About The Production
In 1960, PSYCHO, a low-budget, independently-made film (Hitchcock worked outside the normal studio system, using his own money for development and filming with his cost-conscious television crew), redefined the horror film
In 1960, PSYCHO, a low-budget, independently-made film (Hitchcock
worked outside the normal studio system, using his own money for
development and filming with his cost-conscious television crew),
redefined the horror film. The "mother" of modem horror,
the picture literally redefined how filmgoers went to the movies
(remember that "no one will be seated after the first five
minutes" ad campaign?), and brought a new face to terror,
namely Norman Bates, the innocent boy next door. Spawning scores
of like-minded imitators, the children of PSYCHO still walk among
Eighteen years later another low-budget, independent horror thriller
struck crimson gold in much the same way. John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN
cost $300,000, took twenty-two days to shoot, and went on to be
one of the most popular movies of all time. (At the time, its
small releasing company could only afford to make a handful of
prints, necessitating a regional release debut in Kansas City
Like its predecessor, HALLOWEEN brought a new face to horror:
an implacable mask of impersonal, apparently unstoppable evil
from which no comfortable suburb is immune. (In this case, that
uniquely disturbing visage of violence concealing the face of
one Michael Myers was literally a Star Trek mask of William Shatner,
spray-painted white and stripped of its hair.)
Stating that he wanted to create a picture that would play like
a feature-length version of the shower scene in PSYCHO, Carpenter
consciously referenced that film (and other horror classics) throughout
the piece, from naming Donald Pleasance's "Dr. Sam Loomis"
after John Gavin's character, and of course, using nineteen-year-old
Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of PSYCHO's Janet Leigh, for the
lead character of Laurie Strode, the beleaguered baby-sitter for
whom All Hallow's Eve would never be the same again.
HALLOWEEN quickly became a cornerstone in horror and suspense,
an icon for the much-maligned "slasher" film cycle and
its myriad of often holiday-inspired mayhem against sexually active
teenagers. One of the charms of HALLOWEEN is the terror, suspense,
and non stop tension created.
Proving once again the cyclical nature of the business, in 1996,
the post-modern, been-there done-that got-the-T-shirt horror crowd
was reenergized by SCREAM, a mid-budget effort that, like PSYCHO
and HALLOWEEN before it, became global phenomena, grossing over
$161 million worldwide. From the fertile keyboard of wunderkind
Kevin Williamson, SCREAM also paid tribute to its predecessors,
with inside references and choice casting (that "Loomis"
name surfaces again, and THE EXORCIST's Linda Blair and CARRIE's
Pricilla Pointer make uncredited appearances).
"For me, HALLOWEEN heavily influenced the making of SCREAM,"
says Kevin Williamson. "HALLOWEEN is and always has been
my favorite movie of all time! It wasn't just a movie, it was
an experience. When I was twelve years old, I saw the movie at
least ten times in its original release and was amazed at how
involved the audience was. The audience participation factor was
one of the most incredible parts of the movie. The way the audience
jumped and screamed at the characters on screen got my blood pumping.
It was this effect in HALLOWEEN that made me realize that I wanted
to be a filmmaker."
And now it's 1998, twenty years after the original HALLOWEEN,
and three generations of ho
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