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The Franchise that Changed Horror Movies: Looking Back on Halloween

Jason Upton, Sports Editor

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On Oct 19, Halloween will once again hit the theaters, making it the 11th movie in the highly successful horror movie franchise. Since the franchise first started in 1978, it’s undeniably creepy theme and the iconic Michael Myers mask have thrilled movie-lovers for decades. Though the first remains a staple in the pinnacle of horror movie history, the rest have not carried on its success. None of the other movies have received over a 6.6 from IMDb, until this year’s movie. Hopefully, it will revive the series and give another generation a classic Halloween movie to grow up to.
The first Halloween movie came at the Golden Age of horror movies. The early 70’s through the mid 80’s claimed a majority of the most famous of the group. The Exorcist started this wave by being nominated for Best Picture at the 1974 Oscars, a first for any horror movie. It’s terrifying portrayal of a young girl possessed by the devil sent audiences into a frenzy; crying, fainting, or even running straight out of the theater. This was followed by classics such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jaws, Carrie, and Alien, with Halloween falling in as well. The early 80’s featured Friday the 13th, the Shining, the Thing, and Nightmare on Elm Street; movies that would go on to shape the genre for years to come.
Some would argue that the 30’s were the Golden Age of horror films, as it was filled with all the original classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the Invisible Man to name a few. However, these movies don’t hold up nearly as well in today’s age. Everyone in the 21 century is used to more gore, more jump-scares, and most importantly, color TV. While these 30’s movies set the standard for the horror genre in general, the standard for what’s scary now is just so much higher.
With such a high quality of movies being pumped out in its era, Halloween could not have come at a better time. The appreciation for horror movies was at an all-time high, and along with that came a newfound respect for them. Halloween was one of the first horror movies to give the audience a killer’s point of view, opening with a camera angle shown through the eyes of Michael Myers. Many movies after would try to replicate the teenage-slasher flick, but none would come close to the success Halloween enjoyed.
Halloween also broke barriers by introducing one of the first strong female main characters in a horror movie. Jamie Lee Curtis’s portrayal Laurie Strode has carried on throughout all the movies in the franchise, and was followed by female leads in Alien, Nightmare on Elm Street, Silence of the Lambs, and Scream.
Finally, Halloween introduced possibly the most iconic villain of all time. The character of Michael Myers has an intricate back story that goes on to drive the sequels, a classic horror mask, and is followed by a chilling theme song that raises the hair of anyone that happens to hear it. Myers developed a real ego, his character goes beyond his terrifying presence. This depth that is built along the series re-defined what a horror villain should be.
This new installment of the franchise is looking to be a smash, still featuring the original leads of Nick Castle and Jamie Lee Curtis. With great critical reviews and a whole lot of hype surrounding its release, it could give Halloween a newfound relevance with this new generation.

About the Writer
Jason Upton, Sports Editor

Jason is a senior at Hellgate and is editor of the sports section. This is his third year writing for the Lance. He enjoys running cross country and playing...

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The Franchise that Changed Horror Movies: Looking Back on Halloween