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Halloween (1978)

Posted on October 7, 2016

Trick-or-Treating in Halloween (1978)

Dawn

In Murray Leeder’s provocative short book Halloween, published in 2014 as part of the Devil’s Advocates series, he points out that for “a film called Halloween, there is remarkably little trick or treating depicted in it” (57). Leeder mentions two moments relatively early in the film in which Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) does see trick-or-treaters—as she is walking to her house after school and then after she has left her house to wait for Annie (Nancy Kyes) on a street corner. As Leeder points out, the first instance, in which Laurie stands poised to go into her house, evokes a kind of nostalgia for childhood (57). Laurie says, wistfully, “Well, kiddo, I thought you outgrew superstition,” looking at the costumed children, who are laughing, clearly identifiable as children and walking with an unmasked adult.

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The second instance is slightly more tense; to quote Leeder, “the anxious cutting introduces an element of menace that is echoed in the uneasy look on Laurie’s face, since she is now becoming more attentive to Michael’s presence in Haddonfield” (57). Read more

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