Celebrating Horror Movies: Re-Releases

There are several movies celebrating anniversaries this year. Many theaters around the country, including one near you might be offering a heap of some classics, such as Poltergeist and Halloween.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Poltergeist.

Poltergeist is a movie that holds up well on the creep factor. The thing that distinguishes Poltergeist from many horror films is otherworldly, transient elemental danger expressed through every day objects, such as furniture, a television, a swimming pool, trees, etc. Poltergeist weaves in folklore and the paranormal to provide an eerie haunting of a family who have moved into a newly built subdivision.

This movie helped to perpetuate the universal belief that the dead will wander and seek revenge if they aren’t treated with respect. In some societies that respect is simply that the bodies aren’t to be disturbed, while other cultures feel a need to placate the dead through ritual and ceremonial celebrations. However, the result of disrespect is always the same – the dead come back into the world of the living and try to break bad on them.

One of the interesting aspects of this movie was the use of real skeletons on set. Apparently it was cheaper to buy real skeletons than fake ones. There are some that believe this resulted in a curse on those who worked on the film and subsequent sequels. See: http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/poltergeist.asp

Halloween is a low-budget, independent-horror film directed, produced, and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. Halloween is set in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween 1963, six year old Michael Myers murders his older sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife. Fifteen years later, he escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks teenager Laurie Strode and her friends. Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis suspects Michael’s intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent him from killing more innocent people.

Halloween, like other slasher films, have been the subject of Academic criticism. Feminists believe that slasher films as debasing women in as decisive a manner as hard-core pornography. Other feminists believe that despite “the fact that Loomis saves Strode, Clover asserts that Halloween initiates the role of the ‘final girl’ who ultimately triumphs in the end. Strode herself fought back against Myers and severely wounds him.” More theme and analysis can be viewed on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_%281978_film%29#Themes_and_analysis

Check with your local theater to see if either are playing in your area.



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