Inspiring Scares (Day 30): Horror Director Nathan Waters (SYMPHONY OF BLOOD)

The time has come to deliver one last Inspired Scare here at Slasher Studios. While we are thrilled Halloween is finally upon us, it is a bit sad thinking that this will be the final Inspiring Scares installment we feature on this site. On this very special Halloween, we are featuring horror director Nathan Waters and the great holiday slasher of all time.

“There was a moment in my childhood when I realized the power of scaring people. That moment occurred as I sat on the living room couch of my quiet small-town home and stared unblinkingly at the screen as I soaked up John Carpenter’s seminal slasher opus, “Halloween”.

I remember being absolutely terrified by every aspect of the film. The score, with its brilliantly simple nuances, still haunts and resonates with me to this day. The framing made the inherent safety of the apple pie, picket-fence every-town by the name of Haddonfield seem terrifying and isolated. The sound design combined the safety of the small town with the otherworldly nature of the Shape (who can forget the sound of Michael breathing underneath that mask?!).

The image of the Shape, with his dark overalls and white, blank mask was as influential to my impressionable seven-year-old brain as anything I would see in horror cinema in the years to come. That mask can reflect the individual fears of anyone who looks into it. It is the sheer simplicity of all of these qualities that made that film so damn scary. and what makes Michael (at least in the original film) such an icon in the genre. No other masked killer can claim responsibility for kickstarting an entire new sub-genre which all strived to re-capture lightning in a bottle, with varying degrees of success.

As a filmmaker, I always come back to my first real cinematic love. This little Movie-That-Could inspired me in a way that seeing a Michelangelo painting would inspire a would-be painter. Carpenter’s handle of the cinematic craft set the bar for me as an artist and student, and even though I love his other films, this one will always hold a special place in my heart, because it hit hard, it hit first, and it hit home. No longer can I go walking alone at night without the fear that someone may be following me. I can’t carve a Jack-o-Lantern without thinking of little Tommy and Lindsay darkly fantasizing about the mischief of the “Bogeyman”.

And I will never forget the moment I saw John Carpenter’s name above the title during the opening credits, and I realized the power a director can have over an audience. And I will never forget how seeing this inspired me to want do the same thing in my own horror films.

Hide your knives, lock your doors, and keep your panties on, because this year, the Shape may stalk into your neighborhood, and who knows…maybe he will visit your house on his yearly round of Trick-or-Treat…”