There was only one Halloween picture of any value – the original (1978). The movie was celebrating its 40-year anniversary this week, so the former players were in the news a bit: i.e. Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter. The Major was 7 years old at the time, and I remember being terrified by the picture. Forty years later, the movie is still scary.
The success of the movie is centered on PLAUSIBILITY. Every subsequent version was ridiculous, because the villain was killed at the end of the original (he was shot five times after all).
Therefore, the Halloween franchise ended in 1978. The subsequent versions are a testament to Hollywood’s lack of originality – as well as its lack of decorum. Mindless violence is, after all, mindless. Moreover, there’s really nothing scary about a “monster” that could not exist – it’s no different than believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.
Horror is a very delicate genre. If done well, it can reveal the complex underpinnings of human psychology. If done poorly, it can quickly descend into a ludicrous waste of time. The Halloween sequels are the latter of the two.
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2 thoughts on “The Halloween Franchise Died in 1978”
If done well, it can reveal the complex underpinnings of human psychology. If done poorly, it can quickly descend into a ludicrous waste of time. The Halloween sequels are the latter of the two.
I have never seen Halloween from beginning to end. Like you, I was too young to be allowed to see such a thing when it was released and by the time I was able to watch it, I had no interest. The terror they induced in me was just too overwhelming. I couldn’t even sleep.
My husband loved horror movies (the former, good ones as you described) for the first 15 years or so of our marriage. The new stuff, he says, is like the latter version you described. Ironically, I tend to be more tolerable of the ridiculous ones, even able to laugh at their ludicrousness, so I don’t mind them as much. They don’t keep me up at night.
El, The Exorcist was on the other night. Even that is not scary to me, because it lack plausibility. Yes, the idea of a possession is theoretically plausible, but the physical transformation of Linda Blair was too “clown like” to be believable (at least for me).
One of the best concepts for a horror film is a force we never actually see (something like the Blair Witch). This allows us to “fill in the blanks”. I think that was the success of the original Halloween actually. The ambiguity of the villain allowed the viewer to project his/her own fears onto the character.