The Rear-View Mirror: Halloween (1978)

Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!

Psycho never scared me. I think the main reason for this is that I came to it too late: by the time I saw Norman Bates dressed as his mother, stab-stab-stabbing his way through various cast members, I’d seen all the quotes, echoes, parodies. (You can’t be a teenager watching several seasons worth of The Simpsons without seeing an average of 17.3 parodies of Psycho. It’s a scientific fact.) To some extent, I ended up watching the film and feeling that, meh, it’s all been done before – which is unfair and inaccurate, because so often and in so many ways, Psycho did it first. I still enjoy the film for the sheer craftsmanship that Hitchcock and his collaborators put into the film, and for the impish glee with which they establish the female lead – only to kill her off. But no, Psycho never scared me.

Halloween, though? Halloween scared the living daylights out of me.

Halloween

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In a world…

Alien. Comedian. Magnolia. Psycho. What do these films have in common, other than snappy, one-word titles?

The Onion‘s A.V. Club knows: Coming-attraction attractions: 24 movie trailers that function as standalone works of art. Worth checking out, not least because of gems such as its description of Magnolia as “a sprawling, awkward, almost brutally sincere film”.

Talking of which, I do love that trailer:

P.S.: Was I the only kid who had sort of an older-woman crush on Melinda Dillon after watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind and A Christmas Story?