In 1978, the world was introduced to Michael Myers, a silent and masked man who had a love for stabbing people; the murderous psychopath escapes from the mental hospital on Halloween night to his town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again. The original Halloween is considered one of the best slasher films of all-time, and created a new star in Hollywood, Jamie Lee Curtis. On a tiny budget of $325,000, Halloween was also a commercial success, racking up over $70 million in box office sales. With the movie seeing a huge amount of success, Halloween became a franchise and has spawned eleven movies in total, with the 12th film set to come out on October 15, 2021.
A few years later, Wes Craven made his own horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street, which was about several teenagers who become the next victims to Freddy Krueger, a disfigured and vile criminal who hunts teenagers in their dreams and kills them in reality. Ultimately, it’s up to Nancy and her boyfriend Glen to figure out how to beat Krueger and his twisted mind games and stop the murders before it’s too late. Like Halloween, the horror film is deemed one of the best slasher flicks of all-time. On a budget of $1.8 million, the film managed to double its profits thanks to making over $25 million worldwide. Thus far, the series has made a total of eight movies, with a special Freddy vs. Jason spinoff also in the books. While the sequels leave a lot t be desired, both films remain in the hearts of fans everywhere in the world. However, the true question is, which slasher flick is better? Let’s dive deeper into the two horror classics:
Halloween began the slasher craze in film and there’s a good reason why. Yes, a strong part of that reason is due to the amount it made worldwide; however, Halloween is etched in the history books because it’s an excellent movie that changed the genre during the 1970s. Like most horror movies, Halloween isn’t some deep or thought-provoking film; In fact, the characterization of Michael Myers is very slim. The decision to keep Michael Myers a mysterious figure was a smart one.
In the first meeting of the deranged character, the young boy stabs his sister without any rhyme or reason. Then we skip to his adulthood and Michael Myers continues his stabbing spree once again without any clear motivation other than to kill every bastard insight. Keeping Myers mysterious helped create an air of mystery over what the unstable man would do next. Suspense is a huge part of the original Halloween and the unpredictability of Michael Myers kept audiences on their toes from minute one.
Of course, we can’t forget about his sister, Laurie Strode. The character is a strong presence throughout the film and that should also be credited to Jamie Lee Curtis herself. Not surprisingly, the talented actress gives it her all when playing the role and we’re instantly able to feel Strode’s fear, pain, and sadness throughout the film. One of the key components of Halloween is that it chooses fear & suspense over gore, thus the film focuses more on building up its story rather than racking up a body count. This means that character development and the nuanced plot is front and center here. The plot of Halloween is simple, but John Carpenter’s excellent direction makes sure that the movie never runs out of steam. A fantastic slasher picture that deserves to be considered one of the classic horror movies of our time.
A Nightmare On Elm Street
It’s rare to get such originality in filmmaking these days; however, Wes Craven not only comes up with a strong premise, but he creates unforgettable images and a memorable villain. Freddy Kruger is a vile human being; however, Kruger’s odd charm and charisma make him stand out in a field filled with crazed psycho killers. Of course, Robert Englund helps bring the funny and scary antagonist to life.
The highlight of the film (other than Krueger) are the kills, with Glen’s gory bed death narrowly beating Tina’s kill scene. Heather Langenkamp‘s Nancy Thompson is a nicely developed “final girl” protagonist. It’s also refreshing to see the parents involved in a horror film, with other slasher-type movies generally making the adults stupid or non-existent. Faulting Freddy’s much-deserved death to Nancy and her friend’s situation was cleverly written. The themes of A Nightmare on Elm Street is a bit deeper than most horror films, putting religion, revenge, and corruption in the spotlight without overexplaining or muddling the message. A true classic that manages to be scary, funny, and original, a rare feat when it comes to horror films.
So, which film is better? A Nightmare On Elm Street. The premise is strong, the kill scenes are memorable, and the personality of Freddy Kreuger helps give this film the edge over Halloween.