Thursday, October 3, 2013

In Memoriam: Annie Brackett

 Oh Paul, I give you keys...but please, my Paul.

This the first piece of a few in the HALLOWEEN RETROSPECTIVE that will deal with the less fortunate of characters from this series.  Characters who didn't make it to November 1.  

Let me open up saying I am a big Annie Brackett fan.  I'm also a fan of the actress Nancy Loomis (then, now its Kyes), a regular in John Carpenter movies.  In Halloween, she's got a sort of spunky sarcastic charisma that I find engaging.  She's Laurie's friend does all the things Laurie would like to do, but is apprehensive about doing so because of her ties to morals.  Laurie is shy about the boys, Annie goes right after them.  Laurie is the greatest babysitter ever, Annie is looking for every way to swindle out of it and sneak out with her boyfriend Paul. 
While scenes in the beginning clearly established that we are following the exploits of Laurie Strode, it could be said that once we are introduced to Annie on the walk home from school, that is almost her movie just as much.  This was also Jamie Lee Curtis first film as well as a new subgenre, so she wasn't such an obvious "final girl" then you never know.  Things weren't established here, they were being created.  And after all, a big Hitchcock fan cast Janet Leigh's daughter as the "lead".  Maybe that was a clue that Laurie Strode was a misdirect?  Heck, after Annie picks up Laurie to go to their respective babysitting residences, it's almost more her movie than Laurie's until her demise.  Annie is the one that is doing things.  She's working her way to meet with her boyfriend, she's the one calling Laurie.  She's also the one driving their phone conversations.  Laurie is more in the reactionary role.
Annie also gets the early "action" bits when she spills butter all over her clothes and has to do her laundry.  This sounds all kind of dumb when I write this, but its the truth.  When the babysitting begins, Michael's interest is clearly that of Annie Brackett.  She's the one he's stalking.  And there's also a great suspenseful moment of Annie in the laundry room (that's out back like a shed? oh well).  Carpenter has Michael hidden in some spectacular spots making you think this may be where he comes after her.  You also much remember, other motivations regarding Michael Myers had not been created at this time.  Halloween II was 3 years down the road and not even a thought at this time.  Everything that reins true for later films need not apply when and during your first viewing of the original. 
One of Annie's greatest attributes is her humor.  Even today, her part still holds up quite well.  She's full of sarcasm and has this devious little attitude that lends her to curiosity.  Heck, this girl was probably a billion times more fun to hang around than Laurie was back in 1978.  She was cute, clever and an all around good time.  And while she gave her a lot of shit, she was a good friend and did care for Laurie, even if she was using her to babysit Lindsey while she went out with her boyfriend.

Here's to Annie!

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