This successful slasher film that pioneered a long stream of slasher films inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, and produced an extensive and equally successful franchise in its wake, definitely deserves all the credit that it gets.
Without being too complicated or hard to chew, Halloween manages to serve viewers a perfectly horrific and delicious cocktail of blood and nerves. The movie follows the story of an escaped murderer, Michael Myers, as he wreaks havoc on the town of Haddonfield during Halloween night all while being chased by his psychiatrist and the town sheriff. The film documents his encounters with Laurie Strode, the babysitter that he stalked and tried to kill, as well as his murdered friends and his eventual (and eerily mysterious!) disappearance.
What is most entertaining and attractive about Halloween is its simplicity. The message of the movie is not all that complex and is definitely not all that hard to understand (despite what some writers and critics have written about its mirroring of society, which John Carpenter, the iconic film’s director, has explicitly denied.)
The moral of the story is that what’s bad is bad and evil is not something you should be messing around with. There is something eerie about this and how unpredictable and uncontrollable something can be. This definitely adds to the appeal of Halloween to viewers’ senses. It is an intriguing and even addictive idea – that something can be so vile that all you can really do is to kill it before it can kill you. Halloween does an excellent job at playing on this intrigue and stretching it out into a feature that lasts for hours.
Chosen by the United States National Film Registry to go into the Library of Congress for being for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance, Halloween can definitely be counted as an iconic slasher classic.