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Halloween (1978) 
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Godzilla

Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:53 am
Posts: 227
Location: Woodstock, IL
John Carpenter's 1978 horror flick Halloween was one of the very first
slasher flicks. This is most ironic given the fact that there is
hardly any blood in Halloween. The movie is made in a technically
brilliant fashion and is a rare intelligent slasher movie. This is in
direct contrast to the vast majority of slasher flicks which are, as a
whole, shallow and stupid wastes of celluloid.

In late 1978, Halloween opened in Bowling Green, Kentucky before
moving on to larger cities. Initially, it was ignored by most movie
critics who looked down on it as just another low budget picture.
However, the movie was saved from oblivion by word of mouth that
resulted in, as they say in Hollywood, boffo box office. Eventually,
movie reviewers altered their opinion of this flick so that they could
avoid being seen as being enemies of a movie that the movie going
audience had embraced in spite of the opinions of those same critics.
In other words, these writers wanted to join the crowd. It is stuff
like that which gives movie reviewers a bad name.

We meet a sympathetic, likable and intelligent teenager named Laurie
(Jamie Lee Curtis) and the children that Laurie is babysitting. We
also meet Laurie's less intelligent girlfriends, Annie and Lynda. In
contrast to most post-Halloween horror/slasher flicks, we identify
with and feel terror for these gals as they are targeted for death by
a knife wielding psychopath.

In the making of Halloween, John Carpenter demonstrated that, at least
back then, he understood that the best element of fear is not what
actually happens, but what is about to happen. For instance, what was
that shadow? It is when evil is lurking, somewhere, you just don't
know where, that you can really get scared.

When Laurie and her friends are walking home from school and they are
being stalked by the killer who pops in and out of view. It is quite
rare that a film can provide scenes that are at least semi-chilling
during scenes that are in daylight.

Unlike most female characters in slasher flicks, Laurie is intelligent
and thinks that she's "too smart" to attract boys. Laurie pays
attention at school, worries about her homework, and is both
trustworthy and reliable as a babysitter. She is a responsible person.
This is a trait that few movie teenagers, especially female teenagers,
exhibit. This quality of hers is not presented as evidence that she is
a "nerd" or "antisocial" or "stuck up."

One of the principal reasons for the enduring popularity of Halloween
is that the teenage audience identifies very strongly with Laurie.
While teenage characters like Laurie are rare in the movies, in real
life there are many such teenagers. Over the years a lot of teenagers
have seen a lot of of themselves reflected in Laurie.

Contrary to repeated assertions made by critics and others since
Halloween's release in 1978, the salient aspect of Laurie's character
is not her virginity, but her responsibility. Laurie's sense of being
responsible is what results in her survival. Likewise, her
girlfriends' irresponsibility is what results in their getting killed.

Laurie is the kind of person who is rarely seen in slasher flicks: a
genuinely nice person. Laurie clearly takes babysitting jobs not only
for the money, but because she enjoys the company of children and
really likes making them happy. Laurie's niceness and sense of
responsibility comes together in one of the key aspects in which
Halloween differs from most slasher flicks. This is the fact that when
evil comes to the house, Laurie focuses on defending the kids and
telling them to run for a neighbors house as opposed to being
preoccupied with her own self-preservation.

Halloween is not only a very good slasher flick, its a good movie period.


Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:27 am
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:54 am
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Yeah, the virgin final girl trope arose from Halloween's degenerate imitators, not from the original. As often happens, the imitators copied the elements which were easiest to understand without any thought.

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Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:59 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 2:48 am
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Location: Brighton, MI
Yeah, good suspense is hard to get, but gross-out is easy peasy.

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Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:53 pm
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