Friday, October 28, 2011
THE GHOST OF HALLOWEEN PAST
This is Ms. Fanny with a Halloween story. Once upon a time children—and sometimes parents—looked forward to the yearly ritual of Halloween. They ran through their neighborhoods, many in homemade costumes in search of candy, fruit and even money. They swapped stories of which houses had the best treats and which cheapskates to avoid.
Parents stood on the sidewalks chatting with each other as they watched their little ones race from house to house. They also watched out for the pranksters that soaped windows when they didn’t get treats. The point is it was fun and relatively safe, and then one Halloween the wind shifted,
Instead of gobbling candy as soon as they got it, kids had to take their treats to fire stations and hospitals to have it x-rayed for razor blades and other objects. The boogie man was not just on the movie screen but it popped up more and more in real life.
Yep, things have changed. Heck, I remember liking scary movies like, House on the Haunted Hill, Night of the Living Dead, The Tingler, and just about anything starring Vincent Price. Yes I know, by today’s standards, those movies may be corny but there was suspense and there was enough left to your imagination, that you were really scared. You finished the movies laughing about the things that scared you, rather than vomiting from the gore.
What do we have today? Blood, guts, torture and sex is about all you’ll see on the big screen these days, all of which is motivated by the constant quest to make money, of course. If a movie makes a dollar, then by all means do it over and over. So we’ve started having cookie-cutter movies that show every gory detail for those too dumb to figure it out, movies like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Filmmakers had an ‘aha’ moment and made 75 more of each of these movies—or at least it seems like it. I’m sure the next franchise will feature movies like Jason, Jr. and the Grandkids, Freddy’s Dead—Again and Saw and Saw Some More.
But don’t mind me. I’m just musing about the good old days when I could frighten the brats in my neighborhood nearly to death and laugh about it the next day.