I personally am not a fan of the slasher type gore movies. Surprisingly, I found myself appreciating Halloween perhaps because I saw that there was more than the mere visual spectacle of the way the violent murders were done but moreover, there was a certain level of psychological intelligence that I felt it was able to convey.
Here was a boy who looked rather innocent, like any other pre-pubescent boy with weird quirks and habits. Underneath it all however was this massive instinct for killing. The character of Michael seems so complex that sometimes, I can’t help but see how this monster or type of creature could even be pitied rather than feared because he was misunderstood and nobody was verse in his psyche at all. There were points when I just wanted to get into Michael’s skull and understand what it was that made him such a violent killer. Perhaps it would have been safe to say that the type of environment that he grew up in, affirmed this sort of killer identity as a child. His intentions are totally unknown including to the viewer except for Michael himself. But the whole focus on the attempt to understand Michael and his psyche already adds to the very smart nature of the film. While other slasher flicks might be focused on the protagonist and the protagonist’s struggle to survive and escape the wrath of the monster chasing him or her, Halloween is able to take into account the background of the killer, which makes it quite unique. At some point, the gruesomeness of the murders that Michael commits becomes not so horrible when you think about how he isn’t really mentally stable as a result of the abuse and toil that he took with his childhood experiences. And this makes the antagonist someone that I actually pitied, or even identified with. Perhaps the identification with the monster himself is something that works. It is in the sort of appeal to pity through self recognition in Michael himself that I see that we are all misunderstood in one way or another, and sometimes we can all hide behind our masks in order for us to hide our true weak identities, the types of identities that we don’t want. Moreover, the weakness that we possess, as Michael did have as a child, is all erased when our masks are put on our faces. The level of comfort and protection we get from hiding behind the mask gives us a certain level of power just as Michael felt. The feeling of being able to get rid of who you are and not be held accountable for actions because you aren’t you is a power that we all hold when we can pretend and hide behind another face. The switch from helpless to the one with all the power to act and one who is expected to be fearful is now the one being feared and holding the ax. We all play masquerades, not just in Halloween, but all year –round.