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Halloween (1978)

October. 24,1978
| Horror Thriller

On a black and unholy Halloween night years ago, little Michael Myers brutally slaughtered his sister in cold bold. But for the last fifteen years, town residents have rested easy, knowing that he was safely locked away in a mental hospital – until tonight. Tonight, Michael returns to the same quiet neighbourhood to relive his grisly murder again…and again…and again. For this is a night of evil. Tonight is Halloween!


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I think this is a new genre that they're all sort of working their way through it and haven't got all the kinks worked out yet but it's a genre that works for me.

Orla Zuniga

It is interesting even when nothing much happens, which is for most of its 3-hour running time. Read full review

Allison Davies

The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.

Bumpy Chip

It’s not bad or unwatchable but despite the amplitude of the spectacle, the end result is underwhelming.


John Carpenter's Halloween is a creepy and subtle classic. The pacing is absolutely perfect. Michael Myers is depicted as the pure embodiment of evil. He's freakishly strong and emotionless. Donald Pleasance is fantastic as Dr. Loomis, a psychiatrist that spent over a decade trying to reach and cure Michael, but is now hellbent on stopping the monster. Jamie Lee Curtis is also great as a likable, brave "scream queen", determined to protect the two children she babysits. (I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU QUIT NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS MASTERPIECE. SPOILERS AHEAD.) The film's finale is an "edge of your seat", 30-minute chase sequence, that's nothing but heart-pounding action and suspense. At the end, Dr. Loomis hunts down and shoots Myers 6 times in the chest. He falls off a balcony, "dead". Loomis looks out, and Myers is gone. You're left with a feeling of fear, confusion, and hopelessness, that evil will always be out there. Perfect ending.


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 probably my third favorite horror film. This film is almost flawless. I loved the music and the suspense in this film. Donald Pleasence is perfect as Loomis and Jamie Lee Curtis is great as Laurie. Michael is a menacing force in this film and is terrifying. But this film isn't completely perfect. Some of the dialogue is bad as well as some of the acting. In the end, this is an amazing film.


I only wish I could have been born in the early 60's so I could have enjoyed this movie in my teens when it came out in all it's terrifying glory.Michael Myers, a kid who is described by his doctor as having the devils eyes, murders his sister in cold blood on Halloween night. Fifteen years later, he breaks out of the mental asylum he's kept in to go after his sister, Laurie Strode (Jamie-Lee Curtis).The bulk of the movie focuses on Laurie and her two best friends, Annie and Linda. They all share their plans for Halloween night as their walking home in the afternoon. Annie and Linda are planning on spending it with their boyfriends and getting laid, and our bookworm Laurie is stuck babysitting as she seems to every year. The film does a great job in showing what enjoying the spooks of Halloween would have been like back in the 70's, kids watching popcorn and getting scared, dressing up in their cute costumes and stereotypical teenagers getting high and drunk.The bulk of the film is set at night time which helps build its atmosphere and theme terrifically. The setting is great, Haddonfield, Illinois (which was actually filmed in california), with the big traditional style houses and big looming trees over the streets is perfect for a serial killer and the The musical score is the other thing for me that makes this film so amazing. the simple but very intimidating piano themes at the beginning of the main titles and throughout the film gets stuck in your head very easily and it repeats on your mind deliberately as your watching it. It's a perfect mysterious and frightening tone that tells you this is indeed not a movie with a nice subject matter.The movie is literally 40 years old so there's really no point complaining about the quality of acting or the gore effects (if you think there even is any to begin with), but Jamie-lee Curtis in her debut role and Donald Pleasance are very memorable characters who we can't help but appreciate for what they bring to this film.Put simply, Halloween is a classic slasher with all the familiar cliches. characters getting killed off one by one, the killer repeatedly getting up after being downed, freakish musical score, dark and memorable setting, it's a classic in it's own right. This movie does have a remake from 2007 that Rob Zombie decided was a good idea, but he didn't realize that sequels suck. which is precisely why i wont be reviewing the remake. Just can't beat the old classics!