Director: John Carpenter
Written by: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Weapon of Choice: Knife
Based upon: Original
Other movies in this series:
Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
Rish Outfield's reviews
The one considered to have started the slasher genre. It's kind of a classic in its own way. Arguably John Carpenter's best film, it looks surprisingly good for how cheap it is, and still works today. It's incredibly well-executed, having been the most successful independent film in history (for a decade or so), and very influential. It is slow, in parts, and most of the characters are bland, but the dialogue is good ("It WAS the boogeyman") and the premise is top-notch. Jamie Lee Curtis is good, believable, likable, and deserved to become a star. Michael Myers was a great, hateable bad guy, frightening because he never spoke, and we never saw his face. Only a horror genius could make William Shatner frightening. Don't buy the cheapie versions (like the Blockbuster video copy) or you'll miss out on a good transfer and maybe some extras.
Best Scare: Michael's showdown with Laurie, coming out from behind the couch.
I'd Recommend It To: Any movie fans, especially those who like Horror.
The tyranist's thoughts
I love this movie. It is a joy to watch and miraculously balances the tension and release of the situation. For being so low budget and in a totally unproven genre, this film defined a large segment of the movies we love today. I sound like an idiot, but I find it so hard to put my love for this movie into words. Just watch it over and over and over and over again.
Anchor Bay recently released a two-disc Limited Edition DVD that is absolutely not to be missed. In rewatching Halloween after obtaining this edition I realized that I sounded even more like an idiot than usual in my original review (which is preserved above for your pleasure). Now for a better one.
I was pretty young when this came out and was unable to ever see it in the theatre, something that I wish I could do to this day. Fortunately, this movie translates really well to the small-screen, although I highly recommend that you see a widescreen edition and since there are at least three different widescreen versions available from Anchor Bay alone you have no excuse.
Michael Myers is, to this day, my favourite film maniac. He is the only slasher movie villain that I still see in the dark from time to time as I navigate my house after midnight. The scene where his face slowly materializes over Laurie Strode's shoulder gives me the chills every single time I see it. I've seen the movie enough times to know when every single scare is coming and that is where this movie works so well. Very few of the real scares rely on startling the audience. Rather they are just the sinister, eerie moments where Michael Myers is just standing there staring.
Nick Castle brought Michael Myers to life for this picture and he made him something beyond other villains. He's graceful and persistent in ways that make other nightmares seem awkward and lazy. Fortunately, this carries through the series even though Nick Castle wasn't behind the mask.
The other part of the movie that really sells it are Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis. They are barely on screen together but the dynamic tension between their two extremes makes the movie more interesting. Laurie Strode is a pretty innocent young girl who wants nothing more than a hot shower and a picture of Ben Tramer. Sam Loomis is a psychiatrist who has seen it all and knows the evil that they face intimately. He knows exactly what is coming. She has no idea. I love it.
If you have never seen Halloween you owe it to yourself to make the time and see it. This movie changed that way horror movies got made and redefined the genre at a point when it was taking a strange turn. Almost every movie after it owes its existence to this low-budget horror flick from '78.
Total Skulls: 22
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie||The Thing from Another World|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood hits camera|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|