Why John Carpenter’s Halloween Rules

31 Horror Movies I Own #31: Halloween (1978)

Still one of my favorites, Carpenter’s original Halloween may not be packed with the level of blood and gore that movies made now are, but it’s still creepy, unsettling, and yes, even scary.

Good girl Laurie Strode (Jamie Leigh Curtis) has a boring evening of babysitting planned for Halloween while her two slutty girlfriends hook up with their dudes. Unfortunately for all of them, “The Shape”, AKA Michael Myers, has escaped from the mental institution he’s been in for the last 15 years.

Some of the best scenes are of The Shape stalking Laurie and planning his attack, and of course, Donald Pleasance as the over-the-top Dr. Sam Loomis (a nod to Hitchcock’s Psycho), exclaiming how Michael is “pure evil”.  I also thoroughly enjoy Curtis’s excellent screams and her traumatized appearance throughout the killer chasing her around the house.

I consider it a must-see every October 31st. My Halloween wouldn’t feel right without it!

The sequels—well, they all have their problems, and I’ll dissect them another time. But for my thoughts on the Rob Zombie remake(s), take a look at this entry I made back in January.

Happy Halloween!

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Scream

31 Horror Movies I Own #24: Scream

Outside of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven’s 80s track record wasn’t really so great. Deadly Friend, Shocker, The People Under the Stairs—sure, these are all kind of hilarious, but not even a little bit scary. So in 1996 when all the hype surrounding Scream started, I wasn’t really buying it.

BUT. When I was actually in the theater watching I was pleasantly surprised! It was the first horror film in a long time that made me second-guess myself, caused me to jump more than a few times, entertained me, and did an excellent job making it appear that anyone could be the killer.

I still love Scream as much as I did the first time I saw it. The opening sequence with Drew Barrymore as Casey is FLAWLESS, and yeah, even a little bit scary. With the exception of Tatum’s garage door squishing, all the deaths were great, and of course, there’s a TON of blood.

Also, I love (as I think everyone else does) extreme movie nerd Randy (Jamie Kennedy), and the irony of Sydney (Neve Campbell) proclaiming that horror films are stupid because the heroine always does the wrong thing—which is shortly followed by her doing exactly what she was complaining about.

Just in case there’s anyone who hasn’t seen this, I won’t give away the ending, but it’s a good one. If you by chance haven’t watched Scream, I highly recommend.

As for the sequels, they each have their moments. The opening theater scene of Scream 2 with Jada Pinkett Smith is pretty brilliant, with my major complaint being that it’s WAY too easy to figure out who the killer is. Scream 3 isn’t scary at all, but it gets props for making fun of itself (especially with the casting of each character for the Hollywood version of their story). The Scream 4 trailer is kind of lackluster, but I’m not willing to give up on the series yet, so I’ll definitely be heading out to see it.