Halloween

Halloween is a horror film that takes the point of view of the monster. Some of the movies we have watched in class have the monster as something completely other, as something that is completely mysterious. Examples of this are the zombies in Cabin In The Woods, the possessed people in the Recs, and Dead Girl. In these movies, the monsters being embodiments of this otherness invokes in the viewers a sense of guilty pleasure as the nature of the monster is slowly and frighteningly revealed. Despite the the viewer’s fascination with these otherworldly monsters, the viewer is also horrified with it. These monsters torment, hurt, and kill the people in the movie. It is not natural for the viewer to sympathize or root for these monsters. Instead, the viewer sides with the victims despite their fascination being placed on the monster.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have also watched movies in class that take the point of view of the monster. Examples of this are Triangle and May. In these movies, the monster is also filled with mystery and intrigue. The nature of these monsters are slowly revealed as the plot unfolds, holding the viewers in an iron grip until the movie ends and the monster is fully revealed. However, with the monster also being the main “protagonist” in the movie, the viewers are also naturally drawn towards them. I don’t mean to say that the viewers actively root for the monsters as they are still committing frightening atrocities, but that the viewers can somewhat sympathize with the monsters. Additionally, as the monsters in these movies are both women and essentially victims of their own plight, we can’t help but be upset with them for hurting others. They are perceived as helpless, victimized, and unusual.

Halloween also takes the point of view of the monster. It is similar especially to May in that a reason behind the madness of Michael Myers is shown at the start of the film. He is portrayed as a child perpetually close to a breaking point, eventually boiling over on the night of Halloween in which he murders everyone in his house except his baby sister. He still retains some of his innocence however as he seems to be completely oblivious to the evil of his actions during therapy. He can be thought of as a mixture of both external and internal factors combining to create a merciless, uncontrollable killer.

Fast-forward to his escape from asylum and Michael Myers is an unstoppable behemoth of death. He becomes a monster with little to no hint of humanity. This is where Halloween differs from any other movie we have seen so far in class. Despite the movie being from the point of view of the monster, the viewers do not naturally sympathize or root for the monster. It does not really even seem that he is a victim of a situation or of his own madness. The mask he wears separates the viewers from what little humanity he may possess and portrays him as a bloodthirsty killing machine. The result is a relationship of distance and disgust with the audience, who are left wondering when someone will finally destroy this monster who no longer evokes any sympathy.

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