Quick disclaimer: I’ve never watched any movies in the Halloween franchise and I figured I’d watch and review the first (and the only good one so I hear) movie before seeing and reviewing the new one on Thursday.
For her first performance in a movie I thought Jamie Lee Curtis was absolutely incredible. I know she had a few small roles in t.v. shows but here she acts like she’s a veteran. She could have easily overacted and have become known as that screaming girl in that horror movie, and while she does still scream a little bit she does it when it’s realistic. For the most part I found her performance nuanced and relatable.
Same with Donald Pleasence, while his role requires a little more overacting he still manages to steal every scene he’s in. Part of what makes his performance so great is that it’s over-the-top and he knows it and plays that to his strength.
What Really ties Halloween together is the iconic score from John Carpenter. Every time the score kicked up it meshed perfectly with whatever was going on on-screen and it honestly kinda gave me the chills.
Despite the relatively small budget I found the cinematography to be quite impressive. There was never really a shot in the movie where I was thinking that it could have been done better and differently. What really impressed me with the cinematography was the long first-person POV shot in the opening sequence. It was a great way to build suspense and also immerse the viewer.
The only place I really think the movie failed was the special effects suck as the blood. Seeing as this movie was made in 1978 for a budget of just $300,000, (unadjusted for inflation) it can be overlooked but I figured it was worth pointing out all the same.
The only other thing is that I didn’t find Halloween to be that scary and not much of a horror film, (please hear me out before you grab the pitch forks) I did however find it to be more of an intense horror thriller that had me on the edge of my seat for most of the run time.
Halloween remains a master class in suspense horror. It makes the most of its small budget to deliver an intense thriller. It’s well-directed, shot, and the score is as iconic as ever. Even when the special effects bring the movie down it’s immediately lifted back up by the stellar performances from Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis. I really enjoyed Halloween (1978) and can’t wait to go see the new one.
I rate Halloween an A- or 9.3 A.K.A. Cult Classic
Viewing recommendation: Lights out with a bowl of popcorn