40 Years On: How Halloween Became a Horror Classic

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the day Halloween began to terrorize audiences. It is also 40 years since silent killer Michael Myers was consigned to a mental asylum, but who has himself returned to Haddonfield in 2018 with his butcher’s knife in tow for a new film release of the same name.

To mark the date, Fandor, the subscription viewing service and social video sharing platform, has posted a YouTube essay on why this cultural phenomenon has managed to remain terrifying after 40 years.

John Carpenter released Halloween in 1978, introducing the world to the horrifying serial killer, Michael Myers. Carpenter’s film was a game-changer and kicked off a golden age of slasher horror, paving the way for classics like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Obviously, Halloween is the go-to film for the titular holiday every year, but its legacy spans far beyond that. From the costumes, to the memes, to the film references, Halloween isn’t simply an old horror movie from the 1970s — it’s a cultural phenomenon. It has endured a seemingly endless spew of critically panned sequels and reboots (save for David Gordon Green’s 2018 sequel) and has managed to remain terrifying after 40 years. But why? This video essay chronicles the lasting legacy of Halloween, a film that has simply refused to die.

The Fandor 6-minute mini-doc includes some pretty interesting anecdotes, including an intriguing breakdown of Carpenter’s own-penned tense music score. The video essay can be viewed here:

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Martin Dew

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