Halloween ★★★½

Hadn't seen this straight through in about two decades, I believe, so this revisit felt like looking at it with completely fresh eyes. Turns out, though, that my view on it remains unchanged from my memories. Carpenter's mastery of mood and pace has rarely been better; I'd forgotten, for instance, that Michael's first kill doesn't take place until we're well into the movie, which kept my nerves on edge as I tried to remember during any given impeccably crafted sequence whether this was the moment when the actual bloodshed started. A testament to Carpenter's chops, no doubt. (Also, that score; yup. Perfect counterbalance to Myers' deathly silence, which really is eerie as shit.) And I also had no recollection of the brief reveal of Michael's face near the end, which works far better than that sort of conclusion has any right to; the quick shot of his face adds a hint of humanity to someone entirely devoid of it. Curtis is excellent. There's no denying the dated nature of much of the dialogue, though, and I still find Pleasance's depiction of Sam Loomis to be too showy and bloated for the tone that's at play here—his puffed-out-chest-esque spouting of psychological analyses feels hokey instead of like an appropriate complement to Michael's dead-inside projection of evil that simply can't be explained. Definitely deserving of its cult status within the genre, even if it's hardly without its warts.

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