Halloween is coming, Oh, the horrors!
Ghosts and goblins cavorting outdoors
Scary creatures uttering eerie sounds
Skeletons, spiders, and witches abound
Never have we witnessed such frightful sights
Tricksters and treaters afoot tonight!
The pandemic is over, I heard it said
How wonderful we may dress up without dread
Looking forward to little monsters, bags in hand
In twos and threes en masse they descend
Candy is flowing, there are laughs and fright
Inflation can’t stop this sugary delight—Adron Krekeler
Well, maybe not so much the goblins and such. Of late, our costumed extortionists have been clad in superhero and princess regalia rather than creatures that own the night. How can you look at a princess and take the TRICK part serious? Not very “princessly” if you ask me, and a superhero would never egg or TP your house. They are for truth, justice, and the American way. At least they used to be.
What ever happened to the spirit (really?) of Halloween? The days when I and my pals roamed the streets, running and screaming from house to house. We did not have flashlights and chaperones! We were wild beasties howling at the moon. Well, that is how I remember it anyway.
History break: All Hallows Eve is actually an ancient harvesting festival, ritual, or celebration, depending on the culture. Christians shortened it to “Halloween” in 1749, according to Wikipedia. Carving out squashes and gourds and sticking candles in them just came naturally.
I do not want to be a Halloween scrooge but something is missing. Maybe the current crop of horror flicks has let us down. Maybe with all the cinematic magic in the world today we cannot get excited about costumed children knocking on our door in the twilight while parents watch from the street.
I admit there have been a few scary movies in the past 30 years but a lot of them rely on CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) to get a real horror affect. Back in my day—
“Hey, kid, get off my lawn!”
The moviemakers did not have the advantage of making monsters with software. They could not create impossible beings with otherworldly attributes. They had to create monsters with makeup on actual humans (The Creature from the Black Lagoon) or with stop-motion (Ray Harryhausen and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad) or just with expression and intonation. I’m thinking of Vincent Price (The House on Haunted Hill), Peter Cushing (The Curse of Frankenstein or Frankensteen, if you prefer), Lon Chaney Jr. (The Wolf Man), and Bela Lugosi (Dracula—“I vant to drink your blood”). There were many more but if you watch these films you will see what I mean.
And this year we are treated to Halloween Ends. Do we believe that? Jamie Lee Curtis was a 20-year-old newcomer to the silver screen in 1978 for the first Halloween. She appeared in Halloween II in 1981 but missed the next four. Donald Pleasence, a pleasant man, was in a total of five films. He died in 1995, the same year Halloween 6 came out. His swan song, no doubt.
Jamie returned in Halloween H20, 1998, twenty years after the first and seventh in the series. Now a high school principal, she must fight to save her son. She came back for number 8 in 2002 and I suppose she needed a rest.
Now Jamie returns at the ripe old age of 64. Maybe she can finally kill the unkillable Michael Myers. Twelve movies and the dude just keeps coming back. Talk about holding a grudge!
Full disclosure, I have not seen any of the Halloween franchise. I did binge the Scream series, but they were funny horror. Maybe I’ll cue up the TIVO to record all of these films when they come along and scare myself for a few nights. I feel I must have context before I see Halloween Ends, as if it will.
If the market and the economy are scaring you into inaction, or worse, call me and we can talk about wise decisions, like maybe retirement and how to move forward in these scary times . . .
In 1983, a video combining the King of Pop and a voice-over from the scariest man I ever saw in a movie, came to MTV. (Yes, MTV was once about music.) Indulge me this memory. The song and video come from the world’s best-selling album, Thriller.