Rocky Horror Picture Shows

Anyone who knows me knows I cannot handle gory movies. It's a shame, because I know there are some legitimately good films out there that I'll never see, because they're simply too gross. Oddly, I don't much mind reading intensely violent stories, so I'll often seek out spoilers or read the book a gory movie is based on. Thanks to this mental block I have, I'm not half as well-versed on the horror genre as most film fans (although I can tell you about pretty much every death scene in every Friday the 13th movie - thanks, internet reviews!)

Part of that wall came tumbling down last night, when a friend came over bearing Halloween and Halloween II, swearing up and down that neither one was anywhere near as gory as I've been assuming all these years. And what do you know... He was right!

So, now I can finally say I've seen a couple of horror classics. Of course, I didn't grow up being familiar with the minute details of these movies, so all of the tropes they helped establish - from killing characters with sexual urges to people unwisely saying "I'll be right back" - struck me as old-fashioned. It's not at all fair to blame an original movie for a convention that's become stale in the years since, but it did affect how I felt.

I was also surprised by how slowly-paced these films are. That's not a criticism; Halloween is clearly a thriller rather than a slasher, though I can't say the same for the sequel. Jamie Lee Curtis' debut is certainly impressive, and Donald Pleasence fully commits to his hammy role, but I don't know that I'd call either of these movies especially good. This has never been my genre of choice, though, so I'm grading purely on my tastes, rather than on how successful the films are.

And hey, now that Halloween is behind us for the year, I can go back to being a complete wuss! Yay!

Halloween: C+
Halloween II: C-


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