josiah’s review published on Letterboxd:
"death has come to your little town, sheriff."
before an entity with unfeasibly long knives for fingers terrorized the dreams of teenagers, and before a hockey mask clad killer picked off sexually active adolescents one by one, there was michael myers—sporting a william shatner mask and armed with both a terrifyingly lengthy kitchen knife and a detached penchant for homicide. john carpenter's spooky season classic is brimful with promising material—carpenter's brilliant music, first off, and a hightened sense of dark realism that permeates the film and makes for an often times genuinely chilling experience. innovative camerawork, particularly during the iconic opening scene, gives a horrifyingly grounded vibe, and one can see the pervading influence of carpenter's archetypes littered throughout almost every horror film to follow this one.
what vigorously halts the film from actually, truly frightening its audience is a combination of its terrible performances and stupid ass character decisions that certainly pervade the horror genre, yet shouldn't define a movie that's often hailed as not only one of the spookiest movies out there, but one of the best horror films of all time. spoiler: it's not. it's good, and not a bad way to spend ninety minutes, but as halloween dragged along, i came to realize that it was not the masterpiece it's been hailed as, rather a campy throwaway masquerading as one. towards the beginning of the film, a character offers up this truism—"you know, it's halloween. i guess everyone's entitled to one good scare, huh?"
this most certainly was not it.