See how people reacted to the scary parts in a 1979 screening of Halloween

Originally published at: See how people reacted to the scary parts in a 1979 screening of Halloween | Boing Boing

1 Like

Oh, man I went to see Evil Dead at a Two Boots Pioneer Theatre (RIP) midnight show once. There were only two other couples present and the woman a couple of rows in front of us could not handle… anything. She screamed at every single jump, filling the entire theatre. Her screams were followed by everyone else in the theatre chuckling. Believe it or not, it was one of the best film going experiences ever.


This just seems like one of the movies I buy from the guy at the off ramp the day after the movie is released.


The collective audience response is one of the few things I still miss about going to the movies in a theatre. Home theatre technology can’t replicate it, although I’m sure someone’s figuring it out.


I think that’s because when Halloween came out in 1979, it was fresh and new. Halloween (and Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc) have become the standard for structuring horror films, so we’re all pretty familiar with their structure and can anticipate when the scares are coming… Not so much when this premiered. It was likely genuinely scary for the audience because they had not had 40 some odd years to get familiar with the tropes of the slasher film

Agreed. One of my favorite things to do pre-pandemic was to go to an event in town called the Silver Scream Spook Show, where they screen a classic horror, sci-fi, or other genre film, put on a live show before it (no budget), and then the screening includes everyone clapping, cheering, and laughing together. It’s great fun, and I miss going to it.


exactly this. plus, the buzz around this movie was incredible – people would only say how scary it was, and not elaborate, so you were taught as a wire from the beginning, and liable to scream or jump at anything. same with The Exorcist.


Right? But those are classics now and most horror films follow those conventions.

I’m trying to think of horror films that really scared me, and I’d have to say the ones that did the best job were not the gory ones or the brutal ones… I’d say it was the Innkeepers:

And I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House…

Both did a great job of constantly amping up the sense of dread without all the jump scares really. Both are solid films with some legit scary stuff.

I will say that Mike Flannagan can manage to work in some good scares in his work. Watched his adaptation of Gerald’s Game, and there was one great jump scare which sent my poor kid through the roof!


i’m not into scary movies anymore, but i think the last one that really gave me a great fright was the super-controversial Blair Witch Project. i have a friend who hated that movie, because he was expecting a more regular horror movie. i tried to explain to him that it was not a modern horror movie, that it worked on suspense, and that was what made it great, but he still hates that movie to this day, haha. i felt vindicated when Roger Ebert (i think it was) wrote a great defense of it, laying out what made it brilliant filmmaking.