The Terminator

The Terminator ★★★★½

1984
James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Lance Henriksen
Terminator
Time Travel

The second time I saw James Cameron's "The Terminator" I still really like it. Arnold Schwazenegger is great as an unstoppable killing machine and is consistently intimidating and threatening due to his suitable performance. Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton also play great and work really well together. Score, look and staging are also consistently at a very, very high level. Although some of the effects haven't aged very well, especially in the scene in which the Terminator has to repair itself, I think that adds to its menace and its non-human appearance. Otherwise the effects still look very good today. What I particularly like is the very nihilistic version of the future that cannot be changed and happens regardless of whether the Terminator is defeated or not.

What I particularly noticed during the second viewing are the many parallels between this film and a slasher. One could say that "The Terminator" is a slasher in an action sci-fi disguise. If you compare the film with a slasher like "Halloween" you will find a lot of parallels. You have an unstoppable killer who can't even be stopped with guns, a final girl he hunts and someone who knows about all this but nobody wants to believe. The Terminator is Michael Myers, Sarah Connor is Laurie Strode and Kyle Reese is Dr. Loomis. I think you can't deny the influence that the slasher subgenre had on the film and yet I wouldn't classify "The Terminator" as a slasher.

"The Terminator" is an influential milestone in the film history that has been quoted and copied again and again and has had a number of more or less good sequels behind it. A classic that has definitely stood the test of time and still works great today.

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