October is the time of the year when horror themes really shine. We are greeted at our doors by trick-or-treater,s: little kids excited at the prospect of receiving large amounts of tooth decaying sugary treats known as candy. We are also gifted with a variety of horror films from multiple different brand names and franchises.
Amongst all of the horrifying cinema that exists today (we'll get to what isn't scary in a different article), there has always been one franchise and one name that I seek every year. Michael Myers.
The original Halloween of 1978 evokes both terror and fascination with every view. This film was made in four weeks with a budget of $300,000. It was directed by film newcomer John Carpenter. The budget, the majority of which was spent on shooting and location, was so tight that many of the actors and actresses wore their own clothes and would even pitch in to aid the film's success.
The film was constructed out of passion and creativity, with no special effects and no visible gore. Because of this, the audience's emotions are triggered by the visual absence of the killer, with the realization that he could be lurking behind every door, window or tree that exists in the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois.
That killer I speak of is known as "the shape", "The shape" being Michael Myers. In the story, Myers stabbed his sister to death on Halloween night. Why? It's never really explained. Some may argue theories that come about in continuity of the Halloween franchise, but as of this film, no explanation is given for Michael's murderous tendencies. Regardless, he was relocated to Smith's Grove Sanitarium, where he stayed for many years, until his escape and return back to Haddonfield on October 30th to seek his reign of terror.
In the end, Halloween would gross $47 million in the United States and $23 million internationally. A film that was made with next to no budget and on the fast pace of a limited 4 week shooting schedule ended up grossing a total of $70 million dollars theatrically.
Not only did this film revive and refresh the horror genre, it inspired the creation of other beloved franchises like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street.
Although the franchise of Halloween would go on to become something of a slasher genre, the original 1978 variant will always hold a special place for me on this month named October...