So here it finally is, Halloween 2012. I’ve had a lot of fun watching horrors this month, and tomorrow (or thereabouts) I’ll give you a rundown on what new horrors I discovered and recommend. But this post is about two horror favorites of mine. I never get tired of watching either one of them. They are true classics.
My favorite Halloween movie is, appropriately enough, John Carpenter’s 1978 “Halloween.” There’s a basic and clear-cut brutality to this film. Carpenter famously used a William Shatner Star Trek mask for the evil and crazy knife-happy killer. The mask is painted white, and with this simple mask the killer becomes faceless and, symbolically, all the more difficult to kill. Jamie Lee Curtis makes us care about her young babysitter character, who’s just trying to get good grades in school and make sure that the kids she’s supposed to take care of are safe. And I love the music – to me, it’s exactly what a horror soundtrack should be.
On the other hand, my favorite horror movie is George A. Romero’s 1968 “Night of the Living Dead.” The film’s grainy black and white texture only seems to heighten the horror of all the blood and gore that the zombies eagerly eat. From the opening sequence of a brother frightening his sister in a graveyard and then becoming a victim himself, to the locked-up house where different untrusting people must band together to survive, “Living Dead” is fast-paced and gore-filled. The racial subtext only underscores how in the end, no matter how many zombies there are, other people are usually the real enemy.
Of course I have many other horror favorites, but those will have to wait until next year. I’d love to hear your favorites too!