It was the fall of 1978. I was making the 60 mile drive from Lancaster to Westwood with my then-girlfriend. In those days, an hour drive to the “big city” for dinner and a movie was a big deal of a date for a 17-year old. Unfortunately, as we looked up what was playing in the movie section of the L.A. Times (no Fandango back then), we were disappointed to see nothing of interest. Then I stumbled upon a small picture of a pumpkin with a huge knife stuck in it. It was an ad for a movie called “Halloween.” Being a big fan of the horror genre, I was taken. We grabbed our popcorn and Dr. Peppers, and for the next hour and forty-one minutes, were horrified. What a sleeper that flick turned out to be! It would spawn so many terrific slasher movies for years to come.
Well, 40 years later, I plopped down in my seat for the 2018 version of the flick with one of my dearest friends and our wives, which I know had to painful for them considering “A Star is Born” was showing next door. This newest rendition of John Carpenter’s spooky franchise did not disappoint. There is less slashing and almost no sex. (Remember in previous versions, every young couple who tried to sneak off for a romp usually got butchered, a common formula for that type of movie at that time. Gee, I wonder what the message was?? I know I looked over my shoulder for years!)
Anyway, the movie is as frightening as ever, with a terrific performance by Jamie Lee Curtis, plenty of those bone-chilling scenes that appear out of the background, and Carpenter’s classic theme music. You’ll be hearing it a lot as the spooky holiday approaches.
Halloween. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!