Halloween ★★★★½

Halloween is a film that has gained almost mythological status within the world of horror cinema. It is a genuine classic within the slasher genre. This is a film that first saw several years ago and remembered it being a great film. This re-watch has not only confirmed this memory but has convinced me that Halloween is easily one of my favourite horror films. I'm actually surprised that its taken me this long to re-visit this film.

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from the mental hospital which he has been held in ever since that fateful night. Having escaped, Michael returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois with the intent of killing again. Michael's return kicks off a killing spree, resulting in the murders of several teenagers. Halloween has a great plot which is brilliantly executed through it's simplicity. The plot is tightly constructed and plays out as a slow burner. I like how it takes it's time to set the pieces of the plot in place. It allows the film to build up tension and make the audience even more invested in the fate of the characters. It has an uncomplicated structure which makes the story easy to follow. While the simple nature of the plot may frustrate some, I actually really like it. Sometimes less is definitely more. There are many great moments throughout Halloween, with the final 20 minutes being a highlight for me.

The cast for Halloween is great and is definitely one of the film's main highlights. Jamie Lee Curtis is great in her role, instantly establishing herself as one of horror cinema's ultimate final girls. She has a great charisma in the role and presents a character who the audience can easily root for. Donald Pleasence is also great in his role as the Doctor trying to track Michael down. He is really fun in the role and gets many great scenes. Nick Caste takes the role of Michael Myers and is terrific in the part. He doesn't utter a single word yet is able to build such an unsettling presence with his performance. The cast also features Nancy Kyes, P. J. Soles and Charles Cyphers among others. All give strong performances and are given their moment to shine. Halloween is directed by John Carpenter who does a great job. His camerawork is creepy and lingering which helps to build up tension, even when there is nothing scary in view. He also creates an unsettling atmosphere which really benefits the film. The music score, also by Carpenter, is brilliant, helps to add to the unnerving feel of the film.

Overall, Halloween is an absolute classic of the horror genre. The word classic gets banded around a lot these days but Halloween is a film that genuinely deserves such a term. The plot is great and would define the style and nature of many slasher films that followed it. The performances from the cast are great and the direction from Carpenter brings all the elements of the film together nicely. Halloween is a film that will definitely be making it's way onto my favourites list sometime soon. Halloween is a film that definitely lives up to the hype that has been built around it in the years since it's release back in 1978. Highly recommended!

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