Carpenter’s movie – the original slasher – came out in ’78 so I was too young for it. I watched it once in my twenties, once again more recently and then, to really get into the spirit of the season, I listened to a Rewatchables episode on it yesterday.
And I confess I hadn’t quite grasped the movie’s significance until Simmons and Ryan dissected its history and context during their discussion. It’s like that with certain experiences right – what seems the unremarkable fabric of your cultural tapestry turns out to have been a big frickin’ deal back in the day.
Like for example it was the first ever movie to put together what seems head-slappingly obvious now; Hallowe’en and a killer disguised in seasonal fancy dress. And there’s more: it was the first example of the stalker vs babysitter trope, the second(?) example of the final-girl trope, the first time a movie had ever been called Hallowe’en (that hadn’t occurred to someone before ’78?) and an early example of a killer being overtly masked in a sinister way.
It seems quite bizarre that in the winter of 1977, none of the above existed. None. I mean – what the hell were we thinking?