard to kill. Neither of these monsters die easily which makes them very scary. Also, in both Frankenstein and Halloween, the creatures randomly appear, create fear and sometimes death, then disappear and cannot be found. The fact that both the creatures are unexpected makes them even scarier. Frankenstein is less scary in my opinion because the creature has a motive. He wants to be liked by humans and wants to get back at the humans who didn’t give him a chance. The fact that Michael Myers doesn’t have a motive makes him scarier.
Halloween has been the source of my nightmares for years. From the terrifying mask, to the haunting score, everything about that movie scares me. It changed the definition of horror movies and started an era of slasher films. It is a revolutionary horror movie.