Not gonna go in depth on this one, you all know what Halloween is. I've spent 200 weeks writing these columns now, and as we roll toward the end of the horror family's favorite holiday I just want to say how much I love being able to share my love for horror with you all. When I started this list almost four years ago I was trying to convince myself that I could keep this thing going on a weekly basis, and - despite some real world hurdles and plenty of good old-fashioned lack of motivation, we made it to another Halloween together.
If you need to know why you should watch Halloween - just like I once did as a teenager who thought horror movies were just fun and stupid and not on par with really great movies in other genres - I'll tell you that I believe nothing about any movie more than I believe that Halloween is a movie about man (or woman, in the case of Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode) vs. nature, not man (or woman) vs. man. People get it wrong and see this as just another slasher movie, or even worse they get it wrong and think of Michael Myers as an inhuman monster going on motor function and killing for the sake of killing.
I know that stuff about fate and evil that is peppered into John Carpenter's script feels like fluff, but if you buy into it it really pushes Halloween to a new level of fear. That might sound similar to asking an atheist to believe in the Bible, and I've wasted more time than I'd like to admit over the years trying to convince people of this when they don't want to see Halloween the way I do.
People come to horror for many reasons. My reason for loving horror, for being moved by horror, and for continuing to seek out horror all the time is because I'm looking for movies that dare me to feel that there is evil in this world that I might have to feel with. And I believe Halloween does this as well as any other movie. I'd compare it's conflict between humanity and the nature of evil to that presented in The Exorcist, which sits next to it as my second favorite horror film. That film approaches evil more directly than John Carpenter does, but both films create the same underlying fear in me.
In short, Halloween is the movie that made horror a cinematic power in my mind. I'd always loved horror, and there are probably a dozen other movies that I love now that I could have seen when I was young and that could have inspired me to feel the way I do about horror movies. Thanks to fate, Halloween was that movie that hit me and made me believe horror cinema could be great cinema. And I'm still indebted to it. Without it there might never have been one Midnight Movie of the Week, let alone two-hundred. It inspired me, and I hope that anyone out there who might be trying to love horror can find a movie that makes them feel as excited about their pursuit as Halloween makes me feel.