Halloween (1978)

R   |    |  Horror, Thriller


Halloween (1978) Poster

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.

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7.8/10
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  • Halloween (1978)
  • P.J. Soles and Nick Castle at an event for Halloween (1978)
  • Halloween (1978)
  • Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween (1978)
  • Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween (1978)
  • Nancy Kyes in Halloween (1978)

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9 April 2005 | Ky-D
10
| Scary as hell.
My personal favorite horror film. From the lengthy first tracking shot to the final story twist, this is Carpenter's masterpiece.

Halloween night 1963, little Michael Meyers murders his older sister. All-hallows-eve 1978, Michael escapes from Smith's Grove sanitarium. Halloween night, Michael has come home to murder again.

The story is perfectly simple, Michael stalks and kills babysitters. No bells or whistles, just the basics. It's Carpenter's almost over-powering atmosphere of dread that generates the tension. Like any great horror film, events are telegraphed long in advance, yet they still seem to occur at random, never allowing the audience to the chance to second guess the film.

The dark lighting, the long steady-cam shots, and (most importantly) that damn eerie music create the most claustrophobic and uncomfortable scenes I have yet to see in film. There is a body count, but compared to the slew of slashers after this it's fairly small. That and most of the murders are nearly bloodless. The fear is not in death, but in not knowing.

The acting is roundelay good. PJ Soles provides much of the films limited humor (and one of the best deaths), Nancy Loomis turns in a decent performance and then there is the young (at the time) Jamie Leigh-Curtis. Her performance at first seems shy and un-assured, yet you quickly realize that it is perfect for the character, who is herself shy and un-assured and not at all prepared for what she is to face. And of course there is the perfectly cast Donald Pleasence as the determined (perhaps a little unstable) Dr. Sam Loomis. Rest in peace Mr. Pleasence.

If the film has a detrimental flaw, it would be the passage of time. Since the release of this film so many years ago nearly countless clones, copies, rip-offs, and imitators have come along and stolen (usually badly) the films best bits until nearly everything about it has become familiar. Combined with the changes for audience expectations and appetites, one finds much of the films raw power diluted. To truly appreciate it in this day and age, it must be viewed as it once was, as something unique.

Never the less, I have no reservation with highly recommending this film to anyone looking for a good, scary time. Highest Reguards.

10/10

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carpenter wanted to set Laurie Strode up as a lonely character. He mentions the movie was criticized by critics who felt the movie was saying Laurie's friends who have boyfriends deserved their ultimate fates and Laurie, a virgin, survived because of this. Carpenter notes this is absolutely true, that Laurie's friends are killed off because they're too busy to notice what is going on around them. Hill also mentions there was never a conscious effort to make the virgin of the group be the sole survivor. She believes it was critics trying to place some sense of morality on the film that made this such an important aspect to the film, one that several horror movies after would take on, as well.


Quotes

Annie: Still spooked?
Laurie: I wasn't spooked.
Annie: Lies!
Laurie: I wasn't! I saw someone standing in Mr. Riddle's back yard.
Annie: Probably Mr. Riddle!
Laurie: He was watching me.
Annie: Mr. Riddle was watching you? Laurie, Mr. Riddle is eighty-seven!
Laurie: He can still watch.
Annie: That's probably all he ...


Goofs

The television plays scenes from The Thing from Another World (1951) out of order.


Crazy Credits

The music for the film -- written and performed by John Carpenter -- is instead credited to "The Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra." Carpenter grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


Alternate Versions

In 2000, a 'Limited Edition' DVD of "Halloween" was released from Anchor Bay. This was the Television Extended-Version which includes 12 minutes of extra-footage shot in 1981 while filming "Halloween II" and was available as a stand-alone or a two-disc (along with the theatrical cut). Later, in 2001 commemorating the 25th Anniversary DVD, Anchor Bay released yet another DVD of the theatrical cut. This DVD contains new special features, giving a brief look at the incredible "Halloween" Cast Re-union filmed on October 2000. It also had a new transfer approved by John Carpenter,which caused some controversy amongst fans, as he apparently adjusted the color quite severely, a radical departure from the previous transfer supervised by D.P. Dean Cundey.


Soundtracks

Halloween Theme Main Title
Written by
John Carpenter
Performed by The Bowling Green Philharmonic Orchestra

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Horror | Thriller

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