Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Castle, P.J. Soles, Nancy
Loomis

Directed by: John Carpenter

Story: A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood escapes on a
mindless rampage while his doctor chases him through the streets.


Review:

Being a horror fanatic, I often get asked this question: "What's your favorite
horror movie?"
Whenever I answer those questions, the movie I always bring
up is John Carpenter's Halloween. The 1978 cult classic that revolutionized
the genre. With its low budget and uncanny frightening experience, John
Carpenter found a way to spread fear across the world with a good story,
interesting characters, horrifying music and a knife-wielding maniac who
stalks and kills baby sitters. On Halloween night 1963, the town Haddonfield
witnessed a terrifying murder when six year old boy Michael Myers murdered
his older sister with a kitchen knife. After the murder Michael went into
psychiatric care at the Smiths Grove sanitarium. 15 years later, on the night
of October 30th, Michael escapes from the mental hospital and returns to his
home town. This was a movie I remember watching a lot as a kid. I used to
stay up late with my older cousins and watch this on TV. Back then it scared
the bejesus out of me.

When I look back at it now, it was a fun experience. There's nothing more
fun than the thrill of being scared. Not that I’m a lot older horror movies
don't scare me. This one doesn't scare me anymore, but now that I'm an
adult I'm more fascinated with the storyline and plot of Halloween. That’s the
main reason why I love these films so much. The stories are remarkable. It's
what keeps me interested. If I remember correctly, both John Carpenter and
Debra Hill shot this movie during spring of 1978, with a low budget of
$300,000. Shot in 20 days, this low budget movie went on to make millions
when it was released. It wasn't a hit right away, the early reviews for
Halloween were pretty negative. It took time, for the word of mouth attracted
new viewers. This was a scary film for its time, and movie goers got taste of
what was to come. Originally when the film was made, it had no music in it,
which didn't seem to impress much.

So Carpenter spent three days to create the film's remarkable score, which
even to this day is looked upon as a piece of art. The music is the soul to
Halloween and the theme music has become a staple to the franchise. The
acting in Halloween is almost as remarkable. Jamie Lee Curtis made her on
screen debut playing the lead babysitter named Laurie Strode. Laurie is the
nerdy innocent character who becomes Michael's main target. Donald
Pleasance plays the role of Michael's doctor Sam Loomis, who only had about
5 days of shooting. Donald's character in the movie the hero, destined to get
rid of the evil which is spreading across Haddonfield. Much like Van Helsing
was to Dracula, Sam Loomis was the oppressor who tried to ward off evil in
Halloween. Brian Andrews plays the role of Tommy Doyle, the frightened little
boy is who is afraid of "the boogeyman." Nick Castle plays the role of the
boogeyman himself, Michael Myers.

Since Michael doesn't talk in the movie. Castle gives a stunning performance
using body language. Michael Myers is the character that embodies pure evil.
Wearing a stolen William Shatner mask to cover his blank and pale
emotionless face. Another thing that I liked about this movie is the fact that
its almost bloodless. There is no gore in the movie, yet it still manages to
scare an audience, much like Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Now that I think about it, it's absolutely brilliant. This movie focuses more on
suspense (rather than trying to make you sick to your stomach. This set is
apart from any other film released around that time. It's more about thrills
than spills. When you watch this movie you may notice some nods to other
films. It's pretty apparent that John Carpenter was inspired by Alfred
Hitchcock. Which makes sense since Halloween does have that Hitchcockian  
feel to it. Not to mention some of the characters in the movie were named
after characters from Psycho.

The film focuses more on trying to scare the audience. Not only with the dark
look and music, but also with the villain Michael Myers (who fans have grown
to love over the years). With this movie, both John Carpenter and Debra Hill
found new ways to scare an audience. John managed to put the audience in
the killer's point of view in the beginning of the movie, which was rarely done
back in those days. It wasn't the first film to do that however. Bob Clark's
Black Christmas featured a serial killer who went after a group of sorority
girls. In the film you got to see from the killer's perspective. I think that the
best scene in Halloween is the ending. The ending shows you that evil never
dies. The evil still lives on today, for the film spawned many sequels. When
it's all said and done, I'll always cherish the moment I first laid eyes on
Halloween. It's one of the greatest horror films ever made. Halloween definitely
proves that evil never dies. This is one cult classic that never ceases to
amaze me.


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Overall: 9/10
Genres: Horror, Thriller

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 1978

Runtime: 91 minutes

Studio: Anchor Bay

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Online since: February 20th, 2006
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Review done by: Nightmare Child
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