Halloween (1978)

Halloween 1978

Year: 1978
Director: John Carpenter
Rated: 18
Starring: Donald Pleasance, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Kyle, P.J. Soles, Charles Cyphers, Nick Castle
Score: 5/5

By far the greatest horror movie ever made, Halloween has terrified audiences for over three decades and still remains one of the most profitable independent movies of all time.


On Halloween night, 1963, in Haddonfield, Illinois, a six-year-old Michael Myers murdered his elder sister and was sentenced to a sanitarium under the watchful eye of Dr. Samuel Loomis (Pleasance). Fifteen years later Myers (Castle) escapes and goes on a killing spree in Haddonfield pursuing Laurie Strode (Curtis) and her friends (Soles and Kyle). At the same time Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Bracket (Cyphers) try to stop Michael Myers before the night becomes one that they’ll never forget.


Halloween has influenced almost every horror movie that has come after it and the majority now follow the same blueprint. The idea of drug abusers or people that were sexually promiscuous being sure to die has been lifted and become a guideline to the  genre. So much about this film may have not worked which makes it all the more impressive: it’s Curtis’ breakout role, Pleasance only filmed for five days and is still the male lead, Carpenter was a relatively newcomer to directing, and the film was initially only given a limited release since major companies didn’t see it making a profit. It’s hard to pin down what is the best thing about this movie and why it’s the greatest horror movie to ever be made. That’s because there is no stand out moment of brilliance, the whole film is a masterpiece. Michael Myers is only referred to as ‘The Shape’ and is possible the most frightening figure to ever grace the screen. This is a nameless being that can’t die, doesn’t talk, doesn’t run, and keeps trying to kill you until he’s completed the deed. Having been shot and stabbed to then just sit up and continue is terrifying the first time that it’s seen and it’s made all the worse because the characters don’t realise. Even the main theme that plays throughout the film adds to the suspense and terror created. The eeriness created by the relatively simple music sends shivers down the spine and will have the audience turning on a light just to have a little bit of comfort whilst sitting through Halloween.


There’s a reason why this movie constantly sits at the top of ‘Best Horror Movies’ list. After 34 years, seven sequels, a remake, and another sequel, Halloween has terrified two generations into being afraid of the Boogeyman. Michael Myers hasn’t always had the best of luck on the big screen but nothing comes close to the original, a film that will have the audience peeking out from behind a pillow from the initial unmasking to the final disappearance. Halloween is the film that no one will want to relate to, but in some way they can as everyone was a babysitter at some point. Good thing they didn’t live in Haddonfield…


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