It was a crisp October in 1978 and all across the country, merrymakers of all ages were preparing their Tony Manero, Princess Leia, and Han Solo costumes for the big night. Then came October 25, and suddenly, everyone was trading their disco suits and Jedi robes for coveralls and an expressionless white mask. Michael Myers had slashed his way onto the silver screen with the premiere of the now-iconic Halloween.
It’s been 45 years since that fateful day but John Carpenter’s 1978 classic remains an unparalleled masterpiece in the horror genre.
Set in the quiet town of Haddonfield, Illinois, Halloween isn’t a wall-to-wall gore-fest, nor is it filled to the brim with jump scares. Instead, Carpenter carefully constructs an atmosphere of dread and tension, making every shadow and rustle of leaves feel ominous. Though there’s plenty of slashing from Michael and his kitchen knife, the film leans heavily on the primal fear of the unknown, turning ordinary suburban homes and unassuming streets into terrifying landscapes.
At the heart of the film is Jamie Lee Curtis’ iconic portrayal of Laurie Strode, a role that defined the “final girl” archetype. And, of course, there can be no final girl without a relentless killer to chase her…and brutally murder all of her friends. The enigmatic Michael Myers, played by Nick Castle, is the epitome of evil, his face covered by a mask wholly void of emotion that no doubt matches the expression beneath as he methodically hunts down Laurie and her schoolmates.
Halloween is nothing short of a landmark of horror, a film that not only defined the slasher genre but also continues to captivate audiences 45 years later with its timeless terror, making it essential viewing for any connoisseur of the macabre.
Michael’s Methodical Movements in ‘Halloween’ Came Naturally for Nick Castle
Everyone knows that part of donning the Michael Myers costume for Halloween is adopting a slow, methodical walk as you collect your candy. For horror legend Nick Castle, the intimidating stride came easily – at the risk of destroying some of the mystique surrounding Michael Myers, it was just how Castle walked.
“The fact of the matter is, my appearance in the first one was so off the cuff. It was to fill a void,” Castle said in a 2018 interview with Movie Web. “John [Carpenter] needed someone to walk around with a mask on. John has mentioned how much he liked my walk. Just the fact that, it was whatever I normally do. The direction on the first one was nil. It was really just, ‘Go across the street and walk towards me.’”
“It was night, the sun was coming up, so he tells me to just walk. If there is a lesson to any of this, it’s that sometimes things happen for no reason, and you have the right elements at the right time. I think my size at the time, I was only 150 pounds, about six feet tall, thin, angular, and whatever what I did, I ended up walking slow and being methodical. But without being robotic. All those choices, I guess, were important to having a certain amount of mystery.”
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