For this month’s review, we slip into the idyllic autumnal vibes of Halloween (Dir. John Carpenter, 1978). The iconic thriller seems fitting for October, celebrating the precipice of spooky season with what we all love best: some well-timed fictional stabbings. Director John Carpenter plays well with foregrounds as he compels the audience with anticipation. The true measure of a good thriller is just that, the level of apprehension before the audience witnesses an action. And boy-oh-boy, does Carpenter build the apprehension! Each character is embellished with rich context to make them real, average even, contributing to the realistic fear induced by a character like Michael Myers. We are introduced to our villain as a child, where even then, he seems pure evil and unsalvageable by psychiatric standards. With every character well-rounded and honest while established pacing adds to the suspense, you have the recipe for an excellent thriller.
However, there can be too much suspense, leaving the audience a little bored. Maybe boredom results from desensitization, but some moments of the movie Halloween last forever. Each detail of a scene is meant to create unease and build the expectation of a horrible attack until suddenly it does, hoping to catch you off guard. Instead, as an older iconic thriller, it follows traditional film cues, making the unexpected easy to predict. So, is Halloween an excellent thriller of its time? Absolutely. Does it hold up to today’s standards? I don’t think it does. I enjoyed watching it and would likely rewatch it, but it won’t have a lasting effect on me.
At four years old, R.F. Greer wrote, directed, and starred in her first film titled, “Princess Asleep.” Since then, she has been a storyteller of many colors, honing her skills at North East School of the Arts in San Antonio, TX, and earning the Co-Editor position of their literary magazine “After Midnight” before graduating. In a gap year, Rhiannon wrote two feature films, maintained a website, and recorded poetry. In college, she was published in the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s literary magazine “Phoenix” and her book of poetry, “The Habit of Breaking Routine,” on Amazon Kindle. At the same time, she continues to earn her bachelor’s in Psychology and work full-time.