By Natalia Apostolou | @cinema.monamour
Ghosts and witches fly in the sky, goblins hide behind pumpkins trick or treating. It’s everybody’s favourite night. Oh, you got that one right! It’s Halloween, waiting around the corner. This is the night that everything can happen. We know how much all of you have been waiting for the festivities to begin, so relax, and prepare yourself for the spookiest night of the year. Here is a list with some classic Halloween movies that will help you get into the spirit.
There is nothing more classic for a Halloween night than John Carpenter’s iconic movie. In 1978, John Carpenter spread the terror and shocked the audience with his relentlessly terrifying masterpiece about a ruthless serial killer on the loose. His name is Michael Myers, he wears a hauntingly cold, white mask. His physicality and clothes tell you nothing about him.
He is not like other serial killers we have seen in the movies. He doesn’t creep or race. He walks, steadily, with a calmness, one could say with almost a certainty that he will get the job done. He never speaks and offers no hint of motivation for his killing spree. It is almost as if he is no human being.
Part of the reason “Halloween” has aged so well is, that it wastes little time on character development, plot or theme. We do not care why Myers has become a monster, we are only interested in witnessing his monstrous behaviour.
John Carpenter wisely chose to end the movie with a montage of empty spaces, giving us a feeling of an abandoned city, dark streets and bare rooms. The chilling signature music is playing on the background, as we are listening to the breathing of Michael Myers getting louder. Steady, heavy breathing, implying that this is not over. He will be back for more.
And we all know nothing pleases him more than a chilling, Halloween night.
Death Becomes Her
Death Becomes Her is a dark, clever, over the top comedy that through the years has become a cult classic. The director, Robert Zemeckis, cleverly teams up with Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. Their chemistry is undeniably brilliant.
Here is a movie that makes, in the most entertaining way, social commentary about our obsession with youth and beauty. It is a satire that reflects perfectly our time, maybe even more than the time the film was shot, back in 1992. The performances from Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn are hysterically funny, while at the same time the two actresses look the most beautiful they have ever been. Well, at least before they start looking like walking zombies. The movie involves magic potions, heads twisting backwards, killings, funerals and a mansion that almost looks like it’s haunted. And all of that, in the most twisted, darkest humour you can ever get. Well, it doesn’t get any better than that.
If you had to think of only one director that fits perfectly the spooky feeling of Halloween, it would be, without a doubt, Tim Burton. His style is characterized by dark, gloomy visuals, German expressionist influences and gothic-inspired storytelling.
In Sleepy Hollow, Tim Burton gives attention to detail in order to give us a feeling of a dour place. There is never a sunny day here. The faces of the villagers are “permanently frozen into disapproval.” There is a Headless Horseman who comes, mostly at night, and not only cuts off his victim’s heads but also takes their skulls with him. He is a ghostly headless figure that is spreading terror over the village. Tim Burton’s take on this classic ghost story is, from the first shot, eerie, atmospheric and darkly humorous.
There is a man coming to the village, a man that everyone is hoping can solve the Horseman’s mystery. This man is played by Johnny Depp, a close friend of Tim Burton’s. Together they have created magic, with characters like Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands and Willy Wonka. Johnny Depp is an actor able to disappear into characters, giving them always a distinctive characteristic, that makes them bizarre and lovable at the same time.
Sleepy Hollow is the example of an atmosphere so perfect, that it almost seems natural for a Headless Horseman to be there, roaming around the village, looking for heads to steal.