Bloody-Disgusting has posted a video that has been making the rounds online recently. The video plays a clip from the ending to the original 1978 version of John Carpenter‘s Halloween complete with authentic audience reaction that was recorded at the time of the film’s theatrical release. You can watch the video below this article.
The video is not a perfect match of image and sound because the timing of some of the audience sounds is obviously off, but it still remains a fascinating look at what it must have been like to be there when Carpenter’s groundbreaking horror classic first took the movie-going world by storm.
It also serves as a reminder of how much the experience of seeing a film has changed irrecoverably over the years. With the advent of home video and DVD, the digital age, file-sharing, the rise of movie websites that spoil important plot points of a movie months before its release, and the increase of abrasiveness in film marketing campaigns, horror films that can be viewed as true events like Halloween are more often than not relegated to the shelves of Best Buy, Netflix Instant Watch, and On Demand rather than getting theatrical play.
Halloween is perceived as a classic by many, including myself. It is a perfect horror film that achieved emotionally and technically on a budget of $300,000 what Steven Spielberg’s Jaws did for $12 million (in 1970’s dollars that’s Dark Knight money). It remains one of John Carpenter’s finest features and the movie that made Jamie Lee Curtis a star. It wouldn’t be until the early 1980s that Curtis would be able to break out of horror films and take on challenging comedic and dramatic roles.
Plus the film looks fantastic even after more than three decades. I haven’t seen many movies that employed such fluidity of camera movements and use of the widescreen picture as brilliantly as Halloween. This is a movie that is great to watch no matter what time of year it is. Every time I watch Halloween the movie never fails to envelop me in its carefully-crafted spell.