Hurst Hot Take: Halloween (1978)

Francesca Divincenzo, Contributing Writer

A Halloween holiday classic, the 1978 independently-produced slasher film “Halloween” was directed by John Carpenter. Staring famous actors and actresses such as Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes and P.J. Soles, the movie eventually became a hit and spawned a film franchise of 11 follow-up films.

“Halloween” is about a seven-year-old named Michael Myers who brutally murdered his older sister, Judith Myers, on Halloween night in 1963.Fifteen years later, Michael goes home to Haddonfield, Illinois, and is ready to hunt his stepsister, Laurie Strode. As he continually proves in in-tent throughout the film, he will go after anyone who gets in his way.

Even though the Halloween series is a cult classic now, that was not the original expectation. The budget of the film was $325,000, which was shockingly small. In fact, the budget of the movie was so small that the actors shopped at JC Penney for their costumes. A documentary for “Halloween” even stated that the movie didn’t really look like a film pro-duction.

Carpenter and the other people working on the film basically worked out of a van that was the size of the Mystery Machine from “Scooby-Do.” The script for the original “Halloween” movie only took two weeks to write. Though “Halloween” is set in the fictional town of Haddon-field, Illinois, it was shot on location in South Pasadena and Hollywood, California. If you look closely, you can see palm trees in the backgrounds of some shots, like the scene above where Laurie walks Tommy Doyle to the Myers’ house. The film was also not actually shot in the fall, but in the middle of summer. The crew got bags and bags of leaves and spread them all over the street so that it looked like it was shot in the fall. It is amazing how such a small budget movie can become a cult classic series that people watch every year.

Arguably, it is one of the many reasons why people love this movie is because the whole cast and crew did not expect its fame whatsoever. Despite the plot, the movie has unique cinematography. One cool effect is the way the camera is always angled makes it looks like Michael is watching everything. One reason people likely look forward to this movie every year is because it is probably on every list of Halloween-themed movies to watch.

Another reason people like this movie is because of the movie’s older style and uniqueness. It is not over-done or over-shot. Newer horror movies produced today generally have the same theme whereas “Halloween” somehow scares people in so many different ways that one would not expect to be scared.

Isn’t that the point of a horror movie: to scare the crap out of you? If you enjoy being scared, definitely do not forget to watch “Halloween.”

Even though Halloween is over, I highly recommend this cult classic. For those who do want to start their December holiday cheer on Nov. 1, it is a perfect time to send off the Halloween season with “Halloween.”