While it may not be the bloodiest or intense movie, 1978's Halloween by John Carpenter is definitely a scary one. Especially when you are five years old and watching it immediately before trick-or-treating.
It is much more than just an old scary movie.
To me, it's whenever I think of fall, whenever I think of colder weather, sweatshirts, or well, Halloween. When the movie comes to mind, I think of sitting on the couch next to my little brother on Halloween, circa 2005. My family still had one of those massive box televisions that pretty much ran the length of our living room, but on this night the couch was pushed up closer to the television. My younger brother and I loved horror movies at this point and watched Stephen King's IT to the point where the VHS tape was about to break, or Scream so much that this year I was Ghostface (or as I called him back then "scary movie") my second or third year in a row. But we hadn't seen this one. My parents sat us in front of this TV that at our vantage point was absolutely massive – a real home theater – to watch what has since become my favorite movie of all time.
I don't remember finding it too scary my first time watching it, creepy definitely, but not one where I cried because it was so scary. I remember the score, the sharp sounds when Michael jumps from the dark, the walk with Laurie and her friends, and of course the eerie shots of Michael just standing there. Staring. Building a real sense of the stalking predator.
When the movie was over, we found out why our parents had us watch it. As soon as it was over. we heard our front door creak open behind us and when we turned in walked Michael Fucking Myers.
That's what made us shit our pants. We started screaming and running around the living room like Drew Barrymore in Scream, doing everything but running straight out the door. After a few seconds, Michael took his mask off to reveal himself ast our aunt who was trick or treating with us that year with her kids, which was not a normal occurrence, as they had just moved back from Florida.
After that year I remember watching out for any other Halloween movie I can find on the television (since we didn’t have any on VHS). I was excited for Fearfest on AMC to catch anything, except for Halloween III because I wanted more Michael (but I have grown to love it for different reasons)! Even still, almost twenty years later, when I think of fall, I think of Halloween. I think of my first time seeing that movie, and it warms me a little bit inside. And to this day, it remains my favorite movie franchise of all time.
Also, you can't top "I SHOT HIM SIX TIMES" being quoted in one movie 500 times. Perfect screenwriting.