A Retrospective On The ‘Halloween’ Franchise And How It Launched My Career

On Halloween night of 2002, a horror movie murder would happen that would inspire me to not only become a fan of the horror genre, but eventually become an independent horror writer and director myself. This is the story of how John Carpenter’s movie franchise, Halloween, became my favorite horror movie.

Halloween

My story of horror fandom started when I was just a kid, on Halloween day itself. I wasn’t allowed to watch scary movies, but that didn’t keep me from catching them on TV. Naturally, when one would come on, I would stay up, watching for a little bit, but I would always switch the channels before I got caught. 

But that day was different. My mother had just gotten a new television and put it in her room, which gave me a safe place to hide away and watch movies that I was never allowed to watch as a kid. The first horror movie I ever caught was on that day, Halloween: Resurrection. I remember instead of being terrified, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. Sure, it may be considered one of the worst movies in the Halloween franchise, but to me it was amazing.

Halloween: H20

It was so amazing in fact, I was inspired to go out to my front lawn and decorate it to look like a murder had taken place on it as a Halloween decoration. My mother wasn’t very happy with it when she got home though, and she made me take them all down as soon as she saw them. Maybe it was an overreaction on her part, but on the other hand, a dead body made out of clothes stuffed with newspaper and other horror-related accouterments strewn about the yard probably wasn’t a good look to kids trick or treating.

That wouldn’t stop me though. From then on, I was hooked. I have seen every Halloween movie several times and I have dragged all of my willing friends down the rabbit hole with me. I would move on to create my own horror movies, and eventually get hired to do professional work on the back of some of them, all because of one movie. But I have to ask myself, why do I like Halloween so much more than every other horror franchise that I have ever seen?

It is Michael Myers himself. It’s his mask’s blank expression that never changes, even when he’s committing the most heinous of murders. The dark eye holes don’t reveal what’s lurking on the inside. It’s the stalking of his victims, it’s killing for sport, it’s the creativity of the murders, it’s everything that defines him as a character. It’s as Dr. Loomis said, that he is pure evil. Evil that would make me fall in love with a genre so much that it would guide me in my adult life. 

Three years later, I would pick up a camcorder and create a full horror web series inspired by the Slenderman character made popular by creators like Marble Hornets. Eleven years later, I would create my first horror short under an independent studio’s name. Soon after, I would gain recognition for my film and begin a journey that would lead me into a professional career in film. All of this I attribute to Halloween

I remember going to Spirit Halloween with my mother and picking up props to be used in short horror films of mine, buying pints of blood and fake knives so I could create films like Halloween. I would blabber to family about what I thought made compelling horror, and using Windows Movie Maker to put together short slasher films I made.

Something about the Halloween franchise always has, and will always, inspire me. All the way back to creating a murder scene in my front lawn to creating a horror film as an 11-year-old, it has pushed me to be creative through the genre of horror. Sometimes I think about what would happen if I chose a different channel to watch, or if my mom didn’t get a TV for her room. Where would I be? I’m not sure, but I know that I would have missed out on a great franchise. Or maybe I would have just caught one of the better Halloween movies. Either way, I’m glad things turned out the way they did.

About Ashlin Hatzer

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