‘Halloween’ a Groundbreaker in the Slasher Genre

Ashton Sims, Guest Reviewer

A masked man slowly walking around with a kitchen knife. Both unique and terrifying.  John Carpenter’s “Halloween” utilizes this image to frighten audiences of all ages.

“Halloween,” released in 1978, became one of the origins of the slasher genre.

According to Trinity film study teacher Mr. Chad Waggoner, “The original “Halloween” launched the greatest genre in all of film, the slasher horror film genre.”

Influenced by films such as “The Thing” and “Psycho,” Carpenter succeeded in creating a source of pure evil that a group tries to escape from. In fact, Halloween stands out as the first movie to have a woman who survives an evil source. 

The best performance in this movie remains Michael Myers, evil in the flesh. The slow walk always makes Michael Myers feel present. After all, no one can outrun evil.

Despite having a low budget and a quickly written script — Carpenter and Debra Hill wrote the script in just 10 days — the film has generated eight sequels and two remakes.

Strangely enough, while the movie idea remained clear to Carpenter and Hill, the movie name did not. Carpenter originally named the screenplay “The Babysitter Murders,” mainly because of the movie’s content.

However, Irwan Yablans, the producer, suggested the title “Halloween,” which ended up beating out the original. This film just wouldn’t hold the same eeriness without the title “Halloween.”

Despite having an incredibly low budget, Carpenter and the producer still delivered a great movie. The total budget for the movie stayed around $325,000. Having a low budget affected many aspects of the creation of the movie.

According to metalfloss.com, “The 20-day shoot commenced in the spring of 1978.” It took less than a month to film the entire movie, and it hit theaters the same year. The low budget also allowed for only a $100 costume budget. Many actors simply wore their own clothes.

Since the film took place in the fall around Halloween, the production team had to use their own leaves.

According to mentalfloss.com, “Dozens of bags of fake leaves painted by production designer Tommy Lee Wallace were reused for various scenes.” Nothing stopped them from creating this thriller.

While the storyline amazes, the acting absolutely does not.

According to vulture.com, “The slender budget meant Carpenter and Hill couldn’t afford stars.”   Jamie Lee Curtis, who played Laurie Strode, gives a laughable performance.

When chased by Michael Myers, Curtis’ screams both annoy and do not convince the audience. She sounds like a vacuum running over something that should not enter a vacuum, like a coin or pencil.

Rachel Sims, a fan of the film, said, “I wouldn’t say that that was near her best performance in a movie.”

The best performance in this movie remains Michael Myers, evil in the flesh. The slow walk always makes Michael Myers feel present. After all, no one can outrun evil.

The theme song and background music easily prevail as the scariest aspects of the film. “Halloween” would not persist as the signature thriller movie today without the scary piano music used throughout the film.

Any time Michael Myers approaches his next victim, the piano music starts playing slowly and speeds up to build suspense.

Without background music, the audience has only a masked man walking in silence. According to horrorfilmhistory.com, “Halloween contains relatively little blood.”

Horror films in the 1970s used gore and blood to scare audiences. Carpenter instead utilized a piece of music to leave audience members with goosebumps.

According to mentalfloss.com, “Carpenter completed the entire score for “Halloween” by himself in just three days.” His dedication paid off.

“Halloween” remains one of the greatest horror films ever made. The screenplay and script thrill audiences. Carpenter and Hill should be proud of their creation. Not just anyone can make a masterpiece with a low budget and a couple of months. The actors and actresses, though not considered high level in their industry, do not take away from the quality of the movie.

According to Trinity senior Hunter Hennessey, “I think it is one of the best horror movies I have ever seen in my life.”

He makes a great point. “Halloween” should receive a 10 out of 10 in the slasher thriller genre and horror genre.