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1978 / Horror
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Directed by John Carpenter
Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Starring Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles, Nancy Kyes and Charles Cyphers

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night in 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

The following tags are associated with this movie: Slasher, Halloween
Extra content related to Halloween

Movie Discussion
Halloween (1978)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

8 / 10
Halloween is widely held in high regard as the original slasher movie. It's not technically the first slasher movie ever made but it's the one that usually gets the credit for kick-starting this sub-genre of horror. And that often factors into a lot of peoples opinions when they review this movie. However, I had watched so many other horror movies, including many slashers, before ever seeing this one that the originality factor of it didn't grasp me as much as it probably has with many other fans of the movie.

I still think Halloween is a very fine film, very enjoyable and very well made. There's just so many other films that I hold near and dear to my heart that in comparison to those, I am lacking the special feeling this film gives to most people.
Halloween (1978)
Review by Michael Mahoney

10 / 10
Without a doubt, this classic film is one of the best horror movies ever made, surpassing films such as The Evil Dead, The Shining, Jaws, and A Nightmare on Elm Street with utter ease.

So many factors of the film are great - masterful cinematography, an amazing musical score, pretty good performances, a captivating story, and a fine control of suspense. With little gore, Halloween manages to be the slasher that so many others afterward try and set their standards by, and generally reach nowhere close.

It's true that Jamie Lee Curtis doesn't look like a high school student, but she had a great performance here for her first film (her previous appearances were on television shows). I adore her character, the fact that she's a mostly good girl who's not averse to good times (the weed scene), and she's just great here. Donald Pleasence, who has a long history of horror before this, dating back to 1960's The Flesh and the Fiends, is amazing as Loomis, and while occasionally over-the-top, has some of the best dialogue in the film.

Between P.J. Soles (Lynda) and Nancy Kyes (Annie), I have to say I like Kyes' character a lot more, though Soles' does have a great piece of dialogue about the lack of necessity of books. It's somewhat unfortunate that Kyes didn't have much of a career (she appeared in the third Halloween, along with The Fog, also directed by Carpenter), as I thought this showed a lot of potential.

If there's any problem with the film, it could be that Michael seems focused on Laura for absolutely no reason. While later sequels attempt to explain this, as far as this movie goes, it's random with no meaning behind it. In some ways, though, I think that makes it more effective, and given that Nick Castle (who brilliantly plays The Shape, as he's called) is fantastic throughout, it's only an additional positive.

The only other John Carpenter film that could compete with this one, in my mind, is The Fog, and while the Fog is good, few movies could ever reach this level of excellence (on a side-note, many may be outraged I didn't mention also The Thing, but I'm not as big a fan of that one as others). For this movie, though, whether you watch it with or without the additional television footage, you could only do worse. One of the twenty or so horror films I see as pretty flawless, Halloween is a movie that will never get old, no matter how many times I've seen it, and the ending will never not be iconic.
Halloween (1978)
Review by Gary Dailey

9 / 10
When I first joined this website years and years ago, I had joined with Halloween being one of my favorite horror movies of all time. That idea still stands today. The story is interesting, the music is wonderful, and if you feel like having an extended edition just pop in Part II!
Halloween (1978)
Review by Alex Martel

9 / 10
Halloween is a tense slasher movie that takes its time and will leave you breathless by the end of it. With an ominous score and fantastic camera work, it doesn't have to rely on cheap tactics to scare you.

One minor nitpick is the acting by some of the secondary characters, but the leads are phenomal. Donald Pleasance gives one of his career's most memorable performance as Dr. Sam Loomis, who completely sells Michael Myers' pure evilness to the audience.
Halloween (1978)
Review by Chris James

9 / 10
Like Chucky, I saw "Halloween" pretty late into life and the slasher formula has never really been a favourite of mine. However, as the grandaddy of the genre, I could still respect it for what it achieved and would inspire later down the road. It still holds up extremely well today, with the performances from everyone involved still as good today as it was then. I have many favourite movies from this period that I can admit time hasn't been too kind too, but this one is still very polished. I'm never nitpicking moments like I tend to do (especially slashers), as Carpenter clearly put a lot of love into it and it shows.

I was going to score it an 8, and then I remembered the soundtrack. When I think of horror themes, it's the classic score from "The Exorcist" and this one right at the top.
Other Slasher movies that you may enjoy

Santa Claws (1996)

Bride of Chucky (1998)

Unmasked: Part 25 (1989)

Black Christmas (1974)
More releases from 1978 for you to check out

Mardi Gras Massacre (1978)

The Evil (1978)

The Swarm (1978)

I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

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