Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Classic Halloween Thrillers

By Jennifer Turner

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This 1978 John Carpenter classic is the granddaddy to the modern horror film. Michael Myers remains one of the scariest and most recognizable movie killers. This film features a young Jamie Lee Curtis as the virginal babysitter Laurie Strode. On Halloween night, Michael Myers escapes from the mental ward and comes after his little sister Laurie while brutally attacking and murdering those in his way. Hot on his trail is Dr. Loomis, who has studied Michael since he was a child. This movie is the first to use the horror movie “rules” that have become commonplace in almost all slasher films today. “Halloween” also contains some of the scariest movie music in history. Many sequels were made, but the only ones that follow the original story line and therefore are worth watching are “Halloween II” and possibly “Halloween: H20”. Interesting trivia fact: Michael Myers’ mask is actually a William Shatner/Captain Kirk mask painted white.



This brilliantly executed Wes Craven film of 1996 re-introduced the slasher film to popular culture. A mysterious killer in a mask stalks young Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell. Lots of blood and guts involved, but plenty of story to back it up. Two sequels followed “Scream”, both of which hold their own against the original. This movie does a great job mixing comedy and horror, and the comic relief is most evident in the character of Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy. “Scream” gave us the list of cliché rules of the scary movie genre. These rules include such things as: You will not survive is you have sex, do drugs, or drink. Only the virgins make it out alive. Don’t ever say you will be right back, you won’t. Do not go investigate a strange noise. Don’t ask, “who’s there?”. And most importantly, anyone could be the killer. Everyone is a suspect. Interesting trivia fact: The character of Billy Loomis is named after “Halloween” character Dr. Sam Loomis and “Psycho” character Sam Loomis.



Alfred Hitchcock is the master of suspense, and that fact is more than evident in this 1960 thriller, which remains his most famous film. Janet Leigh (mother of Jamie Lee Curtis) steals money from her boss and flees the city. Tired from her drive, she stops at the isolated and empty Bates Motel, run by eccentric Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins in his most chilling role. The famous shower scene is iconic, but more details cannot be given away without ruining the ending. Just know this, beware of Mother. Interesting trivia fact: The “blood” used in the shower scene is actually chocolate syrup. It gave it a more realistic look in black and white.




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