Whether or not Halloween gave birth to the slasher film is debatable, but it’s undoubtedly the most influential of them all. John Carpenter’s masterpiece paved the way for the kill count pictures that ruled the ‘80s to rise to prominence, and with it, he created a bona fide horror icon in the form of the Shape, Michael Myers. He’s the ultimate boogeyman.
Halloween established the tropes subsequent slasher movies adopted, but few managed to capture its capacity for creating intensity, dread, and pure terror. Through filmmaking techniques employed to create a feeling of claustrophobia and the idea that evil could jump out of the shadows at any given moment, the film is an unsettling study of the nature of evil.
Youtube user The Jaded Image’s essay looks at the elements which make Halloween such a timelessly effective horror tale and why it is considered by many as the fundamental slasher.