Last night, I finally got round to watching John Carpenter’s 1978 movie, Halloween – it was showing on BBC4. But wait, what’s this? What was the first thing that appeared on the screen as the film began? It said: ‘A Moustapha Akkad film’.
Moustapha Akkad, of course, was the producer and director of the hugely popular (in Muslim countries) 1976 film, The Message, about the mission of the Prophet Muhammad. I had no idea that he also went on to produce the very successful horror flick, Halloween.
Anyway, have you ever wondered why people go to the cinema and pay money to be scared? Well, after Halloween finished I looked up a couple of obituaries of Akkad: you may recall that he and his daughter were among many people killed in a terrorist AQ-related bombing of a wedding party in Jordan in 2005. I found this rather insightful passage in the Daily Telegraph’s obit:
“Halloween came in on budget, and was a success at the box office. Akkad once asked one of his sons, then aged 17, why people were prepared to pay good money to be scared. The boy replied: “Dad, I take a girl with me to the cinema. After five minutes, I’m either grabbing her or she’s grabbing me.””