31 Days of Halloween: Day 19, ET The Extra Terrestrial

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: A classic. This film was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison. Being nominated for nine Oscars and winning four, this film is remembered today despite coming out in 1982.

The mood of this film is very warm-hearted, showing how accepting children can be thanks to their innocence.

In the film Elliott (Henry Thomas), the main character, first finds an alien, and hides it in his closet. The next day, while home sick, Elliot discovers more about the alien and introduces him to his brother (Robert MacNaughton) and sister (Drew Barrymore). ET wants to “phone home” so Elliott takes him to the woods on Halloween. Throughout the film there are shots of men looking for ET, and eventually they find him. A deep connection between ET and Elliot exists.

Michael, Elliot’s brother describes this connection in the film when he’s talking to doctors.

“Elliott thinks his thoughts?” asks the doctor.

“No, Elliott feels his feelings,” answers Michael.

ET is presumed dead but is discovered alive when Elliott touches him. They finally get him back to the woods where his spaceship arrives. This is my favorite part of the film. And even though it’s bittersweet, Elliott and ET have to say goodbye to one another.

ET was Elliot’s closest friend, at a time in his life when he was going through adversity.  The two characters molded almost into one protagonist and with ET’s departure, the two are separated, which is heartbreaking. ET lifts his finger to Elliott and says “ouch,” showing he feels pain in their separation too. The film ends in ET leaving.

The film was inspired by an imaginary alien friend young Spielberg created when his parents divorced.

“If you could learn to love something that looks like that, then that opens up your empathic pathways in all directions, including healing and repairing the damage done in a divorce,” Spielberg said in an interview with the Harvard Crimson.

Throughout the film it’s said Elliott’s dad is in Mexico. The film shows the pain of having a parent leave at a young age.

Even though it’s not a horror film, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is a great Halloween movie because it has a Halloween scene and, let’s face it, ET is a bit scary to look at.