One of my earliest memories of Halloween is of a party my mother was throwing. I vaguely remember a dimly lit room filled with guests (probably less than I’m imagining now because I was so young), the savory smell of fried kielbasa, and the beginning notes of John Carpenter’s Halloween theme song.
I don’t remember what year this memory is from. But I do know that every year since I was a very little girl, maybe even a literal baby, watching Halloween on October 31st has been a tradition in my family.
I imagine this ritual is a tradition in many families. What better film to watch on the ancient feast day? The original festivals, such as Samhain, did not include traditions such as trick-or-treating or jack-o-lantern carving, and instead marked the end of the harvest season. There was also no Boogeyman. Yet, Hallowe’en has become a holiday associated with delightful fear and so many of us have embraced these new traditions.
Although Carpenter’s Halloween is typically a film watched on October 31st, it’s actually one of my favorites. In general I’m a huge horror fan. So, can you imagine how excited I was when my fiancé surprised me with movie tickets to the original 1978 film?
Watching the original Halloween on the big screen was a completely new experience of the film. I noticed so much that I had never realized before, and I also never understood just how brilliant of a directer Carpenter is. For instance, when little Michael Myers is walking up the stairs to his sister’s room, the camera angle is fantastic and so true to the perspective of a child. Or, the use of darkness to promote fear and anxiety for the characters? Awesome.
I urge anyone who is a movie buff, horror fan, or just likes movies on the big screen to check out the 1978 version in theaters. It completely changed the movie for me. I’m also so happy that I was able to see the movie on the big screen a week before the new one comes out!