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John Carpenter's Halloween - Prelude to the 1980's Slasher Films

            The seventies established the slasher film within popular culture. Films such as "Black Christmas" (1974) and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) were revolutionary for the horror genre however it was not until 1978 that the slasher film confirmed its popularity within horror. John Carpenter's "Halloween" (1978) was a revolutionary film that was made on a micro budget of $325,0001. Originally called "The Babysitter Murders," "Halloween" followed the story of Michael Myers in the small town of Haddonfield. At the age of 6, Michael murders his older sister and is sent to an insane asylum in an attempt to rehabilitate. However his psychiatrist, Dr. Loomis, soon finds out that Michael is beyond saving and is pure evil. Fifteen years later Michael escapes from his prison and returns to Haddonfield, on Halloween night, where he plans to repeat his past by killing Laurie Strode. Throughout the film Michael stalks Laurie and her two friends and eventually kills them, leaving Laurie alone to face the monster. Michael Myers is defeated in the end, however he is not killed leaving the feeling that he is still out there. Halloween (1978) paved the way for the 1980's slasher film that ultimately reflected American fears and values during that time. Halloween's use of the female hero as well as its use of social roles defined postmodern America and reinforced Reaganism. Although the slasher film became very successful it is viewed as one of the lowliest types of horror as it also paved the way for the "hero " killer. Audiences were more interested in witnessing the death scenes instead of being scared. Although this genre has faced many pitfalls, the slasher film has still been one of the more consistent sub genres of horror, reviving itself every decade. .
             The influence of the horror genre has been around for quite some time. Throughout the decades horror has changed with popular culture reflecting the political and social concerns of the era.

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