Why do movie fans like to be scared to death?
Halloween is a horror film that makes me thankful that I suffer from amblyopia in my left eye. My visual affliction was not discovered until I was in high school. More to the point, I only have normal vision out of my right eye and if I close it for any reason, I lose all depth perception with the world becoming a blurred, vague image.
While it also ended up destroying my minimal talent as a basketball and baseball player as a young man, it has proven to be a life-long advantage when it comes to watching horror films. Quite frankly, I am able to calmly cover my right eye and watch the film play out in such a vague fashion that I am able to avoid profoundly scary moments.
And that came in quite handy when I watched Halloween. As most of you know, it has been a gigantic hit at the box office. Jamie Lee Curtis reprises her role in the original film directed by John Carpenter in 1978, and she gives a commanding performance as a woman terrorized by her past. And did you know that the Carpenter movie was her first film and that she is the daughter of Janet Leigh who starred in “Psycho” (1960)?
Without giving anything away, it is clear that she has led a psychotic existence that has led her to install every imaginable type of personal protection in her isolated home. In the process, she has alienated her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), becoming a complete social outcast in the process. As for Michael Meyers, the protagonist who haunted her in the original film, he has been incarcerated for over 40 years. Though he speaks to no one, he escapes when a bus transporting prisoners to a new location crashes, and all hell breaks loose on the surrounding community.
Like Frankenstein, Meyers is a one of a kind monster. Tall and wearing a devilish mask, he is so incredibly strong that he survives an intentional head-on crash on a country road with nothing more than temporary unconsciousness. SPOILER ALERT! Did he really die in the end?
Let me warn you that there is one particularly unique element to this movie. Many, and I mean many, innocent people are viciously stabbed to death by Meyers as he journeys towards his battle with Ms. Curtis, known as Laurie Stroude, and it is not easy to watch. Kids, young women, and police officers die from penetrating stab wounds, and this becomes a movie that you will all be left wishing that you suffered from a form of amblyopia so you could avoid the visual consequences.
The most regrettable thing about this movie is that it suggests that the only way humans can maintain some sense of security and hope in our country is to stay walled up in a compound where you have weapons available in every room. Though Halloween succeeded in joining the list of fiery horror films that leave you a bit traumatized in the audience, its underlying tone left me a bit appalled.