1970s | Halloween 1978
Film 5 of 8, representing Slasher Movies, Slasher Franchises, and The Boogeyman
Expectations: Well what can you say about Halloween? It’s the quintessential slasher movie, and one of horror’s crown jewels. I expect nothing else than to sit down, relax, and enjoy this great film on its namesake’s day.
Reflection: As ever it’s a master class in horror. If the 50’s and 60’s began to show us glimpses of what would become the modern horror movie, then it is here in the 70s that we can safely say that the modern horror movie most certainly arrived. Carpenter’s film took the violence and grit of earlier 70s horror films (such as TCM) and did what sci-fi had started in the 1950s; he bought the horror right into people’s everyday lives. This wasn’t out there on a desolate Texan farm, this was right in the heart of American suburbia, in fact it was a full scale assault on normality. And where the 1950s had relied on aliens and monsters for such attacks Carpenter brought the audiences something altogether more normal, a murderous little boy, the boy from next-door. The big difference by this point in horror cinema is the willingness for the horror to be all to real and this, combined with the growing public acceptance and hunger for onscreen violence, provided filmmakers with a recipe for success.., and best of all it was cheap. Monsters and Aliens are expensive, boogeymen and everyday locations aren’t. John Carpenter opened a new door with Halloween, and every movie producer and wannabe movie producer was about to walk through it.