Wednesday, 29 October 2008

HALLOWEEN at Halloween - Reliving the Michael Myers Legacy

A great way to spend a budget-friendly Halloween this year would be to have a marathon of those perennial horror favourites, the Halloween series. What could be better for Halloween than watching Michael Myers hunt down victim after victim? Well, actually, this could be pretty damn rotten if you try to sit through all of the terrible sequels. Including the remake there are now nine films that carry the Halloween title, but just picking any of them would be a bad idea. You need to pick the best ones in order to have a decent movie experience and Halloween fun, but which to choose?

First up, DO NOT WATCH HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH. This was a sidestep from the Michael Myers chronicles and doesn't feature the infamous masked killer at all, or indeed have any links to the first two films aside from the title itself. Plus, it is generally a terrible film with little in the way of redeeming qualities. So, whichever you pick, make sure that turkey isn't among them. Actually, avoid Halloween: Resurrection too. Gah. That was awful.

The Halloween movies got off to a fantastic start with two films that are rightfully honoured as true classics of the horror genre. Naturally, the iconic first film introduced the world to Michael Myers, Dr Loomis and Laurie Strode, and brought the genre a new antihero, Myers, who was also nicknamed 'The Shape' due to his chilling masked visage. Utilizing sterling camera work, excellent direction and ingenious use oif lighting and music, the initial Halloween movie became the benchmark of horror for a generation, and spawned many lesser imitators.

That film has certainly stood the test of time and still works to this day. Its first sequel, cunningly entitled Halloween II, was superb in that it carried on exactly where the first film left off, and plays as an extension of that landmark production instead of just a sequel. The original cast returned and continued with the carnage. While the first film was directed by horror legend John Carpenter, Halloween II was directed by Rick Rosenthal, a relative unknown, who did a great job capturing the atmosphere and tension that Carpenter had achieved.

These two would be wholeheartedly recommended, but there needs to be a third to round off your evening. I'd say Halloween H20, the seventh in the series, which saw Jamie Lee Curtis return to the role of Laurie Strode after 20 years away from the franchise. This entry, directed by Steve Miner, is actually a very good, very strong piece of horror cinema. It is taut and constructed very well, and alongside the first two films it creates an excellent trilogy. It even has a satisfying end, which provides some closure to the series. Sadly this was destroyed with the terrible eighth film, but if you try to ignore that and put these three films together, you're in for a great Halloween night that won't break the bank. The Halloween movie franchise has spawned comic books, merchandise, Michael Myers action figures, statues and of course, a whole genre in itself. With these three fine examples of the series, you will be up all night. Not just watching movies, but checking that all your doors are locked. Was that a man in a mask outside your window?


Andrew Hawnt is an expert on popular culture, movies, TV, comics, horror movie collectibles and more. He writes for the famous Starstore blogs and the popular movie collectibles site as well as being a renowned music journalist and science fiction author. With boundless enthusiasm for pop culture, movie memorabilia, geek culture and the comic book industry, he is always ready to bring the latest news and views on the entertainment industry to you. For the latest news, free newsletters, podcasts and more, check out ===>

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