Halloween is a Horror film series that first started in 1978, with the release-of ‘Halloween’. It is about Michael Myers who was put in a psychiatric hospital for killing his sister when he was 6 years old but escapes to the suburbs of Haddonfield where he stalks babysitters while being chased by his doctor, Dr Loomis. There are 11 films in the series, with 2 more set to release this year and next year.
Personally, I remember watching this when I was younger (Even though I shouldn’t have!) and loving it. Ever since then I’ve been in love with Horror, and this is by far my favorite horror film.
The styles used in the film are what sets this apart from other Horror films, It’s so simple yet so effective. I will dive deeper into the styles as my report goes on. With a budget of $300,000 and a box office of $60-70 million, it really does show that you don’t need big budgets to do big things.
All about the films select styles, and why that made the film so popular:
Halloween 1978 is set in the quiet suburbs of Haddonfield, Illinois and is about a masked killer walking around the quiet streets-picking people off, and that is what is so scary about it. This wasn’t set in some camp in the middle of nowhere, this was in peoples safe spots – Their homes. The location of the film really hit home for a lot of people because it was so relatable and realistic, yet so scary.
Another main factor into its simplicity was the killer, Michael Myers. Like other killers that were in other films out around this time, Michael was different. He wasn’t a chainsaw wielding maniac or a machete wielding psycho, he was just a man in a boiler suit and white mask. Again, this was all about simplicity, and I think that was all down to the budget they had, 300 000 dollars is not a lot when it comes to making a film. But they made it work. I’m not saying the other films with big scary loud killers aren’t good, but the simplicity that is Halloween is just too good in my opinion.
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The theme tune- It’s so incredibly iconic that I think a lot of people would recognize it when it’s played. John Carpenters theme for this will go down as one of the most known and iconic film theme tunes ever, and also adds to the list of style choices that just made this low budget masterpiece work. Apart from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, no one had seen anything like Halloween before, and it really captured the imagination for what the slasher genre could be.
Another quite small but usually rushed over aspect is the acting, the actors in this film put their heart and soul into it, and it really does show. These people wanted this film to work so badly and because of their dedication it did work. The acting especially from Donald Pleasence, who plays Dr Loomis, is phenomenal to watch. Sadly, he passed away in 1995, so we don’t get to see him in any of the more recent films. He will always be staple in the franchise for being such an interesting character and person. I’ll be going into detail at how exactly it did change the genre, and what impact it had on film and media.
How exactly did Halloween change/Influence the film industry?
It just modernised the slasher genre in my option. As mentioned previously, this wasn’t the first slasher to be released, but it really was the one that hit home the most and added some variables that would carry over through the years of horror to come. These variables include the final girl idea. I think it’s all due to having such a strong female lead, and showing that one must survive at the end, and Jamie Lee Curtis really did show us how cool the final girl can be. the location. I’m really trying to emphasise how big of a deal this was. To go from the middle of the woods or an abandoned motel, to right in the middle of your neighbourhood was a massive leap in terms of really trying to make these films hit home.
Where did the film series go after the success of the first film?
There are 11 films as of now (02/05/20), with one more scheduled to release this year, and one more the following year. The series has had its ups and downs, just like most film series, having had many remakes, storyline changes and even different masks for our slasher Michael. The most recent film that hit cinemas in 2018 was a smash hit, with a budget of 10 million and a box office of 255 million, it really did exceed expectations. There have also been remakes made by Rob Zombie, and these although not doing as well, are still great films to watch.
In these films the storyline constantly changes, and I will attach a graphic below showing just how confusing things have become. My main point is the film series isn’t dying and seems to be trying to continue the success story from the first film. Although it’s unlikely they will ever make as good a film as the original I still feel that it’s such an iconic series that really put its mark on the genre.
My Aim here was to not only inform, but to shine a light on what I believe to be one of the best films ever made. From acting to the Score, it really is a fantastic piece of film. Modern horror films are fantastic, but the fact these people pulled off such a hit with really no idea just how big this would become amazes me, and I hope that I showed just how I see the film changed the genre, and even just changed film in general. My passion for this film isn’t just because it’s scary, it is all down to its simplicity and what it managed to accomplish.