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Halloweenis as pure and undiluted as its title. In the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois, a teenage baby sitter tries to survive a Halloween night of relentless terror, during which a knife-wielding maniac goes after the town's hormonally charged youths. Director John Carpenter takes this simple situation and orchestrates a superbly mounted symphony of horrors. It's a movie much scarier for its dark spaces and ominous camera movements than for its explicit bloodletting (which is actually minimal). Composed by Carpenter himself, the movie's freaky music sets the tone; and his script (cowritten with Debra Hill) is laced with references to other horror pictures, especiallyPsycho. The baby sitter is played by Jamie Lee Curtis, the real-life daughter ofPsychovictim Janet Leigh; and the obsessed policeman played by Donald Pleasence is named Sam Loomis, after John Gavin's character inPsycho. In the end, though,Halloweenstands on its own as an uncannily frightening experience--it's one of those movies that had audiences literally jumping out of their seats and shouting at the screen. ("No! Don't drop that knife!") Produced on a low budget, the picture turned a monster profit, and spawned many sequels, none of which approached the 1978 original. Curtis returned for two more installments: 1981's dismalHalloween II, which picked up the story the day after the unfortunate events, and 1998's occasionally grippingHalloween H20, which proved the former baby sitter was still haunted after 20 years.--Robert Horton
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CastRobert Phalen, Donald Pleasence, Arthur Malet, Kyle Richards, Charles Cyphers, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Stephens, Nancy Loomis, P.J. Soles, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham, Mickey Yablans, Adam Holender, Nick Castle, Jr., Sandy Johnson, David Kyle, Tony Moran
DirectorJohn Carpenter
Genre:  Horror
Release Date:  October 25, 1978
MPAA Rating:  R
Screen WriterJohn Carpenter
Runtime:  1hr 33min
Studio:  Compass International Pictures
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More Halloween (1978 movie) reviews
review by . November 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     I like taking long walks in the night; preferably before winter is upon us. It's just a personal past-time; I enjoy the cold air, the ominous winds, and of course, the lights that illuminate the front porch of every house. So, given that I take so many nighttime strolls, it should come to no surprise that I find John Carpenter's "Halloween" to be one of the scariest, most impacting horror films ever made; an absolutely outstanding example of its genre, with …
review by . April 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
 It is Halloween night in Illinois in 1963. Young six year old Michael Myers brutally stabbed his sister to death for a reason unknown to most. His parents come home only to find him standing completely zoned out with a large, bloody knife in his hands. Michael is then put in a mental hospital where he will spend the next fifteen years of his life, until on October 30th 1978 Michael breaks free and steals his Doctor's car. Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) knows that Michael is looking …
review by . June 27, 2011
Although most people don't want to hear this, I've always said that some people are born rotten. Now, don't misunderstand me; I wouldn't suggest that any single factor is responsible for this. Sociopaths can't help themselves. Sadists are a product of their abusive environments. And it's always possible that old Satan sometimes distills a little of his own essence into a human form now and again.      This notion of mine has been dismissed by ideologues …
Quick Tip by . September 24, 2010
Picking up from Black Christmas, Halloween is the essential American slasher film and one of the most important films in John Carpenter's tenure as a filmmaker.
review by . May 11, 2009
Halloween (1978) is John Carpenter's homage to Dario Argento and Mario Bava. A horror/thriller uses mood, music and lighting instead of relying on buckets of red paint and cheap scares. This movie also was the start of a movie franchise , two rebooted films and it has spawned scores of knock-offs and rip-offs. Halloween is also responsible for the "teenage girl" in peril films. It's also responsible for the called "slasher" films that become the staple of 80's horror flicks and a tired cliche in …
review by . March 04, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
The best scary movies are the ones that remember this rule: the less you have to show, the better because the human mind can imagine things far worse than anything on the screen. John Carpenter used to know this and that's the reason that HALLOWEEN is such a success and so much better than the sequels that followed. By then Carpenter was rolling in the dough and forgot his roots. I'm not completely sure why but many first time directors make these awesome pictures on shoe-string budgets then in …
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