Halloween (1978)

Movie Title: Halloween

Year Released: 1978

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 31min

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter and Debra Hill

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyes, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Nancy Stephens, Nick Castle,

Review: Haddonfield, Illinois. Halloween night, 1963. Six-year-old Michael Myers murders his sister in cold blood. Now, fifteen years later he escapes from a mental hospital and returns to Haddonfield to kill once again.

John Carpenter's Halloween is one of the greatest horror films ever made. It started a trend in the genre that defined horror in the 1980s. It has been ripped off, imitated, and sequel-ized, but nothing can equal the suspense, the skillfulness of the film-making, and the cultural impact of the 1978 original.

What started off as a cheap "Babysitter Murders" B-Movie gave John Carpenter and Debra Hill the opportunity to show that they were a film-making force to be reckoned with. They crafted a story that is involving, well-crafted and best of all - it is scary! And they gave audience the personification of the boogeyman - Michael Myers.

Michael Myers is pure evil. He's without reason, logic, or conscience. His emotionless mask makes him a shadowy figure that cannot be read or deciphered until it's too late. He is truly terrifying, and that's all because he's a person, not a supernatural entity or a monstrous creation. He's evil incarnate.

And what makes us fear him is that we are involved in the story of our protagonist Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends played by Nancy Kyes and P.J. Soles. She's the girl next door; smart, capable, and dependable. And when Michael Myers has her in his sights we root for her and are scared for her to survive this horrific night. Curtis is wonderful. This is the role that started her reign as a scream queen, but you can see that she's more just your typical "final girl".

Although he only has around 18 minutes of screen time, Donald Pleasance is a masterful actor and through his portrayal of Dr. Sam Loomis brings an intensity when it comes to getting various characters to understand what they are dealing with when it comes to Michael Myers. He's awesome, and he's really the best part of the numerous sequels that came after.

Dean Cundey's cinematography gives Halloween it's atmosphere and sets a mood that expertly turns up the fright factor to eleven! Cundey helps Carpenter create some of the most frightfully iconic images to grace motion pictures that still haunts viewers four decades later.

Carpenter, truly a jack of all trades, wrote and performed the film's score which, like Jaws, is iconic in its own right. The music brings Halloween to life and gives you the chills and thrills when the various cues play relentlessly as Michael Myers terrorizes Haddonfield.

I can't say enough good things about Halloween. It's a true classic! It's scary even time I watch it and will continue to keep me scared to death of the boogeyman, the Shape - Michael Myers.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: P.J. Soles was dating Dennis Quaid at the time of filming, so John Carpenter and Debra Hill wanted to cast him in the role of Bob Simms. Unfortunately, Quaid was busy working on another project and John Michael Graham was cast in the role instead.


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