I know it’s a bit surprising, but I’ve managed to live 35 years on this planet and have never seen Halloween. I actually didn’t even know the plot of the story. I’ve seen heaps of memes, but always confuse Michael Myers with Jason Voorhees. For Markus, this is one of the films that he talks about fondly because he is a huge John Carpenter fan. We’ve even seen Carpenter perform the Halloween theme live, which was pretty awesome.
Halloween is a classic slasher flick from 1978. The film is about Myers, a serial killer who escapes a sanitarium on the eve of Halloween night. He returns to his hometown and begins to stalk a teenage girl and her friends. The girl is played by a very young Jamie Lee Curtis. Since I went into the film not knowing a single thing about it, it was very fun and entertaining. I tend to not like movies from the 70s because I feel they they have a tendency to drag sometimes are a little too “experimental.” However I think Halloween was just right - a tight, well contained story. It doesn’t linger much and builds the right amount of suspense and tension. As I was watching it, I felt a bit of a Hitchcock vibe and remembered that Jamie Lee Curtis was Janet Leigh’s daughter. Leigh is famous for starring in Hitchcock’s infamous Psycho shower scene. I really enjoyed Halloween and it was the perfect film to begin Creepy Cinema: Season of Nostalgia.
Scream is such an iconic horror flick from my teenage years and came out when I was in eighth grade. I actually remember watching this movie multiple times because I liked it so much. I think because it was a teen slasher flick with bit of comedy, I didn’t feel as scared by it. Scream is an homage to the classic slasher flicks from the 70s and 80s. The film follows Sydney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, and her classmates who are being tormented by a serial killer known as Ghostface. It’s been almost 15 years since I last watched it, so I was excited to watch again and see if it still holds up to the hype.
After watching it again, I have to say that Scream is still really fun, but there are few things that don’t necessarily hold up. The acting isn’t that great and all these teenagers look like they’re In their 30s. As a teenage girl, I remember thinking Skeet Ulrich was so hot. He dominated 1996 with this film and The Craft. This time around, I found him creepy as hell and very suspect throughout the whole movie. There was also a lot of foreshadowing with his character that I totally missed in past viewings. Despite these few setbacks, the story was well planned executed cleverly. They really made you think the killer was someone else, but in the end it’s who you always thought it was. I also loved that this movie was meta in its writing, and knew who its audience was. There were so many Easter eggs that I caught this time around. I thoroughly enjoyed rewatching Scream, and letting those waves of nostalgia wash over me.
Arachnophobia is another 90s film that I managed to miss. Like most people, spiders aren’t my favorite, so why would I watch a movie where they kill people? The main premise of the movie is a bit out there, but sort of believeable? After the discovery of a new species of spider, said spider is transported to small town America and wreaks havoc on a small town.
For some reason, I always thought this was a super serious movie with super scary people sized spiders. Boy was I wrong. Now it wasn’t my favorite movie, but it was enjoyable. The first 15 minutes of the movie is epic. There’s some great cinematography, which isn’t surprising because it was produced by Steven Spielberg. I was definitely getting some Jurassic Park vibes with the shots of the South American jungle. One thing that I found a bit too “convenient” was the intelligence of the spider/spiders. How do they know how to strategically kill people, hide in certain places and sneak around like little 8-legged ninjas? A little too on the nose for me. Jeff Daniels as the lead was a great choice. I liked seeing him in something where he was just a dad trying to protect his family. John Goodman as the exterminator is the real highlight of the film, and I thought he was one of the best parts of the movie. His theme song was great, and added a nice level of comedy to the film. Overall, I’m happy with Arachnophobia and think it’s a fun watch for the spooky season.