Halloween (1978)

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9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Classic horror slasher film

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Movie Info

Movie Name:  Halloween

Studio:  Compass International Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 25, 1978

MPAA Rating:  R

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I’m going to kill you kids if I have to come downstair again!

In 1963, a boy named Michael Myers (Will Sandin) slaughters her sister and is institutionalized. His doctor Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) sees evil in Michael, but his warnings go unheard. When Michael escapes on Halloween years later, he heads home. Pursued by Loomis, Michael finds his next batch of victims. A girl named Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends are babysitting, but Halloween will end in terror as Michael hunts them.

Directed by John Carpenter, Halloween really kicked off the genre of the slasher despite previous ventures. The low-budget film gained good word of mouth, big ticket sales, and became a classic that airs multiple times during the Halloween season. It is often considered one of the best horror films of all time.

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My mom might have been a victim in Psycho…but I’m going to survive!

Halloween really gets it right. It has great pacing, builds great suspense, and good scares. Movies like Black Christmas experimented with the psycho-slasher aspect, but this film perfected it. The bloody deaths are creative and violent (I always love Michael in the ghost costume…and the fogged windows). The story also has the classic “more than human” ending with Michael disappearing after being shot, stabbed, etc.

Michael Myers is a great villain who is sometimes just referred to as “The Shape”. It is rarely remembered that he is unmasked in this film (played by Tony Moran). The reason is that Michael makes such an impression in his William Shattner mask (inside out). The idea of a superstrong killer that slowly and methodically kills was new and opposed to the dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks Jason Voorhees, his intelligence makes him more interesting.

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Casper? No…not Casper.

Joining the creepy Michael Myers is Jamie Lee Curtis in her feature film debut. Anne Lockhart had been a front runner for the role, but Jamie Lee’s mother’s ties to Psycho did help sway casting her for publicity. She makes a good victim since she doesn’t just give up when she’s pursued. She’s the classic “virginal” survivor that gets to live because she doesn’t have sex. Curtis is joined by Carrie veteran P.J. Soles (with her signature pigtails) and Nancy Kyes as Laurie’s friends. Veteran actor Donald Pleasence plays his role as the doctor with a lot of fun, but it is a bit unfortunate because he damned to bad films after this film.

Halloween is a classic. I can watch it over and over again. It is a great Halloween edition that despite the R-Rating can be enjoyed right next to the original Frankenstein or It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Halloween was followed by its first sequel Halloween II in 1981.  It was also remade by Rob Zombie in 2007.

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Related Links:

Halloween II (1981)

Halloween III:  Season of the Witch (1982)

Halloween 4:  The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Halloween 5:  The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Halloween:  The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Halloween H20:  20 Years Later (1998)

Halloween:  Resurrection (2002)

Halloween (2007)

Halloween II (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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