There are “scary” movies, and then there are “Halloween” movies, and then there are “scary Halloween movies.”
With all respect to well-done “scary” movies such as “Silence of the Lambs,” “Psycho,” “Alien,” “The Shining,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” the original “Nightmare on Elm Street,” and the clever “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” I think there’s something different about movies that clearly carry the Halloween theme of ghosts, goblins, and, more specifically, demons and Satan himself. A spiritual person cannot ignore the importance of such things.
And for me, the movie that brought that most home to me—even beyond “The Exorcist” or “The Omen” or “The Devil’s Advocate”—was John Carpenter’s original “Halloween.” It’s probably too late to rent it today, but it’s worth ordering. I originally went and saw it because we had all heard it was filmed in our hometown of Burbank. Never, though, did I experience the true edge-of-my-seat authentic feelings of being scared of what evil could do like I did in that movie.
It was low-budget, smart, surprising, obvious at times, and unrelentingly honest about how those who would seek to name the evil among us (in this case the pyschiatrist played by Donald Pleasance) are often seen as out of touch and over-dramatic while the innocent among us (in this case Jamie Lee Curtis’s “Laurie”) seem so naïve and blind to the ever present evil.
Before “Halloween’s” dénouement and the final chase scenes, the battle of good v. evil in “Halloween” brings out the most important question for the spiritual seeker: “Is this spirit stuff really real?” If it is, we ought to equip ourselves for it. If not, then we can all go back to the fun and games and tongue-in-cheek way we treat Halloween.
But for me, before I even started reading the Bible and finding out what it’s all about, I had a deep sense of the existence of how bad people can be and how scary it is that we don’t notice, and it came from the experience of seeing “Halloween.”