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Halloween (1978)

October. 24,1978
| Horror Thriller

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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Simply A Masterpiece


Let's be realistic.


i must have seen a different film!!

Aneesa Wardle

The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.


A soulless killer, Michael Myers, escapes from the asylum and returns to the Illinois town where he murdered his sister 15 years earlier to wreak havoc on Halloween night. Donald Pleasence is on hand as Myers' seriously concerned doctor.John Carpenter's "Halloween" (1978) is hailed as the progenitor and blueprint for the slasher craze of the 80s with staples like the unstoppable masked killer, fake scares, the final girl and the undead dead. Of course, "Halloween" was influenced by earlier slashers or quasi-slashers, like "Psycho" (1960), "Dementia 13" (1963), "A Bay of Blood" (1971) "Torso (1973), "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) and "Black Christmas" (1974). "Friday the 13th" (1980) and its sequels took the "Halloween" template and added other elements, like the summer camp setting and an devolving supernatural killer.Whilst I prefer the "Friday" films, "Halloween" has more class than many slashers that followed, like the unimaginatively blunt "The Slumber Party Massacre" (1982). It also keeps the proceedings deadly serious unlike ones that added humor and campiness, such as "Friday the 13th Part 3" (1982). The film establishes some quality atmosphere with the raining sanitarium escape and the Halloween night sequences. The creepy ambiance is helped by the moody score composed and performed by Carpenter.Although the story takes place in a fictional Illinois town, the film was shot in the Los Angeles area (South Pasadena and Hollywood, etc.), which is okay since the neighborhood scenes could be Anytown, USA. What's NOT okay is how the trees clearly reveal that it's not late October.Other problems include a tedious lack of drive and some weak dialogue, like the girls' conversation walking home from school, which doesn't ring true. Speaking of the girls, they're decent, but not nearly as good as the "Friday" films. Nancy Kyes (Loomis) is arguably the best as Annie, followed by Jamie Lee Curtis as the main protagonist (whose mother, Janet, starred in "Psycho"). Flighty, but likable PJ Soles is also on hand. Another dubious part is the doctor hiding in the bushes by the abandoned Myers' abode speaking portentously.I appreciate "Halloween" because it's classy, atmospheric and it's a superb pick for the fall season; it also holds an eminent place in horror history. But, in light of the above flaws, it's a tad overrated by gushing fans.GRADE: B


That mask. Wow, is that mask scary. The same can be said about the music. Even 40 years later it completely holds up in every way-it's iconic, it sounds great, it's scary and it's instantly recognizable. Amazingly, John Carpenter wrote and performed the music despite claiming that he cannot write a single note. Before we see any part of the movie, we hear the music. Instantly, we feel unsettled. Then, watching through first-person stalker cam perspective and through the eyes of a Halloween mask, we observe a young boy peep on his sister then murder her. Fast forward 15 years and this young boy, Michael Myers, has grown into a man while living in a mental hospital, never once speaking a word. As if summoned by some evil power, he breaks out and travels to his home town of Haddonfield on Halloween. After breaking out and encountering people in the outside world, Michael still never says a word. It's another inspired filmmaking choice. Hearing his voice would humanize him in some way, instead all we hear is his heavy breathing. Why Michael returned to his hometown is unclear, as is everything about Michael. That's brilliance of this movie-we never find out why Michael killed his sister, we never find out why he escaped the hospital and we never find out why he continues to kill. We don't need to learn his reasons. No motive is scarier. Also scary, he's human. He's not some monster with superpowers (if you ignore the sequels, like you should), he's just a severely disturbed person. Think about that. That means this story is something that could actually happen in any American small town. His victims were seemingly random, so they could be anyone. No one is safe. Although, as I just mentioned, his killings are random, he does seem to take issue with people having sex. This started the now famous horror trope that characters who have sex are as good as dead. This movie also popularizes the horror staple of victims who consistently make dumb decisions. Stop dropping the knife! Stop assuming he's dead! It's maddening. Another aspect of the movie that stood out to me is its surprising lack of violence. There's virtually no blood or gore. Michael mostly strangles his victims. He uses his knife too, of course, but the killings aren't terribly graphic. It's refreshing change of pace from the excessive violence in modern slashers.While Michael may seem invincible since he survives two stabbings and multiple gun shot wounds, he is not flawless. Upon my latest re-watch, I noticed how much he struggles with walking. Michael Myers is a hall of fame level killer, but he's a below average walker.This likely a deliberate choice by director John Carpenter. Not only does Michael's slow walk build suspense, it also lends itself perfectly to the first-person camera shots. The patient, measured movements give him an eerie feel. He's lurking. We see his lurking figure in many forms, each equally brilliant in its execution. Sometimes we see his outline as a shadow. Sometimes we see him ease into the corner of the frame behind a victim. Other times we see a distant shot of a house of character, then Michael partially steps in frame near the camera. Carpenter expertly mixes foreground and background in his shots to make Michael just far enough away that the characters don't see him but the audience does.The movie builds and builds and builds. It's definitely scary from the opening scene, but it grows continuously scarier as we see the extent of Michael's killing spree. All the while, jump scares are sparsely used and are never fake. What I mean by that is when the music jars viewers, it's because Michael appears. The music never blares for fake scares, like when a cat runs across screen or a friend knocks on a door, which is annoying trend in recent horror films. The only scary part of this film is Michael. Fortunately, he's plenty scary to carry the load. 'Halloween' is considered an ageless horror masterpiece. After re-watching it recently, I can clearly see why that is the case.


Halloween is easily one of the most influential and recognizable horror movies ever made. Even people who are largely unfamiliar with horror genre will likely still be able to identify the horror cliches that Halloween started, much like Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The iconic soundtrack and (unique for it's time) scene structure blend together to make a creepy and thrilling atmosphere that most movies can't pull off to this day. The story is may seem cliche now, but it's told supremely well, and adds a lot of suspense. I can't really criticize the predictability of the movie because for it's time, it was really unique. What I feel like I can criticize though is the second act of the movie. It just feels like filler, and nothing of consequence happens. I feel like it was there to add suspense, but being bored while watching a horror film isn't good. The acting is also kind of hit or miss, especially with the child actors, but I can look past that for the most part. Any fan of horror should see Halloween, even if it feels a bit dated by today's standards.


Personally , i find this movie as one of the best horror movies of all time . Even though it's an old classic movie , it still got to me two years ago when i first watched it . This movie is like a rollercoaster ride , it gives you all sorts of feelings . You're scared , terrified , confused , curious , anxious , frustrated , afraid of what will happen to the characters and afraid of the unknown . No one really knows what's going on with The Shape , no one knows where he is , where will he show up next , who will he kill next and most immportantly , why they can't kll The Shape . It's the fear of not knowing . It's a mystery and He will take you by surprise . Even though the movie had a low-budget , it's one of the best horror movies . And the souundtrack is adding even more to the movie . Honesty , it's one of the best horror movie soundtracks i've heard and i sometimes listen to it in my free time , it's just great . I would recommend this movie anytime for someone who wants to be creeped out . 10/10