20 Things to Look for While Watching John Carpenter’s “Halloween”

  • Mental Floss has compiled a list of 20 things you should look for the next time you sit down to watch the original, 1978 version of John Carpenter’s Halloween. Here are 10 of them (see full list at the link):
    1. The theme song is its own character. It plays six different times throughout the film, along with variations on it, when Myers is on is way to attack. 
    2. Jamie Lee Curtis was an unknown actress when Halloween was released. The film was Curtis’ feature film debut. 
    3. The towns in Halloween don’t exist. Haddonfield and Smith’s Grove, Illinois, are both fictional. However, Smiths Grove, Kentucky, is close to where John Carpenter grew up. Haddonfield is a reference to co-writer and producer Debra Hill’s hometown of Haddonfield, New Jersey. 
    4. Michael Myers had an early obsession with masks. We watch a 6-year-old Myers put on a clown mask that’s been discarded on the floor in one Halloweenscene. 
    5. Laurie was a conservative character for 1978. According to common horror movie logic, the more of a prude you are, the more likely you are to make it through the night.
    6. A matchbook holds clues to Myers’ past. Viewers can see Dr. Loomis looking at a matchbook that reads, “The Rabbit in Red Lounge.” Loomis later finds the same matchbook after Myers steals the car, which helps lead him to the killer. 
    7. There are two brief glimpses of Myers underneath the mask. Viewers barely see Myers in profile as he jumps on top of a car outside the hospital, as well as when Laurie pulls off his mask near the end. 
    8. The kid Laurie babysits looks weirdly like young Myers. The actor playing Tommy, the boy Laurie is babysitting, bears a striking resemblance to Will Sandin--who played the 6-year-old version of Myers. 
    9. Myers’ ghoulish mash is a William Shatner mask. Art director Tommy Lee Wallace bought a cheap mask at a costume store, which happened to be of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk from Star Trek. 
    10. John Carpenter previewed one of his next movies in Halloween. The teens and the kids they’re babysitting are seen watching The Thing from Another World (1951) and Forbidden Planet (1956). Carpenter went on to make The Thing (1982), an adaptation of Who Goes There--the same novella on which The Thing from Another World is based.
Jason Hurst

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